I had a working visit to Woodcraft Magazine in March and o girl! I had been told that the company was also in its second year and I felt like tech-wise they’d be bigger. The humility of my contact Nancy Miller, now Vice President, did not prepare me for the meeting I had in this company whose parent company had been in existence long before my parents were born. I later found out that Woodcraft Supply LCC was founded in Boston in 1928 and now has stores in more than 70 major metropolitan areas across the United States.
The reception I got was amazing; every one that matter had been told that yours truly was visiting. I was thrilled and really wish we had the kind of funds to transform Willows. At the end of the meetings I had with the manager, marketing officer, editor, internet director and business lunch, I was told that some performance had been planned in the after school group attended by my contacts’ children.
We got there late but the children were so excited that the tutor could not deny them the thrill of the cello performance. I had thought this was routine but I found out how special it was when I heard the African tune.
In this edition, of TT, I bring you a band of talented children under the direction of Mrs. Cynthia Puls all the way from West Virginia, USA.
The Cello Company was established in Parkersburg, in 1994. Cynthia Puls’ belief is that all children are talented. She uses the Shinichi Suzuki based principles in her teaching. Just as a child learns to talk then to read words, these children are taught to play then to read music. She believes in promoting a family focused environment for the development of these young students. The secret behind the success of these children is their hard work, dedication, parental support, and a love of music.
They performed for a number of events in West Virginia and Ohio which includes: the WTAP Telethon to support special needs children, the opening of the WV House of Delegates in Charleston, WV, the opening of the Cultural Art Center, The Castle (Marietta, OH), The Multi-Cultural Festival (WV), Martin Luther King Celebration, Marshall String Ensemble at Marshall University, Huntington, and they had the privilege of performing with the Camarata Swedish String Ensemble as part of their US tour.
The way they play their comportment and coordination and the glow that radiates into a cheerful countenance from their hearts shows the passion of Mrs. Puls. While speaking to her she said, “My students are my passion; I love to see folks learn to think. I love to see them teach themselves by thinking. I love to see them enrich themselves”. What does she gain by committing time and energy to nurturing these amazing talents? “I get to see them get it… What a glorious existence it is. I feel blessed every time a student awakens to a new awareness”.
According to Alex Miller, a 12 year old member of the Cello Company, “I’ve been playing the cello for 4 years. My teacher is very confident about teaching people how to play a song. And when she starts on a song, she never gives up. She is very determined, and everyone puts a lot of hard work into it. We learn the songs before we learn how to read the music. It makes it more fun to play and is much easier to learn that way. We have many concerts in many places. My favorite concert was at the Tamarack, in West Virginia. It was about 3 hours away, and the best part was the crowd – they were very interested in listening to us. My favorite song is Allegro Moderato by J.S. Bach. My friends think it’s cool that I can play the cello and they like the fast songs. Along with cello, I play on basketball, baseball & soccer teams. I also love to hunt & fish with my dad, and to participate in other outdoor activities. Fitting in practice is tough, but I manage to do it just about every day.”
Cynthia Puls, a founding member of Trillium Piano Trio holds a bachelor and master’s degree in Music from University of Evansville and Louisiana State University respectively.