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Constance E. Barrett, 1961-2013

 

connie-wyoyo-ma-2012optConstance E. Barrett, D.M.A.July 19, 1961 – December 2, 2013

Called a “musician of rare sensitivity” with a “haunting and beautiful” sound, cellist Constance E. Barrett devoted her professional life to teaching strings to people of all ages, with a particular affinity for facilitating improvisation and teaching avoidance of performance injuries through the science of Body Mapping.

Barrett’s performance credits included national television, radio performances here and abroad, and arranging music for and appearing in the 2006 Terry George film, Reservation Road. She performed and taught in festivals in Europe and the United States with David Darling, the Cavani String Quartet, and violinist Stephen Clapp. A prolific writer, she published articles in American String Teacher and American Suzuki Journal and contributed curriculum writing to NPR’s From the Top.  She was also published in the New York Times while at Hackley School for her work celebrating the life of American composer, Charles Tomlinson Griffes who also held a similar position to Connie in the Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY.

Barrett presented workshops for the national conferences of ASTA, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the Andover Educator’s International Body Mapping Conference, and many state and local Music Educator’s National Conference (NAfME), including Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. She presented in-service days for the New York City Schools and the Baltimore Public Schools under the auspices of the Yamaha Corporation and VH1-Save the Music.

Connie’s innovative ideas included prompting Yamaha to create the Yamaha Corporation Yamaha Certified String Educators promoting collaborative conversation and action between educators in the field and Yamaha Corporation representatives to better the educational experience for students and teachers. She was an accomplished composer and arranger.  Her works are performed by students and professionals around the country and abroad, including in Nice, France where she performed several of her new works with her niece and violist, Stephanie Price.

Connie held a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Arts from the Ohio State University, a Master of Music from the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor of Music from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory.  She received the Distinguished Music Educator award from Yale University School of Music and was the inaugural recipient of the Andover Educator’s Barbara Conable Teaching Award, emphasizing Connie’s excellence in promoting the understanding and teaching of Body Mapping throughout the country.

Connie was a member of several regional orchestras including Ridgefield Symphony. She performed with many artists including Stephen Clapp (Dean emeritus, Juilliard School), Annie Fullard (Cavani Quartet), Hayley Wolfe (Berlin), David Darling (Music of People).  Connie took pride in performing on several occasions as the assistant principal, and on occasion, the principal cellist for the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace, founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984, held annually at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, New York.

Connie taught strings and conducted the orchestra classes for over fifteen years at Central Middle School in Greenwich CT, and at the Hackley School prior.  She taught cello and chamber music at Kenyon College (OH), Lafayette College (PA), and at the Moravian Academy (PA).  Her first teaching assignment was in Troy, NY after graduating with her masters from The University of Notre Dame and before attending The Ohio State University. She was a revered guest artist for the Chamber Music Connection, Inc.  (OH) where she acted as Assistant Artistic Director for many summer festivals, taught and performed as part of CMC Italia in Bonefro and Rome, Italy, and helped to finalize to name CMC’s esteemed performance series, “Conservatory Series.”

Connie’s teachers included Rudolph Doblin (Albany), Ruth Alsop (Saratoga, NYC Ballet Orchestra), Regina Mushabac (Baldwin Wallace), Karen Buranskas (University of Notre Dame), William Conable (retired, Ohio State University), and Timohy Eddy (NYC).

Connie lived a seventeen-year journey with breast cancer. She never ceased to provide an inspirational journal of her choices of treatment, which can be read through her Caring Bridge site.  She leaves behind her beloved family including husband and renowned piano voicing specialist Marc Wienert, mother and generous spirit Joyce S. Barrett, brother and professional bridge player Geoffrey Jade S. Barrett, sister and CMC Artistic Director Deborah Barrett Price, niece  and violist Stephanie Price, nephew and cellist Kyle Price, brother-in-law Tim Price, sister-in-law Karen Barrett, and close cousins Margie Sherrard and Joyce Kaine – who cared for her along with her husband Marc, mother Joyce, and niece Stephanie – and her cousin and artist Kedron Barrett (Berlin Germany), as well as her  aunt Marjorie Avellino, and numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, extended family, students, and friends.  She was preceded in death by her father, Rev. Richard E. Barrett. Her legacy of innovative pedagogy inspiring all those who had the privilege to study and work with her will go on for generations.  Memorial donations may be made in Connie’s memory to CMC, Inc. to cultivate the Constance E. Barrett Memorial Endowment.

If you wish to make a donation in Connie’s memory, please click on the donation button at the bottom of the page.  Your gift will be designated to the Constance E. Barrett Memorial Endowment.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm, December 23, 2013 at Calvary Church, Burnt Hills, NY followed by a memorial concert, at 7:00pm, January 10, 2014, Christ Church, Greenwich, CT and a Memorial Service of Music and Readings at 2:00pm, January 11, St. John the Divine Cathedral, NYC.

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photos by Stephen Wolfe

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