Announcing the 2022 Holiday Caption Contest Winners!

And the winner is…..Hsing-ay Hsu!

Winning Captions

First place: (Singing:) “Five thirty-seconds, Four eighth notes, Three instr’ment parts, Two frozen hands, And a trom-bone in a snow-ball!” by Hsing-ay Hsu (Piano, ACMP Coach Directory, New York, NY)

Second place: An Avalanche of Glorious Music by Victoria Bryan (Cello and piano, Boulder, CO)

Third place: Bob continued to disregard the ppp marking… by Christopher Minarich (Violin and viola, Englewood, NJ)

In what is bound to become an annual ACMP tradition, we received 39 captions from 22 ACMP members. The quality was astounding, and the cartoonist (that’s me!) enjoyed the wide range of interpretations – so many fun ideas I would never have imagined! It was a testament to the creativity of ACMP members, and a reminder of how many interesting people we have in our Players and Coach Directories.

Thanks to all who submitted captions and to the team of people who helped choose this year’s winners.

And stay tuned next Fall – you will be able to purchase ACMP holiday cards with the winning caption!

About the Winners

Hsing-ay Hsu

Pianist Hsing-ay Hsu in Edale, United Kingdom

Hsing-ay Hsu accidentally became a passionate teacher to adults at the age of 14, when a stranger overheard her practicing, appreciated her ability to explain concepts, and asked her to give lessons. Since her stage debut at age 4, Steinway Artist Hsing-ay Hsu (“Sing-I Shoo”) has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center NYC, and infuses her experience as an international prizewinner, concert producer, adjudicator, in her work as teacher/educator/owner of Nutmeg Studio NYC. She also hosts a YouTube channel and Conscious Listening™ workshops to engage lifelong learners and music-lovers. Born in Beijing, Ms. Hsu trained at Juilliard, Yale University, Aspen, Ravinia, and Tanglewood. She is currently on the summer faculty of Rocky Ridge and Chautauqua Institute Special Courses adult programs, was a faculty member at the University of Colorado for fourteen years before recently returning to New York, and will be guest coaching for Special Music School at the Kaufman Center this spring. Bio at

Upcoming Chamber Music Related Events:

3/26 Chamber music masterclass 

3/4 Orchestral Colors of the Piano Intensive – matching instrumental timbres

1/21 Conscious Listening™ Café 

YouTube with Geraldine Walther (Takacs Quartet) 

YouTube of recent masterclass excerpt 

Connect with Hsing-ay through the ACMP Coach Directory

Victoria Bryan

Cellist Victoria Bryan from Boulder, Colorado

Located in Boulder, Colorado, Victoria is a Cellist and long-term member of the ACMP.. Music is her passion. Beginning at age 5, she took piano lessons  through high school studying piano at Loretto Heights, a private women’s college in Denver.  At age 9, she began private cello lessons and during Jr. and Sr. High School,  studied cello with Fred Hoeppner, then Principal Cellist of the Colorado Symphony (formerly the Denver Symphony).  In high school, she competed and was awarded a place in the cello section of the Colorado All-State Orchestra.  Since graduating high school,  Victoria has performed on cello in many community orchestras and chamber music groups.  Currently, she’s a member of the cello section in the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra in Broomfield, Colorado.  

In addition to symphonies, she  coordinates, and performs with a string quartet that performs regularly for civic and private events.  In addition to classical repertoire, the quartet performs contemporary and classic popular music and many other genres of music.

Connect with Victoria through the ACMP Players Directory

Christopher Minarich

Violinist/Violist and Conductor Christopher Minarich from Englewood, NJ

Christopher Minarich teaches Music at The Episcopal School in the City of New York City, an independent preschool on the Upper East Side, where he has the delight of teaching Music to over 200 two-to five-year olds. He enjoys playing violin and viola in chamber groups and orchestras, including the Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra, where he is Concertmaster and Assistant Conductor. Christopher plays Baroque violin in a period-instrument ensemble that explores unpublished works of the 17th century.   Besides Music, Christopher enjoys foraging mushrooms, cooking, baking, and foreign languages.

Connect with Christopher through the ACMP Players Directory

Congratulations to all of our winners and to everyone who came up with an original caption for my cartoon!

More Articles

Sue Mistretta celebrates 10 years of Mountainside Chamber Music in Nelson, B.C.

Sue Mistretta is an ACMP member cellist in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Read my interview with Sue to learn more about the adult amateur music scene in Nelson, her life as an adult beginner, and her experience creating a chamber music workshop from the ground up and running it for ten years. Maybe you would like to take a trip to beautiful Nelson, B.C. for one of her workshops this summer. Hurry to make the "Early Bird" discount deadline of May 1.

Read More ↗

Notes from the Rehearsal Studio: Learning the “Quartet for the End of Time”

In advance of the live and livestreamed masterclass this Sunday, April 7, I interviewed the four intrepid adult amateur musicians who took on the first and sixth movements of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time." For the clarinetists, pianists, violinists and cellists among you, I hope you will be inspired to delve into Messiaen's masterwork yourselves!

Read More ↗

Announcing the 2024 Worldwide Play-In Weekend: May 17-19

May is Chamber Music Month! And ACMP is happy to announce its official Worldwide Play-In weekend: Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, 2024

Read More ↗

Calvin Wiersma class on Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”: Sunday, April 7, 3pm ET

ACMP is proud to present a special live (and live-streamed) class with violinist and chamber music coach extraordinaire Calvin Wiersma on Olivier Messiaen's seminal work, the "Quartet for the End of Time," with ACMP member musicians Kenneth Margolis (clarinet), Yolanda Wu (violin), Ben Pfeifer (cello) and Walter Kennon (piano.)

Read More ↗

An orchestra that lives up to the ideals of the United Nations

Ever since the United Nations was founded nearly 80 years ago, it has stood for nothing less than “peace, justice, and better living for all humankind.” When it comes to living up to those ideals, nowhere does that happen more than every Wednesday night in a nondescript office across from UN headquarters.

Read More ↗

Meet Joel Epstein: violinist, violist, writer, arranger, educator and ACMP member since the 1970s

Violinist, violist, writer, arranger and educator Joel Epstein has been a member of ACMP since the 1970s. Get to know Joel and read about his book "Music for the Love of It: Episodes in Amateur Music-Making" and about his important work teaching music to status-less children in Israel.

Read More ↗

Meet ACMP Pianist and Educator James Daly

You may have been wondering about the people featured in the mockups for ACMP's new Timbre app-in-progress. AI was not involved in any way - all of those people are real members of ACMP with profiles in our Directory of Chamber Musicians. California-based pianist and educator James Daly is the man in the header image for the blog article about Timbre. Read all about his path to becoming a musician and educator and enjoy a 20% ACMP member discount on his original T-shirts and other merchandise.

Read More ↗

Timbre Reveal: a sneak peak at ACMP’s new app-in-progress

Take a sneak peek at “Timbre” - ACMP's first ever app, in its early stages of development. Timbre will be a fun, visual, and more immediate way to find other ACMP members while you’re casually scrolling on your phone.

Read More ↗

A conversation with filmmaker Hilan Warshaw

In the lead-up to the ACMP Film Club event about Hilan Warshaw's "Secret Song" on Sunday, February 18 at 2pm ET, ACMP's Executive Director Stephanie Griffin had the pleasure of catching up with Hilan, and asking him about how his background as a musician led to a unique career as a filmmaker with a primary focus on musical subjects.

Read More ↗

Eugene Drucker and Hilan Warshaw discuss “Secret Song”

Join ACMP on Sunday, February 18 at 2pm Eastern for an online discussion with film-maker Hilan Warshaw and former Emerson Quartet violinist Eugene Drucker about the genesis of "Secret Song," the making of the film and the sultry story behind Alban Berg's Lyric Suite for string quartet.

Read More ↗

Harmonizing Decades: A 2024 Follow-up to our 1996 Quartet session

When ACMP member violinist Gualtiero Morpurgo was visiting the United States from Milan in 1996, he found fellow violinist Mark Atkins in the ACMP Directory. Mark organized a string quartet session with Gualtiero, and later in life learned of his touching life story.

Read More ↗

How to put on a great adult chamber music workshop

Join ACMP Secretary and Grants Committee chair Susan Alexander on Tuesday, January 23 at 2:30pm Eastern for an illuminating online panel discussion about how to organize your own adult amateur chamber music workshop. Susan will be joined by experts in the field: Javier Caballero (Executive Director of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music), Susie Ikeda (Executive Director of the Chamber Music Conference) and pianist/educator Nancy Breth (founder of the Levine School of Music's Chamber Music Weekend for adult amateurs.)

Read More ↗

Announcing the 2023 Holiday Caption Contest Winners!

ACMP’s 2nd annual Holiday Caption Contest was a resounding success! We received 96 captions from 44 ACMP members – exactly twice as many participants as last year. This year's winners were Raul Kottler, Ken Margolis and Rebecca Sayles.

Read More ↗

Rochester Report: An Interview with NAOC Councilor Roberta Zalkind

On a recent visit to Rochester, NY, ACMP Executive Director Stephanie Griffin reached out to local NAOC councilor and fellow violist Roberta Zalkind. Roberta gave Stephanie a tour of the Eastman Community Music School (a repeat ACMP grantee), introduced her to the school's director Petar Kodzas and invited her home for dinner, where the two violists got acquainted with one another and discussed the state of amateur chamber music in Rochester. After the visit, Stephanie followed up with this interview with Roberta.

Read More ↗

Report from the Netherlands: Excerpts from “Amateurs in European Music”

Here are a few highlights from an essay written by Marine Park, participant of the Wijnhaven Festival, Dordrecht, Netherlands in conjunction with Bas van Ouwerkerk, organizer of the Festival. This version is a translation of some selected excerpts from the full essay which was published in Korean in the Music Journal of Korea.

Read More ↗

Introducing new IAC Chair, Sean Knox

ACMP is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean Knox as Chair of its International Advisory Council (IAC). Sean is a professionally trained cellist and also plays the piano (and recently started learning the harp). He is passionate about playing chamber music, and has done so with numerous groups in London, Switzerland and his home country of South Africa.

Read More ↗

Chamber Music in France! The Trouville-sur-Mer Workshop Report

The Trouville-sur-Mer chamber music workshop was a success this year. Twenty-two participants ranging in age from 11 to 82 came from various parts of France and abroad. The workshop culminated in two well-attended concerts.

Read More ↗

Rice University Chamber Music Club Partners with ACMP

The Rice University Chamber Music Club is the first official university-student organization to be affiliated with ACMP. Founded by violinist Gale Gai, the club just held its first concert, sponsored in part by a Just Play grant from ACMP!

Read More ↗

Two left hands! On playing Christopher Walken’s left hand in “A Late Quartet”

Longtime ACMP supporter, cellist and chamber music workshop organizer David Bakamjian is also a movie star! He played Christopher Walken's left hand in Yaron Zilberman's 2012 film "A Late Quartet." Watch or rewatch the film and then join ACMP in a film club discussion on Saturday December 9 at 2pm Eastern with two professional chamber musicians who coached the actors on playing violin and viola.

Read More ↗

Giving Back to the Community: ACMP and Music for Food

On the 2023 New York City Marathon Day - Sunday, November 5 - over 40 ACMP members from the New York City metropolitan area joined forces in an en masse Play-In at Broadway Presbyterian Church, as a benefit for violist Kim Kashkashian's nonprofit Music for Food, a musician-led initiative to fight hunger in our local communities.

Read More ↗

Load More


All Articles By