Dear Ms. Henry and Ms. Murray,

It feels as if it were only yesterday that I was in your music class as a third grader at Bonnie Brae playing the recorder! Now, ten years later, after the hundreds of students that have passed through your classrooms, I can only hope that you both can remember me. My name is Karen Cueva and I am a violinist who is currently in my freshman year of college at The Juilliard School. Although many years have passed, the countless memories I hold from your classes are quite vivid for me: from listening to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on a TV, to performing Bonnie Brae’s famous “Reindeer Rap” for parents, to being Rev. Squeak in a third grade production of Huckleberry Finn, I say without reservation that many of my happiest moments from Bonnie Brae were from your tutelage.

I wanted to thank you both for the time and effort you put into our education because it was educators like you, who believed in my passion for music from the beginning. As a third grader learning to play the violin, I was honored and quite taken aback when you both suggested that I perform in front of my class. It was performing experiences like these that really catapulted my confidence on a stage, whether it was at school or at a classical music concert. Nowadays, I am performing throughout New York City at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, yet always make it a point to visit public schools to perform for elementary school-aged students and show them how fun classical music can truly be. I would love to one day come back to Bonnie Brae and see you both! I will do my best to come and visit over Spring Break if it coincides with FCPS Spring Break.

Thank you again for teaching me not only about music but about how to emerge from my shell and be the performer I had always dreamed of being.

Sincerely Yours,