About Us

Chanah and Cherwyn Ambuter are a daughter/mother ensemble, part of a very musical family which includes also a flautist and a violinist. All of us in the household enjoy music so much! It immerses us in beauty and creates such a special, meaningful life.

 

CHERWYN grew up in the mountains of Vermont, studying piano with Jeanne Tourin of The Tourin Musica, a touring early music ensemble. Cherwyn received valuable training with Jeanne in harpischord playing and reading figured bass. Cherwyn’s path then took her to college at Tufts just outside of Boston, where she earned an undergrad degree in music and double-majored in French for several years before dropping the French major to earn her music teaching license. During all this intense study, she met and fell in love with her husband, Hal, whom she married a month after graduation.   🙂   Hal obtained a job with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, where Cherwyn promptly found employment with Northern Kentucky University as their vocal dept. staff accompanist, playing for all of NKU’s vocal studios and opera workshops. Yearning to return for her Master’s degree, she was accepted into the UC College – Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she exulted in the conservatory atmosphere and training and did a sub-concentration in choral conducting. While studying for her oral exams at the conclusion of her studies there, she gave birth to Chanah – her great pride and joy! (Along with the other two children!)

A trip to Italy had Cherwyn learning Italian beforehand. She taught Chanah to speak French from the time of Chanah’s birth, so the French has stayed current. This language study helps in her vocal accompanying, particularly with opera and the great song literature.

Cherwyn has continued to lead a busy, pianistic life, accompanying, teaching (public school as well as private piano lessons), finding opportunities to play solo, and remaining in love with this beautiful instrument. Throughout her musical life, Cherwyn has also sung and has spent a few years studying voice. She directs the choir at church and sings solos, accompanying herself. It is an extraordinary life to enjoy participating in many musical engagements and endeavors! Cherwyn picked up the organ when her church’s organist moved away, and found a real-but-fun challenge in learning to play the pedals smoothly. Always thrilling and stimulating, never the same…She is very blessed to be living this enchanting life! And now, to have a daughter so musically gifted and on the HARP – what a joy! It is tremendous to see the younger two children also become interested in music.

 

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CHANAH is an artsy, “bohemian” child (as her 1st grade teacher put it). She is writing a 600+ page fantasy novel combining elements similar to LOTR, The Narnia Chronicles, and Eragon. She’s a talented artist, and her sculptures and artworks fill our home. Chanah has recently taken to making her own clothes, including some neat, inventive Renaissance Faire outfits and her graduation gown. Chanah’s poetry uplifts the soul and causes deep reflection. This young woman invests all she does with an ethereal creativity. Chanah also excels in French; in 2008, she won 9th place in the state of NJ in the Grand Concours National French Test.

The harp has always been her central focus of her creative hopes and longings. Chanah became hooked on the harp at the age of 9, when Cherwyn brought her to Cleveland’s “WinterFest,” an annual winter festival during which all the doors of all the museums, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and other institutions at University Circle are thrown open, free of charge, to families. Craft-making and story-telling abound for the children; there are tours of the art museum and educational lectures and activities geared towards families, and many concerts at CIM.

Chanah was present at a harp ensemble concert at CIM that evening. Her eyes grow BIG and ROUND – and she knew from that moment on that harp would be her destiny. She ran up to the harps afterwards to try and strum one, but the harp professor, alarmed, raced over to her pre-emptively and said, “No, no, don’t touch the harps!” The teacher was right to protect the harps – but Chanah knew she would get her hands on a harp someday! When we learned the cost of purchasing a pedal harp (and found that it’s $200-400/month just to RENT one!), we told her she needed to demonstrate to us first her commitment to music and how badly she wants to really work at the harp. She would need to study piano with Cherwyn for two years, practicing regularly, and then we would look into harp studies. With a good attitude, she complied – and here she is, having just graduated from the Juilliard Pre-College and about to embark upon her college career at U-Michigan, one of the top music schools in the land. What a blessing. And, the neat thing is that this is a music school connected with a university, where she can also continue her pursuits of creative writing, art, or whatever area, with her electives.

Chanah plays for special events, and also plays at church, both solos and accompanying the choir (and also did “Amazing Grace” with her sister playing the flute as a duet!) and will go and play just about anywhere. Let’s see – can we get the harp down into the subway? The neat thing for us as her parents is, Chanah has learned how to load and unload the harp into/out of the car all on her own! Major milestone – YAY! An undertaking that makes us dizzy at the thought of it. We ourselves would never brave it!

While Chanah loves playing the harp in all situations, she’s especially hoping to eventually obtain a position with a pit orchestra of either a ballet or an opera company. This music seems to have the most tender music for the harp! But for now, she’s thrilled to be playing, whenever, however, and wherever she can, and continuing her musical studies. All of it is a joy for her!