PATERSON, NJ - When Christian Venturella, a senior at New Providence High School and a member of Boy Scouts Troop 1, began thinking about what he should do for his Eagle Scout Project, It didn’t take him long to choose a beneficiary. Through The New Jersey Youth Symphony, he had been volunteering for the Paterson Music Project for over three years. The Paterson Music Project is Wharton Institute's El Sistema inspired music enrichment program serving students in Paterson, NJ.
Each week as Venturella mentored his enthusiastic student musicians he recognized that there was a lack of storage space for all their instruments. One day on a trip to the music closet he noticed cellos in their cases strewn all over the place, and that was the inspiration for his Eagle project. He would build portable cello racks. The project took over a year to formulate and then another six months to execute, but it was worth the effort. When he was finished, the kids had a safe home for their cellos.
In total, Venturella made eight cello racks for three separate Paterson Music Project locations. It was a huge undertaking and not your typical Eagle Scout project, but he wanted to do something impactful. “These kids are so excited about their music,” said Venturella. “They deserve our respect and I am honored to support them.”
When he needed assistance building the cello racks, Venturella turned to Master Carpenter, Ed Trackim, “This project would not have been possible without the help of Ed Trackim," said Venturella. "He helped me cut all the pieces and patiently guided me through the supply ordering. He is the reason why I was able to deliver such an ambitious project.”
Over the years, Venturella has served the Paterson Music Project in various capacities and most recently assists with the trumpet, flute and clarinet classes. When asked why he chose Paterson as his beneficiary Venturella said, “I have been fortunate to grow up in a town with a robust music program and I’ve been lucky that my parents, trumpet teachers, conductors and peers have inspired me to reach my fullest potential. I just wanted to help these kids do the same.”
Additionally, Venturella is a Waksman Scholar through the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University. For the second year in a row, he leads his High School research club in conducting lab experiments to isolate DNA fragments from a specific duckweed plant that could be used as a possible bio-fuel. With the support of his dedicated advisor, Cheryl Campbell and Rutgers faculty, he has published five Gene Sequences to NCBI GenBank where professional scientists can use his findings.
Also, he has been a member of New Jersey Youth Symphony since elementary school and studies classical trumpet at Manhattan School of Music Pre-College. Christian Venturella became an Eagle Scout on October 26.