Message from The Chair

by | Sep 6, 2020 | 5 comments

From SICA-USA Chair Hamilton Cheifetz:

A special day arrived recently: September 4 was the date when my parents returned home to Chicago after a trip to New York and woke me up in the middle of night to surprise me with my first cello. That moment set the direction of my entire life at the age of seven. My mother was a fine violinist, and my father would accompany her on the piano, and they chose the cello for me because of their love for the instrument. I started lessons a week later and would take my cello to school and play tiny pieces for my classmates. My mother died less than two years later and she told my father once after listening from the next room “He will have a beautiful tone”. That might account for the wistfulness in the photo taken when I was eleven. I had won my first competition, so I played a movement of a concerto with a small professional orchestra in a dozen schools which was a great experience, exciting and a little scary too. The second photo was taken while on tour with the Paul Winter Consort at age nineteen, and the third photo was taken a few years ago during an Inside Chamber Music class. I feel very grateful to have found my path so early and to have had the loving support of my parents and teachers.
Personal note from the Chair: I am taking a temporary leave from the SICA USA Board to deal with some health issues, and Paul Nelson has graciously agreed to fill in for me during my absence. The Board continues to work to provide meaningful and inspiring content through the blog posts on our website, and we are formulating a budget and targeted amount for fundraising so that we can continue to support the rich culture within Subud as well as socially conscious projects by non-Subud members. We also are hopeful that in-person Congresses will be possible in the near future, and we will need funds to help with travel expenses so that SICA USA can continue to organize and present high quality entertainment at future congresses. Although there are current constraints, SICA International, Subud USA and SICA USA are working together to continue forward and outward movement.


  1. Blessings for handling your health issues, Hamilton.

  2. Hamilton, I really appreciate your sharing that bit of your musical past. How fortunate you were in having parents with the foresight (and insight) to provide you with the tools you needed to launch your life’s work. Not only the cello – but the heart. I wonder how many little hearts you touched among your classmates by playing for them. As many as you have of your Subud sibs? Blessings on you and good health always.

  3. Thanks for sharing this part of your story Hamilton and your cute pictures! I wish you speedy healing!
    much love, Camille

  4. Hope you do well and thanks for the work. When you were with Paul Winter (always liked his stuff) were on any of his recordings ? Best regards

  5. Thank you all for your kind words. Joseph, I played with Paul Winter in 1969-70, and I never recorded with them.


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