Juilliard and NYFS: SOPW
Juilliard and New York Festival of Song present Songs of Peace and War on Wednesday, January 17 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Featuring eight Juilliard singers and 24 songs, the evening will be directed by Steven Blier, a member of Juilliard’s faculty and artistic director for NYFS. He and Michael Barrett, pianist and NYFS co-founder, will accompany the vocalists on piano. The program includes songs by Barber, Irving Berlin, Blitzstein, Debussy, Adam Guettel, Musorgsky, Randy Newman, Kurt Weill, and many others.
In choosing the theme for the New York Festival of Song’s Juilliard concert, Mr. Blier and Mr. Barrett went back to the eternal subject of peace and war. “Great songs about wars don’t usually get written in the heat of battle,” remarks Mr. Blier. “We’re still too close to the conflicts of our time – and simultaneously strangely distant from them – to know how they’ll make their mark on the world of concert music. But the songs our artists found transcend the boundaries of time. Through the voices and spirits of these wonderful young singers, song becomes a way to express the resiliency of the human spirit.”
Tickets, which are free, are required and are available now at the Juilliard box office. For more information, call (212) 769-7406 or visit: www.juilliard.edu.
New Styx Concert Video With CYO
Eagle Rock Entertainment has released One With Everything on DVD, a concert video by Styx with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, a 171-piece orchestra and choir composed of students aged 13-19. This night was taped in Cleveland on May 26, 2006 and included much of the band’s well-known material, as well as newly written originals.
One With Everything is the first all-new Styx concert video in over five years. The current Styx lineup consists of singer/songwriter guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young, drummer Todd Sucherman, lead singer Lawrence Gowan, bassist/guitarist Ricky Philips and guitarist/bassist Chuck Panozzo.
For more information, visit: www.kayosproductions.com.
DWU: Boston Children’s Chorus
The Boston Children’s Chorus, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic arts education organization that unites local children to discover the power of singing, celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at its fourth annual concert at Jordan Hall on Monday, January 15th at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “Struggle, Unity, Spirit Freedom.” The Boston Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Anthony Trecek-King, will share the stage at this concert with nationally-renowned guests, the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. The event will be telecast live on WCVB-TV Channel 5. All tickets are $25 and are on sale at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall Box Office (617-585-1260), A Nubian Notion, 57 Warren Street, Roxbury, and online at www.ticketweb.com (search for Boston Children’s Chorus).
For more information, visit: www.bostonchildrenschorus.org
“Godfather of Soul”:1933-2006
James Brown, the legendary singer, songwriter, bandleader and dancer died December 25th at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, a day after being admitted with pneumonia. Mr. Brown is one of the true pioneers of modern music: with his rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms, he transformed gospel music into rhythm and blues, and soul music into his own creations – funk and disco. One of the original inductees to the Rock Roll Hall of Fame, Brown recorded more than 100 records, 50 albums and was honored with a Grammy lifetime achievement award. He was 73 years old.
Berklee’s City Music Network Goes Nationwide
Berklee College of Music announces the City Music Network, a new partnership with community organizations to deliver high-quality contemporary music instruction to underserved youth across the U.S. In a dramatic expansion of the college’s Boston-based City Music program, Berklee will bring its real-time and web-based music education to students nationwide, regardless of financial means or location. Students who complete the required coursework are qualified to audition for scholarships to Berklee’s Boston campus for five-week summer programs and undergraduate study. Over 200 students will be served when pilot projects begin in March, 2007 at the Experience Music Project in Seattle; A Place Called Home and Sound Art in Los Angeles; eSharp Music in Washington DC; and the Mount Airy Cultural Center in Philadelphia.
Apple Computer will serve as a key technology partner, providing server support and access to iTunes University. Berklee will also partner with members of NAMM, the International Music Products Association, to provide City Music Network students with musical instruments and equipment. Berklee alumni, trained and certified in Boston, will play a unique role as local mentors and teachers, providing instrumental, vocal, and ensemble instruction, and guiding students through the online materials.
Partner sites will plug into a virtual City Music Network, giving them instant access to Berklee’s online music resources. The curriculum, which teaches music theory, ear training, and performance, is based on a library of popular RB, rock, hip-hop, and jazz songs, six of which are being recorded by The Movement Orchestra – the touring ensemble for Christina Aguilera, Babyface, Patti LaBelle, and others. Webcasting and videoconferencing technologies will provide face-to-face interaction between City Music Network students at partner sites as well as with faculty and students at Berklee’s Boston campus.
Berklee is investing $1 million in the program’s startup costs and plans to raise $10 million to support scholarships. It aims to expand the City Music Network to 50 partner sites over the next three to five years, with rapid continual growth afterwards. Berklee City Music provides underserved, inner-city middle- and high-school students from the Boston area after-school mentoring, Saturday schooling, summer study, and full-tuition scholarships to Berklee at no cost to them or their families. Since its inception in 1991, the program has taught more than 1,300 students and awarded over $5 million in student scholarships.
For more information, visit: www.berklee.edu.
NAMM Joins with Americans for the Arts
NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, recently announced it is joining with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, in presenting a national media campaign to promote the importance of music and art education. The organizations will work together to communicate the vital role that music and all of the arts play in the lives of children as they develop, and for people of all ages.
The associations will implement a three-year national advertising campaign utilizing television, print, radio and Web site mediums, which will communicate the inherent value and benefits of active participation in music and the arts. The launch will underscore the importance of music and the arts in school, home and community life, and emphasize the critical importance of music and arts in children’s education. The campaign will emphasize that being involved in the arts means much more than just participating in extra activities for children – the arts open up children’s worlds and minds, and offer kids the skills they need for a bright future.
The joint initiative is a public awareness campaign called “Art. Ask for More,” developed with the Ad Council, the nation’s public service messaging organization that assists nonprofits and service organizations in presenting public benefit advertising campaigns across various media.
“This partnership is very important to NAMM and its members,” says Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “By working with Americans in the Arts and the Ad Council, we believe we can expand access to arts education in this country.”
In recent years, NAMM has sponsored research that expands understanding about the ways music education helps children develop cognitively, socially and academically. A recent NAMM-sponsored study conducted at McMaster University in Canada, stated that children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year compared to children who do not receive musical training.
“Americans for the Arts is pleased to have NAMM as a partner in the ‘Art. Ask for More’ public service campaign. The arts are vital to a well-rounded education for our nation’s children. This campaign will give parents the tips and tools for providing more arts education opportunities for their children in both school and their communities,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
Sussman Joins Choral Director
Choral Director welcomes Eliahu Sussman as our new associate editor. Sussman graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University in 1999, majoring in English with a minor concentration in Spanish language and literature. An accomplished drummer, Eliahu has been studying percussion since 1990 and completed a focused performance program at Berklee College of Music. He’s performed throughout the Northeast and has appeared on a handful of recordings, most notably with his band, The Acro-brats. Sussman was on staff at The Daily Free Press and most recently was employed as an English language instructor.
MJF’s Next Generation Festival Accepting Applications
The Monterey Jazz Festival’s third Annual Next Generation Festival, which includes MJF’s 37th Annual National High School Jazz Competition, will take place in historic downtown Monterey from March 23 – 25, 2007. The Competition is accepting applications from middle school, college, and high school big bands and from high school vocal jazz ensembles and combos through January 24, 2007. Application forms may be downloaded at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Web site, www.montereyjazzfestival.org. The application process is free.
The weekend-long event will include performances and competitions, with awards going to the best groups for College, High School and Middle School Big Band divisions; and for High School Combos and Vocal Ensembles. The event also includes a Composition Competition open to high school composers, with the winning piece to be debuted at the 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. Auditions will also be held for chairs in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which tours internationally and is a featured ensemble on the Festival’s Sunday afternoon Arena/Lyons Stage.
The Next Generation Festival is an expansion of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Annual National High School Jazz Competition, now in its 37th year. The High School Jazz Competition is open to superior rated vocal ensembles, big bands, and combos.
Next Generation finalists are selected through recorded audition by faculty from the Berklee College of Music, and will include twelve big bands, six combos, and six vocal ensembles in the high school division. Six middle school big bands and six college level big bands will also be selected. In addition, special invited groups will also perform; over 40 groups from across the United States are expected to attend the Next Generation Festival. The top big bands, combo and vocal ensemble will win cash awards and be invited to perform at the 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21-23, 2007.
Interested schools and students should visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org for instructions on how to apply to the Next Generation Festival. Applications with an audition tape/CD should be mailed to: Next Generation Festival, c/o Dr. Rob Klevan, Jazz Education Director, 9699 Blue Larkspur Lane, Monterey, CA, 93940.