Archive for January, 2018

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In Today’s News

January 31, 2018

York Community Auditorium – open!

The title of the online article – York auditorium ‘shows respect’ to student-musicians. Hmmmm – sounds like York is the place to hear and see excitement on Thursday!

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the official opening of the auditorium Thursday, Feb. 1.

5 p.m.: Official ribbon-cutting and ceremony. Members of the School Committee, Board of Selectmen and the auditorium building committee are expected to attend.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Self-guided tours of the auditorium. School officials and students will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have.

6:30 p.m.: Two York High School students will perform in recital on the school’s new 7.5-foot Yamaha grand piano.

7 p.m.: The York High concert band and jazz band will perform; they will be joined at one point by eighth-grade members of the York Middle School band; and later by members of the York High choruses.

Students are thrilled to be using the new space on Thursday and their comments reflect the reasons why (about the past):

“That was awful,” said junior Addy Fagan. “It was too far away. It was really cold and people didn’t show up.”

One word kept cropping up as the younger and older band members talked about the new auditorium: acoustics. Imagine, they said, playing in the vaulted ceiling space of a gymnasium. The sound would carry to the rafters, with nothing to stop it.

“It sounded terrible,” Fagan said.

“It’s not meant for acoustics,” added senior Samantha Corbett.

That same set of circumstances has been occurring at the middle school, said students. In addition, parents would have to sit on bleachers, and sometimes the gym couldn’t accommodate all the audience members, so fifth-grade parents would have to leave to make room for parents of the upper classes.

“The band wasn’t balanced,” said seventh-grader Sienna Hilbourne. “Some instruments didn’t sound the same as in the band room because the acoustics were so different.”

Read the entire article posted online at Seacoastonline.

Congratulations to the York community and school staff members who have worked so hard to see this space come to fruition. For those of us who won’t be able to travel to York on Thursday I certainly hope there will be photos and videos for all of us to see the new space and hear the fantastic acoustics!

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I’m Here From the Government

January 31, 2018

How can I help?

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Barbara and Paul Go To Europe

January 30, 2018

What a trip

Many of you know Paul Greenstone who retired as music educator from Lake Region Schools in June 2017. Others of you know Barbara Greenstone who worked with teachers and students and technology in the Boothbay Schools until she retired in June also. Earlier in her career she provided professional development as part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) team, and earlier still she was a middle school Language Arts teacher.

Music, art and history have always been important to them so they decided to take the trip of a lifetime – 3 weeks in Europe traveling independently and part of the trip with Viking River Cruises. They left on November 2 and had a whirlwind of a trip with stops in Rome, Florence, Milan, Zurich, Salzburg, Vienna to the cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg.

Their tour started in Rome where they visited Bernini’s sculptures at the Borghese Gallery, spent an evening at the Opera Roma to see La Traviata, visited the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. From there they trained to Florence and visited Michelangelo’s David (one of my favorite memories) and the Museum of Musical Instruments where there were several Stradivarius violins.

You can read all about the details from above and much, much more. Go ahead and dream and consider where you might want to travel to in the near future. (I suggest not waiting until you retire!) Barbara is a wonderful blogger and started To Italy and Beyond to document their trip and share their adventures with their friends and family. If you want to read from the start to finish I suggest that you scroll down to the bottom of the blog. Thank you Barbara Greenstone for sharing your stories!

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Brewer in the Snow

January 29, 2018

Arts Learning Grant recipient

In the snow storm earlier this month when many schools had back to back snow days I headed off to the beautiful Brewer Community School. I arrived to find the parking lot so full of snow (and you know I love snow) I wasn’t sure where the sidewalks and parking lots started and ended. Not only was there snow everywhere but the wind was blowing and it was VERY cold!

Once I got inside the building and met up with Christopher Burk, founder and director of the Jazz Residency Initiative, (JRI) I soon forgot about the wind and cold. The Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning Grant assisted JRI with funding this year so I was excited about learning more about the program and seeing it in action. The weather could have shut down the program but the commitment to Brewer School’s music education was evident when the school opened in the afternoon so rehearsals and learning could continue.

Brewer High School jazz band

Brewer High School music teacher Brady Harris was having a lesson with resident jazz musician Mike Stern. At first glance from the center of the Brewer Performing Arts Center Mike looked like a high school student. Later I realized he connected with the students quickly and easily because he was in many ways much younger than his age. They went back and forth comfortably before the high school jazz students arrived for rehearsal and they all jumped right in to making music. I was so impressed! The middle school students followed for rehearsal and their first time meeting Mike (due to the storm). Led by Lanissa Nadeau the students were so well prepared and played amazingly! My only disappointment was that I couldn’t stay for the evening performance but I understand that it was a big success!

Brady and Mike

JRI BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Jazz Residency Initiative (JRI) is a Maine based non-profit dedicated to positively impacting the development of aspiring jazz musicians by facilitating artist-in-residencies with master musicians. Guest artists share their knowledge with student musicians through a series of masterclasses, rehearsals, and interactive workshops. The three day residencies culminate in Capstone Concerts in which the featured artists and the students share a stage and perform for their community. The Capstone Concerts also includes a Pro Set during which the featured artist plays with regional professional musicians, often providing the students their first opportunity to experience a live professional jazz performance. Through the residencies, JRI pursues its multifaceted mission of inspiring student musicians, improving their musicianship, providing quality listening opportunities for the students and their communities, showcasing regional professional musicians, and reenergizing local music educators.


PROGRAM PLANNING 

Planning for each residency typically begins 8 to 14 months in advance. This is partly due to the scheduling demands of the world class master musicians we work with. For example, our most recent residency in Brewer featured Mike Stern. Stern began his career playing with Blood Sweat & Tear and later Miles Davis, and went on to release 17 albums, earning 6 Grammy nominations. Another reason for the long planning cycle is that we want to empower local music educators to build the residencies into their curriculum for the full year. Repertoire selection is done months in advance in conjunction with both the teachers and the featured artist. This allows the hosting music educators to introduce the music to their students and be prepared to explore more of the artistic expression of the pieces. It also allows more time for the students to listen to the guest artists’ discography and alternate renditions of the repertoire. During the follow through phase of the residencies, the teachers guide their students to incorporate learnings related to the repertoire, and to utilize newly learned practice techniques.

Lanissa Nadeau conducting the middle school jazz band

DETAILS OF JRI

While JRI has honed the format of the residencies to be fairly consistent over the four years that we have been coordinating them, each remains as unique as the featured artists and the communities that host them. They are all hosted by high schools, but open to the public, and strive to include both younger and older students as much as possible. For example, in Brewer, both the high school and middle school big bands were included throughout the residency and Capstone Concert. During others, the middle school students will participate in workshops, but will not perform. While JRI will provide general guidance, we allow the guest artist to select which masterclasses they present, and run the rehearsals as they see fit. There are common themes that all of the featured artist touch on; I don’t think we have had one yet that did not tell the students to practice all twelve Major scales, in time, regularly. The different artists, however, clearly have different points of emphasis such as the importance of listening, time feel, music theory, and technical proficiency.

Mike working with a middle school student

MIKE STERN

During Mike Stern’s visit to Brewer he touched on all of these themes to varying degrees, but it may be his positive energy and encouragement to “Just keep playing. Keep music in your life regardless of if you intend to perform professionally, teach it or just enjoy it” that is best remembered. Stern also shared non-musical pearls of wisdom such as “learn to get along with others” and “don’t hold grudges.” One highlight was when the  64 year old jazz guitar master informed the students that he still has a teacher and that like him, they should all “practice what their teachers assign first and save the easy or fun stuff for the end of their practice time.” 

A great big THANKS to Christopher Burk for providing information for this blog post.

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In Today’s News

January 28, 2018

USM – $65 million arts center

Read all about it in the Bangor Daily News article written by Nick McCrea, January 27, 2018.

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Harlow Art Center

January 28, 2018
Call for Art Inspired by Children’s Art
Deadline for email submissions: 11:59pm on Monday, February 19, 2018

Where: Harlow Art Center, 100 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347

Contact: Allison McKeen, Marketing Manager, 207-622-2813, kvaa@harlowgallery.org,

 

The Harlow Art Center invites artists to submit work for “PLAY’, a juried art exhibition on view March 7-24, 2018. The deadline for email entries is 11:59pm on February 19, 2018. (Pictured: “A Sunny Day Can Sure Bring Out Every Sort” by Abbott Meader)

HALLOWELL, MAINE — The Harlow Art Center invites artists to submit artwork to be considered for ”PLAY”, a juried art show on view March 7-24, 2018 in the upstairs gallery at the Harlow’s new location, 100 Water Street in Hallowell. PLAY will coincide with Young at Art, Harlow Art Center’s annual K-8 student art exhibition, which will be on view in the downstairs gallery March 7-24, 2018. The deadline for email submissions is Monday, February 19, 2018 by 11:59pm.

Artists are invited to submit work inspired by children’s art or childhood; and art that is whimsical, fantastical, joyful or humorous in spirit. Submissions are welcome from all maine artists. Artists may submit to 4 pieces. All media are welcome, including sculpture, photography, fine art and fine crafts. Submissions will be juried by artist Abbott Meader as well as Harlow Art Center staff.

Visit the following URL for complete entry rules and instructions to submit your work to PLAY: http://harlowgallery.org/call-for-art-play/. For more information please call 207-622-3813 or email kvaa@harlowgallery.org.

Exhibitions and other programming at the Harlow Art Center have been made possible by major support from our Patron of the Arts Sponsors: Camden National Bank and the City of Hallowell, and by our Season Sponsors: Capitol Dental Care, Chris Walters Productions, Eaton Peabody Attorneys at Law, Kennebec Savings Bank, Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe, Slates Restaurant and Target Electric Corporation.

Programs at the Harlow Art Center are funded in part by a Partnership Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and by a generous gift from the Roxanne Quimby Foundation, Inc.

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Congressional Art Competition

January 27, 2018

Free speech rights

On the Americans for the ARTSBLOG recently Nina Ozlu Tunnel, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs & Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund provided a post on Pulphus v. Ayers case. David Pulphus was a high school student from St. Louis whose painting had been selected to hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol as part of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.

The painting was removed a year ago by the Architect of the Capitol after a small group of Congressmen objected to the art work. The painting depicts a civil rights demonstration. Americans for the Arts believes that arts education and creative expression is a central right of every young person and have joined 17 national, state, and local arts service organizations as amicus curiae in the Pulphus v. Ayers case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, urging reversal of the ruling.

READ the entire blog post to learn more. Maine has participated in the Congressional Art Competition. The Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to select the artwork. Gold and silver winners from the Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried in February for the Congressional Art Competition.

Maine’s current U.S. Capitol current Maine artworks.

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