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2007-08 Concert Series Strikes a Chord With Students

ETM expanded a series of educational concerts designed by ETM teaching artists and offered four different concert programs to our partner schools this past year.  Fourteen schools took advantage of this opportunity to provide additional live performances to the students, and scheduled a total of 23 concerts.

The series began as a pilot the previous school year, as part of an effort to give children access to concerts with educational aims directly tied to the music instruction they received from ETM.  In selecting the four programs for the series this year, ETM staff sought to offer a range of instrumentation, performing artists and musical styles, while also featuring genres and composers that students already learn about in the music classroom.  Most concerts included opportunities for students to come up on stage and try out instruments and all welcomed students to ask questions of the performers.

The Yahuba: Caribbean Rhythms program brought together percussionist Yahuba Garcia, ETM Teaching Artist Joshua Fleischmann, and Teaching Artist Intern Matthew Brundrett.  The performance addressed Puerto Rican culture, music and heritage, and featured instruments such as congas, tenor saxophone, timbales, bongo, assorted Latin percussion, trap drums and vocals.

ETM Teaching Artist Jennifer Greene designed a condensed version of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel with outside artists.  This concert provided great enrichment to students' lessons in fairy tales and prompted many collaborative efforts between teaching artists and teachers whose schools selected this program.

Javier's Jelly 'n Jam showcased former ETM Teaching Artist Kim Garey, as well as Field Supervisor Chris Marolf.  The players introduced students to the parts of a jazz rhythm section and to the tenor saxophone.  After hearing a few jazz favorites – including "When the Saints Go Marching In" – students were invited to try playing the bass, drums or piano. Sojourner Strings, a jazz ensemble described as "a women's collective dedicated to nurturing the art of string playing through the African American experience," played music ranging from jazz to hip-hop.  The members include ETM Teaching Artist Judith Insell.

ETM received positive feedback from all involved. Students enjoyed seeing the people who teach them music each week perform on stage.  Teachers and principals were able to witness the level of artistry that the teaching artists working in their schools possess, which continued to build credibility and respect for the ETM's ongoing music education programs.  Teaching artists had new performance opportunities and learned from the process of designing educational concerts.  ETM thanks the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation, as well as the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.  Without their generous support, this Concert Series would not have been possible.

ETM also continued its longtime collaboration with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which provided visiting concerts of singers and pianists to several partner schools.  A new collaboration with the American Classical Orchestra, reported in ETM's Spring Newsletter, as well as the generosity of The 5 Browns, Sol Percussion and Kenny Rankin, led to even more performances for ETM's schools.

These collaborations combined with the Teaching Artist Concert Series resulted in 40 visiting concerts reaching our more than 8,000 partner school students.  In all cases, ETM works together with each principal to select the most educationally-appropriate concerts for each school, so that children can benefit from quality enrichment opportunities that have relevance to what they learn on a weekly basis in the music classroom.