Opus / March 2018

March 2018 Opus

In This Issue

News at CCM
American Roots Winter Party
Student Spotlight: Jason Gee
Did you know...
Upcoming Area Performances

News at CCM

Concord Conservatory of Music Students Win Statewide Piano Competition

CCM is proud to announce winners and participants in the March 3rd Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Judged Festival. Each year advanced piano students from all over Massachusetts compete in this prestigious festival. Students performed a “20th and 21st Century Impressionist” piece from a required list of repertoire, per their age group. The MMTA Judged Festival provides students an opportunity to perform and compete in a judged recital format, as well as win well-deserved awards.  

We’re very proud of students who competed, it takes courage and commitment to make this leap.” said Kate Yoder, CCM director, and founder. “I am also equally proud of our faculty members, Chieko Loy and Rasa Vitkauskaite, for their commitment and enthusiasm with which they prepare and lead their students.”

CCM congratulates all who placed in this demanding competition. MMTA 2018 Judged Festival Results for CCM students include a second place at the EA Level for Julian Dai and an honorable mention for Mei Reed at the CD Level. We also congratulate Benjamin Hitzrot, Marissa Kanki, Maya McCabe, and Catherine Weng for participating in the competition.

Upcoming All School Student Recitals-- We look forward to the upcoming student recitals in March. We welcome everyone to enjoy and listen to the music!

Saturday, March 17, 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 pm

CCM Composition Workshop

On Wednesday, March 28th from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Brian Friedland will lead the Composition workshop (for ages 10+), which will teach surefire ways to write great music! Students will learn how they can use songs they already know to develop brand new compositions, and how to create interesting multi-part compositions. The workshop will focus on ways to create clear melodic phrases, a variety of rhythms, and ways to use harmony to 'color' a melody. Participants will analyze compositions from several different musical traditions and discuss what makes different musical styles and composers stand out from each other.  

“The composition workshop will be interactive. Students will learn how we can build on each other's ideas to create a multi-part composition, and we'll create short compositions based on emotions, pictures, poetry, and even product labels," says Brian. Register now>>

For a complete description>>

Jazz by CCM

Jazz by CCM | Friday, April 6, at 7 pm

To kick off National Jazz Appreciation month, join the talented Concord Conservatory of Music Jazz Faculty, Tsuyoshi Honjo, on saxophone, Justin Meyer on bass, Brian Friedland on piano, Mike Connors on percussion, Phil Sargent on guitar, and Gabriela Martina, vocals will perform classic jazz compositions standards and originals.

To purchase tickets>>

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American Roots Winter Party—Not Just BBQ, Bluegrass, & Bourbon

American Roots Winter Party

On March 3, in a warm evening glow under the exposed wooden beams of the Concord Scout House, CCM’s friends and family gathered for the annual winter party. Over family-style dinner of cornbread and brisket, across tables decked with red gingham and yellow sunflowers, the community came out for an all-American evening. Faculty member Tony Watt and his band, Southeast Expressway, performed their take on modern bluegrass, while guests sampled bourbon or enjoyed an Old Fashioned alongside their BBQ.

The evening’s entertainment also included a performance by String Thing 2; a student ensemble made up of Jason Gee on cello, Leah Greenberg on violin, Alexandra Taylor on viola, and Anthony Valeri on violin. They performed Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” then brought it back to the roots with “Red Haired Boy.” Anthony Valeri, all of 10 years old, followed them up with Clebanoff’s “Millionaire's Hoedown.”

Auctioneer Ailie Byers, sporting a cowboy hat and Southern drawl, led the lively live auction, which raised $72,000 in support of CCM, its programming, and its students. Every year, about $20,000 of financial assistance is granted to students, helping CCM achieve its goal to create musical opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities throughout Concord and 15 surrounding towns.  

Special thanks go to CCM faculty member, Ian Goldstein, the evening’s emcee, plus the sponsors, Enterprise Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, Monument Group Companies, and the Salem Five Charitable Foundation, as well as the many volunteers who made the evening possible, from the Benefit Committee to the student volunteers. We truly couldn’t do what we do without all of you. 

For your enjoyment, look at photos from the event>>

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Student Spotlight -  The Many Instruments of Jason Gee

CCM Student

It started with piano in kindergarten. Since then, Jason Gee has added instruments to his repertoire at an ambitious rate: He picked up the cello in fourth grade and electric bass a couple years later. Sometimes he picks up a new instrument almost accidentally. Like last Christmas, when a well-intended uncle gifted Jason an electric guitar, confusing it with the electric bass. “It was really thoughtful, so I decided to learn that one, too,” says Jason, who is now in eighth grade.

To a large degree, Jason’s interest in music is directed by his ear: When he hears a piece of music that resonates in a certain way—maybe “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, or “Vivo per lei” by Andrea Bocelli, for example—Jason will set about learning it. One summer at Tanglewood, he saw Yo Yo Ma perform “The Swan,” which inspired Jason to learn cello. “I decided that I wanted to produce a sound quality almost as good as him,” he says.

In addition to cello and piano lessons, as well as CCM’s String Ensemble, Jason plays in the Rock Lab and an additional orchestra program on Saturdays. Fitting in all the practicing can be a challenge logistically, but Jason says each instrument is fun in its own way. Each gives him access to different styles and genres of music. The hard work all pays off when he gets to perform; he says—as he did at CCM’s winter party on March 3, when he performed Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” on stage at the Concord Scout House with a group called String Thing 2. What Jason loves about this music, which he says is equally true with rock or pop, is the way “it paints a picture in your head sometimes.”

CCM student

Jason says he hasn’t decided what he’d like to do for his career just yet, but he would like to be a cello player. “I also want to be an astronomer,” he adds, but fortunately there is plenty of time before needing to print the business cards. Who could say where music might take him in the meanwhile. There’s a particular song his father sometimes plays when they’re driving in the car, with a saxophone solo in the opening, and the sound of it triggers a strong response for Jason. “I’m not currently playing a woodwind, so I thought: Maybe I’ll learn that one, too,” he says.


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Did you know...

…that music can create harmony and opportunity?

Stanford Thompson, founder of Play on, Philly!, a free, afterschool music program for young children in under-resourced neighborhoods, did just that. After playing with a world-renowned orchestra, Stanford created opportunities for students to learn music and then go back into the classroom to become better learners. Read Why learning to play music helps kids learn everything else better

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Upcoming Area Performances

Sirusho at Berklee Performance Center on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 8 pm

For the first time in Boston, world-renowned Armenain singer and songwriter SIRUSHO takes the stage at Berklee Performance Center with Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston! A World Music Award Nominee, SIRUSHO combines Armenian traditional instruments with modern compositions. A MUST-SEE show!

For more information>>

Leonard Bernstein by Jack Mitchell

March 18, Sunday at 2:00 pm, Leonard Bernstein: In Words and Song, Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts

In collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Florestan Recital Project pays tribute to 20th-century American composer Leonard Bernstein, the legendary musician famed for his orchestral, theatrical and vocal works. This intriguing afternoon, a mix of song and spoken word, is designed to create an audio-biography of the musical prodigy who wrote his first pieces as a child, and went on to scale the highest peaks of the musical world.  You'll hear everything from his early works to his final songs, interspersed with recitations from his correspondence and other written records, which give a fuller picture of Bernstein's creative process and innovative body of work.

Purchase Tickets>>

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