Opus April, 2016

Opus April 2016

CCM News
Juanito Pascual Brings Flamenco to CCM!
Summer Chorus Camp 
Behind the Scenes: The Poster Series 
Student Profile: Gabriella Luciani
Why Music Matters: How we Listen to Music
Upcoming Performances 


Kids Eating Ice Cream!

Ice Cream Party a Sweet Success
We served up more than 50 dishes of ice cream at our ice cream party! Favorite flavor? A close call between cookie dough and chocolate. This is always a popular event for the kids and the parents. They are always so proud and do see the benefits of consistent practice.

Recitals April 14th, May 12th and Beyond
We are heading into our last bunch of recitals—we’ve got dates scheduled April 14, May 14, 19, 21, and 26. The 1 pm and 2:30 pm times on May 14th will be devoted to the Beatles.

Closed for April Vacation
This is a reminder that CCM is closed for April vacation from April 18-23. Some teachers have scheduled make-up lessons during this time; please check with your teacher if you’re not sure. Enjoy the time off!

Summer Lesson Plans
Duriing the summer, CCM Is offering a summer chorus camp as well as private lessons. You can read more about the camp below.


Juanito Pascual at CCM
When long-time CCM teacher Juanito Pascual takes the stage at the Concord Conservatory of Music on Friday, April 15th, all of the best elements of flamenco will come together in a masterful performance of this intense and joyful art form. The concert begins at 7:30, and tickets are $25 for adults, and $10 for students. BUY TICKETS HERE!

Pascual has been called “kind of the Ry Cooder of Flamenco Guitar” by Steve Morse, former music critic for the Boston Globe. “He combines vivid colors, rich imagination and a yearning, never-satisfied mastery of his art.” Technically superb, Pascual is an evocative guitarist, well versed with the much-loved traditional repertoire of flamenco—he also skillfully weaves such influences as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Bach, and many others into his original compositions.

Pascual is critically acclaimed as one of the top flamenco guitarists on the international scene and was called “one of the hottest flamenco guitarists in recent years” by National Public Radio. 

The April 15th CCM performance brings three dear friends and musical collaborators on stage together. Flamenco singer/dancer Barbara Martinez has an elegant and expressive voice—“truly magical,” Pascual says. Jose Moreno adds a solid musical force to the mix. Pascual says, “Jose can do it all: sing, dance, play guitar and percussion. In this show he’ll share that incredible rhythm of his through his percussion, though we may add a few surprises!”

The show will feature an eclectic mix of instrumentals, vocal pieces, and dance features. Much of the music will be original compositions, drawing from Pascual’s three CDs, and some of the material will be selected from the traditional flamenco repertoire. Pascual kicks off a 15-city tour at CCM on April 15th—buy your tickets today!


Summer Chorus CampCCM kicks off its new “Summer Chorus Camp” which will run from July 11-15, from 9 am-12 pm, for children entering grades 1-8. “It’s going to be a great camp,” says Ruth Hartt, who also leads CCM’s Concord Youth Chorus Project. “We’re organizing the kids into three groups. The first and second-graders will be the Junior Chorus, grades three through five will make up our Treble Chorus, and for sixth-eighth graders, we’ve got a Mixed Chorus.” Each day will start with a warmup at 9 am; the singing portion of the program will be broken up with musical activities and games.

Campers will sing Broadway show tunes, contemporary music, and world music, among other genres. They’ll explore rounds and canons, harmony, solfege, rhythm syllables, and even learn some Curwen hand signals. Solo singing opportunities are available for those who are interested.

On Friday night, the Summer Chorus Camp will present a concert for the community, and show what some dedicated work can achieve in a week! Singing or choral experience is not required—all students entering grades 1-8 are welcome to enroll. REGISTER NOW!!


Poster art at CCM!

For the past year, we’ve reinstituted our “poster series.” We put a big, blank piece of poster paper on the wall, and pose a question for all our young musicians to chime in on. The questions run the gamut from “What’s your favorite piece to play?” to “What motivates you?”

“It’s great seeing the range of responses—kids who are just learning how to write love these questions as much as the older ones,” says Kate Yoder. “There are some very funny responses—we asked kids what motivated them to practice, and one response was ‘my mother makes me.’ Nothing like honesty!”

Another question asked what tune we should feature in “Tune of the Week,” and the overwhelming favorite was “Hit the Quan.” We had to look that up, and it means to mimic the words of a rap song through dance. Yes, there’s a clean version, and maybe someday it’ll appear as “Tune of the Week…”

“Aside from the fun of writing something while you’re waiting for your lesson, the posters get kids thinking about music--and the process of making music--in new ways,” says Kate. It also builds community; when someone grabs the magic marker, kids gather around to see what they’re writing."


Gabriella Luciani 

Have you noticed the “question of the week” posters that have been hanging upstairs, and have recently been added downstairs? Those great questions are written by CCM flute student Gabriella “Gabby” Luciani. Gabby, who uses her full name and nickname interchangeably, has been studying flute here at CCM with Ela Brandys for about 18 months now. Gabby attends the Douglas School in Acton, where she’s currently in 5th grade. We had a chance to chat with Gabby about CCM, her many other activities, and the flute.

Let’s get this one out of the way: How much do you practice?
I practice about twenty minutes per day, around five days per week. I also practice at my school’s group lesson, and in my school band.

Ela helps me by talking to me about how to practice at home, so I get the most benefit out the time I spend. Ela helps in many ways—for instance, when my pitch goes flat she always tries to help me by using different methods, like turning the flute outward.

I also practice piano about 45 minutes, three to five days per week.

That’s great! How do you stay motivated?
The “Practice for your Sundae” and “Practice for Pizza” months are motivating! Also, I like to see Ela’s happy smile when she sees that I did a good job.

I think people would be interested to know that you’re an Irish step dancer. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I started Irish step dancing in first grade with a friend of mine. I was doing ballet and tap, but I really loved the music for Irish step and that’s what first attracted me. The timing in Irish step is very complicated. There are different beats per minute to each dance. At the competitions, you often see the musicians use a metronome to keep time.

Do you have any advice for new musicians?
Keep trying and don’t give up!

What do you like about studying at CCM?
CCM is such a supportive place. Everyone’s so friendly, and the school motivates us to practice.

Last questions: How do you get your ideas for the posters?
I usually get an idea for the posters if a holiday is coming up…if there isn’t one, I try to think of something that would be exciting to a musician, like a concert or something.

Any ideas for the next one?
You’ll have to wait and see… ;-)


 George Martin at work with the BeatlesGeorge Martin changed the face of rock and roll. Producer of the Beatles (and often called “The Fifth Beatle”), Martin took the Beatles from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in only four years…an astounding progression. From layering tracks, to adding full orchestra to a rock song, to slowing down and speeding up vocal and instrumental tracks, it’s an unmatched legacy of excellence. READ ABOUT HIS INFLUENCE




Leonard Bernstein Festival for the Creative Arts, April 14-17, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Free
The annual Festival of the Creative Arts showcases nationally acclaimed performers and visual artists together with music, dance, theater, film and artwork by more than 300 Brandeis students, faculty, and alumni. READ MORE HERE 

Watch City Steampunk Festival, May 7th, Waltham Common, Waltham, MA, Free
Art meets technology, Victorian style. A full day of street artists and performers, scavenger hunt, pickle races…fun for the kids and some great food, too! READ ABOUT THE SCHEDULE HERE