Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


World Premiere Concert of Composition by Mary L. Bianco with Manhattan Chamber Players

Thursday, January 17, 2019

 

Mary L. Bianco and Manhattan Chamber Players Concert at Music Conservatory of Westchester
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 4pm
Free Admission
216 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606
914-761-3900

A world premiere musical performance comes to the Music Conservatory of Westchester this spring! On Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 at 4pm, the Manhattan Chamber Players will perform a new composition by former Scarsdale resident and Conservatory Board member Mary L. Bianco along with musical works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Max Bruch in the Conservatory’s Recital Hall for this free, public concert.

Chamber music fans will enjoy this exclusive debut of Bianco’s latest composition, a trio for clarinet, viola and piano, in addition to her celebrated work Alegre y Divertida (2017), Beethoven’s String Trio in C minor, Op. 9 no. 3 (1798), and selections from Max Bruch’s Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Op. 83 (1908).

“The Manhattan Chamber Players are an exciting collective of outstanding young musicians with the versatility to perform both new and traditional repertoire. Mary’s music is wonderful - complex, compelling, and emotionally rich,” Conservatory Executive Director Jean Newton said. “This concert will be a thrilling experience to share with our students and for the whole community!”   

Composing from the heart with her passion for music, Bianco’s distinguished works have been performed around the world by renowned chamber ensembles including Salomé Chamber Orchestra, Symphony of the Vines, The Solera Quartet, and the Peninsula Trio. With classical and jazz influences, her accessible music exudes an ease both melodically and rhythmically.

Bianco has been composing for the Manhattan Chamber Players for several years, with performances in China, Israel, New York, Connecticut, New Orleans, and Columbus, Ohio. As a former student and active board member and supporter of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, the performance of these works is especially meaningful.

“I enjoy writing for musicians I have heard perform, thus writing for Mark, Luke, and David [Manhattan Chamber Players] was a most enjoyable endeavor as I have by now developed a good sense of each one’s unique style. They are superb musician which makes composing for them a joyful challenge as there are no limitations on their understanding my purpose and intent,” Bianco said. “I am honored to present my music at the school where I began studying piano at age 4 with Michael Pollon and at age 16 composing with Irwin Stall before entering Sarah Lawrence College and most recently graduating in 2015 with an M.A. in Composition from Mills College.”

Of the 30 Manhattan Chamber Players members, the following musicians will perform in the concert on Saturday, March 23rd:
David Fung, piano
Mark Dover, clarinet
Brendan Speltz, violin
Luke Fleming, viola
Andrea Casarrubios, cello


Performathon Exceeds Expectations Raising Funds for Scholarships and Digital Piano Lab, Plus Raffle Winners!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

After 12 hours of marathon recitals at the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s 2018 Performathon event and prize raffle so far, the nonprofit has raised $6,767 (net) for its Scholarship Program and Digital Piano Lab!

Performathon is so much fun for everyone involved – our students, parents, faculty and staff.  Many of our families bring their relatives and friends along with them.  And everyone gets a chance to win a fabulous raffle prize while supporting our Scholarship Program and our new Digital Piano Lab,” Executive Director Jean Newton said. “It’s a win-win all around!”

 

About 300 Conservatory students performed throughout the day, 20 vendors donated goods, and 28 parents and teen students volunteered their time, contributing to the positive energy on Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at the community music school’s Performathon.

The Music Conservatory of Westchester makes a point to keep this fundraiser fun. In addition to creating this exciting performance opportunity for all of its students, the school’s lobby transformed into a creative play space for students and families with games and activities, a photo booth, and a wide variety of food and beverages for everyone to enjoy.

 

“It takes a community and team effort to make this event a success,” Conservatory Development Officer Aishling Quinn said. “We are very fortunate to have dedicated sponsors, students and their families, staff, faculty, and board members.”

To raise funds this year, the Conservatory held a raffle with exciting prizes to include a J. Strauss & Son upright piano, as well as high value items donated from P.C. Richard & Son, such as a 55’’ LG LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV, two Nintendo Switch game consoles, and a 15.6” HP laptop. This is P.C. Richard & Son Builders Division’s 3rd consecutive year supporting the Conservatory’s Performathon. The raffle drawing was on Friday, December 14th (see winning ticket numbers below).

Donated food and goods from vendors around Westchester, 7-Eleven, Buon Amici, Burger King, City Limits, CVS, Domino’s, Dunkin, GoldenKrust, Green Organic Market, KFC, La Famiglia Pizza, McDonald’s, Nesto’s, O Mandarin, Planet Pizza, Sam’s Club, ShopRite, Starbucks, Stop & Shop, Subway, and Walgreens, played a large part in the community atmosphere at the Conservatory during Performathon. 

Congratulations to our Performathon Raffle Winners!!!

Please see below for winning ticket numbers...

HP Laptop: #0528

Nintendo Switch (1): #0679 

Nintendo Switch (2): #0827

LG LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV: #0167

J. Strauss & Son Upright Piano: #0779

Please know all raffle winners have been contacted. 

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Vote Us The Best of Westchester a Third Time in a Row!

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Here’s an easy election! When you fill out your picks for Westchester Magazine’s “Best of Westchester” poll, please consider putting us as the best Music School.


  • Just type in Music Conservatory of Westchester in the “Music School” category
  • Don’t forget to vote for our neighbors Steffi Nossen as the Best Dance School.
  • Lastly, enter your email address at bottom of the page and click submit!
Ballots are live until January 23rd at 5pm, results will be published in the July 2019 issue of Westchester Magazine.

StudyPrep Series Comes to the Conservatory

Friday, November 30, 2018

 

Want better grades? Want higher test scores? Want to be a better student? The Music Conservatory of Westchester is partnering with Novella Prep to bring an introductory study skills course to students in grades 7-12. 

In this StudyPrep introductory course from Novella Prep, students will learn how to achieve success by applying these two types of skills:

Will Skills
1. Increase motivation
2. Improve focus
3. Develop teacher rapport
4. Manage priorities
5. Enhance self-advocacy
6. Implement goal-setting

Study Skills
1. Increase retention
2. Refine information filtering
3. Structure note-taking ability
4. Enhance critical thinking
5. Implement effective study habits
6. Improve content comprehension

Sessions will take place in four 1 hour sessions at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains.

  • Wednesday, January 9th at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm
  • Wednesday, January 30th at 7pm

Tuition: $250 for four sessions

Students will, after completing these four sessions, have been taught how to be better note-takers, will know how much time they should spend on homework, will know how to build rapport with teachers toward their goals, and will appreciate more how much being disciplined as a student, therefore connected to preparing for college and beyond.

Session 1: Students will assess their personal and academic success and goals, learn new time utilization techniques, and create a more effective homework schedule.
Session 2: Students will improve outline and note-taking skills, and learn how to build better rapport with teachers.
Session 3: Students will examine their progress developing Will Skills and Study Skills through goals set during the first session.
Session 4: Students will compare their progress from their first session, better understanding the 3R’s Retention, Relationships, and Responsibility.

For More Information and to Enroll:
Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D., 914-586-2800, events@novellaprep.com, https://novellaprep.com/

Music Conservatory of Westchester
216 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606

Conservatory Students to Perform at WinterFest in Downtown White Plains!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

  

Come see Conservatory Suzuki and Jazz Band Students Perform at WinterFest in Downtown White Plains!

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 from 5-7pm
Downtown White Plains on Court Street
Visit whiteplainswinterfest.com for more info

The Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains presents student performances from its Suzuki music program, Rock Band, and Jazz Ensemble at WinterFest 2018! Voted Best of Westchester’s ‘Best Music School’ for 2017 and 2018, the Conservatory’s Suzuki students will start with a performance on violin from 5-5:30pm. From 6-7pm, some of the Conservatory’s teen ensembles will entertain with pop and rock songs performed by its Rock Band as well as smooth stylings from its Jazz Ensemble.

Participating performers include:

Suzuki program coordinator, Suzanne Wagor

Rock Band

Alice Cabral, vocals

Jason Ling, keyboard

Charles Gomez-Burke, drums

With special thanks to our intern Nicole Estelami on bass

Jazz Ensemble

Pablo Paucar, tenor saxophone

Joanna Green Delgado, marimba/flute  

Adam Pascual, piano

Jacob Dunefsky, guitar

Hugo Daniel Vera, bass 

James Cardosi, drums

 

Adult Student Performance Hour & Holiday Party

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Come join us at the Adult Student Performance Hour & Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 4th at 7 PM. Award-winning author Amy Nathan will be joining us for the concert to share her newest book, Making Time for Making Music: How to Bring Music into Your Busy Life. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity! You can find out more about Amy Nathan’s books at http://www.amynathanbooks.com/.

Please inquire with your teacher about performing in the concert. All students are invited to attend and support their fellow adult students. Family and friends are invited as well for the concert and the holiday party following the performance. Festivities will include food, drinks, and even a hot chocolate bar!



Raise Funds for Scholarships at Performathon 2018!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 

At the Music Conservatory of Westchester, students learn much more than how to play music; the White Plains nonprofit music school also teaches the importance of community. On Saturday, December 8th, 2018, the Music Conservatory will hold its Performathon fundraiser, an all-day event featuring 13 hours of student performances and family-friendly activities, to help support the school’s Scholarship Program and new Digital Piano Lab.

For more than 15 years, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has held this event as a fun way to get its student community involved in raising funds for the school’s mission-specific programs, in order to provide the extraordinary benefits to all in our community. The Conservatory’s Scholarship Program makes it possible for financially qualifying students to study at the school who might not otherwise have that opportunity.

“The Conservatory is such a special place. When you walk through our doors, you hear the music and you feel the joy,” said Executive Director Jean Newton. “Performathon brings it all together to share with the entire community.”

The Conservatory’s Digital Piano Lab will create new opportunities for students of all ages in the Westchester County community to hone their keyboard and studio composition skills, tying into the studio facilities that will be constructed on the music school’s lower-level by the end of 2020, thanks to a $500,000 challenge grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

To raise funds this year, the Conservatory will hold a raffle with exciting prizes to include a beautiful upright piano, as well as a 55’’ LG LED Ultra HD 4K Smart TV, a Nintendo Switch game console, and a 15.6” HP laptop donated by P.C. Richard & Son.

On the day of Performathon, the Conservatory’s lobby is transformed into a fun, creative space for students and their parents with crafts and games, a photo booth, and a variety of donated food, either homemade by families or from local restaurants. It takes a community effort to organize Performathon and ensure a successful outcome. The entire Conservatory community gets involved including parent and student volunteers, local vendors and food establishments, donors and sponsors, and the Conservatory’s faculty and staff.

Student performance is the centerpiece of the day. Students of all ages will take the stage in the Conservatory’s Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall to perform on a variety of instruments and styles of music. Classical, jazz, rock, pop, and musical theater will be represented at Performathon as students proudly play for their family and friends.

Voted Best of Westchester’s “Best Music School” of 2017 and 2018, the Music Conservatory of Westchester raises more than $500,000 each year to support its Scholarship Program, its Music Therapy Institute for children and adults with disabilities, and its Healing Our Heroes Program for military veterans.

For more information about Performathon, please visit http://www.musicconservatory.org/performathon

Donations to the Music Conservatory of Westchester are also accepted here: http://www.musicconservatory.org/giving/donate-now

Sneak Peek - We're Going Digital!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Professional rendering of the future Recording Studio.

We’re going digital! By the end of 2020, the Conservatory will have five exciting new lower-level studios, and will offer classes in Sound Engineering, Studio Composition and much more.

The Recording Studio will be networked to our Recital Hall and Percussion Studio, so we can make professional quality recordings of student and faculty performances. For the first time in Westchester, high school students planning a career in sound production will have access to a pre-college training program with expert professionals. Special thanks to NYS Regional Economic Development Corp. for awarding us a $500,000 challenge grant to support this project!

Lower Level Floor Plan with new digital tech spaces.


Alumni Spotlight - Regina Brady

Friday, November 09, 2018


Conservatory alumna Regina “Gigi” Brady began piano lessons with us at age 5, discovered the oboe at age 9, and continued her Conservatory studies for 10 years. She gained acceptance to Juilliard Pre-College, graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with a double degree in Oboe Performance and Neuroscience, and then earned a M.M. in Oboe Performance from the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

“I think having a well-rounded background is an amazing thing,” she said. “It informs everything I do.”

Now 26 years old and a professional oboist, Gigi is currently a member of Orchestra Now at Bard College, a group of musicians who are innovating the 21st century audience experience. Coming from an academic family, a career in music was not her original plan. Gigi found her balance between academics and music.

“I realized that music is something I couldn’t live without. It was the obvious choice.”

Orchestra Now, Photos by: Matt Dine


The Dean's Desk - Fall 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


Always staying current while remaining true to our time-honored musical values, we are moving forward in the areas of music technology and composition.

With our major lower level construction project still more than a year away, we will set up an interim Digital Piano Lab on our second floor. Ten workstations will each have a digital piano, computer, and the latest software – ideal for teaching studio composition, arranging, classical composition, theory and more. The lab will provide training for high school students to hone their 21st century music technology skills and prepare for college and careers. It will also house group piano classes for young children and adults.

Another new trend we’re headlining is our “Singer-Songwriter” program, offering classes and private lessons in this popular art form. Taught by recording artist Melissa Frabotta, this program is for all aspiring songwriters/performers, regardless of age or experience.

For two years running, we have earned the title “Best of Westchester,” in part because of our enthusiasm for adaptation and innovation. For our team of teachers, students, parents, and administrators, this is just the beginning!

Sincerely,
Dr. Douglas Bish
Dean of Students and Faculty



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