Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


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


Golden Williams Duo to Present Concert of “Contrasts” for Viola and Cello

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


The Music Conservatory of Westchester will ring in the new year with a concert by the Golden Williams Duo on Thursday, January 3rd at 7:30pm in the community music school’s Recital Hall. Cellist and Conservatory faculty member Diana Golden, and Assistant Principal Violist of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Gregory K. Williams, will perform a program of duos for cello and viola.

This program will include works by composers Rebecca Clarke, Günter Raphael, Caroline Shaw, Paul Wiancko, Jessica Meyer, David Wolfson, and Michael Kosch. Because the twentieth century compositions by Clarke and Raphael are in two contrasting movements, the program was built around the concept of “contrasts.” Within this theme, Wolfson composed his Mood Swings for the Golden Williams Duo and Kosch dedicated two contrasting movements of his Sassetta to the Duo. In all, the concert will highlight compositions by five living composers.  

The Golden Williams Duo first performed together in 2017 at the Custer Institute and Observatory in Southold, NY, as members of the Red Door Chamber Players. Most recently, the Golden Williams Duo has performed at the Mountain Springs Music Festival in Orem, Utah, and at the Bi-Annual Conference of the American Viola Society, held at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, California. Additional performances of this program will be held in Manhattan at the concert series of Metropolitan Playhouse and Castle Village, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

About the Music:

Composer Rebecca Clarke (1886–1979) was one of the finest violists and composers of her time. Holding both British and American citizenship, Clarke toured internationally with cellist May Mukle and other chamber musicians. Clarke would have won first prize in the 1919 Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music’s annual composition competition, but was awarded second prize instead when the judges discovered she was a woman. The Lullaby and Grotesque for Viola and Cello (published 1930) shows Clarke’s English musical influences and her Romantic and early twentieth century style. 


Günter Raphael (1903–1960) was a skillful German-Jewish musician whose career was forever altered by the rise of the Nazi Party; he was removed from his posts in 1934, his works banned from public performance. Raphael was ultimately saved by tuberculosis: hidden from the authorities in morgues and sanitariums, Raphael was able to continue to compose in secret, but his music never received the recognition of similarly talented composers who were able to escape Germany or those who were born after World War II. The Duo for Viola and Violoncello, op. 47, no. 4 (1941) is dark in texture and mood, reflecting the turmoil that Raphael faced during this time.

According to New York-based composer Caroline Shaw (b. 1982), her limestone and felt “presents two kinds of surfaces - essentially hard and soft.” The sounds of pizzicato and canons are imagined to be alternately inside the eaves of a gothic chapel or a woolen hat. For Shaw, felt and limestone represents “two opposing ways we experience history and design our own present.” 

American Haiku by Paul Wiancko (b. 1983) was commissioned by Ayane Kozasa and premiered in 2014. A richly-textured duo that incorporates Appalachian fiddling, percussive patterns and Japanese folk-inspired melodies, the piece explores Ayane's background as a Japanese artist growing up in the United States as well as Paul's Japanese-American heritage.

But Not Until by Bronx-based composer Jessica Meyer (b. 1974) is a duo based on a series of ironic interpersonal experiences that reminded the composer of the David Foster Wallace quote, “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” It was written in 2014 for either viola and cello duo or viola duo.

David Wolfson (b. 1964) wrote Mood Swings for the Golden Williams Duo to premiere in December 2018. In addition to being inspired by a theme of contrasts, the title was also inspired by the idea of a musical dialogue that moves through different moods over time. Perhaps the composer was imagining the working relationship exhibited during rehearsals of duo partners who also happen to be married.

Dedicated to the Golden Williams Duo, Sassetta III and IV, by Michael Kosch (b. 1959), are musical responses to the work of the artist (known as Sassetta) Stefano di Giovanni’s “earthly eternity”: his astonishing portrayals of humans encountering the divine, experiences spanning the misery of despair to the ecstasy of revelation. The fifteenth century Sienese painter vividly captured the reality of mystery.


Golden Williams Duo Concert
Thursday, January 3rd at 7:30pm
Free Admission
Music Conservatory of Westchester
216 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606
914-761-3900

A Very Special Musical Afternoon Performance

Monday, November 05, 2018

(from left to right) Kenneth Taber, Jean Newton, MCW Executive Director, Cheryl Breitkopf, Joel Breitkopf, MCW Board President, Aishling Quinn, Development Officer, Andrea Taber, Board Member, Cynthia Ahn, Victor Goldsmith, Board Member, and Carmen Forte, Board Member.

The Conservatory is so proud of our students who participated on Sunday, November 4th in a very special appreciation performance at the home of Board member Andrea Taber! We were thrilled to share our students’ musical talents with our Board of Trustees members and community leaders.

Thank you to our incredible faculty members Hyemin Kang, piano, and Nick Brust, saxophone, and Suzanne Wagor, Suzuki program coordinator for being part of the Conservatory’s Musical Afternoon for our Leaders & Friends. 

Conservatory Jazz Ensemble members Sarah Ashley Baldeon, vocals, James Cardosi, drums, Joanna Green Delgado, flute, Jacob Dunefsky, guitar, Adam Pascual, piano, and Hugo Vera, bass.

Suzuki violin students Erin Lang, Melissa Rosas, and Cecilia Valdes.

 
Solo instrumentalist Adrian Pascual, cello.

 Solo instrumentalist Cathy Stanton, clarinet.

New Singer-Songwriter Program Launched!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Melissa Frabotta, MCW Singer-Songwriter Faculty

Calling all aspiring singer-songwriters! Do you write lyrics and melodies in notebooks? Play an instrument and want to make your own music? You can learn how to successfully put those elements together with training from the new Singer-Songwriter Program at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains. Sign up today!

Currently open for enrollment, this program is taught by professional, independent singer-songwriter Melissa Frabotta aka “Mosa,” who comes to the Conservatory with expansive recording and performance experience in New York City and major cities around the United States and Canada. Students can hone their instrumental skills as they study songwriting and performance, and learn how to be a successful singer-songwriter in the music industry.

“I think musicians should really try and master their craft, whatever that may be. Study hard in a fun positive way, go towards what satisfies you, and become great at it,” Frabotta says.

Recognizing the demand from students with an interest in writing and performing their own songs, the Conservatory developed a curriculum for this new program. The Conservatory encourages interested students to start with a combination of private instrumental lessons to enhance their skills and study the fundamentals of songwriting with Melissa Frabotta. Students enrolled in the program will also have opportunities to share their original music in performances at the Conservatory.

“Music should always be inclusive, not exclusive."

As part of the nonprofit community music school’s Jazz/Rock/Pop Division, the Singer-Songwriter Class adds Frabotta to the Conservatory’s roster of more than 80 expert faculty members. Her most recent album titled “Who We Are” was self-released in October 2018 under the stage name Mosa. She has performed her original music at Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, and other notable New York City music venues, and has toured for performances in such major cities as Nashville, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, DC, and Montreal, QC. Frabotta’s recording experience spans from solo recordings and producing, to vocal session work for various songwriters around the New York Metropolitan area.

“Music should always be inclusive, not exclusive. We're all human, and therefore all are naturally capable of creating, interpreting, and performing music to some extent,” Frabotta explains. “I like to encourage students to always remember that, in order for them to always maintain the natural connection and curiosity towards exploring music.”

Find Mosa at www.mosasings.com and listen to her latest album “Who We Are” at mosa.bandcamp.com/releases
Interested aspiring singer-songwriters and musicians at any level and any genre are welcome to join, learn, and express themselves through melody, lyric, and rhythm.

The Conservatory’s new Singer-Songwriter Program is now open for enrollment! Contact the Music Conservatory of Westchester at 914-761-3900 or info@musiced.org to get started!


Congratulations are in Order!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Congratulations to our amazing students on their wonderful accomplishments!

Congratulations to Ben Wien, age 12, student of Amanda Tabor, horn
• Ben received State Certificate of Excellence and Center Certificate of Excellence for Level 4 in the 2018 Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program, an international evaluation standard for music students.
• Ben has been a student at the Conservatory since 2016.

Congratulations to Yusi Audrey Li, age 10, student of Jaejin Lee, piano
• Audrey received State Certificate of Excellence and Center Certificate of Excellence for Level 3 and Level 4 in the 2018 Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.
• Audrey has been a student at the Conservatory since 2013.

Congratulations to Olivia DiLallo (age 8), Sydney Harris (age 9), and Rowan Pedraza (age 13), students of Mikhail Zeiger, piano

• Olivia, Sydney, and Rowan received Center Certificate of Excellence for Level A and Level 4 (Rowan) in the 2018 Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.
• Olivia has been a student at the Conservatory since 2016.
• Sydney has been a student at the Conservatory since 2014.
• Rowan has been a student at the Conservatory since 2017.

Congratulations to Cathy Stanton (age 15) and Agustin Otero (age 17), students of Doug Bish, clarinet

• Cathy was selected for the Area All-State Band, and Agustin was selected for the Area All-State Orchestra.
• Cathy has been a student at the Conservatory since 2008.
• Agustin has been as a student at the Conservatory since 2017.


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