Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


Free First Notes Classes and Piano Concerts this Spring

Monday, April 09, 2018


Free Community Piano Concerts


Celebrate the Piano with the talented young students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester! Learn how the piano was invented, and how it became the most popular instrument of all time. Take a peek into the lives of the great piano composers and how they influenced piano builders to make it bigger and better.

Sunday, April 15, 2:00pm Ossining Library
Mother's Day Concert, Sunday, May 13, 2:30pm Greenburgh Library

These concerts are supported by the Westchester Community Foundation, The Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.
 

Free Baby & Music Bilingual Music Classes

Experience our bilingual (English and Spanish) early childhood music education program, First Notes/Primeras Notas, for free. First Notes classes will be held at libraries in White Plains and Ossining during early afternoon hours in 22 total classes April 15 through May 12, 2018.

Taught by Music Conservatory of Westchester instructor Sandra Muñoz, First Notes classes are an introduction to music geared toward jump starting early childhood education for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through songs, sound exploration, rhythm and movement in an upbeat, nurturing environment. Children attend classes with a parent or caregiver, sharing the joy of singing and experiencing music together.

Free First Notes/Primeras Notas Library Lesson Schedule:

Ossining Public Library
2:30pm, 3-5 yrs
April 15, April 22, April 29

White Plains Public Library
1:00pm, 4mo-2yrs & 2:00pm, 2-4yrs
April 14, April 21, May 5, May 12

MCW Faculty Perform Downtown at Grace

Friday, April 06, 2018



Music Conservatory faculty members Elizabeth Farnum, soprano, Thomas Jamerson, baritone, and Christine Free Rhodebeck, mezzo soprano, are joined by pianist Laetitia Ruccolo for a special performance Wednesday, April 18th at 12:10pm. The concert will be held at Grace Church in White Plains as part of Downtown Music at Grace's award-winning concert series.

It is the second of two concerts of Germanic repertoire which illustrate the developing role of the piano as a musical partner in the classical and romantic periods. This concert is made possible, in part, with the generous support of Ridgeway Garden Center, White Plains, and Lago Ristorante, West Harrison. Click here for more info, admission is free.



Announcing the Colors of Music Student Mural Contest

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Public Art Opportunity for Westchester County Students


Calling all Westchester County aspiring teen artists!
The Music Conservatory of Westchester is announcing the launch of the Colors of Music Student Mural Contest with a search for talented local students to share their artistry on a public canvas, and collaborate with an experienced professional in a mural representing the theme of “Multi-Cultural Music.” Starting Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the Conservatory’s Colors of Music Student Mural Contest invites students in grades 7-12 residing in Westchester County, NY to submit their original design representing the theme.

The Colors of Music Student Mural Contest is made possible by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Conservatory is honored to be a recipient in this nationally competitive award program.

One winner and three runners up will be selected by a panel of art experts from Westchester and New York City. The winner will collaborate with mural artist Jonathan Villoch to create the final mural design. All four original student designs will be incorporated into the mural as well as displayed inside the Conservatory building. Reflecting the welcoming, inclusive, and vibrant essence of the community music school, the Colors of Music Student Mural Contest gives visual presence to the sounds of music, and encourages students of all backgrounds to share their creativity with the community.

This opportunity is open to all eligible residents of Westchester County, and current students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester. Entrants must currently be in grades 7-12. Contest entries must be submitted between Tuesday, March 20 and Friday, May 11, 2018.
Original art submissions will show the student’s interpretation of “Multi-Cultural Music” using a variety of mixed media of the student’s choice. Copyrighted material or images of celebrities will not be allowed. The Conservatory asks that students limit artwork to images of family friendly subject matter.

A judging panel of art experts, including Janet Langsam, CEO of Arts Westchester, Lynn Honeysett, Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center, Samantha De Tillio, Assistant Curator, Museum of Arts and Design, Margaret Adasko, Curator of Education, Katonah Museum of Art, and the mural artist will make selections in two rounds: Round 1 will be a digital submission round accepted via email. If chosen for Round 2, the original artwork must be mailed or dropped off at the Music Conservatory of Westchester to be considered for winning the contest.

Student entrants must complete and send a submission form signed by their parents and a digital copy of their artwork to ColorsOfMusicContest@gmail.com. For more information about the contest guidelines and to complete the submission form, visit: www.musicconservatory.org/colorsofmusiccontest

Winners will be announced Friday, June 15, 2018 with a final unveiling celebration to be held on Sunday, September 30, 2018 in which all contestants and their families will be invited to attend.

About the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

 About the Artist, Jonathan Villoch

 

Jonathan Villoch is a Cuban-American artist originally from Miami Beach, Florida. Jonathan’s earliest influences were the colors, shapes and textures his Cuban grandmother used to create patterns for dresses. Mr. Villoch earned a B.A. in Studio Art and a M.S. in Education from Lehman College. He has created acclaimed wall murals and art installations around the country. Additionally, his work has been exhibited at the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Frederico Seve Gallery, and Allegra LaViola Gallery in New York City; for The Bakehouse in Miami; and at Aisle One Gallery in St. Louis. He is a high school art teacher in Brooklyn public schools, working with under-privileged and disenfranchised youth. He has curated an art exhibition with Variety the Children’s Charity featuring the work of homeless LGBTQ teens; created a large mural with children on the autism spectrum for AHRC; and recently served as a judge in a borough-wide student art competition organized by the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects.

More Summer Open Houses!

Monday, March 19, 2018

 

It’s time to get excited about the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Summer Music & Arts Program!

The White Plains community music school offers fun, musical experiences for kids grades K-9 over 4 different 2 week sessions with half or full day options starting June 25 through August 19. K-6 graders can try an instrument, create in Arts & Crafts, participate in Dance & Creative Movement, and young children can experiment with music in Music Skills and Buckets & Beats. The comprehensive Suzuki Summer Program teaches the Suzuki method of learning an instrument for beginners at age 4 through students grades K-8. Students grades 1-6 can show their theatrical side and perform on our recital hall stage in Musical Theatre Immersion. In the Conservatory’s new summer program, students grades 5-9 can develop their piano abilities in the Summer Piano Festival!

Get to know the Music Conservatory of Westchester at our upcoming Open Houses:

Monday April 9th 5:30-7pm

Monday April 16th 5:30-7m

Saturday, May 5th 10am-12pm

Give your kids the gift of music this summer to experience a musical community unlike any other. Sign up for the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Summer Music & Arts Program today!

Call 914-761-3900 or visit www.summeratmcw.org

 

Text Updates from the Conservatory

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


Starting soon, the Conservatory will be notifying our current students, faculty and staff of school closures via text message! You can opt-out of the service at any time by replying "STOP" to any message we send.

If you are not receiving the messages and would like to opt-in to the service, text "MCW" to 33222. This service will only be used to notify Conservatory affiliates of school closures, no phone numbers will be shared with outside parties.

Auction Items Needed for a Good Cause!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


We need your help with our annual auction, benefiting our musical community! Is there a restaurant or business you love to frequent? Do you know someone who has access to tickets to a fun show, sports event, or experience? Do you have a time-share, cabin, or vacation home you would consider donating? The Conservatory is looking for donated items like these for our annual auction where proceeds all go towards our Scholarship Program, Music Therapy Program, and Healing Our Heroes program for military veterans.

We greatly appreciate your support as we prepare for our biggest fundraiser of the year! For more information and to donate, contact Laura Layne, Development Associate, at laura@musiced.org. Thank you!!

Late James Ranti Honored and Remembered

Monday, March 05, 2018


James Ranti's wife, faculty member Juliet Gopoian, and his daughter, Julie Ranti, Associate Principal Flute at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, gathered outside room 209 last Saturday to honor and remember the late James Ranti, beloved trumpet faculty member at the Conservatory since 2003.



Conservatory Students Perform at Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Conservatory Students Honored at New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital

  Music Conservatory of Westchester students Audrey Yusi Li of Scarsdale and Patrick Stanton of White Plains (front) performed and won awards for their musical achievements encouraged by their teachers Jaejin Lee and Dr. Douglas Bish (back) at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

White Plains community music school Music Conservatory of Westchester students Audrey Yusi Li, of Scarsdale and Patrick Stanton, of White Plains took to the stage at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, February 18 for the New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital.

Representing two of 48 performing students from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, Audrey was recognized as a Center Certificate of Excellence Winner, and Patrick as a National Gold Medal Winner.

Presented by the Royal Conservatory of Music, this performance opportunity at the Celebration of Excellence recital is for music students taking private lessons who have reached a national standard for achievement, determined by periodic performance evaluations as part of the program.

Piano student Audrey has been studying at White Plains community music school Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2013 under instruction of Jaejin Lee. “I’m turning 10 next week. I think it’s the perfect way to close being 9 years old,” Audrey said of her Carnegie Hall debut performing Creole Lullaby by Italo Taranta.

Of her experience at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Audrey said, “I started piano with Ms. Lee at the Conservatory from the kindergarten year. She helped me develop the fundamentals and musical sensitivity. There are lots of performance and audition opportunities here that motivate me to work harder. I enjoy playing piano.”

For his second time performing at Carnegie Hall, 12-year-ol d clarinet student, Patrick Stanton, performed Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, accompanied by Music Conservatory of Westchester piano faculty member Song Gonzalez, at the New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital. He studies clarinet at the Music Conservatory of Westchester with Dean of Students and Faculty, Dr. Douglas Bish. “Once I was accepted to the concert, I only had a month to prepare, and Dr. Bish helped me sort through the options I had to choose from, and gave me practice suggestions that let me succeed.”

Music Conservatory of Westchester Dean of Students and Faculty and Patrick’s clarinet instructor Dr. Douglas Bish, said, “Even the youngest of our students receive thorough training in the essential techniques of playing an instrument or singing, but also the musical insights and stage presence that allow them to communicate effectively with their audiences.”

Recalling the “outstanding” performances by Music Conservatory of Westchester students at Carnegie Hall, Dr. Bish continued, “This really is the world’s grandest stage.”

Feldenkrais Workshop for Musicians Coming to the Conservatory!

Friday, February 16, 2018

 Feldenkrais for Musicians Workshop

Tuesday, March 13th 4:30-7:30pm

with Dr. Lisa M. Burrell 

(Free and Open to the Public)

The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education® is a movement-based educational modality created by the late Ukranian-born physicist and Judo master Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais. Musicians, dancers, athletes and other high-level performers have turned to Feldenkrais® in recent years to learn ease and fluidity in refined skills. Smooth, efficient movement yields healthier technique that can help overcome and avoid injury.

In Feldenkrais® lessons we explore patterns of movement that are often unfamiliar and puzzling in order to expand our awareness throughout ourselves, stimulate the development of new neural connections in the brain and allow us to expand our choices for how we think, feel and move. With more options, we can become free of the repetitive patterns that inhibit and injure us.

This freedom often allows people to not only feel better, stronger and more productive, but also can allow for enhanced expressivity, creativity, and communication.

Schedule:

Developmental Moves Workshop (ages 3-5) 4:30-5:00pm
We will explore movement of animals in contra and ipsilateral walking and crawling patterns, games with cross-body patterns, balance, and other age-appropriate movement puzzles. Mini-musicians are in various stages of development of handedness and coordination. This workshop provides a developmental boost for little musicians to explore some of the necessary connections useful in the finer motor skill and rhythmic challenges of playing an instrument. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Coordinating Our Bodies for Instrumental Success (ages 6-8) 5:00-5:45pm
In this workshop we will more advanced movement activities helpful in refining coordination, rhythm, articulation, balance, and posture. We will explore some contralateral and ipsilateral patterns of movement, tongue twisters, and differentiated movements of the eyes, jaw, arms, legs, head, and torso. We will explore activities in sitting, standing, and lying on the floor, so comfortable clothing for easy movement is important. Parents are welcome to attend!

Group Awareness Through Movement Lesson (ages 9 - adults) 5:45-6:30pm
Following a brief description of the Feldenkrais Method and it’s relevance with musicians, we will engage in one of Moshe Feldenkrais’s original Awareness Through Movement sequences. The lesson will be about 35 minutes long and involve lying and sitting on the floor. Please wear comfortable clothing for easy movement and bring a TOWEL or YOGA MAT to lie on.

Feldenkrais Masterclass (all ages) 6:30-7:30
Invited students will perform on their instruments. We will look at ways to apply ideas from the Feldenkrais Method directly to learning and practice with instrument in hand. Work with each student will also allow opportunities for audience participation and questions.

Dr. Lisa Burrell is a violinist, violist, string clinician, and a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®. She is on the faculty of Lone Star College in Houston, TX, and the summer faculty of the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary and the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival. In addition to performing, she is a regular clinician in the Houston public schools, giving an average of 60 clinics yearly, emphasizing pedagogy that promotes healthy playing through movement-based learning. She sees professional musician clients to prevent and overcome injuries/difficulties associated with neurological issues, repetitive strain, and performance anxiety.

Conservatory Mourns Passing of Sari Magaziner

Monday, February 12, 2018


The Conservatory mourns the passing of Sari Magaziner, wife of longtime faculty member Elliot Magaziner who has taught here for over 35 years. Our deepest sympathies to Elliot and his family.


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