Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thank you, JAHC and The Calder Quartet

Calder Quartet plays "Open String Blues" with a JAMM kindergarten class  (photo: Michael Penn,  The Juneau Empire)

Juneau has rich offerings in both arts and culture, and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC) plays a huge part!   They bring artists from all over the country to perform in Juneau, often including concerts for kids during the school day.  The Calder Quartet was one such group who performed a morning concert at our local high school.  Through a Rasmuson Arts Excursion grant, all of our JAMM kindergartners were able to attend.  The Calder Quartet played an eclectic mix of music - both classical and modern - demonstrating to our students the many different styles in which the violin can play.

Here are reflections from a post activity that our kindergartner teachers conducted:

"How did the music make you feel?"
  • "It made me feel better."
  • "It made me want to dance."
  • "It made me feel happy and like I'm in a whole orchestra.  I felt like I was playing the violin."
  • "It made me fell kinda weird, because the one with the hair like mine did music weird."
  • "It made feel good and sad."
When asked, "Did the music create an image or story in your mind?" the children answered:
  • "Yes!  It made me remember about my great grandpa and my uncle who died." 
What made this experience even more memorable for our students was the quartet's surprise visit to a JAMM rehearsal.  Our kindergartners could now perform for them!  Ms. Hickmann's young class of musicians played A and E String Concertos for Ben, Andrew, Jonathan and Eric and then invited them to play along for Open String Blues.  The quartet is photographed above playing on JAMM quarter-sized violins.

Thank you, Calder Quartet, for making time in a very busy schedule to visit Juneau, Alaska Music Matters.  When we met in Los Angeles during the El Sistema Symposium in 2010, you shared how excited and supportive you are of El Sistema-inspired initiatives.  By visiting JAMM, the northern-most initiative, you have inspired Juneau's next generation of musicians. 

And Nancy DeCherney, Executive Director of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, thank you for investing in the artistic lives of Juneau's children!

Guohua Xia and Lorrie Heagy stand with The Calder Quartet

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