One third grade student wrote: "I learned the conductor can choose the tempo. I also learned the conductor told the musicians just about everything they needed to know."Photo courtesy of Spencer Tulis, The Finger Lakes Times.
The other activity besides just the great music that they played was having the kids "dance," that is, make movements where they were seated, to a "Hoe Down" fiddle tune. The students just loved it. After it started, the conductor invited several individuals up to the front of the stage where they danced. Both of these events were perfect and showed that classical music and string instrument playing can be beautiful and fun.
Another third grader wrote: "I liked it when the tempo was fast. I liked listening to the violins. Russians are very good musicians. Music makes us feel emotions." One of the teachers wrote: "The value to the students was immense as so many of them have never had the opportunity for such a musical experience."
A similar performance, geared for slightly older students, took place at the Geneva Middle School (grades 6, 7, and 8) on Friday, November 19. Several selections were played and the conductor engaged the students with questions. The fantastic quality sound in the new middle school auditorium and the superb playing of the ensemble made a strong impression on the students.
After the morning performance at the Geneva Middle and High School, Dave Leonhardt and the members of his quartet led a workshop for the members of the Geneva Middle and High School Jazz Bands. Here he discusses and then demonstrates improvisation with the students. Mr. Leonhardt has been a jazz educator for over twenty-five years presenting workshops and leading clinics with his own ensemble in the United States and internationally.
On November 7, 2003, Geneva Concerts hosted a school-time performance by Ballet Jörgen of Toronto for the elementary school children of Geneva and the surrounding area of The Velveteen Rabbit. The performance was held at the Smith Opera House and over 1200 students attended the event. With special funding that Geneva Concerts raised for this event, all of the more than 600 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Geneva's public schools were able to attend the performance free of charge.
Based on the classic children's book by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a young boy and his love for a stuffed rabbit that comes to life. The performance began and concluded with interactive and educational activities that help young audiences see how dance and movement tell a story.
|North Street Elementary School and West Street Elementary School, Geneva, Grades 3–5||698|
|Waterloo & Border City Elementary School||46|
|Seneca Falls Elementary Schools||120|
|St. Francis'–St. Stephen's, St. Michael's, and St. Patrick's Elementary Schools||100|
|Lyons Elementary School||103|
|North Rose-Wolcott Elementary School||24|
|Home School Students from as far away as Batavia||46|
|Teachers and Other Adults||45|
Students from a local third grade class were enthusiastic about the performance. They made drawings and wrote notes to the dancers, some of which are reproduced (exactly) below.
On the afternoon of November 7, 2003, Director Bengt Jörgen led a master class at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for 20 students in the Department of Dance.
The next evening, November 8, 2003, more than 700 patrons were in the audience for Ballet Jörgen's spirited performance of the comedic ballet Coppélia at the Smith Opera House.Photo courtesy of Spencer Tulis, The Finger Lakes Times.
The Swingle Singers are an eight-voice a cappella group that has been performing around the world since 1963. They have recorded nearly 50 albums with a repertoire that ranges from the baroque and Bach, to the Beatles and jazz. Several contemporary composers have written music specifically for their unique vocal style.
At the Swingle Singers concert in Geneva on February 27, 2004,
The Geneva High School Women's Chorus was conducted by Joanna Forbes, the music director for the
Swingle Singers, and performed "Amazing Grace." The Women's Chorus and the Men's Ensemble then
performed a rousing version "I'll Be There for You" with the Swingle Singers.
The Geneva High School Women's Chorus is in its fourth year of existence. Membership is by audition only and the group attracts students who want to work at an advanced musical level. The small size of the chorus and the intensity of the rehearsals provide a musical and emotional intimacy for the members that is both moving and fulfilling. At last spring's New York State School Music Association's Major Ensembles Festival, the girls earned a Level VI Gold with Distinction rating. This is the highest level of accomplishment possible on the most difficult music available. This coveted rating is awarded to only a few choirs in New York State.
The Geneva High School Men's Ensemble is a select group that performs pop and lighter musical selections. The ensemble gives the boys a chance to work on close harmonies and vocal independence. Men's Ensemble is not a part of the curricular day, so the members sacrifice precious after school time to rehearse. The boys frequently embellish their performances with humor, making them a favorite at the GHS concerts.
Linda M. Allen is a Geneva native. She received her Bachelors in Music Education with a concentration in piano from the Crane School of Music. As a teaching assistant, she received her Masters Degree in Choral and Instrumental Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi. This is her seventh year as Choral Director at Geneva High School. She directs the Concert Chorus, the Women's Chorus, and the Men's Ensemble, along with teaching keyboard class and acting as musical director for the GHS stage productions.
Working with the Swingle Singers was a unique outreach opportunity for the singers from Geneva High School. Music was sent to the chorus and ensemble about six weeks in advance of the performance. On the day of the performance, the chorus worked and rehearsed with the Swingle Singers (shown above). It was an ideal opportunity for young singers, especially those considering a career in music, to experience performing with a professional ensemble. Thanks to Linda Allen, director of vocal music at Geneva High School, for preparing her students so well. She writes:
"The kids were so thrilled with their experience! Students are involved in so many activities that sometimes they don't appreciate an opportunity like this. Before the concert some were looking at this like just one more thing they had to do. After the concert, the attitude was much different. They were excited and very thankful! Thank you so much for your help and support. The warmth of the Swingle Singers and the positive reception of the audience has really gone a long way to make them feel welcome. I'm hoping that more will take advantage of the free student tickets from now on. Thanks again!"
(Photos courtesy of Lauren Long, The Finger Lakes Times.)
The performers and students then broke up into small groups (by instrument) to learn the piece. (See photos below.)
About an hour later, the group reassembled. Burning River and the students played the piece together (fantastic!) and then the students played the piece on their own (impressive!). What a great session. (See photo to the right.)
Horn players from Geneva and Seneca Falls do a run through of
"Heroic Fanfare" with the horns from Burning River Brass.
Members of the trumpet section of the GHS Band practice "Heroic Fanfare" with the trumpet players of Burning River Brass.
In the Fall of 2002, Geneva Concerts hosted a two-day five-event residency by the Orquesta La Moderna Tradición that was capped by their spirited performance at the Smith Opera House on November 22, 2002. More than 1,000 people participated in the outreach events.
Orquesta La Moderna Tradición is one of the few ensembles dedicated to the performance of classic Cuban dance music-son, guaracha, cha-cha-cha, and especially, the danzón. A legendary ballroom style that developed from the fusion of African and European music in Cuba, danzón blends the music of Afro-Cuban drums with the refined melodies of flute and violins. One of the most popular styles at the turn of the century, danzón led directly to the development of the cha-cha-cha and Argentinean tango. This rich mixture of dance, music, and culture provided multiple opportunities to create educational and outreach activities.
The Orquesta in the groove during a school-wide assembly at Geneva High School on November 21, 2002. Learn more about the Orquesta La Moderna Tradición Residency.
In the Fall of 2001, Geneva Concerts hosted a three-week residency of the Taylor 2 Dance Company. It was Geneva Concerts' first-ever long-term residency, significantly enhancing our commitment to audience education and outreach. Our focus was on three major audience segments representing a broad cross-section of the community: Young Audiences and Schools, Special Audiences, and College Students and Faculty.
The Residency incorporated 16 sites and 57 events within a 25-mile radius of Geneva, a rural area incorporating five counties of Central New York. There were more than 6,500 contacts during the Residency, and in our particular target audiences we reached approximately 5,700 young people, 750 college students, and 90 senior citizens.
Photo by Seth Siditsky. Courtesy of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
HWS T2 Repertory "Cloven Kingdom," a classic Taylor work reconstructed by Susan McGuire and rehearsed by Francie Huber at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Parents' Weekend: Friday, 12 October 2001. This performance was preceded by a performance of Hobart and William Smith dancers. Dancers: Kelly Doran, Lindsey Johnson, Ashley Knowlton, Monicka Koneski, Erin Law, Kristen Magnanti (WS'01), Ashley Middleton, Megan Phillips, Susan Rainey, Laura Scott, Jessica Skovron, and Nicole Wilbur.
The residency was capped by a performance of the Paul Taylor Dance Company on October 13, 2001 at the Smith Opera House, which attracted a Geneva Concerts' record audience of 1,085 people.
|Geneva Concerts Taylor 2 Residency Summary|
|Dates||Total Events||Total Locations||Total Contacts|
|9/24/01 – 10/12/01||57||16||6,543*|
|Geneva Concerts Presentation of The Paul Taylor Dance Company|
|Oh, You Kid!|
|The Smith Opera
* May include multiple contacts with the same individual.
|Geneva Concerts Taylor 2 Residency Details|
|Geneva Boys and Girls Club||2||28|
|Geneva Elementary School Students & Staff||6||3,847*|
|Geneva Middle School Students & Staff||4||877|
|Geneva High School Students & Staff||8||1007*|
|College Students (Total)||30||747*|
|Finger Lakes Community College||1||20|
|New York Chiropractic College||1||38|
|Hobart & William Smith Colleges (Total)||26||620*|
|Dance Technique Classes||6 classes||64*|
|Intro to Dance||2 classes||42*|
|Taylor Repertory Class||10 classes||120*|
|Movement for Athletes||1||25|
|Creative Arts Improv' Jam||1||30|
|Senior Citizens (Total)||2||94|
|FF Thompson Farris Hills||1||39|
|Geneva Living Centers||1||55|
During the 2000–01 season, our Outreach Program reached more than 1,000 people. It consisted of planning and underwriting the following programs for area students:
Please tell Orchestra Kremlin 'thanks' for going to Geneva Middle School. It was obvious they made a big hit there. My child couldn't stop talking about how good they were and how fascinated the middle schoolers were. The part where conductor had three kids take a stab at actually conducting group went over VERY well. Bring 'em back to Geneva if at all possible.Indeed, a return visit is scheduled for the coming season.