PCSoM Faculty Concert/Recital Performances

Chris-Griffin-Rocking-Out-psd7218
photo credit: http://www.officialpsds.com/images/thumbs/Chris-Griffin-Rocking-Out-psd7218.png

Even though we have been posting our faculty’s performances on our Facebook account, we wanted to be sure to touch base with our followers and first time visitors! Please enjoy and take a look at our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/PkCitiesSchoolMusic)! Performances includes pieces from Chopin, Mozart, Puccini, Liszt, John Williams, and others.

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Miles Davis – The Coolest…

For nearly six decades, Miles Davis has embodied all that is cool – in his music (and most especially jazz), in his art, fashion, romance, and in his international, if not intergalactic, presence that looms strong as ever today.  2006 – The year in which Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on March 13th – is a land­mark year, commemorating the 80th anniversary of his birth on May 26, 1926, and the 15th anniversary of his death on September 28, 1991.  In between those two markers is more than a half-century of brilliance – often exasperating, brutally honest with himself and to others, uncompromising in a way that transcended mere intuition…(to continue reading: http://www.milesdavis.com/us/biography)…

ARTWORK: Miles Davis, artwork by Michael Symonds

LINKS FOR FURTHER READING ON MILES DAVIS:
1) http://www.milesdavis.com/us/home
2) http://pbskids.org/jazz/nowthen/miles.html
3) http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_davis_miles.htm
4) http://www.npr.org/artists/15368370/miles-davis

Scott Joplin – The King of Ragtime

One critic called it “a national calamity,” and declared that its fans had “sold themselves body and soul to the musical Satan.” The renowned composer Antonin Dvorak, on the other hand, after touring the United States came to the conclusion that what he called its “beautiful and varied themes” presented the future of American music. The genre of music in debate was called ragtime and its most accomplished performer was Scott Joplin. The exact origins of ragtime were not known. The rhythmically complex music was the product of Baptist hymns and European classics…(for further reading: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/1900/peopleevents/pande22.html)

Sedalia, Missouri was Scott Joplin’s home for only a few years, but it was a home with a special meaning for him. It is with good reason that Sedalia has become central to the Joplin story and the site of the annual Scott Joplin Festival. There is no question as to Joplin’s greatness, his talent, his importance in the history of ragtime and American music. Yet, for all his prominence and recognition, many of the facts regarding his life still elude us. We are not quite sure, for example, where or when he was born. The best we can say is that he was born in Texas, probably in the northeast part of the state, for the U.S. Census locates him there in July 1870 as a two-year-old child…(for further reading: http://www.scottjoplin.org/biography.htm).

LINKS FOR FURTHER READING ON SCOTT JOPLIN:
1) http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/j/scott_joplin/index.html
2) http://www.scottjoplin.org/index.htm
3) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5346117

Arthur Rubinstein 1887-1982

“On stage, I will take a chance. There has to be an element of daring in great music-making. These younger ones, they are too cautious. They take the music out of their pockets instead of their hearts.”

Born in Lodz, Poland, in 1887, Arthur Rubinstein became one of the great pianists of the twentieth century. At age three, Rubinstein began to study piano, and within five years he had given his first public performance. When Rubinstein was ten, his mother took him to audition for the famous violinist, Joseph Joachim. Impressed by the young boy’s performance of Mozart, Joachim agreed to be responsible for his general and musical education. Leaving her son to study in Berlin, Rubinstein’s mother returned to Lodz. He would never return to live with his family.

Joachim, who remained the young Rubinstein’s close advisor, introduced him to…(to read complete article, please follow http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/arthur-rubinstein/about-arthur-rubinstein/693/)

An Interesting Look at Bob Dylan, Rock ‘N’ Roll History, and Authenticity?

On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan performed at The Newport Folk Festival. Dylan had become the “darling” of the folk world, relying on an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a distinctive voice to embody the voice of a generation. This performance in 1965, however, would prove to be ripe with controversy because of his choice of instrument — the electric guitar. Before you think it odd and even a bit ridiculous to believe that a Fender Stratocaster could cause such an uproar, remember that this was The Newport FOLK Festival. There was no place for an electric guitar. It brought distorted sounds, volume, and an artificiality that flew in the face of folk purists the world over. Where had their “hippest cat” gone? Clearly, Dylan had other things on his mind that night.

But this post has more to do with an interesting take on the guitar itself, not the man. Apparently, PBS has been trying to come to some resolution over an investigation they ran on their program History Detectives on the whereabouts of this infamous Strat. It seems Dawn Peterson from New Jersey claims that she has the guitar in her possession through a seemingly inconsequential series of events involving her father and Dylan leaving the guitar on a plane piloted by Peterson’s father. History Detectives stands by its verification of the instrument Ms. Peterson has, even receiving help from a gentleman that helps verify instruments for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dylan’s people aren’t as convinced. Moreover, their interest came into play after production of the program had come to an end but not before. There are too many twists and turns, with a healthy dose of litigious jargon thrown in the mix. Here are a few links to articles regarding the Fender Stratocaster in question, the issue(s) at hand, and of course, more interesting information on the influence of Bob Dylan as an iconic figure in not just the folk world, but also in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/07/a-rock-roll-holy-grail-history-mystery.html
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/bob-dylan-guitar/
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/12/entertainment/la-et-ms-dylan-guitar-20120712

Leonard Bernstein – A True Original

A presence on Broadway, in Hollywood, at Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein was a major force in twentieth century music. His exuberant and dramatic style caught the heart of America, bringing classical music to thousands of people from diverse backgrounds. More than any American conductor before him, Bernstein expanded the audience of classical music while maintaining a deep artistic integrity.

Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918. His parents were first generation Jewish immigrants from Russia. Though he began learning the piano at age ten, his family hoped he would follow a more practical route, and sent him to the Boston Latin School. After graduating, he attended Harvard University, where he…(follow link to learn more:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/leonard-bernstein/reaching-for-the-note/489/)

To see a greater depth to Bernstein and his singularly original contribution to music, watch him behind the podium in the video below. Enjoy.

Aaron Copland – An American Icon

Aaron Copland was one of the most respected American classical composers of the twentieth century. By incorporating popular forms of American music such as jazz and folk into his compositions, he created pieces both exceptional and innovative. As a spokesman for the advancement of indigenous American music, Copland made great strides in liberating it from European influence. Today, ten years after his death, Copland’s life and work continue to inspire many of America’s young composers.

Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1900. The child of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, he first learned to play the piano from his older sister. At the age of sixteen he went to Manhattan to study with Rubin Goldmark, a respected private music instructor who taught Copland the fundamentals of counterpoint and composition. During these…(follow link to read more: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/aaron-copland/about-the-composer/475/)

Also, check out this link to one of the most notable compositions from Aaron Copland, “Fanfare for the Common Man”: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5158688