On Sunday, May 11 at 3 pm, Border Baroque of Las Cruces, will present a special Mother's Day Concert at the Trinity United Methodist Church on 10th at D Avenue in Carrizozo. Performing the works of CPE Bach, Vivaldi, Fux, Loillet, J. S Bach and Handel will be Eike Gunnarson, mezzo-soprano, Roberta Arruda, violin, Carl Fels, oboe, Page Bartz, bassoon and Leah Houpt, harpsichord.
This Carrizozo Music concert will be followed by a reception and opportunity to meet the performers.
The group also will be performing at the Carrizozo School Old Gym at 10 am on Monday, May 12 in a special school outreach concert. Both Carrizozo Music performances are free and open to the public.
To reach the venues, turn west onto Airport Road from Route 54 at the Carrizozo Chamber Caboose, go to the stop sign and turn left on E Avenue, then take the first right to D Avenue and 10th. The church is on the southwest corner of D Ave and 10th and the Old Gym is directly across the street from the church.
The Carrizozo Music Summer Pops Series starts on Friday, June 6 at 7pm and features Lori Lovato and Friends, A Touch of Jazz featuring jazz clarinet. This is followed on Friday, July 25 by Altura Winds playing Scott Joplin rags, Sousa marches and light classics. On Thursday, August 25 Shepherd Moon, a group consisting of vocals, flute, sax and cello will play original, jazzy music with a hint of Celt, at both a school outreach concert and an evening community concert.
For more information about any of the concerts, please check www.carrizozomusic.org or call Elaine Brannen at 575-648-2757. Carrizozo Music sponsors a series of classical, summer pops and school outreach concerts with a commitment to provide free quality music to the residents of Lincoln County. Whenever possible these concerts are made available to students of the Carrizozo School System and residents of New Horizon Development Center.
On Monday, April 14, at 7pm, Qing Li, violin, and Richard Dowling, piano, will present an evening of Mozart, Debussy, Saint-Saens and Shostakovich at the Trinity United Methodist Church on 10th at D Ave. in Carrizozo. This Carrizozo Music in the Parks and Piatigorsky Foundation of NYC concert will be followed by a reception and opportunity to meet the performers. The performance is free and open to the public. To reach the church, turn west from Route 54 at the Carrizozo Chamber Caboose, go to the stop sign and turn South on E Avenue, then take the first right to D Avenue and 10th. Carrizozo Music is able to offer this concert thanks to the generosity of Sacred Grounds Coffee and Tea House and their commitment to enhancing the quality of cultural entertainment and education in Carrizozo.
Last Fall, Richard Dowling played to a standing room only audience. We are pleased to welcome him back to Carrizozo.
For more information about please check www.carrizozomusic.org or call Elaine Brannen at 575-648-2757. Carrizozo Music sponsors a series of classical, summer pops and school outreach concerts with a commitment to provide free quality music to the residents of Lincoln County. Whenever possible these concerts are made available to students of the Carrizozo School System and residents of New Horizon Development Center.
For over 23 years, The Piatigorsky Foundation’s commitment to artistic excellence and public outreach has fascinated many avid concert goers, as well as curious first-timers. It is this combination of complimentary access, flamboyant performances, and human warmth that makes Piatigorsky Foundation concerts so appealing to diverse audiences. Last year, the Foundation presented two tours of 16 concerts in New Mexico reaching over 2,500 people in Lovington, Jal, Carrizozo, Albuquerque, and Hobbs. This season, The Foundation will again present two tours in the state. The Fall tour took place in October 2013, and the Spring tour will take place April 2014, beginning in Carrizozo and concluding in Las Cruces.
Astonishing in her musical versatility, violinist QING LI brings great warmth, poise, and insight to
her music making. Solo performances have garnered such critical praise as, “Qing was flawless... Her
style was impeccable..." (The Richmond Times, 2008). At the same time, she is a sought-after chamber
musician, having collaborated with such luminaries as Pinchas Zukerman and Leon Fleischer. She is also admired as one of the country’s most accomplished orchestral players and was appointed Principal Second Violin with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2001. Born in Beijing, China, Qing Li began studying violin at age four, and by age twelve, won her acceptance to the Central Conservatory. Discovered at a master class by Berl Senofsky, who brought her to the Peabody Conservatory with a fellowship scholarship, Ms. Li has won numerous international competitions and awards. She has been a recitalist and chamber musician in halls throughout the great cities of America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Radio and television broadcasts of her work as soloist and chamber musician have been aired on National Public Radio’s Baltimore affiliate station WYPR, and were featured on the Voice of America.
Hailed by The New York Times as “an especially impressive fine young pianist,” RICHARD DOWLING appears regularly across the United States in solo recitals and concerts with orchestras. Career highlights include a sold-out New York orchestral debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and a solo recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York. Mr. Dowling has performed in the Far East, Australia, Africa and Europe. In 2001, Mr. Dowling released a compact disc entitled Sweet and Low-Down containing virtually all of the solo piano works by George Gershwin on the Klavier Records label. World’s Greatest Rags, a disc of Dowling playing a collection of his favorite American ragtime piano repertoire, was released in 2004. He has also recorded two CDs of Chopin, three CDs of cello and piano works with cellist Evan Drachman and a three-CD set of pop songs called A Perfect Moment. His most recent recording, Music of Old New York, features songs and piano rags inspired by The Big Apple at the turn of the century. Mr. Dowling studied at Yale University and The University of Texas, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance.
About The Piatigorsky Foundation: Evan Drachman established The Piatigorsky Foundation in 1990 in honor of his grandfather Gregor Piatigorsky. Piatigorsky deeply believed in the healing and inspiration power of classical music. He once said, “Music makes life better. Music is a necessity. It is rich. It is imaginative. It is magnificent. And it is for everyone.” The Piatigorsky Foundation is committed to carrying on Piatigorsky’s mission by evoking cultural curiosity through educational and accessible live performances.
2014 season schedule is coming together!
Monday, April 14, Piatigorsky Foundation violin/piano , 7 pm
Qing Li (violin) and Richard Dowling (piano)
May 11 Mother's Day afternoon Border Baroque, 3pm
May 12 Border Baroque, school concert 10 am Carrizozo School Old gym
Carrizozo Summer Pops
June 6 Friday,Lori Lovato and Friends, a Touch of Jazz 7pm
July 25, Friday, Altura Winds 7PM (sponsored by Tularosa Basin Telephone Co)
Aug. 21, Thursday, Shepherd Moon (sponsored by Zia Gas)
2pm Carrizozo School Old Gym
7pm, Trinity United Methodist Church
(and there is a rumor that our most favorite cellist might make an appearance!!!
Oct/Nov. La Catrina Quartet
We still need sponsors for the Piatigorsky Concert, Border Baroque and Lori Lovato and Friends. Please contact me if you would like to sponsor a concert, or have an idea of someone we could approach.
Hitting the right note in musical education By Jon Swedien / Journal Staff Writer | Tue, Feb 4, 2014 Tlalli Garcia, 7, seems to be expressing her feelings about her cello during an after-school orchestra program at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School. The program, called the Young Musician Initiative, gives students from kindergarten through fifth grade the chance to learn about and play music. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
Playing the violin is hard, 9-year-old Ricky Sanchez says.
But that hasn’t stopped the third-grade Dolores Gonzales Elementary student from spending at least four days a week practicing so he can perform in an orchestra with his classmates.
“It’s really fun,” Sanchez said. “Last year, we got to play at the zoo.”
The New Mexico Philharmonic started the after-school orchestra program, called the Young Musician Initiative, last winter at the Downtown-area school, where nearly all the students come from low-income families.
The goal was to give children opportunities to play an instrument, make music with their peers as an orchestra and receive musical training from experts, said Maureen Baca, president of the New Mexico Philharmonic.
“We really want to reach the kids who need it the most,” Baca said.
There are 43 children enrolled in the program and they practice Monday through Thursday from the end of the school day at 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The young musicians meet in a gym, where they eat a snack and practice. On Thursdays, they play together as an orchestra.
When they’re not playing at school, they’re playing at home. Baca estimated the New Mexico Philharmonic raised about $12,000 to buy the kids instruments so they could take them home.
Dolores Gonzales Principal Lori Stuit said she is happy to have the program. Among the benefits has been a positive impact on student grades, Stuit said.
Young Musician Initiative concert
Students in the Young Musician Initiative will play at a fundraising concert from 6 to 8 p.m. March 7 at Las Puertas, 1512 First St., a former warehouse building converted into a performance space. Free, but RSVP at 505-323-4343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before Feb. 28. Donations welcomed. Between January and spring 2013 – the first semester the program was in place – teachers reported that 46 percent of students in the program had improved math scores and 62 percent improved their reading scores.
Stuit said the program has improved their concentration, self-confidence and sense of community with fellow students.
“I think many schools would benefit from having this program,” Stuit said.
The Young Musician Initiative is modeled after a Venezuelan method of teaching children orchestra music called “el Sistema,” said Alexis Corbin, who directs the program. She is also the operations coordinator and personnel manager at the New Mexico Philharmonic.
Founded by Venezuelan economist and musician José Antonio Abreu in the 1970s, el Sistema has grown in popularity in South America and, more recently, in the United States. The program focuses on ensemble participation and preparing for concerts.
Corbin said she and the other Young Musician Initiative instructors – many of whom are affiliated with the Philharmonic – have received training from musicians steeped in el Sistema curriculum. She said they have traveled to Los Angeles and Philadelphia for training seminars.
From left, Jasmine Ruiz, 9, Eric Lewis, 11, and Lily Garcia, 11, are pictured with their violins during an after-school orchestra program at Dolores Gonzales Elementary. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
While the Young Musician Initiative has a healthy number of participants, Corbin said it can be a difficult commitment for families. The kids are required to attend four and sometimes five days a week. Some families say they miss the time with their children, Corbin said.
A chance to perform
Because an important part of the el Sistema method is performing, Corbin said students play for their parents several times a month.
They also have performed at larger shows open to the public, like last Mother’s Day concert at the Rio Grande Zoo when the students performed as the opening act for the New Mexico Philharmonic.
Sanchez, the young violinist, said playing at the zoo was both nerve-wracking and a blast. “I felt glad and excited” afterward, he said.
Baca said the New Mexico Philharmonic hopes to expand the initiative to other schools, including middle schools and, potentially, high schools.
“Music can change the life of any child,” Baca said.
Dear Music Lover,
Please consider an end of the year tax deductible donation to Music in the Parks, a project of Carrizozo Works, Inc., a 501c3 organization.
Carrizozo Music sponsors a year-round series of classical concerts that are free and open to the public. In 2014 we are refocusing our events into three areas: the Classical Series, Summer Pops, and School Outreach.
We are in the process of finalizing our 2014 schedule and working to include the following concerts:
March -- Piatigorsky Foundation violin/piano (school and community)
April -- Border Baroque (school and community)
June -- Lori Lovato, jazz clarinet with piano trio
July -- Altura Winds, woodwind trio, rags, marches and light classics
Fall -- La Catrina Quartet (school and community)
Your tax-free donation can be sent to
Carrizozo Music in the Parks
P.O. Box 335
Carrizozo, NM 88301
Thanks for your support!
Elaine Brannen and the Carrizozo Music committee
Emma Cowing: Music to our ears Proposals include an end to tuition charges for students sitting SQA music exams. Picture: Neil Hanna
Print this After months of campaigning by Scotland on Sunday, the Government is overhauling instrumental tuition, writes Emma Cowing
ON A drizzly summer’s morning in late June, Scotland’s minister for learning, science and Scotland’s languages sat down in the assembly hall of Leith Academy to listen to a concert. As rain pelted the windows and pupils from Leith Academy and Holyrood RC High School in Edinburgh entertained the audience with a number of string pieces on violins and cellos, Dr Alasdair Allan, not unmusical himself and an enthusiastic member of the Back District Gaelic Choir on the Isle of Lewis, might reasonably have been forgiven for wondering how on earth he had got there. Because when the music stopped, Allan stood up to announce the proposal of something that would have been unthinkable just a year before: the most radical and wide-ranging overhaul of instrumental music tuition ever seen in Scotland.
Today, the Scottish Government declared it had accepted that overhaul. All 17 recommendations contained in the Instrumental Music Tuition in Scotland report launched that day in June will be implemented over the next year, changing how music is taught in this country forever. These include a “national vision statement” – effectively the country’s first policy on instrumental music tuition; a commitment that personal circumstances should not be a barrier to learning a musical instrument; more opportunities for learning instruments for children with additional support needs; apprenticeships to make musical instruments; more clarity on local authority charging policies; and an understanding that learning an instrument is a hugely important tool in shaping the creativity and future of Scotland’s children.
But to answer how this all came about you must go back almost 15 months, when this newspaper first started asking why Scotland had lost its grip on music tuition amid spiralling fees, a lack of access to instruments and a disturbing trend to charge for SQA music exams – developments that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. So just what has our campaign, Let The Children Play, achieved and what do these latest commitments mean for the future of instrumental music in Scotland?
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Allan admitted that by September 2012 when our campaign first launched, the Scottish Government had “lost a national focus” when it came to instrumental music tuition. “We didn’t have a clear picture in the past as to how different local authorities approached this,” he said.
That is one way of putting it. We published exclusive figures showing a total of 24 out of 32 local authorities were now charging children between £95 and £340 for instrumental music tuition, and 11 had raised fees that year, making prices out of the reach of many hard-working families. Most shockingly of all, five councils (Aberdeen City, Dumfries & Galloway, Midlothian, Highland and Renfrewshire) were charging children for instrumental music lessons even when they were sitting SQA music exams, where playing an instrument counts for up to 60 per cent of the final mark. It effectively meant there were children in Scotland being charged up to £340 to sit an exam that was on the Curriculum for Excellence.
Our motivation was not purely to shame the local authorities who were charging children to play instruments, but to demonstrate why learning to play a musical instrument was not some middle class, extra-curricular indulgence, but an essential tool, crucial for children’s educational and social development.
As Nicola Benedetti, the Scottish violinist and former Young Musician of the Year, who has backed our campaign from the start, said when we launched: “Learning an instrument is just as important as learning the fundamentals of maths and English. It’s about understanding the creative, spiritual thing that goes on inside of us. It goes to the heart of who we are as human beings. How can it possibly be separated by something as superficial as whether you can pay for your lesson or not?”
We published wide-ranging research that showed that learning to play an instrument could influence everything from how well a child performed in maths and English, to their ability to communicate and work in a group. One report, published in Canada, suggested that six year olds learning an instrument had, on average, a seven point IQ increase over the course of a year. Those not learning to play saw no increase.
Professor Susan Hallam of the Institute of Education in London and the UK’s leading researcher on the subject, told us: “The evidence is overwhelming. Learning an instrument is very important in terms of a child’s intellectual development. It improves listening, it impacts on how they learn language, literacy, mathematics, it can boost self-esteem, improve social skills, not to mention that it gives young people the opportunity to demonstrate that they are good at something.”
Scottish musicians from Dame Evelyn Glennie to Frightened Rabbit, Aidan Moffat to Sharleen Spiteri, agreed and gave us their support. We also spoke to members of Scotland’s wider creative community about the impact learning an instrument had on their lives. Janice Galloway, the award-winning novelist, wrote a poignant piece for us on how being taught the violin at school had, in her words, “saved her life”.
“The thing with music lessons in school is, you don’t just learn how to play,” she wrote. “It is learning complex, multi-taxing synaptic connections, learning to take criticism and persist, learning to accept applause and belonging. It’s gaining friends, a subject for conversation, a route into personal study, joint study, how to listen and listen constructively, and an awareness of what it is to learn for sheer pleasure. Which means being able to find reading, languages, history, the entire open world of knowledge being meant for you too.”
The reaction to our campaign was immediate and overwhelming. Parents and teachers contacted us in their droves to tell us how children and schools were being affected. One music tutor, Kenny Letham, wrote movingly to tell us: “I have seen first hand, good young musicians no longer being able to continue their education due to financial circumstances. I’ve seen professional teachers, people who have spent huge amounts of time learning to do their job professionally and comprehensively, teach pupils for free just to avoid letting talent go to waste.”
Determined to enact change, we published a five point roadmap for the Government, setting out a plan towards scrapping tuition fees. We called for the following five moves:
1 As a first step, an end to tuition charges for students sitting SQA music exams.
2 A national Government policy for instrumental music tuition, to fill the current gap.
3 The education minister to take on direct responsibility and accountability for instrumental music tuition.
4 A commitment to reduce instrument hire costs and the establishment of an instrument fund.
5 A Government commitment to end all tuition fees for instrumental music lessons.
A parliamentary debate led by Iain Gray MSP brought the issue to even wider attention and education minister Mike Russell was forced to admit that the Government need to “get a grip” on instrumental music tuition. By December 2012 the Government had not only created a £1 million fund for instruments, but set up a working group to produce a report on instrumental tuition and put Allan in charge of the issue.
In June, that group made 17 recommendations to Government – one of which was to be enacted immediately: an end to all SQA charging. It was a huge victory for the campaign, but more importantly, for the thousands of children across Scotland who could now study for their Higher music without worrying about whether or not their parents could afford to pay for it.
One instrumental music teacher said this week that the effects were already being observed in schools.
“One of the most important changes we are seeing is that no pupil need be put off taking SQA music as part of their course within schools as a result of having to pay for their lessons. Income is no barrier now – and it never ought to have been a barrier to children learning and taking SQA music as a subject in the first place.”
Further, the teacher said, local authorities were now aware that instrumental tuition fees was an issue that they had to pay attention to. Whereas in the past councils were quietly raising fees and charging for exams, communities were now standing up and demanding that they explain themselves. Not one council hiked fees this year, in stark contrast with 11 last year. Two abolished them completely.
“There is a much keener interest and vigilance from parents on the ground as to how authorities are organising instrumental education in schools as a result of the campaign,” he said. “They are aware it’s an issue and they’re not going to let the councils get away with it again.”
The Government has stopped short of abolishing tuition fees for good, however, despite the fact that Dundee City and Dumfries & Galloway have done it off their own bat. The Government claims hat charging, ultimately, is an issue for local authorities – and that at a time of austerity and budget cuts, axing all fees is something that some local councils simply won’t entertain.
But several of the recommendations approved today by the Government – all of which will be taken forward by an implementation group that includes members of Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and other educational and musical bodies – pertain to transparency of charging policies, as well as increased cooperation between councils on sharing resources as well as practices.
“Hopefully, what this means is the situation will not arise in the future in Scotland where anybody is prevented from taking up or learning a musical instrument because of their personal circumstances,” Allan said this weekend.
“I think that’s what lies at the heart of this and hopefully it’s also a good opportunity for us all to restate and better understand the importance that learning a musical instrument can have on developing a child’s wider education, and wider enthusiasm about education.”
Even the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), which is a member of the implementation group and has been critical of the issue in the past, is positive.
“It shows a real intent to look at this and see if we can find a way forward - a future for instrumental music in Scotland,” said Mark Traynor, convener of the EIS’s Instrumental Music Teachers’ Network. “We have a unique opportunity in Scotland now to do something different, unlike our colleagues south of the Border. We’re excited about working on this and looking to see if we can find some solutions to ensure instrumental music continues to be delivered.”
There are other recommendations in the paper: a national conference - the country’s first – on instrumental music; a commitment, and an understanding, that children with additional support needs will receive and benefit from music lessons; research that will be commissioned into the benefits of instrumental music in Scotland; the possibility of an apprenticeship scheme - Britain’s first - on the building and maintenance of musical instruments.
David Green, chair of the instrumental music implementation group and author of the report, says the future is bright. “The journey musical education is going on at the moment doesn’t have an end point,” he said. “It’s such a fantastic subject to be involved in in terms of what it can do for learning, for community and our society, as well as enhancing our cultural identity. That is what we will be looking at implementing.”
After 15 months of campaigning, the fight is not quite won, but it is getting there. Finally, it seems, this country’s Government agrees with us: we should – and must – Let The Children Play.