We are always hard at work to make Kids 4 Harmony more than a music program. We're a group of families, teachers and volunteers, centered around about 120 children who are learning to become musicians and valuable members of their communities. There is always more going on than we can possibly put in our newsletter!
If you stay updated via Facebook, you already know about our concerts, visitors and the latest instrument donations. Here, you can read all the details.
It's Spring, and we're getting ready for a few different concerts. While the Kindergarten class is just beginning to play entire songs, the intermediate ensemble is learning about harmony and dynamics, and the advanced ensemble is preparing a half-hour of music for their Tuesday Club performance on April 9th. This will be our first concert in Southern Berkshire County! For details, click here.
|Yahir, Bella and Lillian rehearsing|
The other groups are preparing for our spring concert, which will be on April 10th at Morningside Community School, and will feature all of our after school students.
A third concert will be at the Berkshire Mall, April 27th at 1pm, and will feature all three groups as well as the Sunshine Singers, our pre-K choir!
New Teacher, New Instruments
There is a new teacher helping us prepare - Tari Wheeler Roosa, a flute teacher at the Berkshire Music School, has started leading the Kindergarten. She has already led them in several Casual Concerts, and is helping us introduce a new element to our orchestra: wind instruments!
Every orchestra has a mix of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Over the past year we focused on strings, and we were missing the woodwinds and brass sections of a full orchestra. Now, with Tari, Alicia and Lori Munn (who is helping us through an internship), we have begun one flute, one clarinet and one trumpet student.
Lots of Visitors
An exciting program like Kids 4 Harmony attracts exciting visitors. In the past few weeks, we've had a few: Cellist Yehuda Hanani, videographer Kevin Sprague, and violist Ronald Gorevic.
|Yehuda Hanani teaching Sarah a thing or two|
Yehuda visited with his wife Hannah and their friend Michael Wise. They were so impressed that they immediately offered every family in our program free tickets for their amazing concert series. Yehuda also sent a gift of cello strings, his recordings and a beautiful, musical tie for Mr. Simon!
Many of our students were able to go to the performance with guitarist Eliot Fisk and Metropolitan Opera star Jennifer Zetlan on Saturday, March 23rd. It was an opportunity for all of us to see professional musicians at the highest level playing together. While many of us got to hear Yehuda playing Happy Birthday during his visit, the Saturday concert featured some songs by Schubert, among others. We also got to hang out with everyone after the show:
|Leila and Yehuda|
In the meantime, videographer Kevin Sprague came for a two-day camera shoot. He's working on a short promotional film for us, and conducted interviews and shot video while we rehearsed. He got to film the string quartet in rehearsal with Ms. Courtney, and while he was interviewing her, the quartet learned an entire piece on their own! It's amazing, after just one year of playing, how talented the kids have become.
|The Kids 4 Harmony String Quartet rehearsing - Photo by Kevin Sprague|
Then, mere days after Kevin left, we had another visitor! One of our cello teachers, Kezia, invited her father Ronald Gorevic to give a short preview of their concert, which featured Kezia and her dad playing a Kodaly duet for viola and cello. Their playing was, of course, fantastic, and Kids 4 Harmony got another concert invitation. That Sunday, Ron and Kez gave a beautiful performance at Smith College.
Ron Gorevic was so impressed by our viola students that he came back that Monday and gave a master class. Nobody was more excited by this than the students themselves, and their eagerness to learn prompted Ron to agree to come back again.
Some New Cellos
Stamell's Violin Shop in Amherst, MA has already given us quite a few stringed instruments. They are by no means a factory operation, so a donation of any size is meaningful; they actually donated twelve violins and cellos, and even made repairs before giving them to us.
Even then, we were astonished, so imagine our surprise when they contacted us, three weeks ago, with intentions of donating more instruments! Last week, Alicia drove over and picked up seven cellos, again repaired especially for us. This unprecedented display of generosity will help us as we bring music into the lives of even more children as we expand next year.
|A van that's full of cellos is our favorite kind of van|
There's more news coming up in these next few weeks. Remember to spread the word about our kids; no publicity is better than what you can tell your friends!