|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
In an earlier post in May 2009, I mentioned that world-acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein was curating a new concert series in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. Well, this week is the beginning of that series: the PS 321 Neighborhood Concert Series. All of the concerts are open to the general public and are held in the PS 321 Auditorium (180 7th Avenue). The musicians on the series are artists Simone has worked with or admired over the years and are donating their time and efforts in order for all of the proceeds to benefit the school's Parent Teacher Association.
Simone states her reasons for starting the series: "I wanted to start a concert series that would bring families together to listen to classical music, and doing this in my own neighborhood seemed like a good place to begin [and] my hope is that other musicians will similarly 'adopt' schools and bring performances to students in their own communities. We can all look just outside our front doors for opportunities like this."
Here's the incredible line-up Simone has put together for the inaugural season of the series:
October 29th, 2009: Clive Greensmith (cello) and Jean Schneider (piano)
January 10th, 2010: Simone Dinnerstein with American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME)
February 4th, 2010: The Chiara String Quartet
April 15th, 2010: Face the Music featuring premiere of a composition by Joseph C. Phillips Jr.
Now the astute reader might have noticed that my name is part of the line-up. I do have a connection to PS 321 and Simone because it is where I have been teaching kindergarten music for a number of years now and where her husband is one of my colleagues and where her son attends (who I had when he was a kindergartener). PS 321 is one of the top elementary schools in New York City but you don't have to take my word for it, you can read this. Maybe one of these days I'll write another post about what it is like to stand in front of 24 cute little four-, five-, and six-year olds. As you might imagine, I'll have plenty of fun and interesting stories! So with my experience with kids, of course I said yes when Simone asked if I wanted a commission to write a work for Face the Music. The students of Face the Music are "20 classically trained musicians ranging from 6th to 12th grade"and come from the Special Music School at the Kaufman Center in Manhattan, a public school for "musically gifted children". They are champions of new and contemporary music and have performed compositions written by composers such as Phil Kline, David Lang, and later in 2010 Nico Muhly. In future posts, I will be writing more about my composition and what it is like working with the students in rehearsals, but for now, since I'm still writing the piece, all I will say is it will be in honor of Gustav Mahler for his upcoming 'Gala Years' of 2010 and 2011 ('10 being the 150th anniversary of his birth and '11 being the 100th anniversary of his death). And although it will be inspired by Mahler and his symphonic world, it won't sound like Mahler...
Coming out and supporting this great concert series means you are going to hear great music AND help benefit public school students at the same time. With the economy and the looming budget cuts in the state capital, public education needs all the help it can get. Even at a school such as PS 321 with an active and incredible PTA, we do feel the effects of less money from Albany. This series is a way to help alleviate some of those effects. Remember the performers are graciously donating their services so that ALL of the money earned from the concerts goes to the school! With starting this concert series Simone shows that supporting public education is important to her and she is hoping that you also share in that support. We hope you consider being a good neighbor (whether you live in Park Slope or not) and coming to one or more of the concerts!
PS 321 Neighborhood Concert Series
180 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11215
To purchase tickets or more information, you can go to www.ps321.org.
Update: NY Daily News article about series
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 8:00 AM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.