CYM Summer Choir Presentation

On Tuesday night, our CYM Summer Choir gave a performance, demonstrating a sampling of what was learned over the summer. Having only met eight times, the children were eager to present their hard work to the parents, who were delighted and amazed at all that had been accomplished.

The program began with a demonstration of vocal exercises and rounds, followed by a selection of songs. Students had chosen different “poses” for each piece, and one song was even accompanied by percussion instruments!

Kristin Butler, parent of Abigail said: “It was a great show! We loved hearing their voices. Thank you for your time with them, sharing your gifts, and especially your patience!”

During the reception, Mrs. Rucker presented a piano recital of of Irish and American folk songs arranged for piano solo! Thank you to all the parents and family members who came to support these young singers.

Watch for future opportunities for a CYM choir!

CYM Spotlight: Réka Götz and her Journey to the Ambassador Young Artist Certificate

When Réka was just a baby, she listened to music all the time. She heard music in the car, watched Baby Einstein, took early childhood music and movement classes with her mom, and listened to her Hungarian great grandmother sing as she worked around the house! Fast forward just a few short years, and you’ll find a poised young lady of 16 years who loves the arts, and embodies all that we strive for here at CYM.

This past weekend, Réka fulfilled a major requirement for the Ambassador level of the Young Artist Certificate Program. She presented a recital, along with two other students, as partial fulfillment of this second level of the Young Artist Program. As mentioned in an earlier post about the Ambassador Certificate, not only do the students perform three or four pieces of advanced literature, but they also present a brief lecture on each composer and composition.

Just how did Réka manage to take this pathway to such a high level of musicality? A junior at Allegheny Senior High School, Réka has been studying piano at CYM for 11 years. She studied first with Miss Rowena, then Miss Sonia, and currently studies with Ms. Grace. She also participated in the American Legends group classes, from which she has made lifelong friends! Réka also studied cello, and played in the school orchestra for six years. Enriching experiences with her family continually provide Réka with a well-rounded education in the arts: her grandmother has been taking her to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since Réka was in elementary school.

Réka’s performance included two Preludes by Gershwin, and the Prelude in B minor by Rachmaninoff. Of her pieces, Réka says the Rachmaninoff is her favorite because: “I can play my heart out, it’s pretty, and like a roller coaster!”

Ms. Grace, Hafsah, Réka, Manus

Réka, pictured here in the middle of the three three performers, has a few more requirements to complete to receive the Young Artist Certificate for the Ambassador level. Stay tuned for her progress through the coming year!

Congratulations, Réka, and Ms. Grace!

Young Artists’ Ambassadors Astound Audience!

The Young Artists Ambassadors Recital was an astounding success! All who attended were treated to a fantastic night of music.

Ms. Hafsah Shahzad started the evening’s activities with stunning renditions of Rhapsody in G minor by Johannes Brahms, Nuages Gris, S. 199 by Franz Liszt, and Prelude in E minor, Op. 28 No. 4 by Frédéric Chopin.

Mr. Manus McGinnis continued the night’s festivities with excellent performances of  Linus and Lucy by Vincent Guaraldi, Clarinet Blues by Martha Mier, Vivace from Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36 No. 1 by Muzio Clementi, and “Pizza Time” by Luigi Denza.

Lastly, Ms. Réka Götz finished the evening with a stellar finale! She performed two pieces from George Gershwin’s Three Preludes (II. Andante con moto and III. Agitato), and Prelude in B minor, Op. 32 No. 10 by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Community Concert Thrills Crowd!

Ms. Grace and Ms. Rochelle organized an incredible concert on Sunday July 21st.  It was an evening filled with spectacular performances from a number of students and even Ms. Grace and Ms. Rochelle, too!

Agnes Picarsic began the evening with two folk songs, Song of the Wind and O Come Little Children. After this, Nico Alfaro performed Lightly Row and Go Tell Aunt Rhody, followed by Sophie Godbey’s renditions of Long Long Ago and Allegro. Next, Elijah Haberman also performed Go Tell Aunt Rhody, and the folk song With Steady Hands. After Elijah, Amanda Smith played Canon in D by Pachelbel. Nalani Brayley then serenaded the audience with Hunter’s Chorus and Minuet in G. Lily Haberman was next, performing Gavotte in G Minor and Humoresque. Finally, Sanai Horne concluded the student portion of the evening with her rendition of Perpetual Motion.

Once the students had concluded their portion of the night, Ms. Grace and Ms. Rochelle took to the stage. They both performed Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (Allegro ben moderato, Allegro, Alegretto poco mosso).

It was an incredible night of music and we extend a hearty Bravo! to all of the performers! We would also like to thank Mr. Jacob Nathanson for his accompaniment for the concert.

CYM Faculty at the International Musikgarten Festival in NC

Our Musikgarten and Piano faculty, Amy Rucker, recently coordinated an international biennial event for Musikgarten. Held in Charlotte, NC, Musikgarten’s Festival, which celebrated Musikgarten’s 25th year, featured four National Teacher Trainers, pictured here:

Ms. Amy, far right, presented an active session on movement, which explored the purpose and application of movement at all levels of the Musikgarten Curriculum.  The focus in the Babies and Toddler curriculum  was identifying characteristics of the music that can be experienced through moving, such as tiptoeing every time the strings play pizzicato.  Looking at Music Makers  levels, Ms. Amy had the teachers create a “movement round” which puts characteristics of movement into a story-telling experience, then mixing the levels of movement by forming groups that begin the “movement story” at different times. CYM uses Musikgarten to instill musical experiences in young children, through movement, listening, playing instruments, and singing!

Teachers use this kind of continuing education event to work toward certification in National Teacher Associations such as ECMMA (Early Childhood Music and Movement Association).

Great job, Ms. Amy!

To learn more about Musikgarten at CYM, contact Ms. Amy!

 

THIS IS MY SCARY ROBOT VOICE

Did we get your attention? This is not just something your 7 year old says, this is the title of one of two pieces performed recently in a music festival in North Carolina!

CYM faculty member, Mr. Ryan, performs with the Beo String Quartet, which was featured in the Charlotte New Music Festival and the Small Batch Concert Series in Charlotte, NC. The quartet performed in a radio broadcast in the John Clark Performance Studio; the link to that interview and performance is here.

Hosted by WDAV General Manager and Content Director, Frank Dominguez, the show highlighted two new compositions for string quartet, including the title above, composed by Kerrith Livengood. Livengood’s website describes her composition this way:

This is My Scary Robot Voice “features speech rhythms intoning an anxious inner monologue, which the New York Times described as ‘sketchy seeming.'”

This composition won 1st place in the CNM National Composition Competition in partnership with the Beo String Quartet! Up next for Mr. Ryan and the Quartet: a studio recording of This is My Scary Robot Voice.

A second selection was titled “Winter”, from String Quartet No. 5: Waníyetu by award-winning composer, Marc Mellits. “Waníyetu” is the native American Lakota word for “winter”. Listen to the music and see if you can feel and imagine the icy coldness of winter! Composed in 2015, the music alternates between calm, snowy, serene landscapes, and flurries of complex rhythms, with strident, accented motifs that take the listener into the harshness of wind, sleet, and deep snow.

Tell us what you hear in both of these pieces in the comments- we would love to get your reactions! You never know, there might be a follow-up to this blog featuring the thoughts and interpretations of our CYM students!

Congratulations, Mr. Ryan, on all your marvelous performances and collaborations this summer!

 

CYM Student Takes on Musical Theater!

Did you happen to catch Grease at the Benedum Center this month? CYM student Jayne Miner auditioned for the show and earned a spot in the Teen Ensemble for this production! Grease was presented as part of CLO’s Summer Program at the Benedum, and featured Clay Aiken.

Jayne is a student of Ms. Simmi, and has been studying at CYM for 7 years! She also plays trumpet, and is active in her school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as PYCO’s Chamber Brass Ensemble. But wait, there’s more! Since she is also a singer, she participates in her school’s chorus!

Jayne’s previous musical experience includes Annie, Jr, The Sound of Music, and CLO Academy’s production of 9 to 5. A rising 9th grader, Jayne also participates every summer in the community’s Performing Arts Camp-  a 4-week daily musical theater camp that culminates in two productions.

Congratulations, Jayne, on all your hard work and successes! We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Jayne is pictured here (front row, center) with the rest of the Teen Ensemble!

Mr. Chris, Mr. Jake Wow the Crowd in Community Concert!

Another great summer event is in the history books! Concert goers were treated to violin performances from students of Mr. Chris. Students of all ages performed a variety of selections, to the delight of all in attendance! Congratulations, students!

The second half featured Mr. Chris and Mr. Jake (cello and piano faculty) playing the Dvořák Sonatina for Violin and Piano. Hearing our faculty perform is a great motivator for all of our students.  See you at the next Community Concert! As CYM family, all of you have access to any of these events all through the year! Please take advantage of attending these free events whenever you can!

Mr. Chris

Mr. Jake

By the way, here is a glimpse of how the Sonatina looked when it was composed in 1893. Dvořák was a student at the National Conservatory at the time, and this is in his own handwriting:

 

 

Solo Recitals a Big Hit, Right Out of the Gate!

From the very first note at 9:30 AM, to the last chord of the 3:30 recital, our solo recitals were a huge success! What a wonderful community we have here at CYM. The atmosphere was one of joyful music making which brought delight to all in attendance. Parents, we thank you for all you do to give your child a great music education. Moments like these on Saturday make the carpooling, the practice hours, the instrument rentals, and the instrument repairs very much worth it, as your child takes center stage and shares their work with us all!

 

Students, a big thank you for your preparation. Setting the goal of performing was the first step, but every hour you gave over to practice leading up to the recital is what made your time on that stage so enjoyable for everyone. Keep listening to your fine teachers!

Piano faculty, thank you for your part in making our soloists shine! Thank you for the extra hours you put into learning new music and playing (and following) so beautifully, and for fostering a positive environment between soloist and accompanist. You set a great example as we help our students learn more about playing with an accompanist, an aspect of solo playing that is still new to many.

And unlike the Kentucky Derby, there was no jockeying for the lime light. We had students winning trophies, framed certificates, and ribbons for their hard work in their practice commitment, as well as participating in community service and outreach events! More on these winners to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also congratulated our two graduating seniors, Matthew Matisz and Joshua Faber. Watch for a feature on these two young men in the next few days.

Coming soon: pictures from all four recitals!

A big thank you to Jake Niehl for taking some great shots, to Karen Schnatterly for all of the administrative tasks and great announcing, to Leah Givelber for coordinating the event and for FOUR programs, to Victoria for the wonderful receptions, and to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsburgh for the use of their lovely sanctuary and Steinway grand!

Congratulations to all!

Community Concert Brought the Blues!

But the good kind of Blues! Mr. Mark delighted all with his program of blues, jazz, and more! The concert featured students of all ages and instruments, and included those students who participated in the Blues Workshop that day! Guitar faculty Mark Marston’s presentation included Blues for Classic Guitar by Charlie Byrd.

Thank you to all who participated!

 

The Center for Young Musicians