Hayden’s Ferry: world-class chamber music

While I haven’t yet posted a complete list of concerts acceptable for review, I can guarantee that the Hayden’s Ferry series will be on it. 

Organized and produced by former TPA mom, Catherine Hayden, the Sunday-afternoon series features world-class performers in the intimate surroundings of the TCA Gallery.   Every concert in the series, which begins on October 21, is acceptable for review. 

Tickets are $10 for students and $30 for adults.  A reception follows where everyone can meet the artists. 

Mrs. Hayden recently contacted me with free bookmarks for our music class students and a note, which said in part:

This series is a great way to introduce kids to concerts and give them a chance to fall in love with chamber music. 

The following other concerts (which are not a part of the Hayden’s Ferry series) are coming up very soon and probably will happen before I have the list of acceptable concerts available. See if there’s something you’d like to hear:

September 1: Claudio Soares, Piano; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 9: Shuang Zhu, Clarinet; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 9: Michael Kirkendoll, Piano; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 14-15: Phoenix Symphony; Symphony Hall (www.phoenixsymphony.org/) Get tickets now; they often sell out of this one

All of these concerts also are acceptable for review. Write your review on the form. (blog.wolfemusiced.com/wp-content/files/Concert_Review_Form_2018.pdf)

AZ state song sung at McCain funeral

Rex Allen Jr.

According to AZ Central, a song from Music Theory for Choral Singers was sung at the funeral for Senator John McCain. 

The 1982 song, “Arizona” (or “I Love You, Arizona”) was performed as a tribute to the long-time senator and Vietnamese war veteran. 

The song by Rex Allen, Junior, is one of the few copyrighted pieces in my book and is used by permission.  It is found on page 315. 

“Arizona” is one of two official state songs, the other being “The Arizona March Song,” written by Maurice Blumenthal in 1915.  This song also appears in my book, on page 312. 

A few years back, one the 11th grade classes performed Rex Allen’s song in a curricular choir concert with improvised harmony. 

Music literacy declines in US

According to some sources, only 5% of Americans can read music.  Others estimate it as high as 11%.  Still, the decline of piano or other private instruction in music and budget cutbacks in schools mean that students and parents find it harder to get an education in the basics of music reading. 

According to “The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy,” published in Intellectual Takeout, a smaller population of the people in our country are able to read and understand music now than just a few years ago.   According to the author, who is the president of an investment-oriented firm, the decline in music literacy is responsible for the rise in popularity of lower quality (meaning less varied) popular music, which he claims has been proven scientifically.  In other words, the author contends that the quality of popular music is declining along with the music literacy rate.  (Thanks to Mr. Clay Sanderson for drawing my attention to this article.) 

At Tempe Prep, we are determined to offer every student the opportunity to learn to read and understand music.  In 6th grade, students are exposed to American folk songs from the colonial period onward.  In 7th and 8th grades, students learn to play a musical instrument (the recorder) and also learn

  1. Playing by Ear
  2. Sight-reading
  3. Improvising
  4. Transposing
  5. Technique
  6. Ensemble Performing

In High School, students learn to sight-sing and perform in a choir, as well as the basics of vocal technique, music theory such as the scales and modes and harmony, as well as some of the great choral literature in western music. 

In each of the four, one-semester courses students are required to hear live, classical-music concerts at a professional or near-professional level.  Each of our one-semester courses also includes a unit on “music appreciation,” listening to some of the great masterworks of western music. 

Our hope is that every one of our students will leave TPA musically literate. 

Jupiter String Quartet at the TCA on Sunday April 22 at 2:30pm

Another stellar performance is available to our students for concert review. 

The Jupiter Quartet won the Fischoff Grand Prize, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, received an Avery Fischer Career Grant and many other awards. They recently performed all the Beethoven Quartets at the Aspen Music Festival. The Jupiter plays in America, Europe, Asia, Canada and the Americas. Quartet in residence at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, they also hold visiting faculty residencies at Oberlin Conservatory.

For more information, please see Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series website.  Mrs. Catherine Hayden, mother of a former TPA student and friend to TPA is the producer.


“Impressive, Fast-rising soprano” and Our Own Impressive Tenor

I received word from Mrs. Catherine Hayden, producer of the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series, about soprano Julia Bullock‘s  performance on March 18, Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm in the Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts.   (The link takes you to a 2-minute video of Ms. Bullock’s performance with the London Symphony.)

This concert of course meets the requirements for concert review in the music classes, as do all of the concerts in the Hayden’s Ferry series.

Ms. Bullock has won Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Naumberg International Vocal Auditions, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award and many others.

A reminder that student tickets are $10 and accompanying adults pay the reduced season ticket price of $24 by quoting  “Charter” when they buy their tickets at the TCA Box Office on 480-350-2822.  As usual, there is a reception following to meet Julia and John.

Now, about our own tenor: congratulations to Eric Johnson for placing 8th chair in All State Choir!  Your school is proud of you, Eric!  The All State Choir performance is on April 21 at University of Arizona in Tucson and also meets the requirements for concert review for TPA’s music classes.

Tech Rehearsal Permission Slip

Parents of 7th and 8th grade music students, please complete the online permission slip in order to allow your student to participate in the required tech rehearsal at the Davidson Center across the street from TPA.   Students who don’t have permission slips will not be allowed to participate in the rehearsal.

The form requires less than five minutes to complete.

The tech rehearsal is during morning school hours on Tuesday, March 20.  It is required because during the rehearsal we determine where students will be standing and moving to perform for the concert that night.  With between 60 and 70 7th or 8th graders on stage at one time, we need to practice!

Students wear their regular TPA uniforms for the tech rehearsal.  Concert attire is required for the performance that night.  For details, please see the TPA online calendar.


Brain development and music education

Research continues to demonstrate that exposure to music at an early age aids brain development.

This article, which Mrs. Wilkison brought to my attention, asserts that a child’s auditory systems develop faster with exposure to music.  The brain’s auditory system is essential to reading skills, language development and successful communication.

At TPA, every student is required to learn a musical instrument and to experience music performance, as well as music theory.

I ran a series of blog posts on some of the benefits of arts (and particularly music) education.  Access it here.