The Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt) is happy to announce its upcoming Winter and Spring Concert season featuring student members of the Tuition-Free Music Ensembles.
Channeling the spirit of the winter season, the Winter Concert: Birth of the Cool will include songs from classical, jazz, and contemporary music titans of the time, whose musical experimentations contributed to the diversification of their genres and made them the “cool” trailblazers they have become.
Musical selections will include pieces from Jean Sibelius, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gil Evans, and George Frederic Handel. More contemporary artists from stage and film will include Lin Manuel Miranda and Howard Shore.
In the spring, LAMusArt invites you to travel the world with Bernstein, Villa-Lobos, and Mahler: Classical and Dance Music from Around the World. Focusing on the life and works of the three conductor-composers (Leonard Bernstein, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Gustav Mahler), the Spring Concert will celebrate the legacy of these artists through their grandiose symphonic and dance works.
The Tuition-Free Music Ensembles are led by our Music Ensembles Director (Austin Chanu) and include the Choir (ages 7 – 18), Jazz (ages 14+), Mariachi (ages 7+) and Youth Orchestra (ages 14+). Each ensemble welcomes eligible students for quarter sessions lasting 12-weeks each with a culminating public performance at each sessions’ end. During the length of their enrollment, student participants receive 1 to 2 hours of tuition-free weekly instruction and rehearsal time.
LAMusArt’s Tuition-Free Music Ensembles provide local students living in the Eastside free opportunities to engage and develop as ensemble musicians. Curriculum for Tuition-Free Music Ensembles focuses on three elements that build upon one another: Education/Technique, Rigor, and Professional Development.
Education/Technique: Tuition-Free Music Ensembles focus each 12-week session on a thematic musical element that introduces students to the works of diverse artists. In the past, thematic elements have included classic scores from Hollywood films and Broadway shows. In discovering and rehearsing new works, students become knowledgeable on the characteristics of particular artists, their influences, and their works.
All ensembles meet weekly for a period of 1-2 hours. The Youth Orchestra, the largest ensemble, meets for 2-hour weekly rehearsals split between a sectional and full company rehearsal. Under the mentorship of sectional coaches, students receive guidance in techniques for producing proper tone, pitch, rhythm, posture, dynamics, and performance at their individual level. Students also benefit from a program designed to help build self-esteem (achievement), cooperation (playing in an ensemble), and life skills (practice, study, commitment) through the discipline in learning to play an instrument.
A full company rehearsal immediately follows the sectional rehearsal and focuses on the complete ensemble’s performance of a piece conducted by the Music Ensembles Director.
Rigor: The Music Ensembles Director takes great care in selecting a repertoire that will not only excite students, but which will also challenge their musical skills. On many occasions, this includes studying the work of classical composers like Mozart and Rachmaninoff, which may intimidate students; the goal is to make music accessible to all students, and with their involvement in the music ensembles, to demonstrate that they have the capacity and talent to interpret such works. Challenges also include collaborations on single pieces by multiple music ensembles, such as the Choir and Youth Orchestra.
Professional Development: After weeks and hours spent studying and rehearsing the musical repertoire, a culminating public performance gives our students something to work towards and showcase their growth. In addition to concert performances, professional development opportunities have also included our students’ participation in public performances at community events and in recording studio sessions at LAMusArt, in which students bring to life original compositions composed just for them by local artists.
While the curriculum for Tuition-Free Music Ensembles directly benefits our students, the impact of their output extends to our community and concert audience members, many of whom are parents, family, and friends of students.
Speaking about impact that their student’s involvement in the Tuition-Free Music Ensembles has brought, one parent said, “My [student] has been coming to LAMusArt for over a year now and he loves it. He is visually impaired, and [LAMusArt] has adapted to his needs. He is in private classes such as saxophone, voice, piano and trumpet. He is also involved in their Jazz, Choir and Orchestra ensembles. He has made friends with some of them and everyone just enjoys playing music with him. I am happy to see my son grow so much musically.”
Opportunities such as these and many other are supported thanks to the contributions of the Colburn Foundation, California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, LAMusArt’s Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB), revenue from concerts, and our individual donors.