Newtown, Conn., Resident Organizes Dec. 1, 2013, Newtown String Concert and Five Projects to Honor Shooting Victims
NEWTOWN, Conn., Oct. 11, 2013 -- A Dec. 1 string concert featuring Mark O’Connor, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Bruce Molsky, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Laraaji Venus, Brian Torff, the Norwalk Youth Symphony under the direction of Richard Brooks, and Donna Hebert with her group Mist Covered Mountains, kicks off a month of cross-country string concerts shining love and light on Newtown throughout December.
The local concert will take place at 3 p.m. at the Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St. Tickets are by a suggested donation of $10 to $50 and are available on the Newtown Peace Park website (http://www.newtownpeacepark.com). Proceeds will be donated to Healing Newtown, an arts-based local group.
Following the Dec. 14, 2012, murder of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a lone gunman, violinist and author Julie Lyonn Lieberman of Newtown knew she had to do something positive when she saw a sign created by a fellow town resident: "There is no foot so tiny that it can’t leave an imprint on this world."
Ms. Lieberman has created six projects as a tribute to the families and first responders. Taken together, they focus on creating a culture of kindness. These are the Newtown Peace Park website; a Violin of Peace award project; the Newtown Peace Park Handbook with contributions by international authors and peacemakers; a Newtown Peace Park free downloadable video filled with inspirational quotes; a series of memorial concerts called Strings for Newtown scheduled nationwide throughout December by string directors in 19 states as far away as California; and a string orchestra score titled "Newtown Peace Anthem" dedicated by Julie Lyonn Lieberman to Newtown’s fallen angels and published by Alfred Music.
Visitors to the Newtown Peace Park website can access links to Newtown charities for the families and first responders, a free download of the handbook and video, and information about the other projects. Determined to overcome evil with good through kindness education, participants in these projects want to memorialize the Sandy Hook tragedy through positive activities.
About Julie Lyonn Lieberman (http://www.julielyonn.com)
Newtown resident Julie Lyonn Lieberman is a specialist in American and world string styles, creative musicianship, and ergonomic approaches to music making. The author of a number of internationally acclaimed instructional books and DVDs as well as a National Public Radio series, she is the Artistic Director for the national summer program Strings Without Boundaries.
Artists Performing at the Newtown Congregational Church on Dec. 1, 2013:
Mark O’Connor is a multi-Grammy-winning American jazz, folk, classical violinist/composer and author. He perhaps is best known for his "Appalachia Waltz" and performing on Ken Burns’ "The War."
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are known from "A Prairie Home Companion" and film soundtracks such as "Legends of the Fall" and "Brother’s Keeper." They did the music for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary "The Civil War" and their performance of the series’ signature tune, Jay’s haunting composition of "Ashokan Farewell," earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and "Ashokan Farewell" was nominated for an Emmy.
Bruce Molsky is "one of America’s premier fiddling talents" (Mother Jones) and a twice- Grammy-nominated artist. He is the first permanent visiting professor in Berklee College of Music’s American Roots Program.
Brian Torff is a renowned bassist, composer, author and educator. He is a Professor of Music and Music Program Director at Fairfield University.
Donna Hébert is a Franco-American fiddler, singer, composer and educator. Named a state Artist’s Fellow in the Folk Arts, with two original songs included on Smithsonian anthologies, she also has won eight appointments as a master-teacher through the National Endowment’s Master Apprenticeship Program.
Laraaji Venus Nadabrahmananda has performed in the United States and abroad since the late 1970s with his innovative style of electric open-tuned zither/harp. He is best known for his recording in Brian Eno’s "Ambient" series.
The Norwalk Youth Symphony is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people within a musical community. "We provide the finest possible training, practice, and performance opportunities, enabling our students to learn, share, and enjoy the power of music," its website explains.
The Violin of Peace will be designed and built by Paul Davies, who has created instruments for The Bob Dylan Band, The Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crowe, and Elvis Costello. This one-of-a-kind instrument will be custom designed with specialty woods.
Authors for the Newtown Peace Park Handbook include: Robert Zucker, author of "The Journey Through Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Your Child When Grief Is Shared"; Robert Fritz, author of "The Path of Least Resistance"; Douglas Noll, peacemaker and author of "Elusive Peace"; Si Lewen, internationally acclaimed artist featured in the film "Ritchie Boys" and author of "The Parade"; Azim Khamisa, international speaker and award-winning author of "Azim's Bardo: From Murder to Forgiveness"; and Della Burford, author of "Magical Earth Secrets."
NYS honored its graduating seniors in a ceremony at the 2013 Mother's Day Concert.
Jonathan Yates, Richard Brooks, and the Class of 2013
The 2013 Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award was awarded to Michelle Ye. The Award is granted each year to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of attendance, leadership, preparation, and commitment.
The Norwalk Youth Symphony extends its heartiest congratulations to our graduates and wishes them every success in the future.
The Norwalk Youth Symphony, serving 30 towns in Connecticut and New York, will be performing at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall on Sunday, June 2nd at 2 PM with the Fairfield County Children’s Choir Chamber Singers and pianist Gilbert Kalish.
A highlight of the concert will be a performance by Gilbert Kalish of Beethoven’s Fantasia in C minor with the Norwalk Youth Symphony Principal Orchestra and Fairfield County Children’s Choir Chamber Singers. The concert will also feature works by Bernstein, Copland and Mahler.
Gilbert Kalish’s influence as a pianist and educator has established him as a prominent figure in American music-making. In 2006 he was awarded the Peabody Medal by the Peabody Conservatory for his outstanding contributions to music in America. He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years, and is known for his collaboration with mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, soprano Dawn Upshaw and cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnik. From 1985 to 1997 he served as chairman of the Tanglewood faculty. A distinguished professor at SUNY Stony Brook, Mr. Kalish has been an Artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006.
The Norwalk Youth Symphony (NYS) is comprised of approximately 240 students in grades four through twelve. The organization was founded in 1956 to enrich the lives of young people within a musical community. In partnership with parents, teachers, and schools, NYS provides exposure to diverse orchestral styles under the guidance of musical professionals, identify and educate motivated students regardless of financial circumstance, foster a sense of achievement and self-esteem through a developmental approach, and promote self-discipline and teamwork through respect for artistic standards. NYS has performed at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood, as well as in venues in Italy, Spain, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
The Fairfield County Children's Choir (FCCC) is a community-based choral program made up of over three hundred children in grades four through twelve. Founded in 1995 to provide children the opportunity to participate in a musical experience which is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable, the FCCC provides instruction in vocal technique, choral technique, music literacy and the appreciation of music through the practice and performance of great choral repertoire. The FCCC has performed throughout New England as well as in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Canada, England, Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic. The group has shared the stage with such artists as Renee Fleming, Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Sam Waterston, and Christopher Plummer.
Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students and are available at the door before the concert. For further information, please visit the NYS website at www.norwalkyouthsymphony.org. You may also email NYS Executive Director Sara Watkins at email@example.com or phone the NYS office at 203-866-4100.
This season's Winter Concert will feature Matthew Henninger, clarinet, in a performance of the Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73 by Carl Maria von Weber.
Matthew Henninger, 17, has been studying clarinet since the fourth grade and started private lessons in seventh grade. He is currently a senior at Brookfield High School and studies under Kathy Taylor, who is Principal Clarinetist of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Clarinetist of the Grammy-Nominated Borealis Wind Quintet. Matt has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for six years and has been Principal Clarinet of the Principal Orchestra for two years.
As part of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, Matt has performed in Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center. He has also performed in a master class with clarinetist David Shifrin.
In the summer of 2011, Matt attended the Music Institute at Rhode Island College, where he was coached under Ian Greitzer and served as Principal Clarinet of the Wind Ensemble and Clarinetist of the Ravel Wind Quintet.
Matt participated, for the first time, in the CMEA program in 2012 and was Assistant Principal of the Western Regional Festival Orchestra and Assistant Principal of the All-State Festival Band. This year, Matt will serve as Principal Clarinetist of the All-New England Festival Orchestra, which features student musicians from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut.
The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday February 10, 2013 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.
The Leon Tec Showcase For Outstanding Young Musicians is an annual concert providing selected, gifted Connecticut high school musicians the opportunity to perform professionally, coached by a distinguished musician and by the artistic director for the event.
The 2012 Showcase features Katie Zhou, violin and Max Liben, cello, members of Principal Orchestra, in a program including the Beethoven Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op.1, No. 1 and works by Debussy.
This year's event takes place on Friday, October 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM at The Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road.