Carnegie Hall's MUSICAL EXPLORERS Begins Today
Musical Explorers, an education program for New York City students in grades K-2 developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (WMI), builds basic music skills in the classroom as children learn songs from different cultures, reflect on their own communities, and develop singing and listening skills. Each year, the program culminates in a series of concerts held in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall at the end of the fall and spring semesters, with artists representing the wide variety of cultures and styles found throughout New York City's five boroughs. Artists performing in this year's concerts include Haitian singer Emeline Michel, Michael Farkas and his jug band The Wiyos, Argentinian musicians Sofia Rei and Sofia Tosello, Yiddish folk violinist Yale Strom, Mexican harpist Celso Duarte, and classical tenor Dan Snyder. This season's concerts are scheduled for today, December 9-12, 2014 and May 5-8, 2015.New this season, Carnegie Hall will transmit a fully-produced webcast of these concerts to participating schools that are unable to attend the culminating concerts, offering the opportunity for virtual participation in the Musical Explorers program for the first time. These webcasts will be available online the week following the performances at carnegiehall.org/MusicalExplorers. Expanding the Musical Explorers program beyond New York City for the first time, Carnegie Hall has now partnered with the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, Georgia and The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA, with each organization adapting the program's curriculum for use in their own communities. These new partnerships elevate the total number of students served by Musical Explorers to nearly 15,000 across the US during the 2014-2015 season. Link Up, WMI's orchestral program for grades 3-5, already reaches 300,000 students around the world each year through partnerships with over 70 orchestras. "We are thrilled to partner with Savannah Music Festival and The Broad Stage this year in a pilot expansion of Carnegie Hall's Musical Explorers program," said Sarah Johnson, Director of the Weill Music Institute. "Musical Explorers takes students on a journey through the diverse musical styles and cultures found where they live, and we know young people in the greater Savannah and Los Angeles areas will soon be listening, singing, and moving to the vibrant sounds of their communities." In New York City, Musical Explorers reflects the various communities and cultures of New York's five boroughs. The Savannah Music Festival has adapted the Musical Explorers program to apply similar lessons and learning practices to the music heard on the Georgia coast and South Carolina Lowcountry, introducing students to bluegrass by the Jimmy Wolling Band, jazz vocals with Kim Polote, the Ring Shout tradition of the McIntosh County Shouters, operatic singing by Rebecca Flaherty, blues with Eric Culberson, and African American gospel and spirituals with Huxsie Scott. More than 9,000 students from 50 schools in three counties will participate free of charge, implementing the Musical Explorers curriculum in classrooms, building to concerts in December and May. Teacher training workshops led by Carnegie Hall teaching artist Shanna Lesniak were held in September and are scheduled for January. The program at The Broad Stage, with concerts in March 2015, will serve 2,000 students from 40 schools, with an additional 850 parents and children expected to attend Musical Explorers weekend family performances. The curriculum focuses on music from three local communities-Echo Park, West Hollywood, and Artesia-with artists including Cuban singer Gabriel Garcia and his band Changüí Majadero, jazz singer Jesse Palter, and Indian singer Varshini Muralikrishnan. The 50 teachers participating in the Musical Explorers program will attend two professional development workshops in November.