September 18, 2015 |
The young women stood quietly in the spotless and brightly lighted basement of Pallabi Chakravorty's suburban Philadelphia home, waiting for rehearsal to begin. Chakravorty, founder and director of Courtyard Dancers , to which these performers belong, sat on a cushion on the floor and fired up her laptop, and a mesmerizing mixture of strings, percussion, and vocal music filled the room. The dancers were barefoot, wearing loose tunics over leggings, with a half-dozen rows of tiny bells wound tightly around both ankles.
June 26, 2015 |
"I'm not a soloist," says Suzzette Ortiz, who retires this week after teaching vocal music in Camden's public schools for 27 years. "I do harmony. " That's an apt, if incomplete, description of what Ortiz has done for thousands of students, especially at the city's Creative Arts High School. She was there on opening day in 1999, and on Thursday, she'll close her classroom door in what is now the Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy for the last time. "This is a big chapter of my life that's closing," says Ortiz, who grew up in Puerto Rico and lives in Pennsauken.
May 19, 2015 |
Piffaro, Philadelphia's Renaissance wind band, celebrated a big anniversary this weekend. Not its own 30th (that's next season), but the 500th birthday of perhaps the most influential composer you've never heard of: Cipriano de Rore, the first to deliberately shape his music to the meaning and rhythm of the text being sung rather than using the words mostly as pegs for constructions of notes. With that change in emphasis, Rore transformed vocal music and made possible the birth of opera in the following century.
February 2, 2014
Schooling generations in song As a college student in 1959, I had the honor of meeting and singing along with Pete Seeger at Oberlin College. We all joined him in a hootenanny after his concert performance, singing into the wee hours ("A giant of music and activism," Jan. 29). Through the years, when I taught vocal music to elementary school children in the Philadelphia public schools, I included many songs that Seeger wrote or cowrote. I explained the songs' historical context, and how songs can be used to speak out for peace and justice, or in protest.
February 17, 2013
Walter A. Lamont, 83, of Holland, retired music supervisor for the School District of Philadelphia, died Sunday, Feb. 3, at Abington Hospice at Warminster of end-stage renal disease. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Lamont graduated from Olney High School. In 1951, he earned his bachelor of science degree in music education from West Chester State University. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1953. Mr. Lamont worked for the Centennial School District for two years before he was hired by the Philadelphia School District in the 1950s.
August 29, 2012 |
If a Philadelphia Museum of Art retrospective ever warranted a musical component, it's the current Visions of Arcadia . And on Sunday, it had one, courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music, in a concert titled "Wooing the Woodland Muse on a Slender Reed . " The visual art in this popular exhibition (which closes Monday) isn't so much about a particular aesthetic as it is an idea that resonated in art for centuries. Though Arcadia is indeed a real place in Greece, it's best known as a fantasy utopia where, to judge from the paintings of Gauguin, Cézanne, and Matisse on current display, clothes were optional, weather was pleasant, and, as one commentator put it, death came as a puzzling surprise.
May 4, 2012 |
Alysia Lee can already hear the voices of the Sister Cities Girlchoir. She can see the faces of young women from Camden and Philadelphia as they harmonize with and help each other and their communities. "We'll start with 60 middle school students in Camden and another 120 in Philly in September," says Lee, who has spent the last six months enlisting support from civic leaders, musicians, and educators in both cities to launch the group. "We're looking for people who like to sing.
September 29, 2011 |
Bolivia can be a cultural blank to Americans, perhaps better known as a producer of coffee and natural gas (and coca) than as a country so musically rich that even remote villages echo an exalted past with present-day accomplishments. The latter is what Philadelphia's Renaissance band Piffaro discovered 18 months ago when it was invited to play the International Renaissance and Baroque Festival there. Now it has brought some of those riches back to Philadelphia in "East Meets West: Spanish Pipers in the New World," which it will present in three area concerts this weekend.
October 14, 2009
Programs offered Neighborhood and citywide high schools offer various specialty and vocational programs. Parents should contact individual schools to get information about specific programs, which include: Creative/performing arts Programs: drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and crafts; and in the performing arts, which may include instrumental music, vocal music, dance and drama. Schools: Fels, Frankford, Germantown, Gratz, Lincoln, Northeast, Olney West, Overbrook, Roxborough, Mansion, Washington and West Philly Junior ROTC Programs: United States Army, Air Force or Navy Junior ROTC academies and programs Schools: Bartram, Germantown, Gratz, Lincoln, Swenson, West Philly, Frankford, King, Overbrook, Military Academies at Elverson and Leeds, Roxborough, South Philly, Mansion and Franklin Agriculture/environmental /natural resources Programs: horticulture, animal science, greenhouse management Schools: Lincoln Automotive technology Schools: Edison, Mastbaum, King, Randolph, Swenson, West Philly Business/finance Programs: accounting, banking, computer software, office administration Schools: Bartram, Bok, Dobbins, Edison, Fels, Furness, Germantown, Mastbaum, Philadelphia High School for Business and Technology, Overbrook, Rhodes, Roxborough, Washington, West Philly Cosmetology/barbering/ fashion design Programs: cosmetology, barbering, fashion...
February 24, 2009 |
Few operas have the wow factor of Turandot, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia's opening-night audience Friday was definitely wowed - remarkably so - despite near-appalling artistic lapses. Giacomo Puccini's final opera came at a time when the composer hadn't enjoyed a clear-cut hit in years, and had endured scandal after his upstairs maid, falsely accused of dallying with the composer, killed herself. The opera's scenario - an imperious Chinese princess who beheads her suitors, a conquering prince who wins her, and a self-sacrificing slave girl - is a triangle with obvious personal parallels.