Here’s a little Welcome Back Video from everyone’s favorite Music Room Bug.
Here is a video we put together of the 5th through 8th grade band playing “Highlights from Star Wars” by John Williams and arranged by Paul Cook. This piece was extremely challenging and I wanted our hard work to be commemorated with a video. Thank you to all of our videographers and our amazing Folsom Musicians!
Happy Summer Folsom Friends!
Here’s the video we showed on the last day of school at our Celebration of Learning Assembly. Look at those smiles and that laughter. We couldn’t ask for a better community of students, staff, and families. Until next year, have a great summer!
Happy Almost-August Folsom Musicians!
I hope you’re having busy, creative, sunny, and fun summers-I miss you all!
I’m in the middle of my two-week performing arts camp in southern VT so I’ve been playing a lot of trombone, teaching a lot of music, playing a lot of improv games, blocking scenes, and doing character work with 5th-8th graders. And while that’s super fun for me to be down here with these kiddos, it makes me even more excited to come back to you in the fall!
So- you’ve got a month-ish before school starts! Get those instruments out! Play, sing, dance! And here’s a treat for your inspiration!
Hi Folsom Musicians!!!
Wow can you believe we’re already half way through July?! It seems that summer is flying by… so that means I’ve got to get my first video to you! This is my fifth summer working at the Governor’s Institute on the Arts. For two weeks, high schoolers from all around Vermont come together to build a community centered around art. That means painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, singing, acting, writing, playing instruments, designing lights and SO MUCH MORE. This video shows only a glimpse of what the two weeks is like. I would encourage you to check out their website: GIAofVT.com to find out a lot more, BECAUSE YOU ALL NEED TO GO WHEN YOU ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Okay. All for now. I’ve been receiving some FANTASTIC videos from you… but I’m thinking more must be on their way…
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and what better way to kick it off than to wish Billie Holiday a Happy 100th Birthday Anniversary!
Billie Holiday was born on April 7th, 1915 and died in 1959.
One of the most influential and beautiful jazz singers of all time.
Her recordings speak for themselves.
The first, “Night and Day” by Cole Porter (One of Ms. K’s favorite songs.)
Next, “God Bless the Child,” written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.
And last, for now… “I’ll Be Seeing You”
This is the first in a series of blog posts aimed specifically at Folsom’s instrumentalists. Each will highlight some of the great instrumentalists that they should know about. Listening to great musicians will give our students examples of beautiful tone to strive for on their instruments, as well as examples of their instrument playing in many different genres, with different styles, and unique sounds.
While these posts are aimed at our instrumentalists they can be used to inspire other students into perhaps, starting an instrument, or for great music to listen to and enjoy!
Great Saxophone Players
1. Charlie Parker (1920-1955) Charlie Parker, also known as “Bird,” was born in Kansas City. He came from a non-musical family but luckily found himself at a school that promoted the study of music, so he took up the baritone saxophone. His mother eventually scraped together enough money to buy him an alto saxophone. As an unsupervised teenager Charlie began to frequent the Kansas City jazz clubs. He learned mostly by listening to others play. Because he didn’t know much about music theory, when he improvised (made up what he was playing over the chords played by piano/bass/guitar) he often played notes that didn’t quite “fit” with what the traditional sounds were in Jazz in the 1930s. Because of this his sound was unique. He moved to New York City and found like-minded musicians. Together the beginnings of a new jazz style called “Bebop” were formed. He met Dizzy Gillespie-a great trumpeter in 1949 and they became fast friends. Bird was addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout his career, and at the young age of 35 died because of it. “Birdland” is a jazz club in NYC named in his honor. This first recording is of Bird playing “Ornithology” The next is “Summertime,” which many of our middle school musicians sang last year. You’ll hear Bird on sax accompanied by string instruments.
2. John Coltrane (1926-1967)
John Coltrane (often just “Trane”) pushed the musical boundaries of jazz contributing to bebop and “free jazz.” He played alto saxophone in high school and in church bands. He made the switch to tenor saxophone and taking inspiration from the greats like Charlie Parker, he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band. Trane, like many other musicians at the time, became addicted to drugs. His dependency resulted in getting him fired from his band. He overcame his addictions and returned to the jazz world. Trane developed a technique for playing long strings of notes at lightning speeds, sometimes playing up to 1,000 notes a minute. Trane moved jazz to a freer place with uncommon harmonies and rhythms. This first recording is of John Coltrane playing “Giant Steps,” where you will hear his long streams of fast moving notes. The next is a video of Trane playing “My Favorite Things,” which many of our musicians know from “The Sound of Music.” Trane puts a new spin on this classic tune.
Saxophones don’t ONLY have to play jazz…
3. Theodore Kerkezos
While it is uncommon to find a saxophone in an orchestra (but typical to find them in a Concert Band or Wind Ensemble setting,) there are MANY pieces written for solo saxophone and orchestra. Theodore Kerkezos is a professor and saxophone soloist in Russia. He has received some of the highest musical awards in Russia for his playing and teaching.
In this video you will here Kerkezos accompanied by the Moscow State Conservatory Orchestra in Russia playing Milhaud Fedoseyev’s “Scaramouche”
The info on John Coltrane and Charlie Parker comes from a very cool book that Ms. Kauffeld has in her classroom for YOU to borrow called “The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia Jazz & Blues” by Julia Rolf.
The info on Kerkezos comes from Ms. Kauffeld’s good friend who plays classical saxophone!
The whole month of March we celebrate Music In Our Schools Month! At Folsom we’ve bookended the month nicely by kicking it off with the Island County Music Festival, and next Friday 14 Middle Schoolers will travel to Missisquoi Valley Union High School to participate in the District Music Festival either singing in chorus or playing in band. The rest of have been busy with RANDOM ACTS OF MUSIC during the school day. We’ve had performances over the P.A. system, a special “Human Piano” performed by one of the 5/6 classes during the Kindergarten-4th grade lunch, and we’ve got more in the works for our last week. Here’s a video showing a few random acts, and a few fun things we’ve done in music class. Some middle school performers are featured, as well as Mrs. Degree’s 1/2 class and the 3/4 team. Enjoy!
Fun fact: that specific kind of Tuba is called a Sousaphone. John Philips Sousa wrote many marches and he wanted a tuba in the marching band but they were too big to carry. SOOOO they made one that wraps around your body! hooray!
Add Sousaphone to the Folsom Holiday Wish List…
Ms. Kauffeld’s high school Leland and Gray in southern VT hosts an arts exchange with students from a performing arts college in Inner Mongolia. As a result Ms. Kauffeld has traveled to China to perform TWICE including the summer before she started teaching at Folsom! PLEASE make an effort to travel to Burlington NEXT WEEK on Wednesday Oct 29th to see this AMAZING performance. Their dancing is unlike any you’ve seen before and their traditional Mongolian instruments are SO COOL. We’re even playing a Chinese folk song in band, maybe we could get them to play it that evening…
SPREAD THE WORD!