Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center: The Paragon, Vol 1

This is a guest post from Lizzie Zink, a rising senior at BCMN site Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The Paragon Logo Color

The Paragon, Vol. 1: Someday We’ll All Be Free is a compilation album created by the students at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center.

The Paragon, Vol. 1: Someday We’ll All Be Free album tackles many of the controversial topics that are at the forefront of our national discourse. Issues such as racial stereotypes, depression, youth violence, suicide, police brutality and identity are discussed through the musical journey this project takes you on. The ideas expressed in these songs are an accurate representation of the challenges that many youth around the country face on a daily basis. It was our goal to address these songs artistically in a variety of genres. Hip-Hop, Singer Songwriter, Spoken word, Reggae, and Neo Soul are all represented on the project.

The musical pieces represented on the album are mix of self composed works and covers. The pieces assembled were chosen by the students to create a comprehensive narrative that emotionally take the listener into their world in a way that very few think pieces or media reports can. In fact, we often refer to the project as an audio publication or soundtrack to our life’s movie because the relevance of the songs carry an authenticity that traditional descriptions don’t capture. The album features covers of artists such as Gil Scott Heron, Birdy, Nina Simone, and Donny Hathaway, along with many brilliant originals. The depth of the lyrics written by my peers provides clarity of the situations that we struggle with and their articulation of a circumstance and the feeling is truly inspiring. The students featured on this album are some of Fort Hayes’ best and brightest musicians and have a desire to use their gift to express the need for awareness and action in society today.

Fixing society’s flaws is no easy task, but if we raise our voices together as one, we will be heard. Throughout the creation of this project, we constantly reminded ourselves that every individual has a voice and because of that we are confident that our voices will be heard amongst the noise.

In short, the ideas expressed within the album are presented by students to students and to those struggling to overcome obstacles or those watching someone struggle… which ultimately includes everyone. These are universal messages that can provide assurance that a person is not alone in their suffering and that there is indeed hope in our world.

We created The Paragon to inspire hope, inspire dialogue and spark a fire to change the world. We lifted our voices, and now it’s the time for them to be heard so that everybody knows that the revolution is starting. “The revolution will not be televised… The revolution will be live”, says WaTeasa Freeman in “The Revolution”. This revolution starts with us, and we extend our hand for you to join us in order to ensure that Someday We’ll All Be Free.

The Paragon Vol. 1: Someday We’ll All Be Free is available on iTunes, Tidal, Amazon Music, & Spotify

-Lizzie Zink

Lizzie Link

 

For more information on The Paragon, Vol. 1: Someday We’ll All Be Free contact: Tony Anderson, Ph.D. at MichaelAnthonyAnderson@gmail.com
The Paragon, Vol. 1: Someday We’ll All Be Free Interview playlist.
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Network Chapter Series: Northeast Chapter

The City Music Network is made of nine regional chapters established across North America. Each chapter meets monthly to discuss current events,  opportunities for collaboration, and deepen their relationships with each other. This first blog post is kicking of a get-to-know-your-network series which will introduce all 47 sites in our network. This Chapter Feature will focus on the Northeast Chapter, made up of five City Music Network sites.

City Music Boston at Cafe 939Berklee City Music Boston – Boston, MA
City Music Boston—the founding site of the City Music Network—provides music education programs and scholarship opportunities to 1,200 underserved students annually throughout Greater Boston. With year-round instruction, expert faculty, and a comprehensive curriculum based around Berklee PULSE, City Music Boston gives students the tools and support they need to reach their full potential.
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Boys & Girls Harbor – New York, NY
The mission of Boys & Girls Harbor is to empower children and their families to become full, productive participants in society through education, cultural enrichment, and social services.
Website | Facebook

Renaissance Youth Center – Bronx, NY
RYC empowers at-risk inner city youth to fully maximize their potential as productive and responsible members of society by offering dynamic, team-building education, music and sports programs while instilling the importance of building strong communities.
Website | Facebook

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) – Newark, NJ
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is the artistic, cultural, educational, and civic center of New Jersey. Part of NJPAC’s mission is to enhance and transform the lives of children and families through arts education.
Website | Facebook

Dixon Hall Music School – Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Now in our 37th year, Dixon Hall Music School is a “second home” to over 300 neighbourhood youth per week, offering 21 different instruments and classes for as little as $3.00 per lesson. We develop leadership skills and build inner confidence through the world of music.
Website | Facebook

Check back next week when we will be feature two more chapters: the Mid-Atlantic and Central Chapters.

Musiq Soulchild visits City Music Boston

On Friday, December 3rd, The Loft was overflowing with passion, ambition, and talent.  Rude, a band made up of Boston Arts Academy students, kicked off this event with a riveting rap battle, a one-of-a-kind arrangement of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, and a show-stopping performance of “Suit and Tie” by Justin Timberlake.  The marriage of an “in the pocket” rhythm section adorned with trumpet and saxophone, and precise, sultry vocals made for an adoring crowd and set the tone for the rest of the evening.  

Neo soul icon Musiq Soulchild performed with Berklee City Music Boston students during a master class at Berklee College of Music on Friday, December 4. Pictured, from left to right: Kamar Satchell, Musiq Soulchild, Sarah Coelho, and Peter George. Photo by Michael D. Spencer.
Neo soul icon Musiq Soulchild performed with Berklee City Music Boston students during a master class at Berklee College of Music on Friday, December 4. Pictured, from left to right: Kamar Satchell, Musiq Soulchild, Sarah Coelho, and Peter George. Photo by Michael D. Spencer.

The students were then able to work closely with Musiq Soulchild, a grammy-nominated singer/songwriter with an album that topped the Billboard 200 charts, among many other outstanding achievements.  Musiq began the presentation by opening the floor to specific questions.  He delved into his musical journey and how it paralleled with his self discovery, and remarked that he “lives by the philosophies of music in so many different ways”.

 

Musiq distinguished the difference between being emotional and being able to keep certain emotions in check in order to pursue a successful career and grow as an artist.  He then wrapped up the Q & A by explaining his structure of songwriting is simply working off of a feeling, and that he draws inspiration from any individual that can “enhance his perspective on being a better service to the culture of music”.  The crowd was fully engaged and hanging onto every word that Musiq eloquently spoke.  

 

The City Music Boston band, featuring current students and program alumni, was next to take the stage.  Their recipe for a stellar performance was infectious soul combined with technique and craftsmanship.  Musiq joined the band on stage for a charismatic, extraordinary performance of “Just Friends”.  The group’s undeniable chemistry had the audience on their feet.  Musiq gave the band insightful feedback, advising them to let go of making sure everybody likes their sound, and to commit to their signature sound whether the crowd fully understands it or not.  Musiq shouted out to the band on the fly to see how they would react under pressure, and said they passed the test.  He concluded the master class with a statement that resonated deeply with both the band and the audience, “don’t compare your process to someone else’s results”.  

This post was written by Berklee College student Kristen McFarren

JazzBoston helps orchestrate a field trip for City Music Boston students to attend Newport Jazz Festival

Grace Mann is a City Music Scholar from Boston, MA, and is currently studying at Berklee College of Music.

Photo Credit: Jean Hangarten
Photo Credit: Jean Hangarten

Bright and early on Friday, July 31, a group of Boston students attending the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program on City Music Summer Scholarships headed to the Newport Jazz Festival on a little yellow school bus. This amazing opportunity was only possible because of the generosity and kindness of JazzBoston, Natixis Global Asset Management, and Newport Festivals Foundation. The students in attendance were bubbling with excitement to have the chance to see some of their idols perform and could not be more grateful to both organizations for giving them this opportunity.

On our way to the festival we heard from Dr. Leonard Brown, who was invited by JazzBoston to speak to us. Dr. Brown is a professional musician and recently retired as an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston. Dr. Brown reminded us of the history that surrounds the jazz festival. He discussed how Newport, which began in 1954, witnessed the Civil Rights Movement and mentioned that, “even with existing social pressures, the festival continued.” It was interesting to hear about how the music at Newport withstood the heavy social storms of America since its establishment.

The students started their day at Newport with a presentation from Dr. Wes, founder of the Jazz and Democracy Project, that was arranged by Natixis. He encouraged the students to talk about what’s it’s like when they’re “in the moment” or “in the zone” on stage. One student related his experience on stage to how he feels when he’s driving a car. On the road he feels free, but at the same time he is aware of the other drivers around him, just as he’s aware of the other band members during a performance.

After the workshop everyone was allowed to roam free! Most students were looking forward to Snarky Puppy who was the last band of the day. Joshua Sutherland, a student from City Music Boston, said his favorite part of the festival was seeing Corey Henry perform, stating, “I would have been upset for the rest of the year if he didn’t perform.” The Christian McBride Trio was another highlight from the festival. Many students sat in the front row mesmerized by his amazing performance. The energy and spirit of the trio was captivating.

Overall the day at Newport was a success. By the time the wheels on the bus starting rolling us back to Boston, almost everyone was drifting to sleep in their seats, exhausted from such a full day of inspiration and excitement at the festival.

Berklee City Music Summit 2015

One Sound, Many Voices: American Popular Music and Creative Youth Development

November 9-11, 2015, in New York City

Berklee City Music is coming to New York City this fall for its fifth annual professional development event. This year’s programming will support four content areas, including:

  • Student engagement and performance
  • Technology/PULSE/curriculum development
  • Staff and teacher development (best practices)
  • Awareness raising, advancement of mission, and development

    Attendees will engage in professional development, share best practices, network, create opportunities for collaboration, and leave with the tools needed to further the City Music movement, “positively impacting youth development primarily through popular music.”

Register Online at rsvpBOOK.com

 

Registration is now open, and we are also accepting proposals (PDF) if you would like to present at this year’s event.

Relive some of the highlights from last year’s event:

#5to5week Ensemble Director: Marty Walsh

As we count down to Five Week, Berklee City Music is interviewing our Five Week City Music ensemble directors. Today, we’re featuring Marty Walsh, director of the Five Week City Music Pop/Rock Ensemble.

Ensemble director Marty Walsh with Five Week student.
Ensemble director Marty Walsh with Five Week student.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Working with very talented City Music musicians.

 

What advice can you give to students to get the most out of your ensemble?

Think above all else what is right for the song. It’s not about individual performances, it’s about how the group performs as a whole

 

Many students travel from far away – what is one thing you think students should do/see/eat while in Boston?

Go to a Red Sox game. Fenway park is the classic old school baseball stadium.

 

SAVE THE DATE: August 11, 2015 at the Berklee Performance Center, 7:30pm

WATCH highlights from the 2014 Scholarship Concert:

Follow along on social media using #5to5week

 

2015 Scholarships – We are all winners!

This post was written by Dr. Krystal Banfield, Dean, Berklee City Music

“We all sat around the computer awaiting the answer! When I opened the college scholarship computer portal and saw that I was awarded a college scholarship! My entire family burst into tears. I had received the City Music full tuition college scholarship. Thank you! ”

This was shared by one of our City Music students having just received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child,” is true. We all have had some influence on our students, which has contributed to their success. Yet, how can we know success, if the evidence does not arrive in the way of a scholarship? These are questions we readily ask as we prepare our students by building their skills and guiding them so that they would have the capability to attain choices—to pursue their dreams, to be leaders in their communities, to have purpose, to be responsible, to have the ability to enrich their own lives and the lives of others. In doing so, we know it takes being committed to a concentric circle that includes you, your students and their families, their teachers, schools and the greater communities. But how can we create this for more of our students who by national statistics still fall far behind their more advantaged peers? It is possible to leverage our relationships collectively, to share what works, and be determined in our efforts as we look to endeavor earlier preparation for each student. Let us establish a national dialogue, with a goal to create a consistent standard that provides opportunities for each student who joins our community. But, first let’s celebrate our next cohort of 2015 scholarship awardees!

15 – Awarded City Music College Scholarships
Camden Repertory Theater
Campus Club Milledgeville
City Music Boston
Cleveland Music Settlement
East Bay Center-Performing Arts
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
Phoenix Conservatory of Music
Project RYTMO
Richmond Youth Jazz Guild
Stax Music Academy

120 – City Music Summer Scholarships
2xSalt Ministry
A Place Called Home
Bahama Village Music Program
Boys & Girls Harbor
Camden Repertory Theater
Campus Club Milledgeville
City Music Boston
Cleveland Music Settlement
East Bay Center-Performing Arts
Escuela de Bellas Artes de Carolina
Fort Hayes Metro Education Center
Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Lincoln Park Perform Arts Center
Motivational Edge
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
One World
Philadelphia Clef Club
Phoenix Conservatory of Music
Project RYTMO
Richmond Youth Jazz Guild
Sarah McLachlan School of Music
Sitar Center
Stax Music Academy
Tipitina’s Foundation
Wilmington Youth Jazz Band
Woodlawn Musical Arts/Audiostate 55

Emcee Kiki Haynes (Actress, Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) and Walter McCarty (Assistant Coach, Boston Celtics) joined Berklee President Roger Brown, Associate Vice President for Education Outreach and Executive Director of Berklee City Music J. Curtis Warner, and Dean of City Music Krystal Banfield to present 18 Berklee City Music Network Students with full-tuition scholarships to Berklee College of Music
2014 College Scholarship Recipients with emcee Kiki Haynes, Walter McCarty, Berklee President Roger Brown, Associate Vice President for Education Outreach J. Curtis Warner, and Dean of City Music Krystal Banfield

BCMN On the Road: Campus Club Milledgeville

This post is #4 in a guest series from BCMN Registrar Andrew Sammut after his visit to 4 BCMN Sites this spring.

Campus Club Milledgeville

Last but far from least on Arin and Andrew’s southeastern Network trip was Campus Club Milledgeville. Leadership team Gregory and Toyia Barnes partner with public schools, nearby Georgia College and local business leaders to offer musical instruction to the K-12 students of Milledgeville, GA and surrounding areas.

Our day began with an introduction by Toyia to Dr. Noris Price, Superintendent for Baldwin County Schools, who spoke to the relationship between CCM and Milledgeville’s school district, and the opportunities City Music provides to students for college preparation. We were then introduced to Kathy Carroll at nearby Baldwin High School, who was proud to speak about some of the students who have attended the Berklee 5-Week Summer Performance Program as well as Berklee College and her experiences directing the chorus at Baldwin High School. We were also treated to some brief but beautiful singing by a few of the students in her class.

A short drive away to downtown Milledgeville took us to Georgia College, where we met Dr. Chelsey Mercado, Chair of the Music Therapy. Students from Dr. Mercado’s department teach CCM students on-campus, working with them to develop both musical proficiency as well as academic and interpersonal skills to help them succeed in college and beyond. We met Dr. Lisa Griffin, Director for the School of Health and Human Performance, who not only also provides instructors to CCM but whose annual Art Healthy event invites CCM students to perform as well as participate in an active community event. Dr. Griffin mentioned that she is proud to attend every CCM event!

We toured the audiovisual and recording facilities at Georgia College, which CCM students access as part of their experience. After a debrief that included CCM board chair Cassandra Ford, Esq., it was clear that CCM is all about collaboration as a means to bring music education and its corresponding personal development to as wide an audience as possible.

Four sites, one week and about seven-hundred miles on our rental car’s odometer after we started this trip, we flew back to Boston with ample information and even more inspiration. The southeast region is diverse in programming and demographics but unified in its commitment to students. This trip was a welcome opportunity to meet the people who make our work possible, and we returned to our office galvanized by their accomplishments.

BCMN On the Road: Woodlawn

This is post #3 in the guest series by BCMN Registrar Andrew Sammut after his visit to 4 BCMN sites this spring.

Woodlawn + Audiostate 55

Arin and Andrew’s third stop on their southeastern trip took them to Woodlawn Musical Arts, Entertainment and Industry Program of Birmingham, AL. Conducted by state-of-the-art local recording studio Audiostate 55, Woodlawn provides a music technology course to students from local schools, a summer music camp that serves over two hundred students and opportunities to perform at local community events.

Audiostate 55
Audiostate 55

When we arrived, Dr. Henry Panion, President at Audiostate 55, explained some of the projects he is working on with students at the local public schools including music videos to celebrate several local and national events. We then had an opportunity to observe one of the music technology courses that Woodlawn provides as an elective for students at a nearby high school. These students use PULSE in conjunction with other software to learn the basics of sound production and recording technology. We also got to meet members of the school faculty as well as the recording and business staff at Audiostate 55.

Audiostate 55
Audiostate 55 Music Technology

Dr. Panion then gave us a tour of the Birmingham community, including the impressive musical facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where Dr. Panion teaches as both University Professor of Music and Co-Director of Music Technology. We also visited the Woodlawn Foundation offices, which engages and enriches the Birmingham community through the Woodlawn music program as well partnerships providing academic tutoring, mixed income housing, locally sourced produce and other efforts at “holistic neighborhood revitalization.”

IMG_1583

The support of these teachers, philanthropic partners, engineers and administrators allows Woodlawn Musical Arts, Entertainment and Industry Program to provide greater opportunities, musically as well as academically, to students in the Birmingham community. With its deep roots in the community and roads to Berklee College and beyond, City Music is proud to partner with this grassroots, globally minded organization.

BCMN On the Road: 2xSalt

Berklee City Music staff members Arin Canbolat and Andrew Sammut recently returned from visiting four Berklee City Music Network sites, so we invite you to take an inside look at their trip in this four-part series by BCMN registrar Andrew Sammut.

2xSalt

With a roster encompassing the continental United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, site visits are a welcome opportunity for City Music staff to skip the smartphone and speak directly with the people who make the Network possible. Last week Arin and Andrew were fortunate to tour City Music’s southeastern region, beginning with 2xSalt Ministry in Charlotte, NC.

Founded in 2003, 2xSalt brings together youth through community gatherings, athletic programming and of course music education. Our visit began with a warm welcome from 2xSalt board member Alan Barnes, who took us on a tour of 2xSalt’s main facilities. In addition to its full size basketball court, community cafeteria, Thrift Shoppe and mechanical engineering lab, 2xSalt offers music students the opportunity to record in their own studio, study PULSE in a computer lab and jam in a beautiful, welcoming performance space. 2xSalt joined City Music shortly after adding music to its broad range of programs in 2012. It has been both rewarding and informative to observe the growth of this site’s musical resources and more importantly its student base.

2xSalt Students
2xSalt Students

After music instructor Eric Brice joined us, we drove to some of the nearby schools attended by 2xSalt students. We listened in on a jazz band jamming over “Footprints,” smiled at the sight of three trumpeters and a sousaphonist using their lunch period to practice, and talked with another student who just completed their audition for the City Music Summer Scholarship. We also met some of the local band directors who support 2xSalt. President and founder Bart Kofoed and 2xSalt music teacher Randy Johnson then joined us for lunch, sharing their experiences and hopes for West Charlotte’s students. With music programming in many schools reduced or cut from the curriculum, Alan and Eric emphasized their eagerness to bring in more students and allow them the opportunity to learn music.

Lab at 2xSal
Lab at 2xSalt

As students began arriving back at 2xSalt stage to begin playing after school, the importance as well as sheer joy of that mission was palpable. From a swinging blues jam through Freddie Hubbard’s famously difficult “Red Clay” to a very Herbie Hancock-esque original composition by one of the 2xSalt students, it was clear that these young musicians not only enjoy playing but that music animates and empowers them.  The opportunity to meet and talk with those students as well as their teachers, parents and the dedicated leadership at 2xSalt was a great beginning for this trip!