Archive for February, 2010

Denville Strings’ Concert and Strings’ Rehearsals

Posted in Denville Strings Concert and Rehearsal, Denville TV with tags , on February 11, 2010 by denvilletv

I am so grateful to have witnessed this program (in the fall of 2009) , opened to all  Denville students from grades 3 to  8, free of charge.   I had the privilege to view the 9 weeks of rehearsals (commencing Oct 5, 2009)  and the ensuing Concert that took place, in Municipal Building on December 7 2009.   The  group of children  that I became acquainted with, through this 10 week program,  were amazing in their enthusiasm of learning string instruments, classical compositions and  performing in an orchestra.   The show I edited  is a compilation of videos I took of the rehearsals (in the Denville Municipal Building as well) and final concert.   The adult instructors, that I witnessed enthusiastically volunteering  their time,  were amazing  also to watch:

Roland Mathews, Bernie Mathews, Alana Weininger, and last but not least Mayor Ted Hussa.   I learned another facet of our amazing multifaceted Denville Mayor,  that he has a College degree in  Music Education as well.

The show  is scheduled to air on;

Cablevision Public Access Channel 21

Wednesdays, February 17 and February 24 2010

from  7:00-7:30 PM (airing times for Morris County)

The Denville Municipal Alliance, with Denville Mayor Ted Hussa, implemented this  Strings Program for Fall 2009 in response to the second question, concerning the budget for extracurricular activities,  being voted down in the Denville School Board Elections of  Spring 2009.   Funds, thanks to the MAC, for the program were received through a grant given by GCADA (Governor’s council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse).  The program was sponsored with a drug free message.

The four classical compositions the children learned were:

1.   Dragon Hunter

2.   Brandenburg Concerto No.5  by J.S Bach

3.   Allegro from Concerto for Two Trumpets by Antonio Vivaldi

4.   Finlandia by JeanSibelius

The children also performed exercise pieces that sounded like wonderful melodic classical  music pieces as well.

I  would like to give a little historical background of these four  Classical pieces.   I always enjoy learning about the historical period that a classical music  piece was composed in.

1. Dragon Hunter is actually  a  musical piece composed by  a contemporary composer and music instructor,  Richard Meyer. Using only the notes of the D major scale, Richard Meyer has fashioned a medieval-sounding piece, Dragon Hunter, for instructional purposes. The aggressive main theme is introduced by violins and violas, with cello and bass in counterpoint. The theme later returns  with cellos and basses being chased (hunted) by the violins and violas. This  information I found on Stagepass.com (Sheet music instruction and resource)

2. The Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 is one of six instrumental works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach,  among the finest of musical composition of the Baroque Era, a style of European music that extended from 1600 to 1750.   The works were composed for and presented to Christian Ludwig, the margave (medieval nobleman with military responsibilities of protecting his  border province)  of Brandenburg -Schedt * around 1721.                   Present day Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 States, Brandenburg among them.   Schedt is a city in Brandenburg.  In J.S. Bach time Brandenburg was an independent state in the Holy Roman Empire.   The  unification of the German States started around 1862,  under the Prussian Prime Minister, Otto Von Bismark.   Bismark became the German Empire’s first Chancellor in 1871.

3.  Allegro from Concerto for Two Trumpets was composed by Venetian composer, Antonio Vivaldi (born in 1678)  published in 1711 with eleven other concertos Vivaldi composed.   The concertos that Vivaldi wrote helped define the genre in the Baroque  and into the Classical period.   Normally the concerto consisted of three movements: First movement is fast(Alegro), followed by Second Movement, slow (Andante) and then third movement, fast (Alegro) The concerto was written for two solo instruments (ej: trumpet) with an instrumental ensemble backing them. In the case of the Strings concert the orchestra performed the first movement of the the Concerto for 2 Trumpets, known as Allegro.  The composition was transposed to be performed by Strings instead of trumpets.

4.   Finlandia, written by Finnish composer  Jean Sibelius in 1899, was composed in response to Finland’s then oppressive rule under Russia’s Tsar Nickolas ii.  Finlandia became the expression for Finland’s Nationalism.    Finland achieved its independence from Russia  in 1917 with the eruption of the Russian Revolution and overthrow of Tsar Nickolas ii.  In 1941  part of Finlandia was placed to a poem written by Finnish poet, Koskenniem, becoming know as the stirring nationalistic Finnish “Finlandia Hymn”.

The Strings Program became a family affair.  Two parents, who were participants, as well, in the program,  met in their teens, playing violin in the Garden State Philharmonic Youth Orchestra a number of years ago.   By the time the Strings Program was created in Fall 2009 their older daughter already knew how to play the violin.   But the Strings program came to the rescue of the younger daughter, who was eagerly anticipating learning the violin in school  this fall 2009.   With the budget for extracurricular activities voted down the Strings Program gave this young lady an opportunity to learn the violin.  I enjoyed  immensely watching this family play violin together in this program.

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