Arts Leadership in Baton Rouge, LA

From Brass to Class!

This week, From the Top traveled to Baton Rouge to tape a radio show at Louisiana State University’s College of Music and Dramatic Arts. Our ten young artists brought a variety of genres and personalities to Tuesday’s show, and gave an unforgettable performance! Six of the ten joined us the following morning for the Arts Leadership Orientation to reflect on how music can produce a positive change in society. The group named themselves “From Brass to Class”, bringing together classical music with that of the Louisiana Brass Band tradition.

After sharing a number of wonderful ideas in an activity we call “Chalk Talk” (or silent communication through writing), they group established that Arts Leadership is:

  1. preserving cultural music for younger generations (of all cultural genres)
  2. cultivating the universal language of music in everyone
  3. opening minds

As a thank you to LSU for hosting the show, the performers also chose to celebrate the spirit of the LSU Fighting Tigers in their group video. Check it out!

To learn more about the show, check out On the Road with Joanne Robinson, and be sure to catch the  show on the air the week of December 13th!

Go Tigers!

On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show 222 Baton Rouge, LA

Memorial Tower at LSU (G. Andrew Boyd / The Times-Picayune archive)

We just got home from taping a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the Shaver Theatre at LSU. It was our first time in Louisiana and it was a fantastic experience!

The show was full of standout moments. It opened with a dazzling performance by 15-year-old cellist Jean Kim, a wonderfully expressive musician, who played Capriccio by Lukas Foss. Next up was 16-year-old pianist Jennifer Tu who beautifully played Debussy’s L’Isle Joyeuse. Violist Marcus Rose, 17, took the stage next, giving a sensitive performance of Suite Hebraique by Ernest Bloch. Next, 17-year-old soprano Jennifer Seidel sang “Les Filles de Cadix” by Leo Delibes and then showed off her acting chops in a very funny sketch about her childhood. Closing the show was something truly special and unique to the locale – a true blue New Orleans brass band! The Red Hot Brass Band, six members strong, closed the show with the traditional “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”

I have to tell you about probably my favorite moment of all, which happened just as the show was ending. As all of the performers prepared to exit the stage after bowing at curtain call, the Red Hot Brass Band launched into an encore – their own jazzy, improvised version of “When the Saints Come Marching In.” The audience leapt to their feet, clapping and cheering, and the energy in the house was just incredible!

For your viewing pleasure, I happened to catch the members of the brass band jamming backstage in their dressing room before the show. If you want to get an idea just how hot the Red Hot Brass Band is, check out this impromptu jam session! Stay tuned for this show to broadcast the week of December 13th.

The Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition!

The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra has announced the next Blount-Slawon Young Artists Competition on January 29-30, 2011 at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. Applications must be post marked by December 10th!

The competition is open to 7th-12th graders who go to school in the US. String, wind, brass, percussion, and piano are all eligible for entry.  The full rules and regulations can be viewed here.

Aside from generous a cash prize, education award, and symphony performance, the  first prize winner of this contest will appear on one of our From the Top radio shows with host Christopher O’Riley.

Last year, From the Top’s own Music Producer Tom Vignieri was a judge, and previous winners have included From the Top alums like Anna Lee.

Please spread the word to all the young musicians you know!


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