On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Bogota, Colombia

The Filarmónica Joven de Colombia

A few weeks ago we had the incredible experience of traveling to Colombia to make our international debut in Bogota. Our trip was profound in ways we could have never anticipated. Rather than giving you my usual play by play, I’m going to ask you to click here for a blog that tells the story wonderfully.

I do have for you a sneak peek video of the show. It’s a long one (as there was so much awesomeness to capture!) but make sure you watch until the end. The Filarmónica Joven de Colombia (Colombia’s national youth orchestra) have a tradition of closing concerts with the folk tune “Colombia Tierra Querida,” during which they joyfully dance as they play.  It’s like a big festive celebration, and we were all taken with it. Please excuse the shakiness of the camera – I was up there dancing with them!

This episode of From the Top is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Matthew Hazelwood, and will premiere the week of September 24, 2012.

Show 253: Listening Guide

From the Top’s broadcast for Show 253 was taped at the Newmark Theatre in Portland, OR on Sunday May 6, 2012. We asked our performers to tell us about the music they performed on the show:

Simone Porter, violin, 15
III. Allegro Animato from Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op.45
By: Edvard Grieg

I had the great privilege to perform the 3rd and final movement from Grieg’s 3rd sonata in c minor for violin and piano with Christopher O’Riley on From The Top in May. This sonata is certainly a favorite of mine. The third movement alone incorporates passionate melodies, elements of Norwegian folk music, overarching long lines, and excellent dialogue between the violin and the piano! I think the 3rd movement very operatic; it alternates between Nordic themes that feature exchanges between the violin and piano, which I consider flirtatious conversation amongst my opera characters, and passionate melodies which I imagine to be arias, declarations of love. Grieg employs many syncopated rhythms throughout the 3rd movement, which makes the music agitated and anxious at times, but in the end, the music takes a sweeping turn into C Major, and ends in celebration.

This sonata is all about human communication: most obvious is the interaction between the violinist and pianist performing, but I think that the connection between the performers and audience is just as essential. While I was in Portland with From the Top, we talked alot about music’s power and influence. I brought up the idea that music is a universal language that doesn’t acknowledge any prejudice, and invites everybody to join the conversation. I hope that with this performance, I successfully invited and engaged the audience in a lively discourse.

Post Show Reflection: Rather than a specific experience, my favorite memory is the way friendships developed between the performers over 3 days. We entered (mostly) strangers and left with new friends who will keep in touch and meet up when our paths inevitably cross in the future. Performing for a live audience and imagining how that performance will reach so many more was so wonderful! I loved collaborating with the brilliant Christopher O’Riley, all the people at FTT, and being with the fantastic and supportive Portland audience!!

Music can establish connections and dissolve boundaries in a world that can be so divisive. Music is the universal language and we invite everyone to join the conversation; art doesn’t recognize any prejudice. From the Top encourages a discussion in which everyone is accepted and welcomed, regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality, opinions, etc. Musical education brings peace and hope and light to society; the educators and educated benefit from the experience.

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NPR’s Deceptive Cadence: The Young Person’s Guide to Making Music!

Last week, we teamed up with the folks at NPR Classical to give a good look at the wide world of music for students and their families through their blog Deceptive Cadence. From practice tips to audition tips, we’ve had a lot of fun hearing from alumni and parents. We even had a couple of videos that we didn’t have room for! So, click below to hear more from our alumni about the joy of learning music!

Click above to hear how Sydney and Noah Lee came to love cello!

Click above to hear about building a practice schedule from sisters Serena and Alison Chang.

Click above to hear from Dan Peltier, father of From the Top Alum Colton Peltier, on music and baseball.

Click here to read Deceptive Cadence!


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