Spotted in Manila, 2014

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Agreed.

I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.
-Plato

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thank you D'Addario Music Foundation!


While in the Philippines, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing young musicians at the Philippine High School for the Arts. Although filled with talent and drive, it was clear their improvement as musicians would be an uphill battle from then on since they lacked accessible tuners and metronomes. These tools are necessary for every young musician and Brian and I saw that the students were not only in need of these tools, but very deserving. Since purchasing a tuner and metronome for themselves would present a financial hardship on the students, Brian and I took our chances and reached out to a dozen different manufacturers and sellers requesting donations. We sent each company this letter:

September 4, 2012
Hello! We are young professional musicians who perform and teach in the New York City area. We recently returned from a charitable music outreach project in the Philippines that we helped organize. During our month-long residency there, we had the good fortune of working with a group of twenty-five extremely talented, motivated, and determined music students at the Philippine High School for the Arts. Many of these students could easily be accepted into some of the top music schools in the United States, though most would not have the financial means to leave the Philippines.
There was one other factor that might prevent their development to this level. On our first day working with the students in a master class setting, we asked for a show of hands of who owned a metronome and/or tuner. One student raised his hand, and class explained that it wasn’t necessary that they each owned one, because he was willing to share his one metronome with the rest of the students at the school. Shocked at this, we explained that it was a necessity that everyone owned their own metronome and tuner in order to improve. We said that they would only cost around 800 Philippine pesos ($20), which we considered perfectly affordable. The students were heartbroken and embarrassed to admit that this would present a financial hardship for most of them, given their economic status. Needless to say, we struggled during our residency to help the students improve their intonation, rhythm, and inner-pulse. Many of the students had hit a plateau that we were positive they could overcome if they simply had regular access to these tools.
We write this letter to you in the hopes that you will consider making a donation of a few tuners and metronomes (or tuner/metronome combination units) to these promising young musicians. This donation could be in the form of all 25 units, 5 units, or a discounted rate, whichever your company is able to do. Even one metronome or tuner would make a dramatic improvement at this school. Whatever the donation, we will credit you on the blog for our organization: http://projectphilippines2012ckmbk.blogspot.com as well as the website for the school: http://www.phsa.edu.ph/home.htm.
Though we were only able to spend a couple of weeks with these students, they made a lasting impression on our lives. We thank you in advance for helping us create a lasting impression on their lives as well. We look forward to hearing from you.
Salamat and Mabuhay,
Midori Samson, Bassoon, The Juilliard School; Brian Gnojek, Clarinet, Freelance Musician

Like we expected, a few responses we received were unsuccessful: “We’re sorry, but our company does not have this type of donation program” and “We are unable to do so at this time”. However, we were inspired (and surprised) to receive enthusiastic responses from Suzanne D'Addario Brouder of the D’Addario Music Foundation. After correspondence with this generous organization, we are so excited to send 30 new metronome/tuners and sheet music to our students at PHSA.
Brian and I would personally like to thank Suzanne and her company for their kindness, cooperation, and generosity.  I am in disbelief of the amount of compassion these companies have shown in this process. They have taught me to show the same compassion in my music and teaching and I am inspired to say the least. Thank you D’Addario Music Foundation!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reflection on Project Philippines


Here is a reflection I wrote soon after returning to America from my recent outreach trip to the Philippines. This is the reflection I used to send donors and supporters. I have tried to illustrate just how much that month of teaching changed me as a musician and person. Thank you again to everyone for your continued support and love. Salamat and mabuhay!
Being raised somewhat Filipino-American, I was taught from the beginning to have pride in where I came from and to give back what I can. I can remember being ten years old and begging my parents to let me go to the Philippines to “learn about my heritage”. So finally getting to travel to the Philippines and give back by teaching music was a dream come true.
I was shocked and relieved to work with kids who were so excited to learn about music and willing to try new things. I also never would have imagined that I could learn so much from teaching that I could directly apply to my studies as a music student. The day after arriving back in the states from the Philippines, I traveled to Northwestern Connecticut where I studied at a summer chamber music festival. Even there in Norfolk, CT, a town that could not be more opposite than the Philippines (since it is filled with ivy covered brick castles for houses and private swimming pools which are just “summer homes” for the locals) I was continually reminded of my experiences as a member of Project Philippines. Every day since returning to the US, I use my memories as inspiration to create my art and realize why I became a musician in the first place.
I have to admit, while in the Philippines, I did not do my usual routine of practicing scales and long tones for hours. It felt great. I felt guilty for feeling this way and for a while even had very negative thoughts toward my decision to become a professional musician. I kept asking myself things like, “what is the point of me slaving over this hollow piece of wood when some of these students don't have clean water and have to beg for food?” My art suddenly seemed pointless knowing these kids were fine, living their lives without even knowing what a bassoon is. Our students in Northern Samar had basically never expressed themselves through music and had never been told that it was ok to, so why was I ripping my hair out when I couldn't play a note perfectly in tune? My whole life seemed so excessive.
But the day that Brian and I started to teach the group song we would perform at the end of our workshop with them, I was stunned to hear that several of them had very beautiful voices and fantastic rhythm. More importantly, I could just see that they were in love with singing and really aching to perform, a feeling that I know very well. If I had just met them, I would have assumed that several of these students had been taking voice lessons for years. This was definitely not the case—we learned from Brenfred, a local who watched out for us during our stay, that up until recently, it was a sign of wealth in Northern Samar if a family owned a bicycle. These families certainly couldn't afford voice lessons.
Knowing that these students had no training, but still could sing with so much passion and virtuosity made me realize something that I have been trying to directly apply to my own studies since returning: music is embedded in every human and it is my job as a professional musician to connect with that basic instinct to be expressive and creative. Otherwise, my art IS pointless and excessive.
It was heart breaking to leave our students and beautiful Northern Samar. But leaving with this powerful lesson learned eased the pain. I wish that I could buy instruments for every one of my 110 students. I wish that I could pay for all of the music lessons they want. I wish that I could guarantee that they will always have three meals a day. However, my goal in teaching in the Philippines was none of these things. I had three goals I wanted to accomplish in my brief time in Northern Samar. I wanted to introduce to my students a new way to communicate and be expressive, I wanted them to feel important and special even just for that one day when they performed for their town, and I wanted to give them the tools to be expressive and feel important even after I had gone home. I am very proud that with the help of the other members of Project Philippines, I achieved these goals and seeing how appreciative our students were was proof that we succeeded.
I can only hope that my students some day realize how much they taught me and changed how I create music. For what they did for me, they deserve much more than I could give them in such a short two weeks. They reminded me how important music is in my life and every child deserves the chance to see if it is as important in theirs. It is my responsibility as a musician to provide that chance. So I know that I will continue to teach music to young people in developing communities to fulfill my responsibilities. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mabuhay, Philippines! With love


As my final day in the Philippines comes to a close, I look back on today as a major highlight of the trip. As a final activity we held a mock audition for the students where they each had 4 minutes to perform a scale and a solo to receive comments from us. Everyone performed so well and despite my efforts to make it like a real “scary” audition, no one was impacted and everyone played with such expression.
One student in particular stood out to me. Yvette, the youngest student in the music division and a student at PHSA for only the last month had approached me last week begging me to give her some advice about performance anxiety. We worked with her and saw proof of her improvement because after her mock audition I thanked Yvette and said, “that’s all” and she left smiling and SKIPPING out of her audition. I was shocked. Brian and I turned to each other and laughed. But throughout tonight I’ve considered this moment and thought about how much it meant to me. I feel like her youthfulness and excitement about music very much represents the feeling many of us young professionals lose as we become jaded and stressed about how competitive the music business is. So why can’t we all just skip out of our auditions and be this carefree? I will strive for this from now on.
Immediately following the audition, the class hiked up the hill to the performance where we played “In C” while the dancers danced. Again, the performance was very well received and the students had a wonderful time. The night ended with certificates, remembrances, and hugs. I will miss my PHSA students very much. Back to America tomorrow!
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

UPLB


Today was our day off from PHSA and we traveled down the campus mountain to the local college, University of the Philippines, Los Banos. We did a day long workshop with the school’s freshman science majors who play in the school band simply because they love music too much to give it up. Throughout the day, I worked to find connections because life as a musician and life as a scientist to show that they can easily connect the two in their studies.
The day started with a lecture exchange between myself and the music instructor at the school. We both spoke to the full class of students (about 25 of them). Angel, the instructor introduced Brian and I to traditional Filipino music and the idea that rather than it being for performance, it is only used for prayer and connection to the spirits of nature. The was a whole new idea to me. Then, Brian and I introduced some American music and the idea of aleatoric composition by composers like John Cage and Terry Riley—a new idea for THEM.
The next part of our day incorporated the ideas we discussed that morning into a rehearsal of “In C” which we performed later for the entire university’s freshman class. From my observation, it seemed sort of therapeutic for the students to be allowed to play a piece in such organized chaos. They loved the freedom they were given with the piece and I could tell they were hoping to do more some day.
That rehearsal was followed by Brian and I joining in on a traditional Filipino dance-song used when a man is courting a woman. It was sweet, short, and therapeutic for ME.
This all culminated in a performance like I mentioned above. The audience was huge and loud which made me nervous, but sure enough, they were extremely respectful as we gave the Philippines premiere of Molly Joyce’s “Blending Music”. The theater was complete with bamboo wall decorations and smoke machines (!!) causing a blackout in the theater, but the show must go on!
I was so proud of the music students for letting their guard down and performing “In C” with such enthusiasm even though it was such a new concept of music. Also, I am pretty confident when I say today was the first ever performance of “In C” on traditional Filipino instruments. But they did it well!!
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Night at the Philharmonic


This entry has to be quick:
This evening, Brian and I had the night off while the dancers taught a workshop at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. We went to a performance of a ballet inspired by a Jose Rizal novel with music composed by a living Filipino composer. Then we switched theaters and went to the Philippine Philharmonic's "Madame Butterfly". Both shows were beautiful and full of real artistry. After the show I caught up with the principal bassoonist, Pong Mendoza who invited us out for beer and chicharon. But first we exchanged bassoons and reeds for a little!
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Friday, June 22, 2012

PHSA routine


I have been teaching the music students of PHSA for 4 days now and I am so impressed with their talent and work ethic. There are no bassoonists here, but I'm excited for the challenge of having to give lessons for guitarists, pianists, flutists, etc.
We have the mornings free to rehearse and rest. But the afternoons we have split our 4 hour class with the students into 3 parts. For the first hour, Brian and I give a lecture. We have covered topics including performance anxiety and practice techniques. The second hour, we have a masterclass where 4 students play and receive comments from both Brian and I, as well as the students. For the next two hours, Brian and I are giving half-hour private lessons so that by the end of next week, we have worked one-on-one with every musician. It is going really well!
Like in Samar, our 2 week workshop here will conclude with a final performance. We plan on performing Terry Riley's "In C" with the dancers who are working with the Project Philippines dancers. Next week, we will use our lecture hour to have rehearsal of "In C". 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We're on TV?!


The team just arrived at the Philippine High School for the Arts for the second half of our residency. I was sad to leave Catarman and all of our amazing students but it's not like we didn't go out with a bang.
Yesterday was our final performance to show the town of Catarman what we had done with the students in the last 2 weeks (and so all the townspeople could find out why they kept seeing a group of six white people in their town). The concert opened with Brian and I performing his arrangement of the Philippine National Anthem with all 110 of our students behind us singing with their hands across their hearts. It was very touching to make music with all of my kids at once.
At this point, the emcee, our beloved Brenfred (one of our 3 friends who had hosted us and took care of us our whole time in Catarman, the other 2 being Julius and Ray, our drivers) announced that right then, our performance was being broadcast on national TV! The students all panicked but with a pep talk from us realized how exciting and amazon that was, so the show went on, regardless of the brown out which had turned off the whole town's power for the entire day.
The concert had quite a variety of dance and music with the team performing on our own as interludes between the student performances. Brian and I performed the entire Poulenc Duo Sonata, and I performed a solo Mignone Waltz, both were received with enthusiasm from people who had probably never seen a bassoon or clarinet before.
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Both schools each performed a dance and music piece and the performances could not have gone better. As I watched them each sing their hearts out and shake their instruments, I remembered back to two weeks ago when I first met them. Brian and I struggled to get them to come to the friend and say their names, but now, there they were, singing solos and duets for the entire town and country! I tried to hide my tears as I watched from the back of the audience. They had come so far.
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The afternoon ended with an exchange of certificates, from us to each student, and from the school to each of us. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great way to say our goodbyes. Then as we tried to leave, every student had to come up to me, ask for my autograph and give me a "remembrance", a small piece of home made jewelry or a note so that I will never forget them. HA, yeah right!
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This morning we rolled out of bed at 3am and headed straight to the airport to catch our flight to Manila. We were so surprised to see our students at the airport waiting to give us one last remembrance (a giant card they made) and to wave us off. I guess maybe we did touch their lives.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Teaching ups and downs


We have continued to teach the students basic rhythm notation and pitch recognition through songs and games. They continue to amaze me with how fast they improve and how much effort they give every day in music class.
However, we have had to work very hard to get to this level. For the past 3 days we have been without a classroom at SPED because they principal neglected to tell us that the auditorium we planned to use for class is occupied by all the teachers of Catarman and their convention. I've been working on my flexibility and patience as teaching outside in the dirt needs both. On top of that, since our lessons involve a lot of singing and clapping, we have been asked to relocate several times by the nearby teachers as our lessons are too loud and distracting to the kids. But we've made due.
Two days ago, we asked each student to bring an old bottle from home. Yesterday they brought them in and we made percussion instruments together! They decorated the outside and each made the choice of what to fill it with. Their options were: Sand only (for a shaker with a piano dynamic), sand and rice (mezzo piano), rice only (mezzo forte), rice and rocks (forte), and rocks only (fortissimo). The kids really enjoyed their shakers and using those shakers in a game of zip-zap-zop substituting shakes for clapping.
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Also using our shakers, we've been spending a lot of time on our group song which we will perform this weekend at the final concert. The SPED students will be singing Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and the high schoolers will be singing a Filipino pop song, "12:51" by Krissy and Erika. I can't wait to show them off to the town!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekend on the beach


The team had the weekend off so we could enjoy the beautiful sights of the Philippines. Our friend Eric, who we met through Kickstarter hosted us in his hometown of Polompon, Leyte, about a 4 hour drive from Catarman. There, he has founded an after school program where kids can go to take art classes--he shares very similar goals with Project Philippines when it comes to art education.
He rented a boat and took us to Kalanggaman, an island paradise and tourist destination for Filipinos. The water was clear and warm, the sand was white, and we ate the freshest fish I've ever had (so fresh that we ate a sea cucumber while it was still alive). The rest we cooked on an old sewer grate and I've never enjoyed a meal so much.
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I spent the long car rides practicing my Filipino. I learned that the words I used growing up which I thought were just Samson-isms are in fact Tagalog. I was shocked to find out that I have been a lot more connected to this country my whole life than I thought.
We also planned our lessons for the next week in the car. This week we plan to kick our kid's butts as they prepare for their final performance next weekend. But the beach trip was a necessary rest day for the team. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Amazing Philippines TOO MUCH TO SAY


We arrived in the Philippines last week and I can't believe how wonderful the country is. After getting over the 12-hour time difference and catching up from the 48 hours of sleep I lost in traveling, I've really been able to enjoy the town of Catarman and my students.
Once we landed in Manila from Hong Kong, we had just enough time to shower and take an hour long nap before we were back at the airport to catch our flight to Northern Samar, about 2 hours away. We landed in the extremely humble airport of Catarman where the gate area is a wall of plexus glass separating its loch chair seats from the runway and the security is a police officer who smiles and waves you in.
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I've had the most wonderful food, from fried eggplant to fried pork, from fresh fish to fresh mangoes, and rice on the side of everything. We're all trying to be careful not to drink the water, and sometimes we have to drink beer instead, but it isn't so bad.
We have spent 3 days with our students so far. They are so shy, but they're slowly coming out of their shells. Each day, we spend 3 hours at the Catarman Special Education School (SPED) where the students are between 8 and 12 years old. During these 3 hours, the students are split in half and rotate between music class and dance class. We do the same schedule at Catarman National High School where we spend 3 hours each afternoon. These students are between 13 and 17.
Our first class included my favorite game: Shabuya, a get-to-know-you game with singing and dancing. We continued with another rhythm game, Zip-zap-zop the incorporates rhythm with communication and team work. Then, we worked on writing out the rhythms that we used in Zip-zap-zop. The students at both schools are quickly catching on to the idea of quarter notes vs. eighth notes vs. half notes. I'm so proud of them!
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Brian and I have also included a performance in each class. We have talked about how mood can express a mood or a story and have had the students actively listen for a mood and draw a story they hear when we are playing. We performed Brian's arrangement of "Appalachia Waltz", an American piece inspired by mountain folk songs. The students NAILED the task and all shared with us their colorful drawings of rice fields, mountains, and wind flowing through trees. Again, I was very proud.
Last night, we were the guests of honor at the governor of Northern Samar's annual ball. We feasted on pig and performed for the councilmen and the women in the running to be Miss Northern Samar. Brian and I performed "Appalachia Waltz" there as well and it was very well received.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicago -> Hong Kong -> Manila -> Samar


Brian and I spent the day spraying all of our clothes with permethrin spray to prevent mosquito bites. Now with our malaria medication and vaccinated bodies, we're protected and off to the Philippines! We have been waiting for this for months and I can't believe we will be there in just a couple of days. Until Catarman!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Next stop: Nairobi?


I met hornist Nick Walls earlier this year at a chamber music gig on the Upper West Side. However, I didn't find out he grew up in Kenya until just a couple of weeks ago. I casually mentioned doing an outreach trip there and he and oboist Ellen Hindson (also working the gig) seemed very interested. It looks like I'm going to start planning a trip to Kenya for next summer! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Benefit concert at the Philippine consulate


Last night the team and several other guest artists gave an incredible show at the Philippine Consulate in New York City. Brian and I gave the world premiere of Molly Joyce's "Blending Music" which she composed for us and the rest of the team. The show was beautiful, each act being separated not by applause, but by voice overs of every performer talking about the performance and how they decided to become artists. I was very inspired.
We also raised over $2000, which was our goal. Thank you! Philippines, here we come!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Recital Success!


Last night was my recital to benefit Project Philippines 2012. I can't believe how successful it was. Thank you so much for everyone who came and showed their support! I raised $1784.12 for the team!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

If you weren't able to make it, you can still make a tax-deductible donation at: https://www.thefield.org/ContributionToSA.aspx?
:)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Last day in New Orleans


We had our final day in Louisiana free and we are using it to rest from a week of hard work. Tonight the whole team will be set free in the French Quarter to celebrate and have one last chance to get beignets. Dinner tonight was out with the whole team to Mulate's, a Louisiana Cajun restaurant. Lots of seafood, spice, an everything fried! I was invited up to the front of the dining room by a 70-something Cajun dancer. He swung me around and lead me across the dance floor. When the song was over, he even gave me a certificate saying I was a real Cajun dancer!
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Tomorrow I head home to Portland, OR for the ret of my spring break This week in New Orleans has been great and I have learned so much. I came with so many expectations for how the trip would be. But if I've learned anything this week it's that not all teaching is easy. It's my job to bring joy and make my kids and myself smile about music. Until next time...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Highs and lows... again.


Our morning was bittersweet since it was our final day on the Habitat site. We finished by nailing on the roof, filling in seems with cocking, and immediately went to the sidewalk in front of the house where we gave our performance for the neighborhood and the other volunteers. Here is the team in front of the house post-performance.
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Today was also our final day of teaching at the Y. We had a quick run through with our kids and went straight to the filled auditorium. We did our stomp routine and it went great and the audience loved it! But when I went to say goodbye and good job to my students, they were no where to be found. I was incredibly disappointed that I couldn't have closure with the students who I felt like I had connected to all week. But I had a great time getting to know them!
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Highs and lows


Today was definitely a day of high and low emotions. We started the day with a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward, the spot of New Orleans that was impacted most from Hurricane Katrina. I was shocked at how much empty land there was and how many houses were yet to be restored or built in place of demolished ones. However I was inspired and uplifted by the work being done by Brad Pitt's "Make it RIght" foundation.
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I was most disturbed by the levee. Where the original levee breached in 2005, causing the most damage to New Orleans, another was built in its place identical to the one that failed.... Um..? I think this picture  really illustrates just how small the concrete is. image
We continued our day at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA). We were greeted by the principal who fed us jambalaya he made himself! Then we split by divisions and all of the musicians gathered and gave an informal master class. The students were SO talented and excited about music. It was very refreshing to work with them and to remember that yes, I am a musician, and I do know something about music. We ended our time with a jam session involving everyone.
We also taught at the Y where we worked on our stomp routine with our kids which we will perform for the other classes tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Building, teaching, feasting


We have spent 2 full days working at the Habitat site now and it has quickly become my favorite part of the day. I'm finding it meditative to find myself a comfortable position and nail hundreds of nails for hours each day. Today I counted 457 but I'll do better tomorrow.
We met our students and my teaching team was... shocked. After spending hours planning lessons for 8 year olds, we met our group of ten 12-14 year olds. We made up a lesson plan on the spot with games and a performance of an etude by me. I was extremely disappointed with myself and how I handled the situation. I was so frustrated and inflexible that I let it really upset me on the job. That is something I would like to improve in my life in general: my flexibility. I'll keep working on it!
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We did an activity where I performed several contrasting orchestral excerpts (Figaro, Tchaik 4, Rite of Spring) and as I played asked the students move with their bodies reflecting the style I was playing in. The kids were very creative and hilarious. Following the activity, we asked what they were thinking while doing the activity. One student, Alecia responded, "I felt rich when you played because it was classical music". I was struck by this statement. Why has classical music become something for only the elite? I explained to her that it doesn't have to be like that, that she can enjoy this kind of music too. And that if only she could see ME paychecks, she would understand that music isn't just for the rich.
The evening concluded with an alligator caesar salad on the Mississippi River with beignets at Cafe du Monde for dessert, and a bassoon lesson with team member and saxophonist, Braxton.
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Alligator caesar
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Lesson with Braxton

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hello from New Orleans!


I have arrived safely in New Orleans. At the airport this morning while we waited for our bags to come out, dancers Nicholas and Gia gave an improvised performance of "Call Me Maybe." Absolutely no one watched or even looked--maybe this is a good example of how much the arts are valued.
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Nicholas and Gia performing in MSI airport
Half of the team was not so lucky to arrive... They were stranded in Texas because they missed their connecting flight. Since they will slowly be trickling in throughout the day, we have been excused from our morning work to explore the city as we wait for the rest of the team.
The house we are staying in is great. It is a volunteer house about a 10 minute drive from the famous French Quarter. It houses 40 people (we are 22 including advisors) and 16 others from Georgetown will be joining us later in the week. Each wooden bunk bed is scribbled with signatures of past volunteers and I found a tiny spot on my top bunk to sign my name.
A small group including myself decided to spend the morning in the Quarter where we got a taste of how musical the city really is. Street performers were on every corner making more money from tourists than I maybe ever will! The Quarter is incredibly restored compared to much of the damage in the city caused by Hurricane Katrina. It is upsetting that only the tourist attraction part of the city has gotten the attention that every home deserves.
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The spirit of New Orleans seen in the French Quarter
Eventually the whole team arrived and the day concluded with a quick benefit performance at Trinity Church. There were monologues, group dances, solo dances, and music. I was in the group that gave the world premiere of team member and composer Molly Joyce's "Connecting Music" (named after our motto of "Art connects.") and I performed in the group song, Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror". The audience joined in and tears came to my eyes and the whole room did indeed CONNECT with this song.
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The team with the mayor's wife after our performance at Trinity Church

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting ready...


The New Orleans team has spent the last 3 months fundraising with bake sales, donation letters, other sales, and more letters. We also have met every Sunday morning :/ to make lesson plans and get to know each other better. My teaching team includes myself, Gia Mongell (dance), Briana Robinson (dance), and Matt Walker (drama). We have been assigned to work with 2nd graders. Gia has made very detailed lesson plans for each day of teaching. I'm so thankful for her!!
In just a couple of weeks, we will finally be off for our week down south. Just like going to Guatemala, our flight is at 5am... Yay.
You can follow my trip here, or follow the team at http://juilliardnola.blogspot.com/.
Next time I post, I'll be in New Orleans!