In yet another sign of tough times for the country’s orchestras, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is now hoping to shrink the size of its orchestra as well as cut pay for the remaining musicians. In yet another sign of tough times for the country’s orchestras, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is now hoping to shrink the size of its orchestra as well as cut pay for the remaining musicians.  The orchestra also plans to truncate its performance season, according the musician’s union’s negotiating committee.  The deal will reportedly cut wages by 45 percent and get rid of 16 weeks of performances at the ISO.  The orchestra is one of the few in the country that currently offer a full 52-week schedule of performances.

Read more at the Indianapolis Star.

A first-of-its-kind study outlines the actual costs of a comprehensive k-12 music education program. A first-of-its-kind study outlines the actual costs of a comprehensive k-12 music education program. The research funded by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation’s Sounds of Learning research initiative, calculates a cost for music education averaging $187 per student annually in the sample school district.

Based on total enrollment, the study reveals that the music education costs average $187 per student annually. Costs averaged $195 per student at the elementary level (grades 1-5) where general music, a 45-minute music class per three-day cycle, is mandatory. Per student spending in middle school averaged $189 and $143 in high school, as music instruction is elective at the secondary level.

More info can be found at www.namm.org.

In recognition of what it called ever-tightening arts budgets in schools, music publisher Carl Fischer recently held a contest in which winners would be provided with a free year’s worth of band or orchestra music.  In recognition of what it called ever-tightening arts budgets in schools, music publisher Carl Fischer recently held a contest in which winners would be provided with a free year’s worth of band or orchestra music. 

Winners of the Music for Your Schools Giveaway contest were announced  recently and included the Chopticon High School Orchestra in Morganza, Md.,  the Palm Springs High School Orchestral Strings Program in Palm Springs, Calif., the Susan E. Wiley Elementary School Band in Copiague, N.Y., the American School of Antananarivo Band in Madagascar, and the Falmouth High School Band in Falmouth, Mass. Pictured are 2011 winners,  the Riverside High School Band in El Paso, Texas.

To learn more, visit www.carlfischer.com.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is co-hosting arts events at the 2012 national political conventions in partnership with Americans for the Arts, The Recording Academy, The United States Conference of Mayors and the local arts councils.National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is co-hosting arts events at the 2012 national political conventions in partnership with Americans for the Arts, The Recording Academy, The United States Conference of Mayors and the local arts councils. The events, including a policy conversation and a concert, are designed to highlight the important role of arts and arts education in public policy as the major political parties lay out their visions for the future. 

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee served as lead moderator with speakers including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch, and former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams.

At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 4th, ARTSSpeak will take place from 3-4:15 p.m. at the Mint Museum. Featured speakers include N.C. Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley; Lynch and Williams.

To learn more, check www.artsactionfund.org.

The city council of the New York City borough of the Bronx recently approved a $2.5 million plan for an innovative new project that combines education, low-income housing, and an ambitious local music program.The city council of the New York City borough of the Bronx recently approved a $2.5 million plan for an innovative new project that combines education, low-income housing, and an ambitious local music program.  In a complex designed for a neighborhood in the South Bronx and slated to open in September 2013, the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp. (WHEDco) Bard Academy Charter School and 290 units of affordable housing will combine with the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) for a one-of-a-kind complex.

The venture will be headed up by WHEDco, who are partnering with Bard College in an effort to create a quality liberal arts program for grades 6-12 with an emphasis on arts.  The partnership with the BMHC will enable the complex unique access to music education and the space and resources for special performances.

To learn more, visit www.whedco.org.

A new study published in Current Biology has found that humans’ memories of music – stored melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and lyrics – are kept in a separate part of the brain from other types of memories.A new study published in Current Biology has found that humans’ memories of music – stored melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and lyrics – are kept in a separate part of the brain from other types of memories. 

Doctors Christoph J. Ploner, Carson Finnke, and Nazlie Esfahani in Berlin, Germany, studied the brain of a 68-year-old cellist who had developed a severe form of amnesia – he’d forgotten his professional and personal past, he’d forgotten his friends and family, and he couldn’t learn any new information. However, he retained all musical memory and the skill to read sheet music on his cello. The group that organized the findings say that they hope the information can help lead to ways to stimulate other areas of the memory.

The original article can be found at Current Biology.

Teen bands have the chance to showcase their talent by entering NAMM’s fourth annual SchoolJam USA, a national teen battle of the bands.Teen bands have the chance to showcase their talent by entering NAMM’s fourth annual SchoolJam USA, a national teen battle of the bands. The competition highlights teen music talent, gathers students in support of the arts, provides funding for school music programs and promotes active participation in school music programs. Unsigned teen musicians between the ages of 13 and 19, with the majority of band members registered in a U.S. middle or high school, are eligible to participate. Online entry for bands is open from until Oct. 26, 2012.

All finalists will receive prize money to purchase new gear and funds for their local school music programs to purchase needed instruments from local NAMM Member music stores. The winning band will walk away $1,000 toward the purchase of new gear and $5,000 for the winner’s school music program.

To learn more, check www.schooljamusa.com.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently announced the recipients of its Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently announced the recipients of its Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship. Samantha Baldwin (Cobleskill, New York) and Curtis Viselli (Windermere, Florida) were awarded the prize for 2012, which was created by Shannon's family and friends in coordination with NAfME to honor her exemplary life and her love of teaching music.

Kane taught at New York’s Westhill High School and at Soule Road Middle School and was working on her Master’s degree at the University of Florida until her untimely passing in February 2009.

Samantha Baldwin is a recent graduate of Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting while serving as principal flute performer in all of Syracuse's instrumental ensembles and one of three Drum Majors for the University Marching Band. Curtis Viselli received a Bachelor of Music Education, Instrumental Emphasis, from the University of Florida in May 2012 and will begin his first teaching position in the fall. Viselli received the prestigious Reitz music scholarship during his junior year.

For more info, visit www.musiced.nafme.org.

Well-known composer and pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch died unexpectedly on August 6th in Los Angeles. Well-known composer and pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch died unexpectedly on August 6th in Los Angeles. Hamlisch is perhaps most well known for unforgettable compositions from early in his career that were used in films such as The Way We Were, Sophie’s Choice, and Ordinary People. He won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize, and was recently serving as conductor for a number of orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

A full bio and obituary can be found at www.marvinhamlisch.com.

Trailblazing musician and producer Beck recently announced that his next musical release will come not in the form of a recording but as sheet music, leaving it up to the music’s owner to perform the songs. Trailblazing musician and producer Beck recently announced that his next musical release will come not in the form of a recording but as sheet music, leaving it up to the music’s owner to perform the songs. According to the artist, the new work (Beck Hansen’s Song Reader), will consist of 20 songs presented in twenty individual booklets of sheet music inspired by the design of old-time “home-play” style packages, stored in a “lavishly produced hardcover carrying case.”

Discover more about the release, planned in collaboration with the influential publishing house McSweeney’s, at www.beck.com.

 


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