What is believed to be the earliest known practical example of polyphonic music –a piece of choral music written for more than one part – has been found in London in a British Library manuscript. The inscription is believed to date back to the start of the 10th century. It is written using an early form of notation that predates the invention of the stave. It was inked into a space at the end of a manuscript of the Life of Bishop Maternianus of Reims.

Read more: Earliest Known Piece of Polyphonic Music Discovered

A total of 10 music teachers from 10 cities across nine states have been announced as finalists for the second annual Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. Steven Acciani, Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, California.

Read more: Ten Finalists Announced For Second Annual Music Educator Grammy Honor

On November 9th, the Berliner Philharmoniker gave a memorial concert to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall precisely 25 years ago. In remembrance of the victims of the Wall, the orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, performed Karol Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater followed by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Berliner Philharmonie. Digital microphones from Sennheiser and Neumann were used to record this special event in the highest audio quality for subsequent processing in 3D sound.

Read more: The Berliner Philharmoniker in 3D Sound with Sennheiser and Neumann

As a gong strikes, sounds from 5,000 year old Chinese instruments rise to blend with a 40-piece Western orchestra. Sixty dancers take the stage in front of a 30-foot tall video backdrop as audiences embark on an adventure to long-ago dynasties through the all-new Shen Yun 2015. Shen Yun Performing Arts creates a new production every year with five separate casts that tour the world. Shen Yun returns to Las Vegas this March.

Read more: Performers Explore Dynasties of China In All New Shen Yun 2015

Tom Baker, DMA, was named the interim chair of the Music Department at Cornish College of the Arts. “I am delighted to welcome Tom to this position,” said Moira Scott Payne, Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs. “The department, and indeed the whole college, will benefit from his contributions.”

Read more: Baker Named Interim Chair of Music at Cornish College of the Arts

In three concerts Thursday, January 22nd-Saturday, January 24th conducted by rising Ossetian conductor Tugan Sokhiev – principal conductor and artistic director of Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin – young German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Saint-Saen’s Cello Concerto No. 1, structured in one continuous movement.

Also on the program are Berlioz’s Le Corsaire Overture, inspired by pirate novels and the turquoise Mediterranean waters in Nice, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever-popular Scheherazade, a musical depiction of the Thousand and One nights. 

Read more: Conductor Sokhiev Makes Boston Symphony Orchestra Debut

Haydock Academy, a school in the Oxnard School District, now offers its students the opportunity to learn how to play the piano as one of their electives in a brand new piano lab.

“I didn’t know how to play the piano and we learn which notes to use so it could sound exactly like you were singing,” seventh-grader Ashley Gonzales told News Channel 3 KEYT.
This particular piano lab is the only one of its kind in the Oxnard School District. The principal of Haydock Academy, Eddy Bond, believes the lab is helping the children become better students.

Read more: Oxnard School District Gets Piano Lab

The journal Frontiers in Psychology published a study on Tuesday, December 17th with research which suggests actively engaging in music classes can help improve literacy in children. Scientists at Northwestern University used electrode wires in this study, along with button sensors to monitor brain responses in students. The authors of the study observed that those youth who actively engaged in music classes “scored higher on literacy tests and exhibited improved language functioning.”

Read more: Study Suggests Engaging in Music Classes May Boost Children’s Literacy

The NAMM Foundation invites music educators to attend Music Educations Days at the 2015 NAMM Show, January 22-25, 2015 in Anaheim, CA. Now through January 7, badges are $25, and January 7-16, badges are $50. A two-step registration process is required. Step one; RSVP. Step two; within one week you will receive a personal email to complete your registration and pay for your badge. Registrants must be over 18 to register and attend. The badges are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Universal Studios Resort Youth Program has designed a new professional audio production experience that reinforces national music education standards by putting the students to work in a recording studio environment doing sound-for-picture music production. In partnership with composer and music educator Robert W. Smith, Universal has created an educational program that allows bands and choirs to produce an audio score, sound effects, and voice overs for a motion picture complete with their names in the film credits.

Read more: Music & the Art of Foley: Universal Orlando

Directors who make a Difference

For over 20 years, School Band & Orchestra Magazine has been honoring amazing music educators from all 50 states. That's more than 1000 educators recognized for their outstanding contributions to music education programs!

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO? Tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

Click here to nominate a director 

On the Road

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