Let's Rock out!

Midwest Young Artists will be trying something new this summer. The MYA Summer Rock Experience has no fee and no application, we just want students to show up and have a good time. MYA invites all instruments and even vocalists to join Mark Adamczyk for five Thursdays this summer starting on June 21. Held at the MYA Center in Highwood, we'll be rocking out with our instruments and voices and pushing musical boundaries. "Rock and Roll," "Rhythm and Blues," "Hip-hop," whatever you want to call it, we'll be trying it: and yeah, with riffs, with microphones, with grooves, with a strong back-beat, with solos, and definitely with attitude. Join our "Chamber Jam" and challenge yourself as we give entirely new meaning to the term "ensemble playing." Besides no fee and no application, there is no audition, but students should be able to read music. Come for any one Thursday or come for five. And don’t wonder what it will be like, come and find out!

Heading up the Rock Experience is University of Illinois, Urbana graduate Mark Adamczyk. He has been actively involved with young people and music since he received certification from the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. Mark works with over a hundred children each week, between instrument lessons and the Music Together classes he leads all over Lake County. He performs, with his guitar and his songs, at family events for area park districts. Mark is a composer of stage musicals at the nationally famous Theatre Building Chicago Writers Workshop and can also be caught gigging around the Chicago area performing jazz and rock.

Please join Mark Adamczyk and learn something new this summer! Check out our “trailer!” 

The MYA Summer Rock Experience will meet at the MYA Center from 7-9pm, Thursdays, June 21 through July 19, 2012.

For more information please visit www.mya.org/summer/rock.

Summer at MYA

The other day, someone asked if we closed down for the summer or if our workload lightened.  The answer is an emphatic NO.  Not only do we have many summer programs to get ready for, we are busy planning for next season, MYA's 20th Anniversary.  Allan and I will go to CSO's Keys to the City Chicago Piano Day performance at Symphony Center tomorrow to see David Hyde Pierce.  With his help, we are working on a collaboration with the Alzheimer's Association to jointly put on a concert in Symphony Center on December 28.  Then, we leave for France to scout out venues for our June 2013 concert tour to France, Belgium and The Netherlands.   Check back for news on how this is goes.  Will try to post to the blog during our travels.   

While we're gone, the Gena and Sandra will be working hard on planning and finding sponsors for this year's Music and Family Fun Fest which we have moved to Sunday, August 26.  Matt will be working on soliciting ads for next year's concert program book.  Please let them know if you have any ideas or can help.

The MYA office will be closed from July 28-August 5, but until then, everyone is hard at work getting ready for an exciting season!

End of Season Performances

We concluded our 2011-2012 season today with a Woodwind Chamber Music Recital.  Here's a few photos from other end-of-season performances.
Patsy Dash and Doug Waddell directed a final performance of our Percussion Ensemble on April 30th. Patrick Loftus used the occasion to perform his senior marimba recital before he heads off to Brown University to study Math, Computer Science of Philosophy.  
On May 20th, we heard bass solos played by Alum and graduating seniors, and Mars (from The Planets), The Pink Panther and My Girl (My Bass) performed by the Bass Ensemble led by Dr. D you see pictured.
The Ebony Clarinet Quartet (Scott Greene, Liah Watt, Steven Zhang and Torin Bakke) performed for Wuhan Night at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on May 18th.
On Thursday, Symphony Orchestra performed Holst's The Planets at Ravinia as part of their Reach*Teach*Play Outreach Program.  The audience included MYA Alums, Peter Kupfer and Shannon Mahoney with their nearly 3 month old daughter Sophie and Naomi Bensdorf Frisch with one year old Elise!  Check out MYA on Facebook for more great photos from this beautiful day. 

The Long Haul to Fischoff

We are very humbled by the amount dedication and commitment our students, particularly those in our Intensive Chamber Music Program, have to their music.  It hit me, especially this week, as I've traveled to performances by the ensembles from MYA who are heading to South Bend tonight for the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition which is this weekend at Notre Dame University.  On Sunday night, I drove to Mt. Prospect where Contrapunctus String Quartet performed in a church for family and friends.  Last night, I drove to Aurora where The Alpaca String Quartet performed  for Emily Camras's colleagues and teachers at IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy).

That these students drive such long distances every week (and further) to participate in MYA, reminds me of the efforts of an athlete preparing for the Olympics. It is so gratifying to watch the students work all year towards the goal of a competition, and as Allan says over and over, it is the process that's important.  They have been coached weekly, have practiced weekly, participated in master classes and performed on the Sunday recitals we have 2-3 times a month.  Whatever the outcome this weekend, they all have prepared to do their best.  Also competing from MYA is the Meshugene String Quartet, and No Strings Attached, a woodwind trio.

Did you know?

  • 136 ensembles applied and 48 ensembles were accepted.
  • 28 nationalities are represented in the entries
  • The competition on Saturday and Sunday will be streamed live.  Check out the Fischoff Website for information.  
  • The last 4 Grammy Award winners in Classical ensemble music have been Fischoff alumni
  • MYA Faculty members Julie Fischer, Mandy Dennis and Rose Armbrust are Fischoff Alumni

The Planets

MYA students in Symphony Orchestra are starting rehearsals today on Holst's The Planets for a May 24  performance at Ravinia. The performance will be sure to please the thousands of students who will attend this concert which is part of Ravinia's Reach*Teach*Play program.  This popular orchestra suite of seven movements is intended to convey ideas and emotions associated with the influence of the planets on the psyche.  The composer did not count it among his best creations.  He was, however, partial to his own favorite movement, Saturn.  Pluto was discovered in 1930, four years before Holst's death, but he had no interested in writing a movement for the new planet.  He became disillusioned by the popularity of the piece believing that it took too much attention away from his other works.