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Healing and development from… the arts

This afternoon, The Hub would like to draw your attention to the (positive) effects arts participation has on the human body. Exposure is certainly nice, but we focus specifically today on the actual doing. And before going further, these come by way of NASAA – the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


First, dance. Without being overly general, all it takes is a look at a professional dancer to know dance is, at least physically, good for you. But recent data from Australia shows that older adults who participate in dance classes see “increases in physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and as well as a general sense of achievement.” See study here. Closer to home, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can seek symptom relief through participation (there’s that word again) in dance classes from Ballet Spartanburg (right, dancer Charlotte Lanning). The company received the 2018 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts yesterday in part because of offering its community classes like this, which can also help those who have experienced a stroke or disorders like autism, dementia, or multiple sclerosis. Ballet Spartanburg offers the only course of this type in the Upstate, and it's led by Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo. Winifred Walsh, who leads a Parkinson’s support group in Spartanburg, had this to say about the course in her support letter for the company’s Verner Awards nomination:

To receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease at age 53 is a life-changer ... A friend urged me to join Spartanburg’s PD Support Group and the Dance for PD class offered by Ballet Spartanburg. I went and I was horrified at first look. I thought, ‘I am not like those people!’ But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed and have stayed for some nine years now. And guess what? I am exactly like those people, people with Parkinson’s who are not wasting time on self-pity ... Ballet Spartanburg Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo has set the bar high for our teachers who find joy in our attempts, who rejoice with us in our successes, who laugh with us often ... Outreach seems such a simple term for such complex blessings to me and to others who have movement and balance disorders. We offer gratitude to Ballet Spartanburg for improving our lives through dance, and also through love. We are not merely people with Parkinson’s. Ballet Spartanburg has made us dancers.”

Learn more about the additional benefits of this program by clicking here.
Second, music. The National Endowment for the Arts is talking music training, which is how people get ready for … participation (that’s a hat trick). Two recent articles “find that music education not only strengthens creativity but also improves brain functions related to language development, attention, visuospatial perception, planning and other executive functions, and short-term and working memory.” Music training can be found, almost literally, everywhere. But lessons can be costly, to say nothing of other potential barriers. But four of the professional orchestras the South Carolina Arts Commission helps fund offer the interactive Link Up program from Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. Link Up partners orchestras with schools (home, private, and public) or school districts to offer an interactive musical curriculum in schools that teach students lessons in theory and can teach them how to use the recorder. The program usually culminates with a trip to see the professionals perform locally, with a twist: during the Link Up concert, the students can play recorders along with the musicians on stage! The four South Carolina orchestras that offered Link Up concerts during the 2017/2018 school year are the Aiken and Charleston symphonies and South Carolina (Columbia) and Spartanburg philharmonics.

Carnegie Hall launches new, free program for high school jazz musicians

Audition deadline: February 1 High school jazz musicians (ages 16-19) are invited to audition for National Youth Orchestra Jazz, a new, free program created by Carnegie Hall. NYO Jazz will launch in the summer of 2018 and serve as a sister program to the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, which was started in 2013 and has toured Asia, Europe, and North and South America with major conductors and soloists. NYO Jazz is an ensemble of about 25 musicians who will come together for two weeks of training with an outstanding faculty, make a debut at Carnegie Hall on the stage on Stern Auditorium, and then travel to Europe -- all-expenses-paid -- to visit several of the most prestigious festivals in the UK, Holland, and Germany. Trumpeter and educator Sean Jones has agreed to be the inaugural artistic advisor for NYO Jazz. He will lead the band and be a featured soloist, joined by other special guests, for the Carnegie Hall concert and tour. NYO Jazz will be in residence at Purchase College, SUNY, just outside of New York City, from July 14-28, 2018, and then on tour through August 10, 2018. The stellar faculty working with the students at Purchase will include Obed Calvaire (drums), Gerald Clayton (piano), Etienne Charles (trumpet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone),  Mimi Jones (bass), Erica von Kleist (saxophone), Matthew Stevens (guitar), and Reggie Thomas (ensemble coach). The audition process is entirely online, and details are available on the Carnegie Hall's website. The application deadline is February 1, 2018, but students should allow plenty of time to prepare and record their audition. Via: Carnegie Hall

Florence Men’s Choral Society preps for Carnegie Hall trip

From the Florence Morning News: The Florence Men's Choral Society is raising funds to participate in the invitation-only Distinguished Concerts International series at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
There’s an old saying: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.” That’s partly true. You also need money. And that’s what the Florence Men’s Choral Society is hoping the community can help with. On Nov. 19, the FMCS will host its annual fundraising dinner and concert to raise money for underprivileged youth interested in music. But there will also be opportunities for the public to help with the getting the choir to travel in January to the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the invitation only Distinguished Concerts International series. “It’s one of those things that I have on our (FMCS’s) bucket list,” FMCS founder and artistic director Julian Young said. It will be a memorable experience for the choir, albeit one that comes at a hefty price. Less than half of the 25 member choir are able to go due to the expense. In all the group is hoping to raise the almost $9,000 needed to attend. During the free concert Tuesday, there will be a special collection in hopes of raising some of the money. Until the money is raised, choir members are having to dig into their own pockets. “We’re basically paying out of our own pocket individually at the moment,” Young said. “The money that has been raised is being spread around the members going.” The idea of going to Carnegie Hall was pretty far down the bucket list until six months ago when Young got a call inviting the FMCS. “I put it down on the list because I’d heard there were ways to get invited to go there. One phone call changed all that and put it at the top of our list,” he said. Matt Oltman, one of the organizers for the festival, saw a video of FMCS on YouTube. “I couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘You are exactly the kind of group we’re looking for and we want you,’” Young said. “I told the guys, ‘This is the time, we have to do do this.’ We are the only male organization in the Pee Dee that have ever been invited to Carnegie Hall. We’re not professional but we’ve worked hard enough to be recognized. This is a great opportunity to be ambassadors for the Pee Dee.” As fate would have it, one of the songs the choir is set to sing at Carnegie — “The Testament of Freedom” — is also a song that will be performed Tuesday night. It was part of their planned repertoire already and is a collection of writings of Thomas Jefferson with music by Randall Thompson. The concert Tuesday night features patriotic freedom songs from all over the world including a selection from the musical “Les Miserables” and arrangements of “America” and the “Star Spangled Banner” with an accompanying orchestra. The concert starts promptly at 7:30 pm in the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary, 700 Park Avenue, Florence, following dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Tickets to the dinner are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $20 for students. Tables are $250, seating eight. WANT TO HELP? To make a donation to the Carnegie Hall trip, make checks payable to FMCS and write New York on the memo line and mail to 1106 S. Edisto Dr., Florence, 29501, or P.O. Box 7258.
Via: Florence Morning News