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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.

Tuning Up: Busking is back in Spartanburg + NEA Jazz Masters concert

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Not to go all meta on you, but today we bring a "Tuning Up" solely about... music. These entries are longer than normal "Tuning Up" entries, but we really, really felt like it was the perfect deployment of the feature. Enjoy! -Ed.

Busking returns to downtown Spartanburg

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series is returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District starting this week! The CCC special events coordinator describes the program like this: "Street Music, or busking, is meant to be an intimate experience, not a large event. They are like micro, pop-up performances that are meant to enhance your experience downtown and encourage you to stay longer. You will be able to walk from one end of East Main Street at Liberty all the way to The Grain District and hear a variety of musical instruments, genres, and styles." The Street Music Series launched in August 2017 and ran for 13 weeks. In that time, the Cultural District was host of  145 gigs featuring nine genres of music that more than 1,800 people stopped to enjoy along Main Street.  

Free events celebrate masters in jazz

The National Endowment for the Arts is paying tribute to the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters – Todd Barkan, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, and Dianne Reeves – with a free, Kennedy Center concert in Washington on Monday, April 16. The concert, which will also be webcast live, will bring together many stars of the jazz world in performances that will highlight the NEA Jazz Masters’ careers. The concert will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for jazz, and include remarks by the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, as well as Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center. The concert will include performances by:
  • Terri Lyne Carrington,
  • Nir Felder,
  • Sullivan Fortner,
  • James Francies,
  • Pasquale Grasso,
  • Gilad Hekselman,
  • Angelique Kidjo,
  • Christian McBride,
  • Camila Meza,
  • NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet,
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant,
  • Antonio Sanchez,
  • Helen Sung,
  • and Dan Wilson.
And oh, by the way, you're invited. Up to four (4) tickets per household may be reserved for this free concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by dialing 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home (note: these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 7:45 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018. Print-at-home tickets are unavailable for this concert. Those with ticket reservations should bring their printed reservation confirmations to the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office on Monday, April 16, 2018, between 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to receive their tickets with seating locations. All reserved tickets not picked up by 7:45 p.m. on April 16 will be released and distributed to a ticket giveaway line. If you're not up for a trip to D.C. (those cherry blossoms, though!), the concert will be video-streamed live on the NEA and Kennedy Center websites, among others. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov. In addition, SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz will audio broadcast the concert live.

Mark Rapp designated Columbia and state jazz ambassador

He's sold out Jazz at Lincoln Center four times and played the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. He's performed solo gigs in Vienna, Geneva, Boston, Washington, and – of course – New Orleans. He's taken the stage with Branford Marsalis, fellow South Carolinians Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, and Edwin McCain, Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Delfeayo Marsalis. And according to a resolution by the S.C. House of Representatives, Mark Rapp is now also "Jazz Ambassador of Columbia and the State of South Carolina."  The resolution was presented to the accomplished jazz trumpeter in February by Reps. Beth Bernstein and Kirman Finlay and recognizes him as "master jazz musician, composer/arranger, and teacher" and lauds his many accomplishments. "I am humbled and excited by this recognition," Rapp said. "It not only reaffirms the foundations which Skipp Pearson built, but acknowledges my genuine dedication to the work of growing and serving our jazz community. "My mission is to grow, elevate, and expand the jazz community in and around Columbia through recordings, events, and education, creating a thriving scene for both the artists and our audiences.  I’m determined to enrich and advance the lives of our citizens and the culture of our communities through the wonderful art form of jazz." The designation was held by the late Skipp Pearson, also of Columbia, from 2002 until his passing in summer 2017.

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

Upstate Musicians Registry aims to create database on local performers

From The Greenville News Article by Donna Isbell Walker; photo by Bart Boatwright

The city of Spartanburg is looking to make a name for itself as a music city.

The Downtown Music Trail offers a look at the singers, songwriters and bands that Spartanburg has spawned over the past several decades, and the Downtown Cultural District was launched last fall as a center for entertainment events, art galleries, music venues and more.

Now, Chapman Cultural Center is putting together a registry of musicians with ties to Spartanburg in particular and the Upstate in general.

“Chapman Cultural Center is the main local arts agency here in Spartanburg, so what we’re trying to do is live up to our mission, which is basically to provide cultural leadership, and that includes music,” said Rachel Williams, director of marketing and communications for Chapman Cultural Center. “So we want to be a resource, not only to community organizations, but also the musicians that we serve, to make sure we are identifying them in the community,”

Since Chapman Cultural Center opened up the application process, around 40 musicians have signed up, “and it’s growing daily,” Williams said.

The registry focuses on musicians and bands based in Spartanburg, but performers from other cities in the Upstate may also submit an application to be considered, she said.

One purpose of the registry is so that organizations or individuals looking for a performer of a certain genre, or a recommendation for a local musician or band, can receive a list of recommendations that fit their request.

“It’s about putting musicians to work. That’s our main goal, our No. 1 reason why we want to create the musicians registry,” Williams said. “And then we are getting ready to launch, at the beginning of August, our Downtown Cultural District programming, which will essentially be 12 different gigs for street musicians Wednesday through Saturday in the cultural district here in Spartanburg. And we’ll be doing our own hiring from that registry. And it just kind of streamlines things for us. We just want to make sure we’re including all types of music, and we’re representing all of the music that’s available here in Spartanburg.”

The Downtown Cultural District was launched in November 2016, and one of its goals has been to make sure that downtown Spartanburg has plenty of entertainment events and options.

“The music programming that we’re getting ready to do … was kind of the the jumping-off point. We needed this for our own personal use, but then we realized this could actually be something greater than that. And so it could be a community resource as well.”

Eventually, the registry may be accessible to the public, but in the beginning, someone who is looking for a local musician can contact Chapman Cultural Center to get the info, Williams said.

For more info, go to www.chapmanculturalcenter.org.

Musicians: NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest is back!

Tiny Desk ContestNational Public Radio's Tiny Desk Contest has had a major impact on unknown artists. What began as a small idea turned into thousands of videos from musicians in every state in the country, a national tour, two winning artists and two years of pure music-discovery joy. Entries for the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest are due January 29. How to enter:

  • Create a new video that shows you playing one song you've written.
  • Do it the way you'd perform a Tiny Desk concert: at a desk. (Any desk!)
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Fill out the entry form before 11:59 p.m. ET on January 29, 2017.
The winner will play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR in Washington, D.C., appear at a taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another, and tour the United States with NPR and Lagunitas. The contest is open to undiscovered talent; you can't have a current recording contract. You must be at least 21 years old and live in the U.S. to enter. Check out the website for complete rules and requirements. Via: NPR

ABC Project selected for national music pilot to benefit rural and urban classrooms

South Carolina's Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project has been selected to partner with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to pilot music curricula materials in classrooms. NAfME was named one of 21 organizations to receive a Library of Congress grant on Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS). Seventy-six organizations applied for the grant—including higher education and cultural institutions, school districts, and other educational organizations. The Library of Congress awarded NAfME a $112,527 grant. NAfME will create curricular materials for the Responding area of the 2014 Music Standards using the Library of Congress’s digitized archive of music (audio, video and notational). NAfME will work with experts in general music and choral music to create online curricular materials based on primary sources from the Library of Congress’s digital archive. The materials will be piloted in rural and urban classroom settings in partnership with the South Carolina Arts in Basic Curriculum project, led by Christine Fisher, and Baltimore City Public Schools, led by Dr. Brian Schneckenburger. The final curricular materials will be placed on NAfME’s “My Music Class®” and NAfME’s new learning management system. The new learning management system will allow NAfME to build professional development modules and instructional guides around the curricular materials for an online learning environment. “The mission of the National Association for Music Education is to advance music education by promoting the understanding and making of music by all,” said Mike Blakeslee, NAfME executive director and chief executive officer. “This generous grant from the Library of Congress will go a long way toward supporting that mission by helping provide quality music education resources for music educators.” Via: National Association for Music Education

Greenville Symphony Orchestra seeks executive director

Deadline: January 27 The Greenville Symphony Orchestra seeks an executive director to work in partnership with a volunteer board of directors and Music Director Edvard Tchivzhel to develop and implement the strategic plan that both sustains the current level of operations and drives the organization forward, following its long-term strategic plan. Reporting to the president of the board, the executive director serves as the chief operating officer and is responsible for financial planning and human resources, marketing and fundraising activities, and education and community relations. The executive director leads a staff of nine, which includes the directors of marketing, development, operations, orchestra personnel, education, as well as the controller and office manager. Qualifications include a five-to-10 year track record in cultural or not-for-profit organization management with budgets in excess of $1.5 million. Knowledge of the issues, trends, and developments affecting community-supported orchestras is preferred, as is experience with contemporary marketing methods, including the use of social media. The Greenville Symphony Orchestra is a Group 4 orchestra, with an annual budget of $2.4 million. Send resume, cover letter with salary requirements and references by January 27, 2016 to: Margaret Genovese Senior Partner Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates gvasearch@gmail.com Additional information is available online.

Greenville Symphony Orchestra seeks executive director

Apply by August 5. Greenville Symphony OrchestraThe Greenville Symphony Orchestra seeks an executive director (ED) to work in partnership with a volunteer board of directors and Music Director Edvard Tchivzhel to develop and implement the strategic plan that both sustains the current level of operations and drives the organization forward, following its long-term strategic plan. Reporting to the president of the board, the ED serves as the COO and is responsible for financial planning and human resources; marketing and fundraising activities; and education and community relations. The ED leads a staff of nine, which includes the directors of marketing, development, operations, orchestra personnel, and education, as well as the controller and office manager. Qualifications include a five-to-10 year track record in cultural or not-for-profit organization management with budgets in excess of $1.5 million. Knowledge of the issues, trends, and development affecting community-support orchestras is preferred, as is experience with contemporary marketing methods, including the use of social media. The GSO is a Group 4 orchestra, with an annual budget of $2.4 million. Send resume, cover letter with salary requirements and references by August 5, 2016 to: Margaret Genovese Senior Partner Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates gvasearch@gmail.com Complete details are available online. Via: Greenville Symphony Orchestra

Project seeks to document Orangeburg County musicians

From the Orangeburg Times and Democrat

Throughout this academic year, the South Carolina Arts Commission 2015-16 Folklife and Traditional Arts Grant has supported a project to document histories and living traditions of music in Orangeburg County. Project Director Dr. Peter Hoesing calls the effort the Orangeburg Musicians’ Integrative Community (MUSIC) Project. Hoesing serves as an assistant professor of music history and ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at Claflin University. Two research assistants on the project from Claflin’s Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College will continue to work with Hoesing throughout the Orangeburg Festival of Roses this weekend. Esther Jones of Orangeburg and Melonie Bryant of Lake City will join Hoesing in continuing to collect surveys from musicians of all stripes, whether amateur, semiprofessional or professional.
Beyond the questions on their survey of musicians, they are out to answer persistent, challenging inquiries about this vast county: Who are the musicians here, and how might they like to enhance their interactions with each other? Orangeburg has excellent proximity to artistic and other cultural amenities of larger nearby cities. It has something even better and more accessible than all of that, however: This enormous county boasts a tremendously diverse and talented cadre of musicians and other artists. Their credentials range from stints with James Brown and the Count Basie Orchestra to New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Apollo Theater to Nashville stages and studios. This weekend’s annual Festival of Roses features many of those artists. The festival entertainment began Thursday evening with Showcase Orangeburg and continues with DORA’s street dance on Friday and on the festival stage throughout the weekend. Hoesing claims the community frequently has erroneous ideas about the number of musicians who live and make music here because people know so little about them and they often know little about each other. “What we often notice outside of public performances is that musicians here tend to be quite insular,” Hoesing said. “We stick to our own stylistic and social cliques, rarely understanding that a unified arts community makes us all stronger.” Hoesing said the exceptions to this observation are not limited to Claflin’s annual “Messiah” performance. Local gospel “shed” events and other jam sessions, for example, bring diverse influences into common spaces. Freddie Ford, Louis “Big Lou” Thomas and Men of Distinction frontman David Kitchings have been among the major proponents of such gatherings. Since his arrival at Claflin in 2012, Hoesing has been making music and speaking with musicians in the community. In 2014, he launched the Orangeburg MUSIC Project with two main motivations. First, he wants to generate and energize artistic and cultural links between the Claflin family and the surrounding community. He creates those links by training Claflin undergraduate students in cultural survey and interviewing techniques. A summer research grant from Claflin in 2014 supported Hoesing’s effort to build a cultural survey instrument focused on the musicians here. After building and launching the survey with music and sociology double major Akilah Morgan of Los Angeles, Hoesing integrated the survey instrument into his world music course. Using the initial survey data that Hoesing and Morgan collected, Morgan got her first few opportunities to present research at local, regional, and national gatherings of music scholars. For Morgan, “working on this project meant having the opportunity to meet interesting people and to hear and see them making music in diverse places.” She said, “The project opens up the perspectives of students to learn new things about our adopted city.” As the first university-based research infrastructure in the state to open field research opportunities on this scale to undergraduate students, the Orangeburg MUSIC Project seeks to provide such opportunities to many more Claflin students. However, its aims go well beyond the university. The purpose of collecting this data is to create new platforms for collaboration, foster community interaction and measurably enhance the unique artistic fabric of Orangeburg County.
Image: Gospel group Appointed