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April 2013 Newsletter

At the intersection of rock, classical, jazz and folk


Darlingside - String Rock Quintet

Darlingside - String-Rock Quintet
L to R: David Senft, Sam Kapala, and Don Mitchell


One of the Music School's standout offerings this April included an afternoon and evening with CCMS alum Sam Kapala and his band Darlingside, as he returned to the school where his music career began in Music & Movement at age 3. This string-rock quintet, consisting of Sam and his four close-knit musical buddies, came to town to talk about the process of making music, organizing and promoting a band, and influences on their creativity.


Following an in-depth workshop featuring student composers Audrey Budington and Fiona Shea performing their original tunes, Audrey offered this observation, "What really stood out to me is how strong their friendship is and how much enthusiasm and love they have for playing music. Their collaborative process is just incredible, and their ability to communicate with others about every detail of the thoughts and ideas behind their music is amazing. Their concert energy is certainly a force to be reckoned with, as well." Fiona added, "It was such an awesome experience and an honor just to get to sit and talk with them ... talking to them and sharing ideas will definitely help us to develop our bands in a huge way. It was wonderful to be able to get feedback from them about our original pieces -- they have inspired more confidence in all of us."


Sam Kapala, for his part, was equally moved and during the evening concert he shared with the audience, "We had a wonderful time this afternoon talking about the creative process and it reminded me of what a special place this is, especially since it is not in a place like Chicago, Philly, or New York (I am sure there are great music schools there, too). But this one is particularly special, because of Peggy, the wonderful faculty, and John Faggiano, my teacher. I think the Music School's focus on bringing together all different genres is great and the stated goal of having everyone fluent or at least comfortable in classical and jazz is a special thing. I feel fortunate to still be part of a community that is at the forefront of that educational process. All the teachers and students here should be very proud of being part of that process, too. This is a process that informs our writing style and music, and it feels like a good fit for us to be here at the Music School. I can personally guarantee that the young musicians we worked with this afternoon are amazing; they are so good at what they do. This next song is called 'the Company We Keep,' and it is the company you all keep and we're grateful 
for it."


As anyone who was able to attend their April 11 Music School concert can attest, it was a terrific showcase of musical friendships formed in school and then writ large on the main stage. We are so happy that this dynamic quintet could spend time getting to know our students and sharing their success, not only in the school environment but on NHPR. Click here to listen to their April 15th "Word of Mouth" appearance.


Teaching how to navigate wisely and be your own best friend on stage
Von Trapps

Ellen Nordstrom, guest artist Skip Gorman, and her students

Bach's Lunch Concert "On Being Julie" - April 11, 2013



Before voice department chair Ellen Nordstrom and students took to the stage in all manner of period dress (including von Trapp apparel shown here) for the Bach's Lunch concert entitled "On Being Julie: A Tribute to Julie Andrews," Ellen spent many, many hours rehearsing and teaching her students "how to navigate wisely and be their own best friend on stage. If you are going to sing anyway," she says, "then why not learn to sing well." For a look into how Ellen coaches students, click here to check out this Concord Community TV segment that recently aired. You'll see a lesson with Ellen and Eileen Kelley (pictured above far right), one of four CCMS students with leads in Phantom of the Opera (Concord High School, May 9-11, 2013). Kudos to Ellen and all of our voice students who are so successful on stage, both at the Music School and in their communities.




A Cygnet of Significance

Emma Chen Servadio
The Swan by Emma Chen Servadio

One of our very fine young piano players, who is all of 8 years old, dazzled the judges with her original composition The Swan, which won Emma Chen Servadio first place for Level I (8-12 year olds) in the 7th Annual Music School piano competition held earlier this month. Emma displayed swan-like grace in playing her piece (to view this video, click here) and then she was most gracious to donate her prize money back to the school in appreciation for what her teacher Anita Yu and all the professionals at the Music School do to teach, encourage, and coach students to play their best.


Of the eighteen very notable piano performances that the judges were treated to that day, first place for Level I (4th-6th grade) went to Emma Chen Servadio; first place for Level II (7th-9th grade) went to Peter Lehmann; and first place for Level III (10th-12th grade) went to Sarah Ingram. To view a full listing of awards,



All-State Results
Carolyn Cunningham

Carolyn Cunningham, principal viola, NH All-State Orchestra


Congratulations to the 20 students who won competitive auditions to participate in the NH All-State Festival April 11-13. Click here to view the full list of honorees from the Music School.


Congratulations also to those who received the highest scores in the audition process - Jordan Hastings of Keene (oboe), Anna Philbrick of Candia (viola), and Moriah List of Bow (alto voice). We are also very proud of our students who were chosen for the All-Eastern Festival: Carolyn Cunningham of Bow (viola) and Rachael Smith of Concord (soprano).


Philbrick at the Philharmonic
Anna Philbrick
Anna Philbrick - NH Philharmonic Soloist

On April 20, Anna Philbrick, CCMS viola student of Rodger Ellsworth and senior at Jesse Remington High School in Candia, was the featured soloist in the NH Philharmonic Orchestra concert at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. As the winner of the New Hampshire Philharmonic 10th Annual Libby Youth Concerto Competition for her award-winning performance ofConcertpiece by Enesco last spring, she received the honor of appearing as featured viola soloist in the Stamitz Concerto in D Major this month. Applauding proudly in the audience was Peggy Senter, who praised the performance as "beautiful in the soaring passages and thrilling in the virtuosic ones." Anna participated in the Honors Chamber Music Festival at Timberlane High School in February, thanks to her high score in the NH All-State auditions, and is a member of the NH Philharmonic, an orchestra which selects a small number of high school musicians in addition to its adult members.


What we all love most, which is to sing!
Music School students in Hartford, CT, with the National Honors Choir
OAKE Women's Choir

Olivia Dodd, Maria Isaak, Calvin Herst,

Laurette Nepa, and Kelly Varnell


Six young women and one happy guy from CCMS were chosen after careful preparation to participate in the National Honors Choir at the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) conference in Hartford, CT. This annual conference in March, centering on the Hungarian Zoltán Kodály's (1882-1967) method of music education, gives youth choirs a fabulous learning opportunity to meet other singers from all 50 states and prepare a performance. Representing the Music School were Olivia Dodd, Maya Fabozzi, Laurette Nepa, Collette and Madison Simpson, Kelly Varnell, and William Veenstra, proudly cheered on by their teacher, Maria Isaak, and Director of Education Calvin Herst.


Olivia Dodd had this to say about her experience, "Singing in the 2013 OAKE National Women's Choir in Hartford, CT, was an exceptional, moving, and extraordinary experience. I, and all my fellow choir members, found it to be a life-changing and strengthening event centered on what we all love most, which is to sing. Eighty-three young women, four days, one director, and one magnificent performance equaled thousands of memories and a wealth of new musical knowledge. The selection of music was a powerful and beautiful mix ranging from an up-beat spiritual, to a folksong by Kodály himself, to the Song of Ruth, a gorgeous piece that left most of us in tears. I'd like to give a huge thank you to CCMS for encouraging me and giving me the opportunity to participate in something like this."


Carol Flavin-Veenstra shared these thoughts on behalf of her son's participation, "Our son, William, had the amazing opportunity to participate in the OAKE National Conference in Hartford, CT. While there, the OAKE children's choir was asked to sing before the start of the Memorial Run (15,000+ runners) for the children killed at the Sandy Hook School. And sing they did! Outside, in a cold wind, our children raised their voices in what became a collective prayer. Everyone stopped, held the hand of the friend or stranger next to them, and listened with sadly-opened hearts. Before we left Hartford, there were hundreds of hugs, pictures, exchanged e-mails, and promises to meet again next year. We departed, changed by each other's presence and eager to come home to the love we knew was waiting at the Concord Community Music School."