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Yale music ensembles travel to Ghana this May

Yale Concert Band

Yale Concert Band

The Yale Percussion Group and Yale Concert Band will soon travel to Ghana for 12 days of cultural exchange, musical research, and community service. This marks the first time that the undergraduate Yale Concert Band (YCB), which in 1959 became the first college band to tour internationally, will travel with the graduate Yale Percussion Group. The two ensembles will perform several times, including “unity” concerts at two universities and a joint concert with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ghana.

The participants will also undertake service projects in the village of Yamoransa, with which Yale has an ongoing relationship. While based in Yamoransa, the percussionists will study, perform, and recordtraditional drumming and dance with Ghanaian drum masters.

Reciprocal cultural exchange is an integral part of the trip. Each concert will involve musical exchanges with Ghanaian musicians. Every day the group will be immersed in the local culture, through activities including home visits, storytelling, and student exchanges. MORE

Published May 12, 2014
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Ryan Johnstone ’05 MM named Outstanding Young Bandmaster of the Year at TMEA

At the Texas Music Educators Association Convention earlier this month, Ryan Johnstone ’05 MM was named the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Young Bandmaster for 2012.

The announcement was made on February 9; presentation ceremonies will be held in conjunction with the annual Convention of the Texas Bandmasters Association meeting in San Antonio in July.

Ryan Johnstone is in his third year as the director of band program at Aledo Middle School in Aledo, Texas. Previously, he was an associate director at Aledo High School for three years.

Mr. Johnstone began teaching in 2005 after earning a Master of Music degree in trombone performance from the Yale School of Music. Johnstone is also a 2003 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.

In his current position at Aledo Middle School, Mr. Johnstone conducts the Honor Winds, co-directs the Concert Band, teaches beginner brass students at McAnally Intermediate, coaches brass chamber music, and assists with the Symphonic Winds. He also coordinates the Aledo Music Enrichment Program in the Aledo ISD. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association.

The AMS Honor Winds are a consistent sweepstakes award winner at UIL and invitational festivals.  They have been named a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors Competition and have also been awarded Best in Class at several invitational festivals.  In 2011, the AMS Honor Winds was named third runner-up in the TMEA Class CCC Honor Band Competition in Texas. MORE

Published February 21, 2012
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John Miller ’07MM and students featured on WTNH-8

Picture 8John Miller ’07MM, manager of community programs at the Yale School of Music, and students from the John C. Daniels School in New Haven appeared on a Channel 8 news segment recently. Miller described the program, which began only two years ago and already involves almost 50 students. The program kicked off when the school received 36 instruments from the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Other instruments, he said, came from teachers at the school and members of the community. The John C. Daniels band students are high achievers. In the 2008-09 academic year, they performed at over 30 concerts, and many of them also study at the Neighborhood Music School.

View the video of the band’s WTNH-8 appearance HERE.

Published December 23, 2009
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Yale harmonizes music and literacy in local schools

It is Tuesday morning at John C. Daniels Magnet School. Class is in session and the building is quiet, save for faint music echoing down the sunshine-flooded halls.

Inside the music auditorium, more than a dozen sixth-grade students perch in front of music stands, flutes, clarinets and trumpets in hand. Some play Brahams, others Christmas carols.

Music classes like this one are increasingly rare in American classrooms, as budget cuts continue to threaten the scope of public-school curricula. But here in the Elm City — in a school district plagued by limited funds and a shortage of teachers — a town-gown partnership has made music a priority. MORE

Published February 25, 2009
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Music program hits high notes

NEW HAVEN — Two weeks ago, fifth-grader Serena Santiago secured a coveted spot in the John C. Daniels School band.

With interest high and instruments limited, Santiago told band director John Miller she’d be dedicated to whatever he had for her.

The pitch worked. He handed her a trombone.

Serena now walks to school 45 minutes early and stays after for 90 minutes each day to practice, said her mother, Wendy Santiago. Then Serena practices again at home. MORE

Published February 18, 2009
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