[ music in schools ]

Morse Summer Music Academy expands concert series

Morse 2014 044The Morse Summer Music Academy, a partnership between the Yale School of Music and the New Haven Public Schools, is currently taking place on the YSM campus and at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School. With a total of 142 students from 27 schools, this year’s Academy is bigger than ever.

Accordingly, Morse Academy has expanded its concert series to include a total of 38 concerts throughout the program. This includes a series of chamber music pop-up concerts that will take place simultaneously at four different locations on Yale’s campus: the Peabody Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and Cross Campus, as well as the New Haven Free Public Library downtown.

These concerts will take place every Thursday and Friday afternoon during the program—July 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31—starting at 1:00pm. Each will feature 5-6 student chamber ensembles, with groups rotating between the different venues each day. MORE

Published July 9, 2015
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[ music in schools ]

Sixth Morse Summer Music Academy begins Monday, July 6

Morse 2014 278On Monday, July 6, the Yale School of Music will welcome 142 young musicians to the fifth Morse Summer Music Academy, which will take place July 6–31, 2015.

The Morse Summer Music Academy provides free, comprehensive music instruction to New Haven Public School music students. In the intensive, four-week program, each student has a weekly private lesson and takes part in scheduled daily chamber music lessons, ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and master classes. Field trips include museums and galleries as well as the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in northwest Connecticut.

The most significant addition to this year’s Morse Academy programming is the addition of a choral program. With 16 new students and 3 new teaching artists, the choral program will also include daily classes, rehearsals, and chamber music study. Many students focusing on instrumental study will also be able to spend part of the day singing with the chorus.

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Published July 2, 2015
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[ music in schools ]

Four NHPS students receive instruments from Music in Schools Initiative

This summer, during a Morse Summer Music Academy concert, the Music in Schools Initiative awarded four students with brand-new instruments in honor of their hard work and dedication to the program. The instruments were paid for by the John Miller Instrument Fund.

Morse 2014 271The four students, along with their current school enrollments, are:

Jordan Lampo, percussion (11th grade, Wilbur Cross High School)
Joseline Tlacomulco, clarinet (12th grade, Co-Op High School)
Justin Lewis, baritone saxophone (12th grade, Co-Op High School)
Richard Romero, alto saxophone (Freshman, University of New Haven)

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Published September 11, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Pupils Become Maestros

New Haven Independent
By Lucy Gellman

On a balmy Thursday last week, the students of Morse Summer Music Academy fanned out across New Haven for the first of their new “pop up concerts,” setting up shop inside the Peabody Museum and outside the Yale School of Music. Katherine Roque led the charge in a thicket of high school-aged students, joining an ensemble that was down one flutist. A few blocks away, Jocelyn Hernandez, Jesus Cortes-Sanchez and Richard Romero looked after the groups they had been “coaching” for a mere three days, readying them for their first public appearance.

Group1-550x393What sets Roque (flute), Cortes-Sanchez (clarinet), Hernandez (clarinet) and Romero (alto saxophone) aside from the other teachers this summer is not just their bubbly and hands-on approach, but their age. Unlike the Academy’s typical bunch—graduate students at the Yale School of Music and several New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) teachers—the four are newly minted high school graduates, and the Summer Music Academy’s first crop of NHPS student interns. All four are also New Haven Promise scholars.

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Published July 17, 2014
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[ music in schools ]

Fifth Morse Summer Music Academy begins July 7

On Monday, July 7, the Yale School of Music will welcome eighty-eight young participants to the fifth Morse Summer Music Academy, which will take place July 7–August 1, 2014.

AKW_9655The Morse Summer Music Academy provides free, comprehensive music instruction to New Haven Public School music students. In the intensive, four-week program, each student has a weekly private lesson and takes part in scheduled daily individual practice, ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and master classes. Field trips include museums and galleries as well as the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in northwest Connecticut.

The most significant addition to this year’s Morse Academy programming is a series of chamber music pop-up concerts at Yale locations like the Peabody Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and Cross Campus. These concerts will take place every Thursday and Friday afternoon during the program—July 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, and 31—starting at 1:00pm. The public is welcome to attend these afternoon concerts, as well as the more formal evening concerts in Sprague Hall on Monday and Wednesday evenings—July 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30—at 6:00pm. All concerts are free to attend. (Cost of museum admission still applies.)

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Published July 2, 2014
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[ music in schools ]

Morse Summer Music Academy 2013 students perform winter concert

IMG_7841 (1)On Friday, Jan 31, New Haven Public School students, their families, and YSM Teaching Artists from the 2013 Morse Summer Music Academy reunited on the Yale campus for a concert and workshop. Also in attendance were the benefactors of the program, Mrs. and Mr. Lester Morse ’51 BA, who were very happy to see the students’ continued work.

The concert, formatted much like the semiweekly Morse Academy concerts, featured students giving a brief speech about their selection before playing, and receiving a short onstage coaching by a teaching artist afterward. Ensemble performances included a flute trio, a clarinet quartet, a brass quintet, and a string quartet. The four high school seniors attending — Katherine Roque, Jocelyn Hernandez, Jesus Cortes, and Richard Romero, who have all been in MISI programs for many years and are now applying to college Music Education programs — also gave moving solo performances, as well as updates on their college applications. MORE

Published February 24, 2014
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Morse Academy presents final concert August 16

The 2012 Morse Summer Music Academy will present its final concert on Thursday, August 16. The event will recognize the 75 Morse Fellows for their hard work throughout the program. These New Haven Public School students have participated in an intensive study of music for four weeks.

The concert takes place at 4:15pm in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street), and admission is free.

Morse Academy concert, summer 2011

Anticipating the concert, Associate Dean Michael Yaffe said that audiences “will be amazed at the quality of the students’ music-making.” After attending a Morse Academy recital on August 7, NHPS Music Department Facilitator Ellen Maust said, “Yesterday’s recital was incredible; I’m sure next week’s closing concert will be unforgettable.”

The Morse Summer Music Academy includes courses in hearing, conducting, and urban music; orchestral, chamber, and jazz ensembles; and private music lessons. This year’s Fellows were selected in the spring based on an application, an essay, and an audition. In addition to being musically accomplished, Morse Fellows must display enthusiasm as well as the ability to undergo an intensive music instruction program; they must earn at least a “B” average on their NHPS report card.

The Morse Summer Music Academy is made possible through a generous endowment established by Enid and Lester Morse (’51BA) and is offered completely free to students in the New Haven Public School.

The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Street parking is available, and there is free parking after 4:00 pm in Yale Lot 51 on Temple Street (entrance between Wall and Elm Streets).

Published August 9, 2012
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Rubén Rodríguez to lead Music in Schools Initiative

Rodríguez, left, with the brass studio of the 2011 Morse Summer Music Academy.

Dean Robert Blocker announced yesterday the appointment of Rubén Rodríguez as a full-time member of the YSM staff and the Lead Teacher in the Music in Schools Initiative.

The Music in Schools Initiative includes the School’s year-round programs in the New Haven Public Schools, funded by the Class of 1957 Endowment, as well as the Morse Summer Music Academy, which has enjoyed two successful summers so far.

Rodríguez, who graduated with an M.M. degree in trombone from the School of Music in 2011, has been involved in the Music in Schools Initiative since he began working as a graduate teaching artist upon his arrival at Yale. This September, he took the position of part-time band teacher at John C. Daniels School through funding from the Class of 1957 Endowment.

Dean Blocker commented, “His full-time appointment at YSM is a logical continuation and extension of the work he has been doing in New Haven for the past several years.”

In addition to his studies at Yale, Rubén studied trombone at the CNSMD in Lyon, France, the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, and at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota. He has also taught trombone at a variety of universities in his native Colombia.

Rodríguez will continue to teach at John C. Daniels School. He will also administer YSM’s graduate teaching artist programs at ten other New Haven Public Schools. Also in his portfolio will be administration of the City-Wide Honors Band and Chorus, the Yale/New Haven Young Artists Solo Competition, and the Morse Summer Music Academy.

Published November 2, 2011
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Michael Yaffe on arts education

An Emotional Education through Music

These remarks are adapted from a talk given on August 18 at the final event of the second annual Morse Summer Music Academy on August 18. The Academy’s 51 students, who are in grades 5 through 11 in the New Haven Public Schools, undertook four weeks of intensive music instruction at the Yale School of Music. Families of the students were involved throughout the summer and attended workshops to help them prepare their children for future musical experiences. While addressed to the family and friends who came out for the students’ finale performance at Sprague Hall, Yaffe’s remarks have resonance for parents and educators everywhere. They are particularly apt at this time of economic downturn, when arts programs elsewhere in the nation’s public schools are increasingly considered expendable.

These New Haven students have spent a month in the world of emotions. They’ve learned how to play their instruments better, but they’ve also learned how to express themselves better: that’s what music does. And learning about this as young people is going to affect them all their lives.

Emotion: what do I mean by that? I could mean getting angry and hitting someone. But I could also mean getting angry and playing a very loud and aggressive piece of music. And what would you rather have a young person do – hit someone, or play music? MORE

Published August 23, 2011
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Morses visit the Morse Academy

Enid and Lester Morse ’51 today visited the School of Music to attend a concert by students in the Morse Summer Music Academy.

After performances by a clarinet ensemble, a saxophone quintet, and a solo flutist, the audience heard something new: Academy student Jose Meza had written a piece dedicated to the Morses, to thank them for their generosity in founding the program.

Meza, a trumpet player, performed the piece and then presented a framed score to Mr. and Mrs. Morse.

After the concert, students lined up eagerly to meet Mr. and Mrs.  Morse.

Today marked the third day of the 2011 session, and one student performer remarked that she had “already learned so much.”

Founded in 2010, the Morse Summer Music Academy provides free, comprehensive music instruction to New Haven Public School music students. In the intensive, four-week program, each student has a weekly private lesson and takes part in scheduled daily individual practice, ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and master classes. MORE

Published July 27, 2011
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