News / USA

    Musician Preps Kids for Carnegie Hall Debut

    Program pairs professional musicians with students

    Nathan Schram works with his students at P.S. 75, an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York.
    Nathan Schram works with his students at P.S. 75, an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Last October, Nathan Schram was giddy with anticipation.  He had graduated a year earlier from university and had just joined the Academy - a program designed to help classical musicians like himself take on the challenge of building a career.

    The Academy’s philosophy is that, aside from being an excellent musician, success also means being an educator and ambassador for classical music.

    So Schram was assigned to P.S. 75, an elementary school in a working class neighborhood of Brooklyn. He would be coaching some of the students in instrumental music.  Last October, he described how he felt about the invitation to join the Academy.

    "It sounded like it was going to help me communicate better with audiences.  I was going to find a newer audience.  I was going to help people that might otherwise not be able to experience this music and maybe I could learn something from them, too."

    Many days have now passed.  Last month, Schram was working toward the end of PS 75's academic year.

    "It’s nice coming in here and building a relationship, seeing the kids that may be struggling one week all of a sudden are really doing incredibly well the next week."  

    Schram and the school's violin teacher, Zelman Bokser, were helping students prepare for the Link-Up program - where the kids appear onstage at Carnegie Hall.

    "So they’re going to be playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  An arrangement a little bit of a simplified version of it, where they’re going to be doing Ode to Joy with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s."

    Bokser says, in just five weeks, the kids had to learn seven new pieces to perform at Carnegie.

    "None of it, for this particular group, none of it is a stretch, technically," Bokser says. "But learning so much of it in such a short time, that’s a big scramble - and they have to know it from memory."  

    The fourth grade class couldn’t wait to get to Carnegie Hall.

    "My name is Petal Jadeo and I was really surprised, because we never, ever, ever been to play to Carnegie Hall in our lives!"

    And one week later, there they were.

    The kids, in new T-shirts, shared the stage with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and other school children. Carnegie Hall’s vast auditorium was filled with students from all over the New York area. And when the time came, the kids played their hearts out.

    Afterwards, the PS 75 students went to Central Park to eat some lunch and let off steam.

    "I felt very excited," says Lizbeth Nuñez, "but when I was looking at the people I was like “whoa!” - more than 1,000 or 1,500 people were there."  

    A week later, in a practice room at the prestigious Juilliard School, Schram reflected on his year in the Academy, his new friends and colleagues, performance opportunities and especially his experiences at P.S. 75.

    "I just had my last teaching day today and it was, certainly, bittersweet; it was definitely, hands down, the hardest part of the program."  

    Throughout the year, Schram performed in many places, with some of the biggest names in classical music. But, unlike his students, he was not onstage in the main auditorium at Carnegie Hall.  

    But he’ll keep working on it next year, when he completes the second year of his fellowship and his work at P.S. 75.  

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora