Rcbb Education And Community Engagement Proposal


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Education and Outreach Proposal for the River City Brass Band

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Rcbb Education And Community Engagement Proposal

  1. 1. RIVER CITY BRASS BAND EDUCATION and OUTREACH ENGAGEMENT Three-Year Strategic Plan Proposal submitted by Bruce Lauffer March 29, 2010
  2. 2. RIVER CITY BRASS BAND EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ENGAGEMENT THREE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN Table of Contents Outline ……………………………………………….......... p. 3 1.0 Executive Summary ……………………………………… p. 4 2.0 Introduction ………………………………………………… p. 5 3.0 Advocacy of Music Education ………………………….. p. 6 4.0 K-12 Direct In-School Music Education Programs ...... p. 9 5.0 K-12 General Access Music Education Programs …… p. 11 Attachment ……….…………………………………………. p. 19 p. 2
  3. 3. RIVER CITY BRASS BAND EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ENGAGEMENT THREE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN Outline 1.0 Executive Summary 2.0 Introduction 3.0 Advocacy of Music Education 3.1 Goal: Establish a Network of Community-Based Music Education Advocacy Programs 3.1.1 Rationale 3.1.2 Proposal 3.1.3 Three-Year Targets 3.2 Strategy 3.2.1 Public School Advocacy Group 3.2.2 RCBB County Educators' Committee 3.2.3 Superintendents' Night at the RCBB 3.2.4 Education and Outreach Program Page 3.3 Assessment Strategy 4.0 K-12 Direct In-School Music Education Programs 4.1 Goal: To Teach Students, Teachers, Administrators, and Parents about Music 4.1.1 Rationale 4.1.2 Proposal 5.0 K-12 General Access Music Education Programs 5.1 Goal: To Enhance Understanding and Experiences of Music for Students, Teachers, Administrators, and Parents 5.1.1 Rationale 5.1.2 Proposal p. 3
  4. 4. RIVER CITY BRASS BAND EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ENGAGEMENT THREE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN 1.0 Executive Summary As arts education has declined in American schools over the last 35 years, so have audiences attending brass band concerts, symphony orchestras, and other cultural arts events. In addition, general academic proficiency test scores of American students have declined as well. Realizing that a focused, long-term effort will be required to counter the trends noted above, this proposal is a Three-Year Strategic Plan designed to address these issues. This Plan proposes four priority areas. For each of these areas, the plan articulates the following: • Four Strategic goals • Rationales for each of these goals • Strategies toward achieving these goals • Assessment methodology to determine progress toward goal attainment The plan is intended to be responsive to community needs and progress through an annual review and update process. The four educational priorities and strategic goals set for them in this Plan are: • Area: Education Department Development Goal: To support the education development into a sustaining organization unit to reinforce its mission (discussed in the introduction) • Area: Advocacy of Music Education Goal: To establish a network of community-based music advocacy programs • Area: K-12 Direct In-School Education Programs Goal: To teach students, teachers, administrators, and parents the love of music • Area: K-12 General Access Music Education Programs Goal: To enhance understanding and experiences of/in music for students, teachers, administrators, and parents p. 4
  5. 5. 2.0 Introduction The need for American brass bands to invest in education has become essential toward securing audiences for the future. The decline in arts education offerings in the public school curriculum has resulted in the loss of audience attendance by specific age groups. This de-emphasis on arts education can be traced back to the 1960s with the introduction of an education agenda, which emphasized increased productivity in the areas of math and science. This shift cultivated a societal perception that arts courses were not essential to complete educational development; a condition which we still endure. Through implementing effective education programs and by initiating music and arts education advocacy activities, The River City Brass Band (RCBB), needs to counter this decline in the State of Pennsylvania, specifically in the city of Pittsburgh, and the surrounding communities. The RCBB could build relationships through experiences with students, teachers, administrators, and parents that will result in their benefitting from and supporting the RCBB throughout their lives. I am submitting this Three-Year Strategic Plan to the administration and Board of Directors, because I believe that we need to ensure that these critical issues are identified, prioritized, addressed, and then weighed against available resources. The Plan establishes strategic goals, determines the most effective strategies for reaching these goals and finally, sets measurable benchmarks for evaluating progress toward goal attainment. I firmly believe we must be reaching out to the schools to generate interest in the RCBB among young people, to ensure future audiences. The goals, strategies and programs outlined in the Plan are intended to be consistent with the mission of an Education and Outreach Department of the RCBB. This mission would be to serve as an educational and cultural resource to the State of Pennsylvania, specifically the city of Pittsburgh, and the surrounding communities. This can be accomplished by offering accessible, effective, and comprehensive education programs which work cooperatively with educational and community resources and organizations. Since its founding in 1981, the RCBB has been committed to creating future generations of arts-conscious and musically-knowledgeable citizens. I am ardent in my belief that an arts education is a crucial component in ensuring a high quality of life for all residents of the region. The RCBB is dedicated to serving students, educators, parents and adults in learning and experiencing brass band music. p. 5
  6. 6. 3.0 Advocacy of Music Education 3.1 Goal: Establish a Network of Community-Based Music Education Advocacy Programs 3.1.1 Rationale A network of community-based advocacy groups can contribute to reversing the trend of declining arts education in the K-12 curriculum by:  making this an issue in the public and private sectors  building awareness and support for the need to rebuild arts education Over the last three decades arts education has been disappearing from the school curricula at a rate so rapid that today many American cities have no music teachers where there used to be thriving music programs. Concurrent with this decline in arts education, there has been a decline in general education test scores in American schools. These trends are related, and current research indicates that reversing the decline in arts education will have a positive effect on reversing the decline in general academic performance of American students. (See Attachment) Education, be it in the home or school, is a means of fostering a future audience. Community activism on behalf of music education will communicate the general and specific benefits of music education and bring about awareness that will lead to changes in attitude and allocation of public and private resources. These community-based music education advocacy programs will support all other areas of this Plan. 3.1.2 Proposal Proposed music education advocacy programs are: • Public Schools’ Advocacy Group • RCBB Educators' Committee • Superintendents' Night at the RCBB • Education & Outreach Program Page A Public Schools’ Advocacy Group (PSAG), to be formed by music teachers in the local area school districts. Membership includes local county educators, board members, parents, and community arts managers, including the RCBB Education and Outreach representative. The River City Brass Band Educators’ Committee (RCBBEC), to be formed to support the general music access programs of the Education Department. This Committee would be comprised 13 members from several local counties (Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties), who are music educators and early childhood specialists. Committee members will create curriculum enrichment materials for teachers and students attending the “Brass for Kids” programs of the RCBB. In addition, members will serve in an advisory capacity for various project committees for the RCBB.
  7. 7. p. 6 Superintendents' Night at the RCBB will be designed by the River City Brass Band Educators' Committee to reach public school administrators and Board members. This program will grow into a special event, building awareness of the positive impact of quality arts education programs. We need to work especially hard in the areas of education and outreach, reintroducing the RCBB to school administrators and community leaders. The Education & Outreach Program Page in the subscription program booklet acquaints subscribers and single ticket buyers with current issues relating to music and arts education in the public schools. This page will highlight current programs in schools as well as the decline of arts education in school districts. The page also will have information on who subscribers should contact to help restore the benefits of music and arts education. 3.1.3 Three-Year Targets The need to invest in advocacy issues is becoming increasingly important every year. It is an essential step toward enhancing general education performance and ensuring the development of culturally literate, knowledgeable, supportive audience members for the future. The proposal through the next three years of this Plan: • RCBB Board members will expand advocacy efforts; • A greater number of RCBB musicians will speak at school board meetings in their communities; • PTO/PTA involvement in music education advocacy will increase; • Community advocacy groups will be formed, using the Community Outreach Program contacts and area educators; • Specially-designed events in the lobby of the auditorium (RCBB venues) will heighten awareness for advocacy efforts. 3.2 Strategy Strategies to establish a Network of Community-Based Music Education Advocacy Programs will focus on enhancing existing program activity and increasing the range of community-based groups active in music education advocacy efforts. 3.2.1 Public Schools’ Advocacy Group The PSAG's efforts on behalf of music and arts education will be supported by the RCBB Education and Outreach representative, the RCBB musicians, and the RCBB Educators' Committee. These dedicated advocates will lobby the local area School Board members and the Superintendents toward ensuring music and arts education opportunities in the school curriculum. The PSAG will work to see that music and arts education interests are represented at every appropriate Board and administrative activity, including School Board Open Hearings.
  8. 8. p. 7 3.2.2 River City Brass Band Educators' Committee The River City Brass Band Educators' Committee will work to support the general music access programs of the RCBB Education and Outreach Department. Comprised of 13 music educators, the Committee's activities will focus on general access program and arts advocacy support, including an annual Superintendents' Night at the RCBB. In addition, subcommittees will be formed to focus on: • Identification of secondary research findings to support advocacy initiatives; • Identification of other individuals in the educational community to support advocacy efforts; • Creation of new community advocate opportunities and initiatives; • Assisting Board of Education Committee members in identifying and focusing advocacy efforts; The RCBB Educators' Committee will work closely with the RCBB representative for Education and Outreach. 3.2.3 Superintendents' Night at the RCBB Superintendents' Night at the RCBB will serve as the focal point for the continuing community-based advocacy efforts as it serves to bring together key education personnel throughout the region to the lobby of the auditorium (RCBB venues) for demonstrations of advocacy efforts and issues. At this event, current advocacy activities will be highlighted and information regarding the importance of music education in the school curriculum will be available. It is the intent of this event to reach individuals in all levels of the region's public school systems. This program will serve to reinforce the benefits of music education and recognize progress made in the local area Public School Districts. In addition, an Educators' Night at the RCBB will be instituted which will reach a broader range of educational personnel. 3.2.4 Educational and Outreach Program Page and Newsletter The Education and Outreach Program Page will continue to keep RCBB audiences abreast of education programs and progress. It will serve to reinforce the need for community support for music education programs and their benefits to the community at large. A newsletter will be developed which will be circulated to education and community personnel, aimed at educating and informing the community about the activities of the RCBB, education & outreach activities, and recent advocacy initiatives. 3.3 Assessment Strategy Progress towards this goal will be based on achieving the programs activities. This will include a number of new advocacy programs implemented and the level of activity in current advocacy programs. Progress towards the advocacy objectives outlined in the advocate team packet will serve as a measure of progress for each advocate team. Initial monitoring of team progress will be crucial toward developing these groups, as these advocate teams will eventually become self-sustaining resources for their communities and the RCBB.
  9. 9. p. 8 4.0 K-12 Direct In-School Music Education Programs 4.1 Goal: To Teach Students, Teachers, Administrators, and Parents about Music 4.1.1 Rationale Music education programs in the schools are the greatest need and must be one of the RCBB’s highest priorities. These are the programs which thirty-five years ago were reaching the greatest number of American children, and which have the potential to reach the greatest number today and in the future. Unfortunately, a major city like Boston, with hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in the public schools, has no music teachers at all! Partnering with established public school systems is a cornerstone of the RCBB's approach to education programs. These programs: • take advantage of existing structures which provides access to the largest number of students; • enable artists to reach and impact students individually; • make optimum use of the RCBB's limited resources to achieve the highest quality results; • present a high success probability because of existing advocacy efforts and the receptive nature of these institutions. In addition, it has been demonstrated that students who have music and the arts in their curricula are better students in other areas (See Attachment). Study of music develops a variety of skills and intellectual habits including imagination; ability to organize thoughts, ability to perceive large, complex topics; problem solving; judgment; self-esteem and self-assessment; interpersonal skills; discipline; work habits; and confidence. Arts education in the curriculum has been directly linked to higher SAT scores. By working with the schools to integrate the study of music into other curriculum areas like science, math, and language, the general performance level of students in most areas will improve. This integration is based on a thematic, cross-disciplinary curriculum. The curriculum enhances the in-school presentations as well as the general performances, by including thematic material in other subject areas. Training teachers to incorporate this cross-disciplinary approach in their classroom is crucial toward developing successful, sequential, and effective in-school programs. Involving teachers in partnership positions with musicians and staff can prove successful in forming meaningful collaborations. Toward this end, hosting in-service workshops for teachers at the lobby of the auditorium (RCBB venues) with musicians present will enable the RCBB to establish positive working environments for both teachers and musicians.
  10. 10. p. 9 4.1.2 Proposal Proposed in-school programs include: • Classroom Brass • Instrumental “Petting Zoos” • Encounter / Performance Program • Side-by-Side Concerts / Master Class / Coaching Sessions • Outreach Extensions These programs and their benefits are discussed below: Classroom Brass The program provides students in grades K-3 the opportunity to experience the instruments of the brass band through multi-disciplinary workshops based on a thematic selection of literature. During each performance workshop, a chamber ensemble from the RCBB (trio/quartet/quintet) demonstrate their instruments, perform a wide variety of music as accompaniment to a narrated story and teach musical concepts such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and tone color. These programs are provided in classrooms in local elementary schools. Musicians and teachers will incorporate multi-cultural elements through interactive, age-appropriate, and when possible cross-disciplinary presentations. Instrumental “Petting Zoos” Hands-on fun with instruments! Children (and their parents) have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the brass band instruments they will see professionally played on stage (prior to selected concerts). The RCBB musicians may also travel to area schools to give elementary students the opportunity to see and hear the different instruments of the orchestra – up close and personal in their classroom. Encounter / Performance Programs These programs, which are comparable to the "Classroom Brass Band", are aimed at secondary students. This program is to be implemented in two phases. The first phase, the encounter sessions, brings RCBB musicians into the classroom for lecture/demonstration presentations. The second phase, the performance, involves transporting students to the auditorium (RCBB venues) to hear a RCBB open rehearsal or lunchtime concert.
  11. 11. p. 10 Side-by-Side Concerts / Master Class / Coaching Sessions Side-by-Side concerts allow for connection with the students in order to develop authentic mentorship opportunities and to increase impact on individual young musicians and on the ensemble as a whole. RCBB musicians and conductor will present master classes and coaching sessions in the local area public schools as part of this program. In addition, selected high school students will participate in two special side-by-side rehearsals with the musicians of the RCBB. A side-by-side performance would be the culminating event of the program. Outreach Extensions The RCBBEC would work cooperatively with the RCBB Education and Community Outreach Program to complement outreach activities with educational extensions in schools. In-school program extensions will be created based on community interests and resources. Extensions would include trios, quartets, presentations, mini-concerts, and side-by-side rehearsals and performances. 5.0 K-12 General Access Music Education Programs 5.1 Goal: To Enhance Understanding and Experiences of Music in Students, Teachers, Administrators, and Parents 5.1.1 Rationale The RCBB has several broad-based music programs that it currently offers to students in area school districts. The River City Youth Brass Band is an example of this. I believe we need to develop new programs, expand and upgrade existing ones, and aggressively market all of the programs to reach as many students as possible. These programs need to provide exposure and enrichment to large numbers of students who cannot be reached by the highly focused in-school programs. These programs are also a valuable follow-up element of the in-school programs themselves. General access music education programs will be for many students the only access they may have to the RCBB and its music. Students will benefit from these programs; programs impact the student at his/her current knowledge base and move them forward toward an expanded level of understanding of brass band music and its impact. The large number of geographically and culturally-diverse students reached in these programs constitutes one of the RCBB's major contributions to the quality of life in the city of Pittsburgh, the surrounding communities, and the State of Pennsylvania.
  12. 12. p. 11 5.1.2 Proposal Proposed programs include: • Brass with Special Needs • RCBB Young Artists’ Competition • RCBB Young Composers’ Competition • Shared Brass • Side-by-Side Brass • RCBB School of Music • RCBB Master Classes • RCBB Summer Camp • Brass with Class • Brass for Kids • RCBB Visual Arts Project / Gallery of Student Art • Family Brass (RCBB Mascot) • Community Brass • RCBB Open Rehearsals • Inside Brass (pre-concert talks) • River City Youth Brass Band These programs and their benefits are discussed below: Brass with Special Needs These concerts will be performed for mentally, physically, and emotionally-challenged children and adults. Chamber ensembles (trios/quartets/quintets) would perform in area facilities, which will reach children and adults who are typically unable to attend a subscription series concert. RCBB Young Artists’ Competition Beginning in the winter of 2011, the RCBB will hold a Young Artists’ Competition for high school-aged brass players and percussionists. Each student entered will perform a solo piece from a list of standard repertoire chosen by the event organizers. The performers will be judged on tone and intonation, technical proficiency, and musicality by a panel of three adjudicators, selected by the RCBB. Prizes will be awarded to the top three contestants. In addition, the winner will be invited to perform with the RCBB at a concert in the spring.
  13. 13. p. 12 RCBB Young Composers’ Competition As part of the RCBB’s long-standing commitment to American music, the RCBB will provide the opportunity for young composers to submit new brass band compositions. The winning composition will be premiered and professionally recorded by the RCBB on a subscription concert and would be included in the RCBB rental library. This program over-time, will add to the brass band repertoire in the United States. Shared Brass Each year, the RCBB would schedule, at the school-director’s request, a number of concerts shared with school band programs. These events would be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to scheduling limitations. These events may be in a “concert only” format or a “clinic/concert” format. • In a typical “concert only” format, the school band will perform first, followed by the RCBB, and finally a combined performance of at least one piece. This is only a generic format and may be customized by the school band director to suit their particular needs. Combined rehearsal will typically take place directly before the concert. • In a typical “clinic/concert” format, pedagogy clinics will be conducted prior to the shared concert. These clinics will be given by members of the RCBB and will focus on brass and percussion pedagogy and performance skills. This format will require scheduling on a weekend, to allow time for the clinic and the concert. These concerts may be ticketed events and may be used as fundraisers for the school program. Side-by-Side Brass Side-by-Side concerts allow for connection with the students in order to develop authentic mentorship opportunities and to increase impact on individual young musicians and on the ensemble as a whole. RCBB musicians and conductor will present master classes and coaching sessions in the local area public schools as part of this program. In addition, selected high school students will participate in two special side-by-side rehearsals with the musicians of the RCBB. A side-by-side performance would be the culminating event of the program.
  14. 14. p. 13 RCBB School of Music The RCBB would announce the opening of the RCBB School of Music. The RCBB School of Music would provide a place where families come to learn and experience the power of music. Students as young as two, up through adults would work with RCBB musicians to develop their musical talents. Through private instruction, group classes, and enrichment activities, each student would experience the transformational power of music while learning and growing together. Additional classes in music theory, history lessons, conducting, and composition would be offered to perpetuate the experience of superb musical performances and continuous musical education for all people. RCBB Master Classes Presented four to five times during the school year, the River City Brass Band will present master classes to any interested middle and high school age student. These Master Classes will be an opportunity to introduce serious brass and percussion students in our region to additional performance opportunities and the various pedagogical perspectives of our esteemed musicians of the RCBB. The 3-hour event will include individual master classes by RCBB musicians. The event will also include performances of several selected participants, as well as by musicians of the RCBB. These will be held in September, November, January, March, and May (Saturday). RCBB Summer Camp A one or two-week intensive training program, taking place at a local Pittsburgh University (opportunity to form partnership here) for brass and percussion musicians in middle and high school. The RCBB’s musicians would provide lessons, music theory, history lessons, sectional rehearsal and large group performance experiences. The program would conclude with a final public performance with the camp musicians and the RCBB. Brass with Class The Brass with Class is a music-coaching program which addresses specific music education needs at the middle school and high school level in the local public schools. Brass with Class would provide school instrumental programs with diagnostics and coaching, consultations, resources and supplies, and access to specially selected RCBB concerts. Because teachers would request Brass with Class assistance based on their program’s specific needs, the Brass with Class program would differ at each site. Brass with Class would be presented free of charge.
  15. 15. p. 14 The two main components of Brass with Class are: • Coaching: The principal part of Brass with Class is coaching, which is provided by teaching artists selected by the RCBB’s Education Department. Site music teachers request Brass with Class teaching artists for particular instruments or instrument-sections. The teaching artists’ sessions may range from coaching fundamentals to rehearsing ensembles. Coaches and site music teachers would spend time together discussing student challenges, instructional goals, and desired outcomes, as well as logistics such as coaching days, times, and locations. Site teachers may also request Brass with Class assistance for diagnostic purposes: checking embouchure placement, matching mouthpieces, checking sticking/mallet grips, recommendations on purchasing brass and percussion equipment, etc. • Resources for Music Teachers: The second aspect of Brass with Class is that the program would offer resources to support site music teachers. These can range from providing breathing exercises, warm-up techniques, technical exercises, better mouthpieces, instrument repairs, music books, and many other resources as requested by the site music teacher in discussion with the Brass with Class teaching artist and the RCBB Education Department. Brass for Kids Brass for Kids is a special weekday concert program for school groups, which would be presented at a local venue in the Pittsburgh area. This program would provide an opportunity for schoolchildren to experience a live brass band concert, performed by the RCBB. Brass for Kids is designed specifically for schoolchildren. The performances are designed to be engaging, exciting, and fun, with great music that’s chosen for its appeal to young listeners. The conductor serves as narrator and guide. Local music teachers will be provided a study guide and CD in advance to help prepare the schoolchildren, so they will have a successful experience. Study guides and a free CD will be sent to all schools (including home schools) ordering tickets to Brass for Kids. The study guide contains: • Information on the RCBB • Drawings of instruments suitable for duplication and distributing to students • Background on the music and composers being presented • Activities for introductory and follow-up learning experiences in the classroom • A CD narrated by the conductor, who previews the music being performed, and who gives tips on “How to Listen” attentively to music.
  16. 16. p. 15 The study guide and CD are integral elements of the Brass for Kids experience. As in any curricular area, students’ learning is enhanced when it can be based on prior skills and knowledge, structured sequentially, when learning can happen experientially, and when a web of connections can be made across disciplines. The study guide and CD assist in these modes of instruction. RCBB Visual Arts Project / Gallery of Student Art Visual Arts Project is a program initiated by, and managed and coordinated exclusively by the RCBB. It encourages students to create drawings that capture aspects of their trip and the performance of the RCBB Brass for Kids. The purpose of the Visual Arts Project is to encourage an appreciation of the concert as a visual experience as well as a musical one, and to provide follow-up to the RCBB visit. Students may capture any aspect of the visit: the RCBB, the music, the building, or even the audience – any of these may be subjects for illustration. All students who submit an artwork would receive a Certification of Participation. The artworks will be juried, and a number of them chosen for public exhibition. Family Brass (RCBB Mascot!) Family Brass is a popular concert series designed for the entire family to introduce children and their parents to the wonders of a live brass band concert. Part performance, part family outing, these affordable afternoons will spark the imagination of the whole family. Concerts include great brass band music, informative talks, musical demonstrations, and free musical materials for use at home. The concerts are designed to be educational and engaging. These concerts aim to reach children through participatory activities, by incorporating hands-on, pre-concert activities, concert interaction and post-concert reinforcement. These concerts are also aimed at developing parental interest in the RCBB. Parents of these students are generally of the 'baby-boom' age. The RCBB Mascot also performs in the community and in schools. During the upcoming season, children will help to design and name the RCBB mascot which will be used for future Family Brass and Brass for Kids. The winning student(s) may win season tickets to the RCBB for the following season. Ticket-buyers would receive a free Family Brass Activity Guide at the start of the season. In addition, a few days prior to each concert, each family would receive a special Program Guide. Along with the Program Guide, may come a related music education resource, such as a book or CD. These guides and resources help families prepare for the concerts, and provide opportunities for continued music
  17. 17. engagement at home once the concert is over. Child-friendly start and end times would make it easy for children to experience the music. p. 16 Community Brass The RCBB would annually offer free concerts for the community, attracting audiences who might not otherwise attend a subscription concert. A summer concert draws a diverse audience of people throughout Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties. The RCBB would maintain partnerships with local community organizations and institutions to support these concerts. Engagement activities include free educational/family presentations and chamber music concerts at community venues, tickets to RCBB’s concerts, and participation in community events. Partnership Programs provide opportunities for participants to create enduring and evolving connections to music. Created in partnership with various organizations throughout the region, these programs are aimed at both general and under-served student populations, and are designed to enhance both musical understanding and general learning skills. Through these partnerships, RCBB would be developing future generations of arts-aware and musically- knowledgeable citizens. RCBB Open Rehearsals The RCBB Open Rehearsals would offer a unique view of the intense preparation that goes into a professional brass band performance. During the rehearsal break, students (grades 6-12, college, and adults) would have the opportunity to meet with the conductor, guest artist, and or RCBB musicians for a brief question and answer session. “Inside Brass” (Pre-Concert Talks) The RCBB’s adult education programs would provide opportunities for enhancing the concert experience. Join us one hour before select concerts for a free pre-concert talk. Inside Brass talks are designed to enhance your enjoyment of the concert by providing insights into the works on the program – bringing you “inside” the music. Our roster of speakers would include a variety of music professionals who will bring different viewpoints and approaches to their conservations about the music. Some of the approaches might include exploring why a composer wrote a particular work, examining the social and historical context of a particular piece of music, looking at how a piece of music is constructed, and guided listening through recorded excerpts of the works being performed. (Roster of speakers may include: conductor, guest artists, musicians in the RCBB, local radio/TV announcers – i.e. Jim Cunningham; local professors from nearby universities).
  18. 18. p. 17 River City Youth Brass Band The River City Youth Brass Band (in residence at Carnegie Mellon University) offers a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists in Western Pennsylvania. The band, founded in 1986, enables young musicians to hone their craft under the close supervision of professional players. The RCYBB is open to brass and percussion players from Western Pennsylvania, grades 7 through 12. This auditioned ensemble, conducted by Drew Fennell, the River City Brass Band’s Associate Conductor, meets twenty- five times each season for sectional coaching by RCBB musicians and for full ensemble rehearsal. Students gain valuable musicianship playing quality music at a very high level. Two or more concerts are staged each year, and participants in the program are afforded the opportunity, on a frequent basis, to see the River City Brass Band in performance. The River City Youth Brass Band experience goes far beyond the ordinary. In recent years, the band has appeared onstage with the River City Brass Band at Heinz Hall, performed for a crowd of thousands on the 4th of July at Point State Park and collaborated with the likes of broadcasting legend Lanny Frattare ("The Voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates"). In 2009, a new initiative was begun to regularly commission new works for the ensemble. And, selected from among 140 applicants, the RCYBB will appear at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State In-Service Conference in 2010. Approximately fifty of Western Pennsylvania's most talented young brass and percussion players participate in the River City Youth Brass Band program each semester, and well over one-thousand musicians have come through the program in its twenty-three year history.
  19. 19. p. 18 Attachment "Arts Education and SAT Scores As arts education has declined in America, so have the test scores of American students. Conversely, in 1993: • SAT takers with course work/experience in music performance scored 45 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 32 points higher on the math portion than students with no course work or experience in the arts. • Scores for those with course work in music appreciation were 54 points higher on the verbal and 37 points higher on the math portions respectively. • Students in specific arts-based curriculum programs tested against comparable non-arts-based curriculum students scored consistently and appreciably higher in non-arts subjects, particularly math and science, and had fewer days absent as well. Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, A Trend Study of High School Offerings and Enrollment: 1972-73 and 1981-82. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp.39,55. The College Board, Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers for 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994. McCarthy, Kevin J. Music Performance Group Membership and Academic Success: A Descriptive Study of one 4-Year High School, Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, 1992.
  20. 20. p. 19