September 30, 2015
(Pictured above: Some of the more than 60 teachers who will staff our instructional sites this year.)
This year the Harmony Program welcomes over 60 new and returning teachers to work in our partnering schools and community centers throughout the city and on Long Island. Our teaching staff has been trained at the nation’s top music schools, including the Juilliard School, Oberlin, Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Yale School of Music, and New England Conservatory. They represent over 10 states and five countries and perform a range of musical styles — from classical, jazz, blues and Broadway music, to hip hop, funk, pop, rock, and electronica. Most importantly, they all share a passion for our mission of expanding access to music education in under-served communities.
July 30, 2015
This summer, the Harmony Program is holding eight weeks of daily instruction at our Washington Heights, Flatbush, and Long Island sites. Each afternoon, our students work hard to develop their technique, musicality, music theory knowledge, and appreciation for the instruments that they love.
(Pictured above: trumpet instructor, Rebecca Steinberg, with students Elisha Gomez, Frank Tan, and Ethan Tan at the United Palace Theater)
Though our students rehearse with kids from their own schools during the school year, over the summer they join students from other Harmony Program sites. This allows them to meet new friends and to develop their social skills, all while keeping their musical talents sharp year-round.
“We’re really enjoying the extra time that we have with the kids. Their work during the summer is definitely going to pay off in the fall.”
-Larry Markiewicz, Orchestra Director at the Flatbush YMCA
June 8, 2015
On Friday, June 5th, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir concluded their broadcast by naming all of the dedicated students of the Harmony Program as its “Persons of the Week.” The segment focused on a new joint initiative of the Harmony Program and the New York Philharmonic known as the All Star Ensemble.
The Harmony Program’s All Star Ensemble and several other collaborative efforts with the New York Philharmonic are made possible through the Philharmonic Academy Jr., which provides pre-college students with training by Philharmonic musicians.
The inaugural All Star Ensemble consisted of eight Harmony Program students, who were chosen by audition to participate in an 11-day mentorship with the musicians of the New York Philharmonic. The All Stars attended a New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concert, met with conductor Alan Gilbert, sat in on a closed New York Philharmonic rehearsal, and spent a day rehearsing with six New York Philharmonic musicians to prepare for a side-by-side performance that took place on Wednesday, May 20th in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center.
On behalf of the Harmony Program, we would like to extend our gratitude to the New York Philharmonic musicians who participated in this first-ever All Star Ensemble experience: George Curran (trombone), Hae-Young Ham (violin), Anna Rabinova (violin), Qiang Tu (cello), Kyle Zerna (percussion), and Joshua Gersen, the Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor beginning in the 2015-2016 season. We would also like to thank Theodore Wiprud, Vice President, Education, New York Philharmonic, whose ongoing efforts have helped make this and other important educational opportunities possible for our students.
Congratulations to our 2015 Harmony Program All Star Ensemble students: Leslie Alvarez (cello), Christele Cherestal (violin), Wellington Jimenez (viola), Justin Laurenceau (trombone), Sebastian Millien (percussion), Liliana Peeler (viola), Megan Simon (cello), and Mauricio Solis (violin). Congratulations also to all of our Harmony Program students for being named ABC’s “Persons of the Week.” This recognition is a testament to their hard work and dedication to studying music. And finally, thank you to their parents and Harmony Program instructors for the invaluable support and encouragement they give our students every day.
April 13, 2015
The Harmony Program and the New York Philharmonic have announced the launch of the Harmony Program All-Star Ensemble. Made possible through our growing partnership with the Philharmonic, nine Harmony Program students, selected by city-wide audition, have been awarded mentorships with New York Philharmonic musicians. In addition to attending a Philharmonic rehearsal and performance followed by a reception with their mentors, this special opportunity affords students a day of intensive one-on-one coaching by Philharmonic musicians at Avery Fisher Hall and culminates in a public performance in the Atrium at Lincoln Center on May 20th.
Additional details can be found in recent media coverage of the announcement, including a New York 1 television segment (see below), a feature on WQXR’s website, and a brief news reader on CBS News Radio.
We thank the New York Philharmonic for their partnership and congratulate our inaugural class of Harmony Program All Stars!
April 6, 2015
On Thursday, April 2nd, the Harmony Program held its annual gala and honored the New York Philharmonic for supporting the development of young musicians and ensembles. Hosted by PBS NewsHour’s John Merrow, the evening showcased a variety of musical performances, celebrated the achievements of our students, and surpassed its fundraising goals. Below is a video of highlights from the evening:
The Harmony Program gala is always a musical affair. This year we were treated to performances by Ali Bello and his Latin jazz trio; the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, under the direction of David Bernard; and the New York Philharmonic’s Principal Clarinetist, Anthony McGill, violinist, Haeyoung Ham, and teaching artist, Mitchell Lyon. Of course, our gala would not be complete without a performance by our students. We congratulate our Harmony Program orchestra and reserve a special “brava!” for eight-year old violin student, Vanessa Sidemion, who performed an opening duet with Haeyoung Ham.
Our gala evening brought together many of our organizational partners, including representatives of the New York Philharmonic, the City University of New York, the West Point Band, the New York Youth Symphony, G. Schirmer, Warner Music Group, and the schools and community-based organizations that host our after-school programs. We thank them and our parents, teachers, and students for making our work possible and for making the gala evening such a success!
New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist, Anthony McGill, rehearsing alongside Harmony Program clarinetists before their gala performance.
April 1, 2015
Since 2013, the Harmony Program has been partnering with the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), whose members perform for our young students and invite the most advanced among them to participate in side-by-side rehearsals. These opportunities inspire our students to tackle more challenging repertoire and seek advanced performance opportunities.
On March 31st, Harmony Program students at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights rehearsed the first movement of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik with a chamber ensemble of the New York Youth Symphony. Below is a video that captures the fruits of this valuable collaboration.
March 3, 2015
On Saturday, February 28th, 20 of Harmony’s most advanced students from across the city had the opportunity to audition in front of a panel of musicians from the New York Philharmonic with the hope of earning acceptance into the All-Star Ensemble.
These strings, brass, wind, and percussion students have been preparing since the fall for the chance of a lifetime: a mentorship with members of the New York Philharmonic and an opportunity to perform with their New York Phil mentors in the Atrium at Lincoln Center in May. Students who are selected to be members of this All-Star Ensemble will attend a New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concert, sit in on a New York Philharmonic rehearsal, and receive a day of coaching and mentoring from New York Philharmonic musicians to prepare for their performance.
We’d like to thank our judges, George Curran, Shanshan Yao, Mindy Kaufman, and Nathan Vickery, from the New York Philharmonic for taking the time to listen to our students and provide them with thoughtful feedback.
Congratulations to all of our students who have been involved in the audition process; we are so proud of your hard work!