May 19, 2020
The Harmony Program has partnered with Young Concert Artists (YCA) on Community Continuo, the goal of which is to provide continued music education and comfort to all of our students affected by the global pandemic. Each week, a YCA artist offers an online performance and lesson focused on an element of our curriculum.
Trailers of the Community Continuo lessons created thus far can be found here:
March 23, 2020
Since the NYC schools were closed on March 16th, the Harmony Program has offered continued music instruction via weekly online lessons, available to every Harmony Program student on a private YouTube channel. Each week, our teachers record a virtual lesson for our students to follow along with. Students are also encouraged to participate in “practice challenges,” which they can record and share with their teachers.
We hope that our continued instruction during this pandemic is a small comfort to our students in these trying times. We believe in the empowering and therapeutic nature of music, and it’s a great joy to be able to continue to provide that to all of our students.
March 3, 2020
On Monday, March 2nd, the Harmony Program held its 2020 gala at Sony Hall in Manhattan. The evening was hosted by CBS National News Correspondent, Adriana Diaz, and drew a crowd of 250 guests, including parents, teachers, partners, supporters, and music enthusiasts.
This year’s annual celebration honored the Harmony Program’s Board Chairman, businessman and philanthropist, Roy Niederhoffer, and mandolinist and host of “Live From Here,” Chris Thile, and featured an evening full of unforgettable performances, all in support of the Harmony Program’s mission of bringing musical training into under-served communities across New York City.
The evening began with performances by the Harmony Program’s youth orchestra and young fiddlers, alongside Chris Thile. Then Roy Niederhoffer was honored with a surprise pop-up performance that he joined on piano as the entire crowd sang along. The music continued with a duo by Harmony Program bass student, Ryan Hau, and New York Philharmonic violist, Peter Kenote: Listen here.
The annual Harmony Program Award was presented to Roy Niederhoffer by Harmony Program Founder and Executive Director, Anne Fitzgibbon, and to Chris Thile by David Bither, President of Nonesuch Records.
The guests were moved by heartfelt remarks on the power of music shared by violin student, Luigi Auquilla, and Roy Niederhoffer. And the evening culminated in a grand finale with Chris soloing and then joined by the fabulous trio, Time for Three!
March 1, 2020
On Saturday, February 29th, over one hundred Harmony Program students from across the city came together to participate in our annual Youth Orchestra and Chorus day. This was the first year that the Harmony Program offered group choral instruction in addition to our regular instrument classes. For many of our students, Youth Orchestra and Chorus Day is their first opportunity to play or sing in a large ensemble, teaching them the value of musical collaboration and cooperation.
This year’s Youth Orchestra and Chorus day featured guest conductor Mr. Edward Cumming from the Hartt School, and guest teachers Mariesther and Marielisa Alvarez from the Boston String Academy. In addition, Harmony Program Education Director Dr. Christina Placilla led a workshop that explored the history and significance of female composers throughout history.
January 17, 2020
On January 16th, the Harmony Program was pleased to be part of a CBS Evening News feature on the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation’s Music by Black Composers Project. Rachel’s inspiring project has uncovered centuries of compositions by black composers and is helping to enrich our understanding of classical music’s past. In the CBS interview, Pine explained, “Our primary motivation behind doing this work is to inspire young African American students that classical music is part of their history and that you know they’re an important part of classical music’s future.” Our Harmony Program students at PS114 in Canarsie, Brooklyn had the opportunity to explore this repertoire firsthand and share an unforgettable afternoon of music and history with Rachel and violinist/composer, Jessie Montgomery.
For more information, find the full story here:
January 1, 2020
Every year, Harmony Program teachers are offered dozens of hours of professional training to make sure that our students receive the highest quality instruction. Sessions include important topics, such as Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, Using the Harmony Program Curriculum, Creativity and Student Ownership of the Music Making Process, and Music and Advocacy. In addition to these regularly scheduled training sessions, this year also featured guest lectures by Harmony Program board members. Dr. Kalmon Post discussed the neuroscience behind music education, and NY Philharmonic clarinetist, Anthony McGill, shared his personal story and discussed the importance of community engagement. Teachers also receive formal classroom observation, coaching, and evaluation throughout the year.
August 11, 2019
This summer was a rousing success for the Harmony Program, as we were able to offer 5 full weeks of an all-day, intensive summer camp. Beyond just instrument classes, our students had classes in music theory, improvisation, and new musical styles like fiddling. What’s more, they were joined by a a diverse slate of guest artists who offered new musical perspectives for our class of summer students.
Thank you to all who helped make our summer camp possible; making sure our students have the chance to play year-round is an instrumental part of our model.