Thanksgiving Ensemble | November 27 @ 7pm

Jordan Beecher

Grade:  8th
Age:  13

Biography

I’ve been studying music for 9 years, playing piano for nine, violin for seven, and voice/singing for 3 years. I think back to daycare, where I first started playing the piano. I remember loving my lessons because it meant I didn’t have to do “silent reading time.” (I like reading now) I started playing violin in first grade, the very first thing we did in my lesson was to learn how to properly hold a violin up with your chin. I remember competing in contests to see who could hold up their violin the longest. It is those little, seemingly insignificant things I did as a young child that I remember the most about music now. Throughout my life, I have researched music, for fun, for school projects, etc. One thing that is constant throughout my research is that music is a language. It is a way to communicate with or without words, but express something more meaningful than a speech or conversation. It is a mix of emotions and thoughts, and words blended together to create a masterpiece. I enjoy creating and playing music because it gives me the opportunity to speak a language so meaningful, and the privilege to portray so many different emotions and thoughts others had hundreds of years ago. I love all kinds of music, I’m a teenage girl so it’s not unusual that I like Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Pentatonix, AJR, and millions of other artists and groups. I love 80’s music and hair metal (which are the only thing my dad listens to). I appreciate a small selection of classical music and recently I have been enjoying slower, more depressing music (strongly dependent on the pandemic). I participate in a few extracurricular activities: Volleyball, JYAB for a Precious Child Foundation, NJHS, and Student Council. I think reading, video games, personal hygiene, and shopping are enjoyable as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to study under Beth Secrist, Anna Manalo, and Joshua Zabatta at Maestro Music Institute. I first met Beth when I was four years old and have been studying piano under her ever since. Maestro Music was started by Beth and I applaud her for creating such a successful and educational school of music. I feel like I have been growing with Maestro, it’s continuing to grow just as I am, and I could not be more grateful for the experience I’ve had with them. Thinking about music in the future is challenging, I don’t believe it will be my main profession. I am very academically driven and hope to have an occupation around that aspect of my life; however, music will still be present in my life. Though I am not planning on a musical profession it will still play a very large and meaningful role in my life. I’ve been hearing about Aragorn the majority of my time at Maestro. I’ve always admired his skill, effort, and musical genius along with his genuineness. I am lucky and have the opportunity to play with someone of his skill level. I have been in orchestra for years, but playing with someone who is more advanced than you provides a completely different experience that I have learned from. I have certainly enjoyed this engagement and hope to continue it. I’m looking forward to the end result (sounds cliche). We’ve tirelessly on our music, and duets and I’m looking forward to hearing the outcome.

Synopsis

Ludovico Einaudi, Sarabande
Sarabande is highlighted in “In a Time Lapse” a studio album which featured many of Euinaudi’s (still alive at the age of 64) brilliant compositions, it is described to have “A haunting combination of dreamlike piano and busy orchestral soundscapes.” The melding of the piano and violin create an intense, dramatic and pleasing sound.

Ludovico Einaudi, The Crane Dane
Featured in Einaudi’s most famous album, “Nightbook,” the Italian composer wrote melodic and dreamy pieces that he described as “A night-time landscape.” The delicate
and gentle atmosphere of The Crane Dance is a beautiful verbalization of what he hoped to portray musically and artistically, as depicted by the faintly visible garden on the
album cover that dully glows under a night sky. The left hand’s almost monotonous yet captivating notes in conjunction with the right hand’s phrasing become almost
daydream-like and magical.

Giovanni Battista Martini, Gavotte in G Major
The Italian composer, Giovanni Battista Martini, was educated by his father as a violinist and was fond of music from all diversities of culture, including old French dances such as gavottes. Interestingly, Martini was an impressive collector of so much diverse music literature, that his library was estimated to be around 17,000 volumes. The almost tango-like feel of the back and forth rhythm between the violin and piano-adapted part emphasizes the cultural significance of formal and evenly timed gavotte compositions.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Gavotte in G minor
Bach, a Baroque composer, created incredible music. The German composer had a successful career as an organist and some of his works were published in his lifetime. Bach’s father was a seventh generation musician who carried on the family tradition through teaching his son how to play violin. Unfortunately, Bach lost both of his parents when he was 10 years old. However, this did not stop him from being the “best composer of the baroque era and being considered one of the most important figures in classical music.” His Gavotte in G minor is a mournful composition that blends nicely between the violin and piano. The gavotte was published in his 3rd English suite. “Suite in G minor.” He had a large family (fathered 20 children) and Bach’s Gavotte in G minor is a mournful sounding composition with a diffi

Aragon Wang

Grade:  10th
Age:  16

Biography

  1. How long have you been studying music, what inspired you to begin studies?
    I have been studying music for about 11 years, which was at first inspired by the promise of free candy that I could show off to the Yoga-class kids. However, as I matured, my real inspiration became my love for the rhythmic and mysterious connections it holds with math and self-expression.
  2. What instruments do you play?
    I mainly play the piano and have a simple understanding of the acoustic guitar.
  3. What is a memorable musical experience you can share (either listening, performing)?
    A memorable music experience I have is actually consisting of two parts. I had played quite nervously and horribly at a highly distinguished recital event and was feeling down. However, when I heard the performance of a much older and highly talented girl playing in flawless beauty and calmness, my spirits were quickly lifted and soothed. After that experience, I made sure not just memorize the notes and dynamics of my pieces, but to truly develop that indescribable intuitive sense an expert achieves after many experiences. About a year later, while I was playing my hardest and most vulnerable piece, a Mozart piece, the moment had finally hit me. During that moment, I watched as my fingers and arms dance around the keys effortlessly, and ever so fluidly, forever ingraining me with confidence that I could truly aspire to that girl’s beautiful and calm performance.
  4. What is your favorite part of studying music?
    My favorite part of studying music is listening to my studied pieces become a flowing and flawless experience of storytelling, after practicing and drilling for a long time.
  5. Who are some of your favorite composers/music artists/music groups?
    Some of my favorite composers are Mozart, Debussy, and Hans Zimmer. I also enjoy categorically diverse music artists such as Grandson, Eminem, DEMONDICE, and Neovaii.
  6. What have you learned in your musical collaboration with each other?
    In my musical collaboration with Jordan, I have learned how to coordinate with another instrument more closely and in such detail that goes beyond simply keeping a consistent tempo. I have also learned how to appreciate and closely listen to compositions involving multiple instruments with a more focused and abstracted perspective.
  7. What impact has the Maestro Music Institute made on your musical development?
    Maestro Music Institute has influenced my musical development to become a relaxed, and genuinely fun experience to develop confidence in my playing. In particular, the Maestro Music Institute has imbued me with a passion to keep polishing my skills and playing style in my free time. I became talented in my playing and motivated to practice every day with pleasure, even when my parents aren’t nagging me to do it!
  8. What are your plans for music in your future?
    I don’t have any music-focused plans in my future, but I do plan on maintaining my musical skills no matter what. I plan to use my playing as a possible conversation starter, as a surprising reveal of my talents, and most of all as a meditation tool for good and bad days.
  9. When you’re not practicing/making music, what else do you enjoy? (other activities you’re involved in)
    When I’m not practicing making music, I enjoy teaching myself advanced math, learning to code apps and websites, doing research for my robotics teams, and doing courses about machine learning.
  10. How has this experience of playing with someone else affected you? Have you enjoyed the experience? Do you like working together? Would you want to play together again outside of this performance?
    This experience of playing with someone else has altered my preference for playing as a solo pianist, as well as my way of thinking when studying new pieces and identifying their key elements. I have definitely enjoyed the experience of working with Jordan and would most certainly love to play together again outside of this performance. Her polite and humorous attitude at our rehearsals makes the experience much less stressful and pressured.
  11. What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming recital with Jordan?
    Besides the funny moments of little mistakes during our recital performance that only we’ll be able to recognized and laugh about, I am most looking forward to hearing the harmonious and melodically pleasing unification of all our collaboration.

Synopsis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Sonata No. 8 in A minor (first movement)
Although as cheerful and beautiful as Mozart’s sonatas are, this particular sonata was written around an extremely tragic event of his life: The death of his mother. He was visiting Paris and tending to his sick mother, who would later due on the 3rd of July. Even with only considering the first movement, it becomes understandable to see the musically-expressed grief and anger between him and his father who, for unknown reasons, blamed Mozart for his mother’s death.

Rachmaninoff – Prelude Op. 32 No. 12 in G sharp minor
Amongst Rachmaninoff’s opus 32, this 12th prelude in G sharp minor is an interestingly quiet and peaceful in comparison to the other prominent preludes of this opus. This composition, published early in Rachmaninoff’s career, demonstrates his talents as a melodist and artist. For example, the sounds of Russian bells are played in the higher register of the piano, as opposed to the usual convention of being in the lower register as a clanging bass.

Mikhail Glinka and Mily Balakirev – The Lark (AKA The Skylark)
Balakirev, a close disciple and friend of Glinka, transposed Glinka’s “The Lark” with great passion. The two were monumental figures to modern Russian music, using the stylistic influences of musical geniuses such as Borodin, Moussorgsky, Cui, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Amazingly, Glinka’s frequent traveling allowed him to incorporate teachings of music from the Spanish and French into pieces such as “The Lark.” The composer’s use of a metaphorically soaring and singing skylark perfectly fits the melody.

Carlos Gardel and Alfredo La Pera – Por una Cabeza
Carlos Gardel, a former folk singer turned masterful star of tango music, wrote “Por una Cabeza” as the portrayal of a story in which a man has lost everything, including the woman he loves, after betting on a horse race. The title “Por una Cabeza” actually means “to lose by a head.” Although Gardel and La Pera’s death by a plane crash was immensely tragic, their deaths only immortalized their legacy and fame in tango music. This resulting fame wondrously brought tango music, once considered as the music of the lower class, to the enjoyment of the middle and upper classes.

John Philip Sousa – The Stars and Stripes Forever
This patriotic American march by Sousa was composed on Christmas day, onboard an ocean liner traveling back home from vacation with his wife in Europe. The piece has the form of standard U.S. military march music while representing the three regions of the United States and its union using the final trio themes. The North, South, and West are respectively represented by the broad melody, piccolo obligato, and the countermelody written for trombones. Beautifully, the three regions come together in a musical climax to represent the union.

Hans Zimmer, Klaus Bedalt – Pirates of the Carribbean
Although Kalus Bedalt is the officially recognized composer for the main “He’s a Pirate” soundtrack, the original score assignment and developed themes were composed by Hans Zimmer. In a harmonious marriage to the famous Hollywood images of swashbuckling pirates in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, the main soundtrack theme was composed to be simplistic yet emotionally captivating. Although harshly criticized by many for not purely being music for pirates, the soundtrack’s contribution to the excitement and excellent coordination of the movie series is a crucial factor in the continuation of the series’ popularity.