September 1, 2011
Kids Around the Bay
Young San Franciscan Reylon Yount is passionate about playing Chinese music, and he believes in theuniversality of his art. Yount is one of 18 bright young people nationwide who was named a 2011 Davidson Fellow, a scholarship granted to students on the forefront of science, mathematics, technology, music, and literature; demonstrating the potential of America's next generation of innovative leaders.
His video portfolio of music of the yangqin, a Chinese hammered dulcimer, has earned him a $10,000 scholarship, and garnered attention for his noble cause.
Says Yount: “Our music world is dominated by Western music, whether it is classical or pop. Many very interesting world music genres are becoming extinct. I wanted to showcase how important world music is, and open people’s eyes to new sound that they might not have explored. Much of is it just as good and interesting as what we know.”
Reylon Yount - Yangqin - Journey to Lhasa
Yount’s project consisted of performing a portfolio of six pieces for the yangqin, which his Mother and sister filmed at home, plus a live performance. He included works ranging from traditional and modern Chinese music to an original composition, plus essays on the significance of promoting cultural understanding through music.
Due to the rich Chinese heritage in the Bay Area, Yount has had company in his musical pursuits; studying with Yang Qin Zhao (teacher at the Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra (see article) and at San Francisco’s Gu-Zheng Society as well as at the International High School.
Imagine light streaming in through mottled stained-glass windows, illuminating a few specks of dust with its rays. The powerful sound of Bach’s Mass in B Minor fills the air, the clear soprano voices of young boys swell against the lower voices of their elders, the viola da gamba provides a rich counterpoint. It could be Dresden, Germany, 1733, but no, it’s the Chapel College Men and Boys Ensemble performing in St. Paul’s EpiscopalChurch in Oakland, Sept. 11, 2011.
Artistic Director Christopher Kula conducts a period-instruments orchestra led by acclaimed violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and the talented male choir as a part of The September Concert, a global event that envelops the world in music surrounding that date, bringing communities together in celebration of peace and humanity. “In remembrance of a tragedy that happened only 10 short years ago, we have chosen to take a wider and more hopeful view of human history by celebrating a creative masterpiece that has endured for centuries,” Kula says. He adds that the audience at this concert will be invited to join the performers in singing the final “Dona nobis pacem” (“Grant us peace”) of the Mass, in a nod to the mission of The September Concert.
The Chapel College Men and Boys Ensemble is the vocal training arm of Pacific Collegium, which presents quality virtuosic literature in concert and liturgical settings. The Collegium regularly performs traditional Latin Mass at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Oakland, where it presents Choral Evensong on the first Sunday of each month.
Celebrate National Arts in Education week, Sept. 12–17, along with teachers, students, and advocates all around the Bay Area. The week will be filled with concerts, workshops and expositions, to be found in the free calendar of public events made available by the Alameda County Arts Commission and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Feel free to enter yours here.
In addition, sessions include a resource fair for teachers, professional development workshops and a panel discussion on “The Collective Impact of the Arts” by civic leaders in the field of arts education. The discussion concludes with a guest appearance by soprano Frederica van Stade and singers from the UC Berkeley’s Young Musician’s Program. A reception on Wednesday, September 14 features a performance by the San Francisco Boys Chorus. Concurrently, the Arts Education Partnership is hosting their fall national forum entitled “Transforming Urban School Systems Through the Arts, on September 15 and 16 in San Francisco. Saturday the 17th, community centers and arts organizations host a family day with free or low-cost activities. Come show your support and have some fun. Check here for events open to the public.
Lisa Petrie is a writer and specialist in marketing and public relations for arts and education organizations. She earned a DMA in flute performance from SUNY, Stony Brook, and is the mother of two musical kids. Lisa was the Content Manager for the Kids and Families section of San Francisco Classical Voice during 2011.