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In New York High Schools, the Sound of Music Is Muted

May 16, 2018

Between 2002 and 2013, New York City closed 69 high schools, most of them large schools with thousands of students, and in their place opened new, smaller schools. But one downside of the new, small schools is that it is much harder for them to offer specialized programs, whether advanced classes, sports teams, or art or music classes, than it was for the large schools that they replaced.

Educators say the key to maintaining a robust music program on small school campuses is collaboration. To succeed, principals must coordinate bell schedules, share classroom space and even split teacher salaries.

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Gayle Shepherd of the Singing Shepherd Sisters Dies at 81

May 10, 2018

Gayle Shepherd, a member of the vocal quartet the Shepherd Sisters, best known for the 1957 hit,  Alone (Why Must I Be Alone), died on Monday at a care facility in Allentown, Pa. She was 81.

Ms. Shepherd, the second youngest of eight siblings, grew up singing in church in Middletown, Ohio. She and two sisters, Martha and MaryLou, performed locally as the Shepherd Sisters beginning when they were teenagers, with Gayle often singing lead.

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Mean Girls on Broadway: What’s New in Girl World and What’s Out

May 8, 2018

Some things have changed since Tina Fey wrote the beloved movie, now a Broadway musical. But on Wednesdays, the Plastics still wear pink.

“Mean Girls” — the 2004 film that starred Lindsay Lohan as Cady, a new student who tries to navigate the cliques of North Shore High — has become one of the most quotable films, generating endless GIFs and memes. Now that it’s on Broadway, you can sing some of the lines, too. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical.

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Women Fighting Sexism in Jazz Have a Voice. And Now, a Code of Conduct

May 4, 2018

The We Have Voice Collective, a new group of female and non-binary musicians in jazz and experimental music, plans to release a Code of Conduct on Tuesday that aims to build upon the conversations sparked by jazz’s own #MeToo movement, clearly articulating what a more equitable workplace might look like and setting expectations for change.

The collective comprises 14 instrumentalists and vocalists and is working to ensure that predatory and sexist behavior is seen as aberrant, not as part of the cost of doing business in jazz.

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Inside Milan’s Opulent Retirement Home for Musicians

April 11, 2018

Casa Verdi is inundated each year with applications from composers, conductors, singers, orchestral players, music teachers and anyone else who has “exercised the art of music as a profession,” as the foundation’s website puts it. Once applicants establish their professional bona fides, Casa Verdi’s board makes choices based on who they think will be a good fit.

The successful applicants get to spend their last years in a place where, in addition to room, board and medical treatment, they have access to concerts, music rooms, 15 pianos, a large organ, harps, drum sets and the company of their peers.

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Rarely Heard Jonathan Larson Works Will Be Performed at 54 Below

February 7, 2018

Jonathan Larson finished just two full musicals before his death at age 35 in 1996. But he left behind a vast collection of song demos, stray lyrics and unfinished ideas. Some of those rarely heard songs will be brought together in a concert called “The Jonathan Larson Project,” coming to Feinstein’s/54 Below in October.

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