A large wall photo at a Philadelphia exhibition shows Leonard Bernstein during one of the most poignant days of his life – a day in 1948 when he conducted a concert with a small group of Holocaust survivors in Germany. The picture and the story behind the moment are part of the Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The presentation marks what would have been Bernstein’s 100th birthday in August 2018.
Nothing rouses the spirit like a march, and few bands can capture the patriotic fervor of an American march like the United States Marine Band. Affectionately known as “The President’s Own,” the Marine Band was founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress signed by President John Adams and is the longest performing musical organization in the nation. For over 200 years, the Marine Band has been led by legendary American musicians like John Philip Sousa. One of these renowned directors, Colonel John Bourgeois (Ret.), sat down with Pepper to discuss his time with the Marine Band and how its work has impacted American culture both at home and in the eyes of the world.
There are many moving parts involved in managing music ensembles. Between keeping track of inventory, communicating with students and parents, coordinating volunteers, planning trips, and keeping track of finances, music teachers often need a variety of tools to keep their groups running smoothly.
For the past few months, the Pepper editors have listened to mountains of music to find the best choices for our Pepper Live events, and we’re looking forward to sharing all that new music with you. If you’ve never joined us for a reading session, we’d like to share our top five reasons for attending:
Your concert is coming up; you and your students have been working on the selected repertoire for a while now—things are coming along nicely and the time for the performance is close at hand.
The name Eric Whitacre is sure to turn heads anywhere musicians gather. While he is a composer of choral music first, his wide range of talents have enabled him to travel the world, writing music for different ensembles and performing with people from all walks of life.
You have decided on the trip, made all the preparations, and your students and parent groups have been hard at work raising the funds to ensure that every student can participate. Now it is time to choose the repertoire that you will be presenting.
Listening to a master speak about their craft is one of the most enlightening experiences one can have. That was the thinking behind Pepper’s video interview series, The Inside Voice. Our place in the music community gives us the opportunity to speak with many of the best known and most beloved musicians active today. We realized the best way to use this opportunity was to share it with our customers.
Composer Brian Balmages’ sheet music can be found in music rooms across the nation. He has written music for every skill level from very easy to advanced. This, coupled with his ability to write music for both band and orchestra, is a big part of his success over the years, but there is something in his compositions that delves far deeper into the emotions of musicians and listeners alike.His ability to touch on raw emotion with his music is akin to many of the most notable composers throughout history.
One of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful. Whether it is cell phones ringing during the performance, shouts from family members to their children on stage, slamming doors or crying infants, all of us have experienced people behaving badly in a concert setting.