Notes in the Neighborhoods
The Boston Landmarks Orchestra launched a new music education program in 2012, entitled Notes in the Neighborhoods. This initiative benefits youngsters in underserved Boston neighborhoods by providing them with the opportunity to experience live music and learn valuable listening, performance, and comprehension skills from professional musicians. Our efforts engage public, private, and charter schools’ summer programs. By developing strong partnerships with schools and summer camps, we hope to allow children in Boston to fully reap the benefits of the city’s rich resources in the arts. Some students have prior music training and some have none at all. For the appropriate age groups, residencies and master classes by our musicians will be followed up with attendance at one of our Hatch Shell or neighborhood concerts, where we provide many youngsters with the opportunity to hear live orchestral music for the first time.
One of our most spectacular Notes in the Neighborhoods concerts took place in Blackstone Square in the South End on July 19, 2012. There we were joined by Alex Alvear Y Amigos— a group which consists of musicians born in Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Two new pieces especially commissioned by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Viaje by Gonzalo Grau and Caribeña by Miguel del Aguila, were performed much to the delight of everyone who attended. The entire audience was up and dancing before the concert came to an end. Leading up to the event, a trio featuring two percussionists and a trombone player visited summer camp programs to introduce youngsters to the rhythms and the instruments of the Caribbean.
In June, a program took place at the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy with our brass ensemble and young penny whistle and violin players from the school. Other performances included events in Jamaica Plain, Brighton, and Roxbury. In addition, Landmarks musicians conducted Master Classes for students in the Boston Public Schools Summer Music Program all day on July 26.