The arts are a very important part of Propel Schools’ educational foundation. In fact, our students engage with the arts (including music, dance and martial arts) for at least one hour per school day! Collaboration with community partners, experts in their artistic fields, allow our students experiential education that will enhance their overall learning.
While we enjoy much LOCAL collaboration, Propel EAST will be making a NATIONAL connection with music arts! Professional composer Rich Freese (University of Wisconsin) has joined forces with Mr. Vince Wallace, Propel EAST music teacher, to secure a commission of a new piece of music, written specifically for the Middle School Band! This piece of music will then be rehearsed by the MS Band and performed. The piece of music will then be published and dedicated to the “Propel EAST Middle School Band.”
Our guest blogger, Mr. Vince Wallace, tells us a little more about this process and what it means to our students.
Creating new music is very much a team effort. Composers rely on musicians to practice, interpret, and perform their music, and musicians rely on composers to create music for them to play. One exciting way that musicians and composers formalize this relationship is through the act of “commissioning” a piece. A composer composes a piece of music specifically for a group of musicians, with their interests, skills, and needs in mind. The musicians then rehearse and perform the piece. The composer now has a great new piece to share with others, and the musicians have new music to explore and perform.
When a school commissions a piece, it is a statement that they fully value art and music, and believe that bringing that music to their students in new and exciting ways is of tremendous benefit to their arts education. At Propel East, we are very excited to announce that we have commissioned our first piece of music. Award winning composer Mr. Richard Freese, a doctoral student in music composition at University of Wisconsin- Madison, will write a new piece of music for the Propel East 7th and 8th Grade Band.
Rich has already begun the process of sketching out this piece, and it is our goal to begin rehearsing it with the band this spring. At the end of the school year, the band will give the “world premiere” performance of the work at our end of the year concert! We are extremely excited to be working with Rich and be part of this process. It will be a tremendous opportunity for our students.
Look for updates regarding this project here on The Propel Blog and on Propel’s Facebook Page!