aural vibrations of loud zydeco/rock bands to bluesy jazz to
Back in New York City at the Browning School, musical
funky soul, the most memorable for me was the one performance
experiences incorporating jazz and blues reverberated with
for which I had to stand in line. It was well worth the wait.
Lower School boys both inside and outside the classroom. In
Preservation Hall—the revered new home of New Orleans jazz
January, the Second Grade went on a field trip to the Apollo
since opening its doors in 1961—provided a fitting venue for
Theater; and in February, the Third and Fourth Graders visited
veteran jazz players to perform as members of the Preservation
the Museum of the City of New York for its newly developed
Hall Jazz Band on a sweltering August Friday evening. The
Apollo tour. This featured the music, musicians, and a number
sultry weather and the medium-sized room, packed with an
of performance-related items of many of the most famous artists
appreciative audience gently waving hand-held fans, were a
who displayed their talents on the Apollo theater stage.
perfect match for the music, recalling older days before
And guess what the Browning students’ two favorite items
microphones and amplifiers and air-conditioning. The sounds of
of the MCNY Apollo Tour were? Michael Jackson’s fedora and
earthy jazz—emotional, poignant, real, heartfelt, joyful—
a big, black Gibson guitar named Lucille. I
lingered with me for days. My deepest thanks to the Parents Association for making this trip possible!
SPEAKING OF “COMPOSER OF THE MONTH” . . . The Lower School music curriculum's Composer of the Month program features famous musicians from both past and present—from Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven,Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky to George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, Ravi Shankar, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, and Bonnie Raitt. By the time a Browning boy completes Fourth Grade, he has attained a basic understanding of the lives and music of over forty composers. Over Spring Break, two Lower School boys met one Composer of the Month; their account is below. My friend and I went to Jamaica and we were eating dinner and right next to us we saw Paul Simon. We walked up to him and we told him “You were our composer of the month!” He said “can I have a peice [sic] of paper.” I said “yes.” He singed [sic] it and he wrote a note to Ms. Warner. By, Zachary Chernoff, Robert Michaelson.