GDS Jazz and Creative Music performers at the 2019 GDS Jazz Festival.
Jazz Fest 2019 Musical Luminaries, Adjudicated Performances, and Hours of Great Jazz Now in its 20th year, this year’s Jazz Fest once again welcomed area schools to GDS to perform before a panel of judges and featured a performance and masterclass from New York City’s Fay Victor. Director of Jazz and Creative Music Brad Linde has expanded the Jazz Festival since coming to GDS, bringing in renowned artists and building the program: “I saw an opportunity to highlight internationally known musicians with broader backgrounds and experiences.” Senior Benji Ishimaru of student-led jazz band Big Band was happy with the band’s performance and felt that the feedback
from judges was helpful, saying, “I credit all my success to my teacher and mentor Brad Linde for his guidance and inspiration.” Alex Carmen ’19 was also happy with the Honors Band performance (comprised of Eli Thayer ‘19, Xander Davies ’19, Kat Liu ’19, Thomas Heist ’19, and Ben Finkelstein ’22). “The judges liked the balance of instrumentation we had: a combo of two saxophones, violin, and guitar. They felt we were authentic to [Charles] Mingus and his arrangements,” he said. “Congrats all around, to the many students involved and to the guest artists and judges, on a great jazz festival for 2019,” said HS history teacher (and honorary member of the creative music team) Topher Dunne.
THE SOUND AND THE PAINTBRUSH: 2ND GRADE ABSTRACT ART By Jenn Heffernan This spring, second graders created fabulous abstract paintings inspired by the artist Wassily Kandinsky. Students learned about the connection between music and art and the importance of principles and elements like rhythm, movement, color, line and shape!
Pictured, 2nd grade Kandinsky-inspired artwork.
When second graders moved on to their final paintings, we discussed in more detail the elements of color, shape, and line. Each layer of the painting was devoted to one or more of these elements as well as the principles of balance, repetition, and movement. Their final pieces were stellar examples of all that goes into a successful abstract painting! 26
Students were introduced to the artist and work of Wassily Kandinsky. Together we read The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock. After discussing Kandinsky’s possible synesthesia and the connection between music and art, students listened to music and sound clips while drawing different kinds of lines and shapes. They took care to notice how lines can be used to imitate characteristics of sound such as fast, loud, gentle, or slow. We also discussed the emotions color and music can evoke.