This is the first part of an unknown number of posts about a first of a kind instrumental concert that, literally, connected the composers of the music being performed with the audience, conductor, and ensemble. The concert/event took place on May 6th, 2008 at Mercer High School in PA.
Travis J. Weller (noted composer and ME Blogger), and I decided that we wanted to do something, spectacular, out of the box, and -to our knowledge, never been done before that integrated technology, a live performance, and connected with the students in very meaningful way. The now famous SKYPE CONCERT concert band performance at Mercer High School was the result of our brainstorming.
After considerable leg work, we were able to, graciously, have Dr. Andrew Boysen, Dr. Scott Watson, and Mr. Brian Balmages agree to appear, LIVE, at the concert via SKYPE. This idea stemmed from prior work that I have written about and done. Last December I posted about how easy it was for any music teacher to use SKYPE to have a number of experts appear in their classroom. This time, Travis and I decided to see if we could, on a much grander scale, SKYPE experts into a concert setting. We succeeded.
In the next post I will describe the technical details of how and what we used to make this happen. Above is an embedded slide-show of the event in 24 pictures. If you would like to view these pictures on a grander scale, please visit this Picasa Link. I also have edited a 20 minute video of the event that will be posted as part of this series.
I would personally like to thank Dr. Boysen, Dr. Watson, and Mr. Balmages for their willingness to make this, as of now, one-of-a-kind concert, a reality. The student performers, audience, and school faculty and administration in attendance could not believe what a positive and amazing experience this was for all those in attendance and literally sparked a dialog about it and what can be done educational like this that goes on to this day! More to come! Stay tuned…
[…] August 11, 2008 · No Comments As I hinted at earlier this summer, the May 6th concert at Mercer was great. The students delivered some wonderful performances of music by Julie Giroux, Quincy Hilliard, Andrew Boysen, Willie Owens, Brian Balmages, Scott Watson, and Patrick Burns. The other part of the equation was the willingness of a great friend and colleague make an idea a reality with a big impact. Dr. Joe Pisano (over at Mustech.net – It’s Visionary!) helped me to use Skype and bring three of those aforementioned composers (Boysen, Balmages, and Watson) right into the concert hall to introduce their piece. Dr. Pisano has started a four part series over at Mustech.net that I highly encourage all of you to check out. In case you have not been keeping up, Dr. Pisano is really becoming the leading figure for helping all of us do smart, simple things with technology that can pay big dividends in our professional career. This amazing evening was to our knowledge the first of its kind, and can hopefully be a vision of the future as we all make better use of technology to allow our students to have a greater connection with the music that they perform. You can read more about this amazing evening by clicking here. […]
It is still a little surreal to think about what we accomplished on May 6th, but I believe that this can be a vision of the future for music education. This technology is quite accessible and very user friendly (when you consider the ease with which each of our three guests were able to use it). This provides an opportunity to make a meaningful connection for both the audience and our students. It was also very refreshing to hear the sincerity and keen interest that Dr. Boysen, Dr. Watson, and Mr. Balmages displayed. Perhaps we were fortunate to have those three gentlemen join us the first time, but I believe that each of them were interested in helping bridge the gap and get out of their box as well to to connect with a new audience. Thanks again Dr. Pisano for your guidance and “vision”!
[…] and “How did we use it?” aspects… See the first part of this series here: https://mustech.net/2008/08/10/out-of-the-box-connecting-the-audience ******************************************************* Bridging the Gap Between the Composers […]
Joe & Travis,
Awesome job! How exciting! I can’t wait to try it at Sharon. Kudos to both of you…I wish I could have seen it in person!
I recently added the second part of the series, make sure you check it out as well. Hey, sorry I couldn’t be in your big band when you needed a “ringer”. I would have loved to have played… Some other time.
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