ABS Thursday Notes - January 30, 2020

No School Friday, Feb 7-Teacher Workday

How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert

When we see Rey, we want to hear Rey's theme, and when the Force is referred to or felt, we want to hear the Force theme, and so on. We hope that these references make sense to the fans and make the aural connections that we want them to have. – John Williams

The freshly appointed Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony is Timothy Redmond. He regularly guest conducts for the London Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducts and presents concerts across Europe and the U.S. and is Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Music Director of the Cambridge Philharmonic. As you can imagine, this list goes on for several more paragraphs. And Tuesday of this week, he was here at The Arts Based School, talking with our 7th and 8th graders, at his own suggestion.

Maestro Redmon will conduct the Winston-Salem Symphony this weekend, in a concert of the music of John Williams. His compositions include soundtracks to the Star Wars, Superman, Jurassic Park, E.T., Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List, Harry Potter, Saving Private Ryan, and many more, as well as works composed for orchestra alone.

Our 7th and 8th graders are invited to hear the symphony rehearse Williams’ music in a special opportunity for them alone, on Friday, February 14th. There is nothing quite like hearing those real instruments in the room without any technology beyond breath, bow, and brain. It’s a peek into how the magic is really made, in those magnificent films, one individual expert at a time.

To prepare for this event, our students have been learning about Williams’ music in drama, music, and language arts classes. With the help of visiting coach Fayth Caruso, who trained as a fellow at the Lincoln Center Institute, teachers have collected and shared ideas for integration, and will teach more of it in upcoming lesson. For example, like writers, composers use “motifs,” which appear in music as mini phrases that become recognizably descriptive of a character or returning moment. You know that Darth Vader is about to appear before he does, when his evil musical motif is woven into the soundtrack. And, like writers, filmmakers use the narrative archetype of the “Hero’s Journey.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Redmond expertly demonstrated some of Williams’ musical motifs at the piano with infectious enthusiasm, standing, talking, and playing simultaneously. He invited students to sing original “orchestrations” to his quickly improvised musical ideas. He provided a brief history of film scoring, explaining that, before sound was synchronized to movies, there were files full of sheet music available to a small orchestra at every moving showing. The markings on the music indicated the mood and tempo, and a conductor would watch the movie first, then assemble music to be played live, as the film was shown. An audience would inevitably hear the same music in several different movies. When synchronized music was finally made possible, things changed rapidly. Music became a critical element of the story-telling. John Williams’ music is recognized and loved world-wide, through his powerful musical partnerships with filmmakers.

Maestro Redmond has offered to visit with our students during the rehearsal on Feb. 14, and to return to ABS for a follow-up visit, to answer any questions the students might have for him about the rehearsal and about conducting. This kind of partnership with such a rare and accomplished artist is a rich opportunity, and a remarkable gift to our small school.

7th and 8th Grade Attends Winston-Salem Symphony Rehearsal
This special event takes place at 7:00 p.m. on February 14 at Reynolds Auditorium on the Reynolds High School campus. To reserve a seat for your 7th or 8th grader, visit this LINK. Seats for this special event are $5.00 apiece, payable to Ms. Brown at the 7th Street reception desk. Students may not be dropped off at the auditorium, and must be accompanied by an adult, and are encouraged to carpool with friends. Please try to make your reservations by tomorrow, February 1st if possible!

6th Grade Choir Demonstrations Today and Tomorrow
6th graders will perform a brief concert for parents today and tomorrow at 12:15.

Today: Parents from Christian, and Hedgecock last names beginning A-N

Tomorrow: Parents from Hugus, and Hedgecock last names beginning O-Z

In the Alex Ewing Blackbox Theater 

Student Intent for 2019-20 School Year
As we prepare for next year’s enrollment lottery (2020-21), it is important to know how many spaces are available in each grade.  As a current student, your child has priority placement and no additional action is required.   If your child is not returning to ABS for the 2020-21 school year, please notify Stephanie LeFever at [email protected]

Siblings of students also receive priority, but must fill out an enrollment application. You must complete an application for the 2020-21 school year for siblings of current students in order to reserve a space before the lottery.  Deadline for receiving applications is Jan 31 @ 3pm. Applications are available on our school website www.artsbasedschool.com

Thank you from Coach Bri
Hello parents! I want to express how thankful I am for the new PE gear! I appreciate each of the items purchased from my amazon wishlist. The smiling faces I get to see after their reaction to the new PE equipment is rewarding and all thanks to you guys!

Community Creates!
The Community Creates! Committee has begun working on this year’s fundraising auction for the school.  Community Creates! pairs local artists and community leaders to create artwork together that will be auctioned to fund arts programming for children at Arts Based School.  We use the term “collaborate” very loosely. Whatever is comfortable for the artist; anything from the collaborating personality, taking a tour of the artist’s studio to help select a previously executed piece, to a one-on-one brainstorm and sketching session. The only goal is to enhance rather than impede the creative process for both the artist and the community leader.

Community Creates! Components:

  • Live Auction 15 pairs of local artists and community leaders have teamed up to collaborate on an original work of art. Each of these works, as well as three works by ABS students and alumni will be auctioned, live, at the event.
  • Silent Auction  Art experiences, smaller works and pieces by artists who are not able to work in collaboration with a leader will have a place in the event this year.
  • 100 for $100 One hundred 8”x 10” canvases painted by assorted local artists in the community. Each work is directed only by the word “community” and will be signed only on the back and sold for $100 on a progressive schedule throughout the evening. Patrons will purchase pieces based on their connection to the work and not the perceived value of the artist. Have they purchased a work by an artist of international standing worth 10 times the price or a piece by a budding local artist?
  • Raffle Twenty items of $50+ value donated by local people and businesses. The week prior to the event all items will be displayed with descriptions in the ABS cafeteria. Tickets are 1 for $5 or 5 for $20 and ABS parents and others will have a chance to enter all week. Ticket purchasers choose the item(s) they would like a chance to win.
  • Food, Drink and Entertainment Heavy hors d’ oeuvres, beer and wine are included in the ticket price as well as live musical entertainment.

If you would like to help with this school fundraising event, please contact Robin Hollis at [email protected]Save the date- Saturday, May 2 for the auction!

Volunteer Hours
We are over halfway through our approximate 40 weeks of school!  Our volunteer policy requires one hour of volunteer time/child/week (40 hours for the school year).  Now is a great time to review your volunteer hours by logging onto HelpCounter. Need assistance with your account?  Contact Donna Brown in the front office ([email protected]).

Mark your calendar! Saturday, Feb. 1st from 9:00am to 12:30pm will be our ABS Parent-Child Retreat!
This special program will be a fun-filled opportunity for parents and their children to enjoy some high-quality one-on-one time (without younger siblings who are also vying for your attention). Children and parents will both get to know each other better than ever before. There will be plenty of laughter, several special touching moments, and hopefully at least one breakthrough in solving a problem that has been nagging for a while. We will play creative and cooperative games, while having conversations from the heart about what matters most in your relationship. Parents will also get a chance to meet other parents to share what works (and what to do when it doesn't work!).

You can register you and your child to attend at the front desk. Please include a $10 donation to help cover the expenses, but full scholarships are available if needed. Look for a blue flyer in today's packet going home.

Please enter through the cafeteria door of the MLK building at 8:45am on Sat. Feb 1 so we can start promptly at 9:00. (We have all new games and conversation starters this year.)

Here's a quick video with photos from last year: https://youtu.be/6cPpKAqirJ4

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).

Prospective Parents’ Tours
School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held on the second Tuesday of February.