Saturday, February 16, 2008

Team Webster

I will be working with 5th and 6th Grade students from Webster Magnet School in St Paul (Burroughs School I will meet with next week). Webster has the advantage of a woodshop and drama hall so we can make stuff, play with it and store it all nearby. Both schools will prepare instruments and develop parallel performances, but Webster will have things like the Rumble Strip and Car Tire Taiko to make and practice on.

Jan Louise Kusske and Jonathan Hess are going to be fabulous partners. They will identify around 20 students who can meet every Tuesday 10:20 – 11:50am and bring at least some rhythmic skills with them (some of them play in band, and Sowah Mensah has taught African drumming there!).

We will start on March 4 with the class meeting on site at the Ordway so we can experience the place together and try out some ideas. I will bring a few stones, tubes, and flutes to hear how they sound in the echo canyon between the buildings. We will then return to school for some listening, moving and sounding games.

Subsequent meetings will be on March 11, 18, 25, April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20.

May 27 will be an all-day setup and installation with the Ordway staff, maybe collecting the large instruments early that morning from Webster in a truck.

Wednesday May 28 we will meet and rehearse on site at 8:30am and give the first performance around lunchtime. Webster will repeat the performance on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 (with maybe only a brief rehearsal). Saturday and Sunday the festival continues with a supervised open jam on the instruments but no composed performance. Some of the school kids with experience can mentor the newbies at the weekend.

We will coordinate at least one day when both schools can observe the other’s performance.

All this is being ably coordinated by the stars of the Ordway Ed Department, Shelley Quiala and Elizabeth DeWerff

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