Joy of Music School

Music Notes – Newsletter


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Ready, Set, Recital!

Students Perform at our 2013 Recital

Students Perform at our 2013 Recital

You know joy and you know music, but have you ever truly seen them in action together? We suggest the Joy of Music School’s Annual Recital on Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m.

This is our kids’ moment in the spotlight, their time to shine. “This is the Big One for our students,” as Music Director Julie Carter puts it.

Months and even years of practice pay off as they step onto the stage, often for the first time. Singers, violinists, drummers, pianists and more! When all the applause finally subsides, the children are beaming, their families are bursting with pride, and our instructors are glowing with the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

The recital takes place at First Christian Church, 211 W. 5th Ave., Knoxville, 37917 and features performances by roughly 65 awesome children, each of whom earned his or her spot on the recital by auditioning. It will be followed by a reception featuring delicious barbecue. Admission is free.

See you there!

 

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Taber’s Journey to Juilliard

 

Taber Gable

Taber Gable

Taber Gable stands to make history twice (at least) this year. When he graduates from the University of Hartford this spring, he’ll be the first UH student to graduate on a full jazz piano scholarship. And if all goes as planned, this fall he will become the first Joy of Music School student to attend the world-renowned Juilliard School.

Taber’s journey to New York City and the pinnacle of musical training began at the end of 2013 when he sent an audition video to the Jazz Graduate School at Juilliard, whose director is the legendary Wynton Marsalis. The next step was the harrowing live audition in Manhattan. Despite getting lost on the way and arriving with icy fingers, he got a callback later that day. This time he was accompanied by a bass player and drummer. The committee asked for a couple of standards followed by Thelonius Monk’s “Hackensack.” The bass player threw him a curve by changing keys mid-tune. But Taber had strenuously prepared for just such a twist and handled it without incident. At the end of the session, the committee thanked him and said they would be in touch in about a month.

The results were posted online in March, and he was in—with a merit-based scholarship covering nearly all his expenses. Bravo, Taber! Your friends at the Joy of Music School will be eagerly watching your exciting career trajectory.

 

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New to Our School… But Not To Teaching

 

Eun-suk Jung

Eun-suk Jung

It’s not every day you come across a musician with qualifications like Eun-suk Jung’s. The South Korea native has masters and doctorate degrees in music from West Virginia University, and she taught applied piano and music theory at Hiwassee College for eight years before moving to Knoxville in 2012.

Now, Dr. Jung has brought her skills to the Joy of Music School. In addition to working as organist at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, she teaches piano to a pair of our students. We are so grateful to have her among our volunteers.

Though it might seem like a leap to go from instructing college students to first and third graders, it has been an easy transition for Dr. Jung. “I love it,” she says. “These kids are very respectful. They’re focused, and because they’re siblings, they seem to help each other out a lot with practicing and getting better.”

Dr. Jung says she’s especially thankful for the School’s wide selection of music books. “I can look at different books from different publishers and pick the lessons that will work best for each kid.”

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Charting Our Path Forward

A group of dedicated Joy of Music School supporters has been hard at work behind the scenes on a special project. The team consists of a dozen board members and Executive Director Frank Graffeo, and is led by JoMS Board Member Tim Purcell, Director of Merchandising for Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J.

Their goal: a “Vision, Mission & Values” statement for the School.

This is a vital project for the School because it “sets a direction for the long-term,” Purcell explains. “It starts to make you decide what’s important and, most importantly, what is not.”

Right now the School’s Mission Statement reads,“To provide a quality music education for financially disadvantaged, at-risk youth.”

The committee has been interviewing major donors, staff members, students and student parents for input. Those sessions should be complete by summer, Tim says. By fall, he expects the committee will have a new recommended “Vision, Mission & Values” statement it can present to the board.

 

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A Pair of Fun Events

“The Joy of Painting” (Thursday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m.)

Enjoy a lively evening of channeling your inner Picasso, savoring good food and drink, and painting on canvas, guided by an artist. Presented by 106.1 The River and catered by Archer’s BBQ, the event takes place at Painting with a Twist, 10932 Murdock Drive, Knoxville. For $35 you get all the materials and instruction you need to create your own painting—and $25 of that benefits the Joy of Music School! Call 865-675-2500 to make your reservation now!

 

“Swing for Joy!” (Saturday, June 21, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Do you play golf or know anyone who does? The new Target Golf driving range, owned by Barry and Pam Robertson, will donate the day’s entire proceeds to the School. Come by and hit some balls—buckets range from $5.50 to $12.50—for a great cause. Door prizes, skills challenges and giveaways will take place throughout the day. All are welcome, whether you’re an old pro or you’re just trying golf for the first time! The address is 5311 W. Beaver Creek Drive in Powell. We are grateful to Becky Chaffee of violettesbybecky.com for her generous work creating and presenting this fun event. (We’re also looking for volunteers to run some events, hand out prizes, and serve food.) Please call Frank Graffeo at 865-525-6806 to sign up to volunteer.

 

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Proud To Be President

Geoff Proud

Geoff Proud

Geoff Proud, co-owner of the television-production company Lusid Media, is our new board president. He replaces outgoing president Trey Coleman, who is moving along (as required by our bylaws) after a highly successful two-year run. Thanks Trey!

Geoff’s musical resume includes a stint as bassist in the Cliches, a Rochester, N.Y., band that opened for the Ramones on multiple occasions around 1990.

A friend told Geoff about the School about a decade ago. “I went in and had a tour when it was busy, with lots of kids taking lessons,” he recalls. “It’s such a great concept, and I liked the way everybody was really into what they’re doing.” He became an instructor, then a board member.

Geoff will be at the recital May 10, so come up and say hi!

 

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Once a JoMS Student, Now a Top Music Teacher

Preston Sangster

Preston Sangster

If anyone wonders why we do what we do, we have an easy answer: Preston Sangster.

First, there was sixth-grade Preston. Unable to afford the saxophone he longed to play, he found his gift on the decades-old clarinet that was his mother’s, then later on bassoon. Soon thereafter, his instructor, UT Professor and Joy of Music School volunteer Keith McClelland recommended the School to his young pupil when he could no longer afford lessons. “Playing clarinet was the first time I knew what it felt like to be good at something,” says Preston.

Then there was high-school Preston. Though there was a period during his senior year when Preston had to sleep on friends’ couches, even in his car, he never lost his dedication to music and academics. A graduation performance at the School’s year-end recital included a piano/bassoon piece he arranged himself, and a $300 book stipend from the School for the future University of Tennessee student.

College-freshman Preston worked 30 hours a week as a cashier at Walmart, took 19 credit hours, and was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. Inspired by the teacher who “had his back 100 percent,” Preston majored in music education. “Keith McClelland is the reason I am a teacher,” he says.

Preston is not just any teacher. He recently was named “New Teacher of the Year” not only for Loudon County Elementary where he teaches more than 500 students each week, but also for the entire county.

So, thank you Preston Sangster for the reminder that with a simple donation of one instrument and the time of one gifted instructor, the joy of music is a gift that can live forever.

 

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