Kids’ Orchestra Choir Director Presents at NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference

Kids’ Orchestra would like to send congratulations to Jason Bowers for his research on the values and benefits of Kids’ Orchestra’s after-school choir program on African American students. Bowers presented at the 2016 NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in the Social Justice and Cultural Diversity category. The conference took place March 17-19 in Atlanta, Georgia. Bowers began his research last spring, using traditional ethnographic methods to obtain data, such as observing rehearsals and performances, interviewing students, parents, directors, and KO staff, as well as studying material culture including the KO website, El Sistema website, etc. Bowers has worked with Kids’ Orchestra for 2 years teaching choir. Bowers says of the conference: It was a great experience and led to me meeting a variety of other people interested    in El Sistema-inspired programs. I am hoping to develop this project into my dissertation and expand it to look at the

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Kids’ Orchestra Welcomes Ade’ Williams

Students at Mayfair Lab School and The Dunham School were in for a treat on January 27 when violin prodigy Ade’ Williams visited them to teach a master class and perform. Williams spoke first to the violin and viola classes at Mayfair, answering questions and demonstrating technique during an intimate master class. In addition to violin, Williams can play viola and piano. She then performed Gigue Partita No. 3 in E Major, BMV 1006 by JoHann Sebastian Bach for all students at the Mayfair site. Williams explored the work with the children as they discussed how music “moves” you and draws emotion from the listener. Bach’s Gigue, they jointly decided, is happy and exciting, and made them want to dance. Williams, who began playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on violin at three years old, played her first solo as a guest performer in front of an orchestra when she was

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Delta Sigma Theta Founders Day Performance

Students from Westdale Heights Academic Magnet were honored to perform at the Delta Sigma Theta Founders Day Celebration commemorating 103 years of service on January 30. The event featured performances from clarinet, cello, flute and viola students. Delta Sigma Theta was founded on January 13, 1913. It is a public service organization comprised of educated women who seek to render services in local communities.  The organization is based on a Five-Point Pragmatic Thrust: Educational Development Economic Development Physical and Mental Health Political Awareness and Involvement International Awareness and Involvement. The Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter has been servicing the Baton Rouge community since 1931. Westdale Heights Academic Magnet principal, Catasha Edwards, is a Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae and is a supporter of Kids’ Orchestra. Alumnae Alma Cherry’s grand children participate in the program and were at the event to perform. Other special guests included 50 year member Bernadine Chube-Jenkins and 25-year member

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Mentor Feature: Deyanira “DeeDee” Chavez

Kids’ Orchestra Mentors oversee the care of all of our students. They are responsible for the operation of the site and oversee arrival, snack, homework and dismissal time. Meet Deyanira “DeeDee” Chavez! DeeDee has been a mentor with Kids’ Orchestra for three years and currently serves are mentor at Westdale Heights Academic Magnet and Bernard Terrace Elementary. Tell us about YOU! My name is Deyanira Chavez, better known as DeeDee (most people can’t pronounce my first name). I was born and raised in Texas and played clarinet in the school band from 6th through 12th grade. I have lived here in Louisiana for 5 years now. I am a proud mother of four musically talented and intelligent teen girls. Yes, four girls, so never a dull moment in my house. Jasmine,18, has played violin, piano, and guitar, Haley, 15, plays trumpet, and my twins Kassidy, 13, plays saxophone and piano, and Kaitlyn,13,

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Kids’ Orchestra hosts Professional Development Workshop for Teaching Artists

Dr. Melissa Brunkan, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Louisiana State University, led the Professional Development workshop for the Kids’ Orchestra teaching artists on Saturday, January 16th. The focus of the workshop was child development and the relationships to music, developmental theories, differentiated instruction, and classroom management strategies. Teaching artists participated in group discussions, musically driven activities, and team building exercises. The workshop was held at St. James Place in the DuPlantier Commons.   Melissa C. Brunkan, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.M., music education, choral conducting), Northwestern University (M.Mus., vocal performance/pedagogy), and The University of Kansas (Ph.D., music education). Prior to her work at Louisiana State University, she taught in public and private schools in the Minneapolis/St, Paul, Milwaukee, and Chicago areas for twelve years, teaching students from pre-K through adult with an emphasis

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January Staff Spotlight: Louie Eckhardt

Congratulations, Louie! Louie currently serves as Program Director at Kids’ Orchestra and previously taught trumpet to students in the program. Dr. Louie Eckhardt is a freelance trumpet player in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas, specializing in orchestral music, chamber music, and early music. He currently serves as a member of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and the Chimes Street Brass Quintet. He also appears regularly with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Eckhardt has held principal trumpet positions in the Kearney Symphony Orchestra, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Nebraska Trumpet Ensemble. He was first trumpet and manager of the Cathedral Brass Quintet, greater Nebraska’s premier brass ensemble. He has also performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Quintet, Nittany Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Eckhardt has performed with the

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November Staff Spotlight: Jovan Zivkovic

Jovan Zivkovic joined Kids’ Orchestra in September 2013 as an orchestra conductor and currently serves as Artistic Director. Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Jovan Zivkovic holds a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting from Louisiana State University. He currently holds the position of Director of Orchestras at Kids Orchestra in Baton Rouge and is the Conductor of Marigny Opera House in New Orleans and the Assistant Conductor of Louisiana Sinfonietta. Jovan received his musical training at the University of Arts in Belgrade, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree in Conducting. His professors include Stanko Sepic, Jorma Panula, Uros Lajovic, Julian Shew, Eugene Sirotkine, and Carlos Riazuelo. He has attended masterclasses with Dorian Wilson, Lutz Koehler, Peter Ettrup Larsen , James Setapen, Gustav Meier, Jorge Mester, JoAnn Falletta, Marcus Lehtinen, Victor Yampolsky and Erin Freeman among others. He has also been nominated for numerous awards including the prestigious Conductors Guild 2011

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September Teacher Feature: Alicia Monroe

Alicia Monroe is in her third year at Kids’ Orchestra teaching viola. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, violist and educator Alicia Monroe has already proven herself to be a significant talent in both the performing and teaching fields. Monroe is currently pursuing her DMA in Viola Performance at Louisiana State University, where she is a Huel D. Perkins Fellow; she also holds a Masters Degree in Music from LSU and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a Chancellor’s Scholar. She has performed with such orchestras as the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Anderson Symphony Orchestra, and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra. She is an avid teacher and actively involved in the Baton Rouge music education scene as a viola teacher for Kids’ Orchestra and violin/viola teacher with the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts. Her primary viola

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