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Beachwood City Schools News Article

Artist-in-Residence Program Cultivates Teamwork and Leadership


November 30, 2023

The Beachwood High School Music Department announces the 2023-2024 relaunch and expansion of its popular artist-in-residence program, presented in collaboration with The Local 4 Music Fund.

This year’s lineup includes the acclaimed Blue Water Brass Quintet (pictured above), the Kent State faculty woodwind quintet, known as The Black Squirrel Winds, and the new addition of the percussion ensemble Duo Anime. These ensembles will lead a series of nine workshops for students, spanning from November to February. The program is supported through a grant from The Music Performance Trust Fund. This grant facilitates the extensive workshop series and enables the participation of these renowned ensembles.

The workshops include live performances with instruction centering on style, intonation, rehearsal techniques, and effective communication within chamber ensembles. “By focusing on these aspects through a chamber music lens, we're not only enhancing individual skills but also elevating the full ensemble's performance,” says David Luddington, band director.

Beyond these broad educational goals, the program aims to prepare students for the 2024 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) solo and ensemble competition. This approach has already yielded impressive results. “An exciting result of this project is that we have over three times as many students participating in a chamber music performance solo and ensemble contest compared with last year,” says Mr. Luddington.

On November 27, the Blue Water Brass Quintet conducted an engaging workshop, demonstrating conductorless ensemble skills through selections from the OMEA repertoire. During the session, the musicians emphasized the importance of auditory imagination for understanding ensemble parts, visual cues for synchronization, and the value of flexibility and shared leadership.

They also highlighted the unique opportunities available in a brass quintet, noting how playing different parts, including melodies, enriches the musical experience. The interactive workshop not only informed the students' technical skills but also underscored the significance of adaptability and collaborative creativity in ensemble music.

“Beyond honing musical talent, our artist-in-residence program cultivates teamwork, leadership, and artistic expression, which are essential skills for our students' holistic development,” reflects Mr. Luddington. “The Beachwood High School Music Department looks forward to a vibrant and educational year ahead with these distinguished ensembles.”

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