ISSUE NO. 18 | AUGUST 2020
LIVE MUSIC RETURNS TO THE CAPITAL REGION
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
When the world changes, music changes with it. As concerts were canceled and bars and restaurants closed down, we saw a surge of digital shows, limited pressings, and new releases. We heard Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber's quarantine-inspired single “Stuck With U”, saw “If the World Was Ending” by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels take on a whole new meaning, listened to Taylor Swift’s surprise album, Folklore, and watched MDM’s very own At-Home Concert Series. The daily rhythm for musicians and those who consume music completely changed, but we found ways to adjust. Now as businesses are re-opening, live music is returning to the Capital Region and it feels so right.
BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
MDM coaches, James and Katie Johnson of In the Valley, were accustomed to playing at least two live shows a week before the shut down. “We were in a good groove when everything came to a halt,” shared Katie. During their time off though, they’ve had time to re-evaluate their goals as a band and track new music. After three months without shows, they played a special three hour set at Frog Alley Brewing Co. to a socially distanced patio!
“Our first show back was a lot of fun,” said James. “The audience’s reactions were noticeably different. We expected to be background music, but everyone clapped after every song and we got cheered to do an encore.” Katie added, “At that venue there are apartments with balconies that face the stage. People were out clapping and asking for songs from their apartments! That’s never happened before.” Some people have never gone so long without hearing or playing live music and it shows!
The last time our guitar coach Gabe of Ampevene went this long without playing a gig was in 2017 because the band temporarily didn’t have a drummer. Many musicians are able to find some work as things open, but it’s harder for experimental bands like Gabe’s to find gigs. “The bar bands are bouncing back for the most part which is great,” explained Gabe, “but we had a really exciting festival circuit planned for this summer and it’s all gone.”
Last summer, Ampevene played about 20-something festivals. Although the band has limited gigs at the moment, they’re back to practicing together and are enjoying polishing their act and learning new material. “On the bright side,” Gabe concluded, “this could potentially be the greatest renaissance since the 60’s because everyone’s holed up in their room writing and making.”
Tony Garza, our band director, has been holed up in his room, but he hasn’t just been making music. Tony said, “Music is my livelihood. It takes up all of my time. Without it, I found myself adopting a weird hobby.” He confessed, “I started making BBQ sauce. I have every style of American BBQ sauce in my house right now. That was my quest. Playing gigs is much cooler than making condiments, so thankfully now I’m back to the former.”
Tony said his first gig back was “the best mood booster”. He continued, “After four months of vocal rest I was ripping and roaring.” Despite the four month break in live shows, Tony has been writing and recording. “My best friend was the Benny the Drummer Pack from GarageBand’s drum kit for a while there,” laughed Tony. “The solitude forced me to get very creative, but I did miss bouncing ideas off of my band mates and I’m extra grateful for them now.”
We’re stoked for live performances to return to our area. Check out the August Calendar for opportunities to support our coaches and local bands in the Capital Region as they return to the stage!
Ainsley G. (14) is a vocal and piano student with a talent for songwriting. Ainsley is in her school’s select choir and enjoys learning songs by the likes of Lewis Capaldi and John Legend in lessons. Last month for her birthday, Ainsley’s mom surprised her with piano lessons! “I love learning piano,” said Ainsley, “I knew a few basic chords, but Elena is teaching me so much and it’s helping me as a songwriter too.”
The pair have been developing chord progressions to compliment Ainsley’s lyrics and melodies. Understanding piano chords helps songwriters deliver more impactful narrative. The music reinforces the emotion of the lyrics. For instance, a somber song might be in a minor key to convey sadness. Elena has a deep knowledge of this process from her own experiences composing. She loves encouraging students to do the same.
Ainsley is no stranger to writing! She’s been at it for two years and has noticed her song taking on a new maturity. Her process includes recording lyrics and melody in a voice memo app and later editing it for clarity and relatability. Ainsley’s latest song, “Ghosted”, is about a fickle relationship. She said, “Writing that song was so therapeutic. Sometimes you have anger or sadness build up inside of you and with songwriting you can let it out. Writing cheers me up and makes me feel better.”
Ainsley plans to continue with music in high school, college, and beyond. Wherever she goes we know she will have a long, long list of lyrically and musically thoughtful originals.
Keep up the great work, Ainsley!
We are back to group programs and our band show will be on Saturday, September 12th outdoors at Wicked! After that time, we will be evaluating the next session for all programs. Please keep a look out for info in your email or social to find out!
1st - Maddy Hicks at Mocha Lisa’s Caffe, 7-9pm
2nd - Moriah Formica at The Clifton Commons,7-9:30pm
6th - Madison Vandenburg LIVE on StageIt, Online Show, 7-7:30pm
7th - Tony Garza Tribute Band at Frog Alley Brewing, 5-6pm
9th - Georgie Wonders Orchestra at The Clifton Commons, 7-10pm
12th - SIRSY Online Concert by Freedom Park Scotia, 7-8pm on YouTube and Facebook
13th - Madison Vandenburg LIVE on StageIt, Online Show, 7-7:30pm
16th - Jukebox Rebellion at The Clifton Commons, 7-9:30pm
20th & 27th - Madison Vandenburg LIVE on StageIt, Online Show, 7-7:30pm
28th - Tony Garza at Downtown Social in Glens Falls, 6-9pm
Emily (Em) C
Jose Luis C
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS in JULY!
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