ISSUE NO. 16 | JUNE 2020
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
MDM’s LIVE Concert Series is underway and what a journey it has been thus far. We’ve seen five coaches perform live in their homes on Modern Day Music’s Facebook page. The talent of this group is stunning. From Tony’s unforgettable entrance to Chelsea’s haunting harmonies, these coaches are full of surprises! Past performances are available to view on the Facebook page if you missed one. The rest of the series will continue at 7pm on Tuesdays and Fridays into mid-June!
BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
CONCERT SERIES UPLIFTS
James and Katie Johnson kicked off the series with a half hour of homegrown rock. Their dynamic performance included originals, pop covers, and a special musical theater piece. James played cajon, guitar, bass, sang, and set up an awesome audio and lighting rig for the show. Katie dazzled with her vocals, songwriting, and piano playing! The couple perform around the Capital Region as folk rock duo, In The Valley. Their original music can be heard on Spotify and iTunes. Local radio station, EQX, has been spinning their latest release “Promised Land” for a few weeks now. During the MDM show, the couple performed that tune for the first time live much to the delight of the audience! One viewer commented. “Beautiful couple, beautiful voices, beautiful souls. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us.”
James and Katie, your act was so beautifully constructed on every level. Thanks for singing for us!
Gabe Stallman of Ampevene served up a special stream of consciousness vibe for his live show. His set up included an enormous pedal board and large amps. Gabe spoke little. He looped guitar licks into a frenzy of eclectic sound. Instead of picking a setlist of songs, he had a rough outline of some loopable ideas. He improvised from there and described the set as “musical doodles”. Gabe’s distinct style hinges on instinct and feel. He proudly creates music by “taking in the moment”.
His philosophy is reflected in Ampevene's live shows which we eagerly await the return of. As one viewer noted, “It takes a ton of commitment and lots of love to play like that!”
Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Gabe.
Modern Day Music’s third concert in the series opened like this: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Tony Garza Facebook Live Experience.” An undercurrent of electric guitar swept across a desolate soundscape as the low, disembodied voice continued, “Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened and your concert buddy is present.” Tony stepped into frame like a rockstar wearing a white patterned suit jacket, sunglasses, and a black fedora. Thus began Tony’s half hour of maddening talent. He played and sang total bops accompanied by “The Bluetooth Band” (a playlist on a speaker controlled by his fiance, Marrssa, just out of frame). Tony’s performance was commented on by many students including compliments like “GROOVY!” and “Entering the Tone Zone”. Tony, you make us smile.
Chelsea Johnson and her husband, Matt, slowed things down with sad boi™ indie music from the likes of Damien Rice, Elvis, Noah Gunderson, and Joshua Leventhal. However, their morose musical vibe was punctuated with sweet stories and loving glances. Chelsea has an exquisite ear for harmony and the pair’s voices blend beautifully. Matt’s whistling was an unexpected, but delightful treat. Best comment of the night was from James who wrote, “Song Request- do you know anything that is slow..... or sad......? Asking for a friend.”
Thank you, Chelsea and Matt, for the longest slow dance set ever.
Cailin Burke and her fiance, Nate, even got in on the fun!
Cailin is the Manager of MDM and though she loves music she is not formally trained as a musician.
Cailin wanted to perform to show students that anyone can have fun making music even if they aren’t professionals! “Our coaches have years and years of experience. I just sing for fun sometimes with my friends and family and performing for me is something exciting and new!” Cailin and Nate will be married this summer and shared the good news about being able to move forward with a socially distanced wedding despite the current situation. They harmonized while Nate played guitar and stole our hearts with their charismatic personalities and anecdotes.
Cailin, we’re so happy for you and Nate! Thank you for showing that performing is perfect with a positive vibe and a beautiful smile:)
Laura Johnson performed songs she has written with students during her two+ years at Modern Day Music. She opened with a sweet song she transcribed word for word from a six-year-old student titled “My Little Farm” which introduces the listener to all of the animals on the farm. She spoke about how collaboration with each student looks different. “The key to balanced input,” she said, “is identifying that person’s strength, letting them lead in that area, and then just filling in the rest.” Laura holds a Bachelors in Writing. she expressed that teaching people to write music (especially lyrics) is fulfilling for her. In the second half of her performance, Laura shared songs about difficult situations that the co-writing students have faced. She ended the night with her own originals which you can find under the moniker “Sorrow Estate” on any music platform.
Laura, thank you for your sharp intuition and gentle encouragement!
All of the above performances are saved and ready for your ears on MDM’s Facebook page! Many of our coaches have yet to perform so you can even catch a show LIVE.
On Tuesday, June 2nd, Nicole Minelli will bring us all the way back to the fifteenth century in style for what she calls, “Music for a While”.
On Friday, June 5th you won’t want to miss Deb Hedley’s epic piano mastery.
On Tuesday, June 9th you’ll hear a variety from Michaela O’Donnell.
And Elena Karpoff will bring it all home with a unique blend of covers and originals on Friday, June 12th.
All performances are at 7pm at Facebook.com/ModernDayMusicSchool and are proudly sponsored by Modern Day Music School.
Nicole Minielli is a vocalist and coach from the Hudson Valley Region of NY who holds a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from the Eastman School of Music. She is a vocal and piano coach at MDM. Nicole’s favorite part about teaching voice is exploring and discovering what every student is capable of. She explained, “There is no greater feeling as a teacher than when a student discovers something about their singing and has that "aha" moment.” Nicole began having those “aha” moments for herself quite early. At the age of 8 she performed both as a soloist and as a member of the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale. The following year, she began playing the flute and piano. In high school, Nicole was active in all her instruments, but became more focused on her singing, especially in classical and musical theater styles. She performed a variety of musical theater roles including "Johanna" from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim.
We love Nicole's take on singing. "Singing should always make you feel good. If it isn't, take a moment to breathe and remember why you sing," she says. "Trust me, it's worth it. Remember that singing is physical. New techniques, even simple ones like the way you stand, take time and practice for the body to get used to. When in doubt, listen to your body. If it feels good and easy, it probably sounds that way too! Learning is a journey and every part of it, even the difficult parts, bring you closer to your destination."
For her MDM Concert Series show, she has a lot in store for us! "Besides having the opportunity to share some of my favorite songs, I am excited to take you on a journey through time and to share a bit of music history," she told us! How music relates to our human history is fascinating to me. Did you know that archaeologists have found flutes carved from bone dated to be from 43,000 years ago?!?! It's very likely that humans developed singing alongside or even before language! However, we won't be going quite that far. I'm ONLY taking you as far back as the Baroque era, 340 years ago to share some "Music for a while.""
Make sure to catch Nicole’s LIVE Facebook Concert on June 2nd.
We are still looking for videos and photos of students practicing and performing at home for our social media! Feel free to text or email us so we can showcase you all!
We also appreciate Google Reviews during this time. It really helps those looking into MDM and encourages them that our school is a great fit! You can find a link to write a review in all appointment confirmation emails.
Tuesday, June 2nd
MDM Concert Series with Nicole Minelli
Friday, June 5th
MDM Concert Series with Deb Hedley
Tuesday, June 9th
MDM Concert Series with Michaela O'Donnell
Friday, June 12th
MDM Concert Series with Elena Karpoff
All on our Modern Day Music Facebook Page!
We are very much looking forward to being back to in-person lessons and are following New York State's updates and guidelines for businesses reopening and their timeline to proceed.
Currently NYS is reopening in phases, with Phase Four being all businesses open. Dates are not yet set in stone. As of now, Phase 1 is complete and Phase 2 is just beginning. We fit into Phase 2 but are being cautious. If things progress in a postive way, MDM will look to possibly reopen for in-person lessons at the end of June. We will reevaluate as the weeks pass. All in-person lessons would be at the discretion of each student.
Zoom lessons will always continue to be available as well. We will not require any student to return to in-person lessons until they feel comfortable.
Group programs we are hoping to resume after
the July 4th holiday weekend. We will continue to monitor the updates from NYS as they progress before a final decision is made.
Please keep an eye on our social media and check your emails for additional information!
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