Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. - There is absolutely no doubt that child prodigy, genius, humanitarian and uncommon beauty Philippa Schuyler would have been proud of the young people who performed at the “A Night of Music” concert. It unfolded at the school bearing her name and dedicated to honor her - Philippa Schuyler Middle School For the Gifted and Talented.
On this cool Spring evening in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, Philippa Schuyler Major Steelpan Ensemble and Major Chorus showcased their talents to all gathered: their parents, teachers and community. Under the leadership and vision of program director, educator and panist Nyasha Rhoden the steelpan instrument and artform have taken root in both the academic and performing arts lives of those students, the school and wider community.
Everyone present was able to experience the hard work, time investment, dedication and talent of the young musicians. They performed a varied set of musical selections that traversed the world’s musical landscape and genres - from soca to rap, and then some.
Various combinations of the pan ensemble ranged from full complement to solos, as they provided intriguing combinations which captivated attendees who were clearly engaged by their children’s performances. The ensemble played pieces arranged by established, world-renowned arranger Andre White - Hello by Kes and Questions by Chris Brown. The show ended on a powerful note with a grand finale that featured a combined performance with members of the Major Steelpan Ensemble and the Major Chorus. Something Inside So Strong by Labi Siffre took the crowd home on this Spring night in harmony and with a joyous feeling in their hearts.
Beyond the music and education, the partnership between community music organization Pantonic Steel Orchestra and Philippa Schuyler Middle School highlights a mutually beneficial relationship in which community organizations and businesses can contribute greatly to the enrichment of the students’ lives and educational experiences. In this case, Pantonic Steel Orchestra, one of New York’s most noted orchestras has provided Philippa Schuyler’s music program with access to its instruments during the school year. Indeed, a magnanimous gesture and commitment to the success of the program by Pantonic led by band leader Gwynn Glasgow.
Not enough praise can be brought to the work Nyasha Rhoden has done with the aid and support of her fellow administrators, teachers and students to make this project a huge success. Moreover, the steelpan instrument and the steelband are now a significant part of the fabric of a prestigious middle school such as Philippa Schuyler.
As per Wikipedia: Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York is dedicated to preserving the memory of the child prodigy by offering an arts-focused education to New York City children.
InsideSchools.org writes: Philippa Schuyler is a large middle school with an accelerated track for high achievers and a robust arts program including a steel pan band. The school admits students from across Brooklyn and Queens and serves grades 5 to 8. Most students arrive in 6th grade.
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