A Matter of Taste fundraiser at the Foundry
Special to The Union
Nevada City School of the Arts 12th annual wine tasting and auction is happening on Saturday at the Miners Foundry. A Matter of Taste is a great party with local and regional wines, elegant and abundant hors d’oeuvres, high quality silent and live auction items, dancing to the groove of Loose Change Blues Band, and a room full of people committed to supporting an arts-based education.
Nevada City School of the Arts, a K through 8 National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished School, is structured around the belief that the arts – music, dance, theater, and the visual arts – are crucial to the complete education of a child. Their practice, understanding and appreciation are essential to human experience and learning itself, pointing a way to live a balanced and reasonable life and engender a commitment to excellence.
With this in mind, NCSA has renewed its commitment to a comprehensive music program based upon the philosophy of Orff Schulwerk, and influenced by local musicians such as Alasdair Fraser and Bill Douglas. NCSA’s full time-music teacher Heather Grove directs the program for NCSA’s 268 students.
Rhythm, melody, improvisation and a shared musical vocabulary begins in the primary grades by connecting students with the music through movement, singing, listening, chanting, playing pre-recorders and percussive instruments. In third through fifth grades students add a chosen instrument for more intensive study, beginning with a fiddle or recorder, and eventually including choices in Taiko drumming, guitar or clarinet.
By the sixth grade piano, brass and cello are added to the choice of instruments, as are three performing groups, The Jig and Jam Band, Jazz Improvisation and Choir. With an emphasis on learning by ear, and including some practical skills in note reading, students are encouraged to find the joy in their own musical expression as well as within their community of student musicians.
As with the visual arts, music is woven into the academic curriculum, enhancing the understanding of world cultures, the environment, and our own history.
Nevada City School of the Arts has some of the most talented local musicians on their staff, including Ethan Lewis, Odile Meister, Bill Douglas, Kelly Flemming, Glen Smith and Arthur Gould, as well as a direct connection to three local music camps, Jazz Camp, Taiko Camp and Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp. Collaborating with a wider community of musicians helps students develop an appreciation and respect for the music as well as for one another. It teaches us the art of living.
Funding a full music program is impossible without the financial commitment of NCSA families and the wider community who believe the arts are an integral part of a child’s education. A Matter of Taste is one way to give your support to NCSA, while enjoying a fine evening of food, wine, treasures and merriment.
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