Tag: dancing

Lawrence music educators bring unique aspect to annual Mile of Music festival

Every music festival, of course, features lots of music. How many, though, have music education as a central part of its mission?

Thanks to the talents of a 25-member team of music educators, led by Leila Ramagopal Pertl and Brian Pertl, Appleton’s Mile of Music is one such festival.

Mile of Music gumbotting workshop
Leila Ramagopal Pertl (center) leads a gumbooting workshop, one of more than 40 music education events at the annual Mile of Music festival in downtown Appleton.

More than 40 hands-on music education workshops, ranging from Ghanaian drumming to ballet, will be conducted Aug. 3-6 during “Mile 5” of Appleton’s Mile of Music festival, a celebration of original, handcrafted artisan music. This year’s festival features nearly 900 live performances by more than 225 artists from 28 states and three countries representing virtually every music genre at 70 venues along College Avenue and the Fox River.

Beyond the concerts and artists featured at Mile of Music, as always, Mile 5 will feature plenty of hands-on, participatory music education events.

Ramagopal Pertl, a 1987 Lawrence graduate, is fond of calling music “a birthright.”

“Mile of Music is the only music festival in the country with a dedicated team of musicians to engage community in reigniting their musical birthright and to help them find ways throughout the year to develop this musicianship,” says Ramagopal Pertl, the music education curator for the four-day festival. “The music education component of Mile of Music is a fantastic opportunity for Lawrence University, teachers from the Appleton Area School District and our MET Kids to engage a multi-generational community in joyful and inspiring music-making. A musical community is a healthy community.”

Ramagopal Pertl’s enthusiasm is obvious when she talks about the results of past Mile of Music education workshops: the person who started playing an instrument again; the person who wrote their first song or formed a band, the person who discovered Irish dance and now is in their third full year of learning Irish dance, the person who produced their own CD of songs.

________________________________________
“The music education component of Mile of Music is a fantastic opportunity to engage a multi-generational community in joyful and inspiring music-making. A musical community is a healthy community.”
— Leila Ramagopal Pertl
_________________________________________

“Those kinds of outcomes are our heart’s desire” said Ramagopal Pertl. “They are a powerful statement as to the importance of dynamic community music making.”

Brian Pertl, dean of Lawrence’s conservatory of music, joins his wife Leila in leading the music education team. He is excited about the expanded opportunities this year’s festival offers.

“Last year we debuted the P-bone jam, hip-hop workshops, the Building for Kids Immersive Music Day, vocal workshops, ukulele workshops, the NAMI Panel on the Power of Music and Mental Health and we expanded our deep listening activities,” said Pertl.

Mile of Music didjeridu workshop
A didjeridu workshop led by Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence conservatory of music, has been a staple of the music education program of the annual Mile of Music festival.

“We are thrilled to expand our offerings this year by adding mariachi, Afro-Cuban drumming and singing, and Recycled Rhythms: Creating Music with Found Objects,” Pertl added. “All of this is in addition to our traditional favorites like the Great Mile Sing Along, samba drumming, Balinese gamelan, instrumental workshops, song writing workshops, the all-inclusive community hand drum circle and singing story books. We can wait to make music with community members.”

Among the dedicated team of music educators assisting the Pertls are 16 workshop leaders with ties to Lawrence.

In addition to the education aspects of Mile of Music, Lawrence will be represented on the performance side. Among the groups performing, one group with a number of representatives is Porky’s Groove Machine.

An all Lawrence alumni band, Porky’s Groove Machine performs four times during the festival, including twice on the festival’s opening day — Thursday Aug. 3 at 10 p.m. on the Mile of Music bus and again at 11:50 p.p. at the Gibson Music Hall.

They return to the stage Friday Aug. 4 at 8:50 p.m. at the Radisson Paper Valley Grand Ballroom and Saturday Aug. 5 at 7:10 p.m. at The Alley Project.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

The Garden of Humanity: Lawrence International Cabaret celebrates the beauty of diversity

The beauty and richness of the world’s diverse heritage will be celebrated April 8-9 in two performances of Lawrence University’s 41st annual International Cabaret.A photo of Japanese dancers in traditional clothing.

Representing more than 30 countries, 125 Lawrence students showcase their native cultures through dance, music and fashion in performances Saturday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. A free reception follows Sunday’s performance at 5 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for students/children (age four and under are free), are available online  or through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. In addition to its normal hours, the box office will be open one hour prior to Sunday’s performance.

This year’s theme for Cabaret, “The Garden of Humanity,” reflects the organizers vision of people of different races and cultures as flowers, each uniquely beautiful in their own individual way.

A black student singing wearing traditional African clothing.“For the international community at Lawrence, Cabaret gives us an incredible opportunity to show a little glimpse of where we are from and encourage others to learn more about it,” said Tamanna Akram, a junior from Dhaka, Bangladesh and current president of Lawrence International.

“Everyone involved puts in an enormous amount of time and effort to share a piece of their culture,” Akram added. “It’s amazing to see how involved everyone is as they work together as a team for months to make this show a success. It is a collaborative effort by Lawrentians with different interests and backgrounds, but when they take the stage, they have one goal: to make Cabaret a success.”

In addition to a pair of fashion shows featuring traditional clothing from the students’ home countries, Cabaret will include 14 performances.

Among this years acts will be “Ode to Beauty,” a dance that will transport the audience to the beauty of the southern Yangtze River in China, a singer-pianist duo performing a German song that incorporates lyrics from many famous songs, Nepalese dances that fuse folk, traditional and modern styles, a song that melds elements of classical Indian music with modern, fast-paced rhythms, the totem birds dance, which celebrates the rich history of the Vietnamese agrarian society and the always-popular K-pop dance showcasing modern Korean dance.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Year of the Rooster: Lawrence celebrates Lunar New Year 

Lawrence University will ring in the 2017 Lunar New Year — the Year of the Rooster — Saturday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. with dance performances and a multicultural expo in the Warch Campus Center. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

A photo of a local Hmong dance group Nkauj Hmoob Ntsias Lias.
Nkauj Hmoob Ntsias Lias, a local Hmong dance group, will be among the performers at Lawrence’s annual Lunar New Year celebration.

Showcasing Eastern culture will be the local Hmong dance group Nkauj Hmoob Ntsias Lias, the Vietnamese hip-hop duo Beast Street, a traditional lion dance by Vovinam Chicago and the Japanese drumming/folk dance group Anaguma Eisa from UW-Madison.

Following the performances, several Lawrence student organizations will host a cultural expo from beginning at 8 p.m., offering a variety of traditional crafts/games, calligraphy, paper fan/lantern decorating and paper fortune cookies. A photo booth will be available and a selection of Asian treats — Vietnamese Bánh mì, Korean potato pancakes, Chinese donuts, spring rolls, crab Rangoons and pot stickers — will be served.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.