GESTURES on TV at Cross Cultural Youth Festival!

Hello Friends,

This past Tuesday, GESTURES Dance Ensemble participated in the first ever “Cross Cultural Youth Festival” at the Armory in Washington Heights.  The festival was a great success, and will be aired this Sunday and Monday for all to see!  The TV schedule is as follows:

Channel – WLIW 21
Time: Sunday November 1st at 11:30 AM
Time: Monday November 2nd at 11:30 PM

Be sure to check it out!

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Late October Events!

Hello Friends,

The semester is in full swing here at the conservatory!  Beyond the daily excitement of students perfecting their performing art, there are several upcoming events that are sure to pique your interest.

G Pic 1Harbor Conservatory has been invited to participate in a very special event, the Cross Cultural Youth Festival scheduled for October 27, 2009 from 10 am to 12pm at the 168th Street Armory. The event will be headlined by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, a 130 piece children’s orchestra from the North and South of Ireland. CBOI is returning to NY (4 years ago they sold out Carnegie Hall) to perform at Lincoln Center.

The Conservatory’s GESTURES Dance Ensemble and Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble will be joining the following outstanding NYC arts organizations: Harlem School of the Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem, Pierre Dulaine’s Mad Hot Ballroom, The Keltic Dreams, and The Wendy Hilliard Foundation.

Group with Singer

On Thursday, October 29th Conservatory Director Ramon Rodriguez and Conservatory Artistic Director Nina Klyvert-Lawson will be featured on WHCR 90.3 FM Harlem Radio as a part of “Black Beat New York“, hosted by Flo Whiley at 6:15 PM. This popular arts and entertainment talk show airs on Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. WHCR is a community station providing informative, educational and cultural programming that speaks to the diverse populations of Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and some sections of the Bronx, Queens and New Jersey.

Ramon PicNina headshot

Harbor Conservatory Part of Latin Music Documentary!

Dear Friends,

PBS is televising a documentary called LATIN MUSIC U.S.A., and included in this series is a segment about the Harbor Conservatory!  The series demonstrates how Latin music has influenced ALL of American music and how it IS American music in all its forms from Latin Jazz, Tejano, Salsa, Chicano Rock, Reggaeton, etc.  This four hour documentary is divided into four parts; the first two which were aired October 12th.  However, the Conservatory segment will be shown along with parts 3 & 4 on October 19th at 9:00 PM on PBS (Channel 13).  Parts 1 & 2 will be aired again at the following times:

Wed Oct 14th at 3:30am on Thirteen
Fri Oct 16th at 8am on WLIW World
Fri Oct 16th at 2pm on WLIW World

To view a trailer of the series, click here. For an interview with multiple Grammy nominated musician Bobby Sanabria discussing the series, watch this.  Check it out if you get a chance!

Nominate Harbor Conservatory as your Favorite Charity!

Dear Friends,

We need your help. Here’s a real “sweet” way you can support us. Please follow the link below and nominate Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts as your charity of choice to win support from The Christie Cookie Co.

The Christie Cookie Co. is donating a total of $25,000 to charities. From now through October 15, you can nominate your favorite charity to win. The most nominated charity will receive a check for $10,000. The runner-up wins $5,000, and the next 10 will receive $1,000 each. It takes less than 2 minutes to vote.

Click here for more info and to vote!

With a simple click of the mouse you can help Harbor Conservatory fulfill our mission to continue offering low cost, high quality performing arts training to East Harlem and beyond.  Thank you again for your continued support!

Faculty Member Wins ASCAP Composers Award!

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is proud to announce that Music faculty member Francis Rodriguez is a recipient of a 2009 – 2010 ASCAPLUS Award in the Concert Music division, made by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).  The award reflects ASCAP’s continuing commitment to assist and encourage ASCAP composers.

Awards are granted by an independent Panel and are based upon the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalog of original compositions, as well as recent performances in areas not surveyed by the society. The members of the Concert Music Division of the ASCAPLUS Awards panel are: Judith Clurman, noted choral conductor and arranger; H. Robert Reynolds, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan; and Steve Smith, music editor for Time Out NY and classical music critic for The New York Times.

Francis Rodríguez, is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, producer and recording musician. He was awarded his bachelor degree from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico with a major in Music Composition and is a Certified Music Educator. Has a Master degree in composition at New York University (NYU), specifically in Scoring for Film and Multimedia, Music Technology and Contemporary Jazz Composition. His ability to adapt to different roles and genres has been fostered by a wide range of professors such as Gil Goldstein, David Shire, Dan Foliart, Jim Mcneely, Ira Newborn, Justin Dello Joio, Brian Lynch, Edwin Rodríguez, Sonny Kompanek, Mark Snow, Marcelo Zarvos, Armando Ramirez and Lito Peña. He has recorded with Coro Orfeón de San Juan Bautista, Lumina String Quartet, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, NYU Orchestra, NYU/ASCAP Film Orchestra, NYU Film Ensemble, CMPR Orchestra, CMPR Concert Wind Band, Edwin Clemente Orchestra and numerous others

Rodriguez’s music has been performed in the Lincoln Center of New York, and has been heard in Italy, Spain, France, UK, Argentina, Puerto Rico, USA, Canada, Belgium, Korea, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Germany, Japan, Russia, Nederland, Egypt and Israel. In TV and Radio his work has been featured on Univision, Cablevision, Telemundo, MTV’U, L.A. Short Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, Radio Universidad Puerto Rico 89.7fm, Allegro 91.7, HBO New York Latino Film Festival and at the Cannes Festival.

He has been recognized with The Elmer Bernstein Award in film scoring, Scholarship from the Film Music Museum in Los Angeles for the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, has been awarded a NYU Woodwinds Student Composer Residency 2007, has had two scores selected for the 2007 Silent Film concert at the Lincoln Center and another for the 2004 Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra workshop recording session.

Francis Rodriguez Photo

Early October Newsletter

Dear Friends,

It’s beginning to cool off outside, and it appears summer is finally over.  The action is still hot here at the Conservatory however, with lots of exciting events coming up.

The Harbor Conservatory is pleased to announce the establishment of a new theater initiative, The Young Aspiring Artists Program designed for young adults ages 18-21 with professional theater aspirations.  Interested students may participate on Saturdays, in either MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION or THEATER REPERTORY PRODUCTION COMPANY.   All classes are taught by vitally active theater professionals, whose resumes include having performed in such leading Broadway productions as Fosse, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chita Rivera’s: A Dancer’s Life, The Producers, Aida, Hairspray, Bombay Dreams, The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot.

Tuition for a 16 week semester is $200 with an additional $50 annual registration fee.  For additional program information and an interview, please call Michael Awusie at 212-427-2244 ext. 558


On October 14th at 7:00 PM the Harbor Conservatory will present a special lecture/demonstration featuring Cuban composer and educator, Yosvanny Terry, produced by Jazzmobile.  In this FREE lecture/demonstration, Mr. Terry, joined by five musicians will engage audiences in thinking about and understanding the shared traditions found in today’s music and explore the enduring legacy of the culture that came from West Africa and continues to thrive in Cuba and throughout the Caribbean.  He will demonstrate how these influences are also felt in the United States, as its folkloric traditions trickled into the early music of New Orleans, which eventually developed into Jazz.

Born in Cuba, saxophonist, composer, arranger Yosvany Terry received his early musical training from his father, Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry. He is a graduate of the National School of Art and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Cuba. He has performed with Chucho Valdes, Sylvio Rodriguez, Jesus Alemany y Cubanismo, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana, Dafnis Prieto, Avishai Cohen, the International Vamp Band, Eric Revis, Steve Coleman, Los Terry and Columna B. Since his arrival in New York in 1999, Terry has been absorbing American jazz traditions and combining them with his Afro-Cuban roots to produce compositions and solo work that flow from sweet sounding lyricism to wild-eyed avant garde. He is part of a new generation of musicians who is redefining the way jazz is perceived.

yosvanny terry flyer pdf

Lastly, on Saturday, October 17th the Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble will be performing at 3:00 pm in El Museo del Barrio’s Teatro Heckscher as part of the museum’s re-opening celebration.  The all-day open house festivities celebrating El Museo’s 40th anniversary year will be packed with fun events taking place throughout its whole beautifully renovated building, Latin music shows by children and adults in the brand-new courtyard and the theater, children book readings and art-making workshops at El Taller, a preview of Soledad O’Brien‘s upcoming documentary Latinos in America, and walking tours around el Barrio will be only part of the fun.

Activities will run from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm and admission is free.  El Museo del Barrio is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, downstairs from Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Admission is FREE.

The Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble, under the direction of Conservatory director Ramon Rodriguez, is comprised of the most advanced students ages 12-19 enrolled in the Harbor Conservatory’s Pre-Professional Latin Music Program.  In addition to ensemble work, students study theory, harmony and sight-reading along with private instruction in their instrument.  These young musicians study a variety of musical forms such as danzon, son, cha cha cha and mambo, as they learn music illustrating different periods and artists in Latin music history. At the Conservatory students enjoy the unique opportunity to learn while playing classic music made popular by artists such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco and others.

In 2006, the ensemble was the subject of the PBS documentary, “Mi Mambo”, which aired nationally during Hispanic Heritage month as part of Cantos Latinos programming. The ensemble was also featured in a special video on Latino arts and culture in New York filmed specifically for the 2006 Latin GRAMMYs held at Madison Square Garden. In 2007, the Ensemble appeared as special guests for the Columbia University Harlem Jazz Project’s, “Here Comes the Latin Sun,” Eddie Palmieri and his Afro-Caribbean Jazz Septet featuring the great Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch. The Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble has performed at the Americas Society, Museum Mile Festival, El Museo del Barrio with Jimmy Bosch, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Celebrate Brooklyn.  The ensemble has been featured on Univision’s Despierta America as well as in People Magazine.

Check back for more updates on all of our exciting programs and events in the coming months!

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