Faculty Member Pablo Mayor at Latin American Cultural Week

Dear Friends,

Harbor Conservatory faculty member Pablo Mayor will be performing as part of the Closing Event Celebration at the 5th Annual Latin American Cultural Week.  This event will take place on November 17th from 7:00-10:00 PM at the Flamboyan Theater on 107 Suffolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.  Hope to see you all there!



Gretchen Farrar & Francisco Roldan to Perform at Harbor Conservatory

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to present soprano Gretchen Farrar and guitarist Francisco Roldán in a recital on Saturday, November 13 at 12:00 noon in the Third Floor Theater. The duo will perform works by Britten, Brower, Dowland, Cordero, Albeniz, Lorca and Sor. Admission is free. The Conservatory’s Guest Artist Recital Series is made possible with support from the Music Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Gretchen Farrar is a versatile singer with diverse repertoire in both concert and opera.  The Münchner Merkur described her 2009 performance of American songs with Elysium-Between Two Continents in Germany as “technically more than brilliant… an overall elegant tightrope-walk between charming entertainment and profound quality…” The New York Times noted her “passionate and shapely performance” of Ernesto Cordero’s songs with guitarist Francisco Roldán at the 2008 Mannes Guitar Festival.  Gretchen most recently collaborated with guitarist Francisco Roldán on a CD of songs in Spanish and English released early this Fall.  She frequently performs works from Spain and the Americas in and around New York City with Francisco and pianist Alexander A. Wu.

In the contemporary realm, Ms. Farrar has performed chamber music with New Music New York, including works by Gleaves, Glass and Warde.  She has offered songs by Copland, Hundley and Swenson with pianist LeAnn Overton at Merkin Hall.  Gretchen has commissioned works by composers Rebecca Oswald and Lily Barmor Rose. On the opera stage, Gretchen most recently sang Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites with Hudson Opera Theatre.  Other credits include Anchorage Opera, Eugene Opera, Belleayre Festival Opera, Opera at Florham, Dicapo Opera, and National Lyric Opera.  Some of her roles have included Micaela, Serpina, Susanna, and Despina.

The Colombian-born guitarist, Francisco Roldán, has been entertaining audiences since his early years at the Mannes College of Music. He received annual scholarships and attained the Master’s Degree in Performance from the Mannes College of Music. He subsequently supplemented his studies by playing in master-classes for Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, and Paul O’Dette. In the spring of 1993 he gave a solo New York debut recital at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall that launched his career as a soloist.

Francisco Roldán has performed throughout the USA at Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall Weill Recital Hall and CAMI Hall in New York, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Harmony Hall in Maryland, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, for the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Puffin Gallery, the Colombian Consulates in New York and in Boston, the Smithsonian Library in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the City of New York, Round Top Music Festival, the Spanish Institute, Gracie Mansion, the Americas Society, and various universities and libraries. He has also played in Bogotá, Colombia and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His first CD of solo music, titled “Latin Guitar” (in which he interprets the music of Barrios, Lauro, and which contains the World Premiere recording of the Dominican composer Rafael Landestoy’s complete works for guitar), was released in 2003. In 2005 he released his second CD titled “Almost All Bach” in which he interprets the music of J.S. Bach and D. Scarlatti. Francisco Roldán is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension and Preparatory Divisions and at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

Celebrate Tito Puente with the Harbor Conservatory Latin Big Band

Dear Friends,

Join us on November 6, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. for a special concert produced by Joe Conzo celebrating the music of the late Tito Puente, the legendary composer and bandleader — one of the greatest figures in the history of Latin Jazz and Mambo. Louis Bauzó, a former member of the Tito Puente Orchestra, leads the Harbor Conservatory Latin Big Band in this thrilling concert honoring “The King of Latin Music” with special guest musician Ronnie Puente, Tito Puente’s eldest son, who continues his father’s musical legacy on percussion, bass, and saxophone. Adding to the excitement is a sizzling Salsa Dance performance. Celebrating Tito is a complement to the New York Historical Society’s current exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, Nueva York 1613-1945.

The Concert will be held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West. Full Price Ticket (Non-Members): $20.00, Member Cost: $10.00. Tickets for this program are sold through SmartTix, and can be ordered online at www.smarttix.com or by phone please call at 212-868-4444. The SmartTix Call Center is open 9am-8pm Monday through Friday, 10am-8pm Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday. For more information on programs, please call the N-YHS Public Programs Department at 212-485-9205.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

Director of Jazz Department to play Blue Note Jazz Club

Dear Friends,

Come join Gustavo Casenave, director of the Harbor Conservatory’s Jazz Department, and his trio this Sunday for an afternoon of Jazz and Tango at the world renowned Blue Note Jazz Club.  Brunch is served from 11:30 am until 4:00 pm, with showtimes at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. $24.50 includes brunch, the show and a drink.  For reservations please call 212/475-8592 or visit www.bluenote.net

To learn more about Gustavo, check out my interview with Mr. Casenave here.

Updates and News

Dear Friends,

The fall semester is quickly approaching, with registration taking place September 7th and classes beginning September 20th.  As always, there has been lots of activity at the Conservatory, and much exciting news to report.

We are proud to announce Conservatory Director Ramon Rodriguez has been awarded a 2010 Bobby Capo Lifetime Achievement Award. The Bobby Capó Lifetime Achievement Award was created by Battery Park City Authority in 1997 in honor of ‘Hispanic Heritage Month’.  There will be an awards ceremony on September 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm  followed by a concert at 7:00 pm featuring the California based Central American group, Opa Opa. The ceremony and concert will be held at the Battery Park City, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, and are free and open to the general public.

The award honors Hispanics within the State of New York who have distinguished themselves in the public, cultural, social sectors and in the arts. Joining Mr. Rodriguez in receiving this prestigious award are Susana Tubert, Co- Founder and Executive Director of the Latino International Theater Festival of New York, Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski, Founder and Executive Director of 100 Hispanic Women and Inspector David Colon, Community Affairs, New York City Police Department.

Serving as a testament to Rodriguez’ gifts as an educator, the Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble has been invited by Jazz at Lincoln Center to participate in their October 22nd and 23rd Afro-Cuban Jazz Celebration entitled, “Jazz Meets Clave.” The weekend celebration features Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the Rose Theater, and Chucho Valdes performing in The Allen Room.  This is an exciting opportunity for Harbor students to share billing with such major figures in the world of Jazz.

Keeping the music playing, on November 6th, the New York Historical Society will present the Harbor Conservatory Latin Big Band under the musical direction of Louis Bauzo in a tribute concert honoring the great King of Latin Music – Tito Puente. Produced by Puente’s right hand man—Joe Conzo, and featuring Ronnie Puente, the concert is part of the society’s programming in conjunction with the historic exhibition, Nueva York which opens this fall at El Museo del Barrio and examines Spanish speaking New York from the 1600s to 1940s.

The year ends with the December 26th Kwanza Celebration at the Museum of Natural History produced by Communityworks featuring Harbor Conservatory’s GESTURES Dance Ensemble. Joining GESTURES for this program is the world renowned Dance Theater of Harlem and other outstanding New York arts groups.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

The Making of a Musical Theater Student: Performance

Hello Friends,

For those of you who read part one of “The Making of a Musical Theater Student”, you now know what a day in the rehearsal life of a musical theater student is like.  If you haven’t read it, you can do so here.  Last Friday, following two weeks of rehearsals, the group performed what it had been perfecting behind closed doors…

The show opened with a Medley of Broadway songs, containing On Broadway (from 42nd Street), Greased Lightning (Grease), Ease on Down the Road (The Wiz), Little Shop (Little Shop of Horrors), and Part of Your World (Little Mermaid).  The songs were sharp, and the kids remained un-phased when an audience member began cheering before the piece was over.

Next came a hip-hop dance piece to the song Pump it Up by Joe Budden.  Dance instructor Natrea Blake explained the challenge in choreographing this song to the audience, as the students’ had different levels of dance experience.  The group did a great job, as the choreography worked well and the students were all in sync.

The following piece was a loosely written skit called “Elevator Breakdown”, which  required an audience member and improvisation from both the performers and audience participant.  This scene featured some great individual performing by Ohene Okera, who played a man freaking out on an elevator, requiring very specific, hilarious instructions to bring him back to normalcy.  Ohene shined, as did the very energetic woman brought in from the crowd.

Next was a piece called “Two Lost Souls”, with pianist Michika Fukumori accompanying performers Zoe George and Mylenia Lopez.  This clever, short skit had the girls singing, arguing, praising one another, and eventually angrily parting.  Well executed and very funny, the Zoe and Mylenia also got to showcase their impressive vocal abilities.

“The Kidnapping” followed, starring Bailey Lawson along with instructors Michael Awusie and Amy Hall.  Bailey played the wife of a kidnapped man, while Michael and Amy played interviewers for a major news station.  Bailey realized this interview would be seen by “thousands of people” and laughter ensues.  Her performance was mature and funny, and she did a great job oscillating between genuine emotion and made-for-tv emotional theatrics.

A tap dance piece featuring guest artist and professional tap dancer Marshall Davis Jr. (currently touring with Savion Glover) was next.  This was my first time seeing tap performed, and I was very impressed at the group’s ability to dance and create rhythms simultaneously while remaining in sync.

“My Fellow Cavemen” followed, the satirical caveman skit I mentioned in my rehearsal article.  The class completely embodied these characters, and performed the piece very well.  One of the kids briefly forgot a line, but recovered immediately and the scene continued without a hitch.

In “Tomorrow”, individual monologues were interspersed with the singing of Tomorrow (from the Broadway play Annie).  The ideas for these monologues, based on issues teenagers and young adults face, came from the kids themselves.  I really enjoyed seeing the serious side of the group, as this sad, somber piece gave new meaning to the song.

Another skit, “Landshark”, was performed next.  This comical piece had a killer land shark visiting peoples’ houses, fooling them into opening the door, and murdering them.  Switching between the shark break-ins and commentators covering the phenomenon, this skit was clever, hilarious, and very good.

To finish the show, the group sang and danced to You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray.  I had this song in my head all weekend, and the performers’ infectious energy reached its pinnacle on this song.  This was the perfect way to end the show on a high note.

So there you have it; from rehearsal to performance, the making of a musical theater student.  What this group achieved in two short weeks was nothing short of amazing.  I look forward to next year’s group already, and highly recommend any young teenager with an interest in musical theater check this camp out.

Pablo Mayor Launches 7th Annual Encounter of Columbian Musicians




June 18 & June 19, 2010


Pianist/Composer/ Bandleader and Educator Pablo Mayor, a long time member of the music faculty at Harbor Conservatory will present the 7th annual Encounter of Columbian Musicians in New York at El Museo del Barrio on June 18th and 19th. This popular festival features nearly twenty of New York’s renowned Colombian musical ensembles as well as special guests from Colombia. This event highlights Colombia’s musical treasures and its multiple rhythms like cumbia, currulao, vallenato, bambuco, and more, on the eve of the Bicentennial year of Colombian independence. El Museo del Barrio is located in the same building as Harbor Conservatory at Fifth Avenue and 104th Street.

Encuentro developed from an all-day event organized in Bogotá in 1998, when Pablo Mayor was directing the jazz program at the Universidad Javeriana. Mayor had students present music utilizing Colombian rhythms and melodies, with results so productive and enjoyable that Mayor made it the model when organizing a New York event in 2003. Encuentro highlights the finest contemporary and traditional Colombian music, brought together on the same stage for one of New York’s distinct “hot ticket” events

The Encounter, or Encuentro, continues to inspire, educate, and awe its audiences with its varied artist showcases, ranging from the poetry of Marta Gómez, to the fire of virtuoso percussionist Samuel Torres, to the pure joy of the Afro-Colombian music of Diego Obregon‘s marimba de chonta, to the more subtle sounds of Spanish-derived Andean guitar music this year featuring Plectro Trio direct from Colombia. Dance bands like La Cumbiamba eNeYe, Pablo Mayor’s renowned orchestra Folklore Urbano, and more jazz-oriented and avant-garde veterans like Hector Martignon and Lucía Pulido, reveal how Colombian music has taken its place at the forefront of the world music scene here in New York City and beyond.

Adult: at the door: $30.00, in advance: $25.00
Students /Members: $20.00 (valid ID required at the door)
Children (12 and under): $15 (ID required)

To purchase tickets online
Click on the links below ($1 convenience fee may apply):
For Friday: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/8153625
For Saturday: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/8153635
For TWO DAY Passes: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/8153625

To purchase tickets by phone
Please call toll-free OvationTix customer service number 866-811-4111 ($1 convenience fee may apply)

To purchase tickets at Box Office
Visit El Museo’s store, La Tienda, Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00am – 6:00pm.

All Jazz Ensemble and Harbor Jazz Composers Concerts Announced!

Harbor Jazz Composers: Concert Tuesday, June 8th at 7:30 PM.  Show will be held in the third floor theater and admission is free.  This ensemble will feature works by the Conservatory’s jazz composition students.

All Jazz Ensemble: Concert Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 PM.  Show will be held in the third floor theater and admission is free.  The ensemble will be performing an evening of jazz standards, and the Harbor Jazz Ensemble will be making a guest appearance.

Hope to see you all at the shows!

GESTURES Save the Date

Mark Your Calendars Now!

GESTURES Dance Ensemble
Two evenings of Dance
June 18 and 19, 7:30 PM
The Ailey Citigroup Theater
Joan Weill Center for Dance

“If you’re interested in checking out stars of the next generation, Gestures is a good place to start.” – Elizabeth Zimmer, METRO

Upcoming Events and Summer Programs

Hello Friends,

Here is a list of the upcoming events here at the Harbor Conservatory, along with a description of our summer programs:

May 7, 2010                   Mother’s Day Vocal Concert                                                              Third Floor Theater, Heckscher Building

June 5, 2010                 Theater Repertory Co. Performance                                      Third Floor Theater, Heckscher Building

June 7, 2010                  Musical Theater Workshop                                                                       Third Floor Theater, Heckscher Building

June 9, 2010                  The All Jazz Ensemble                                                                             Third Floor Theater, Heckscher Building

June 11, 2010                 Annual Vocal Recital                                                                                Third Floor Theater, Heckscher Building

June 12, 2010                 Footworks Dance Recital                                                                          HOSTOS Center for Arts

June 14, 2010                 Salute to Achievement                                                                             Featuring Harbor Conservatory’s 40 Anniversary                                         Mandarin Oriental

June 18, 19, 2010            GESTURES Dance Ensemble                                                                     Ailey Citigroup Theater

June 20, 2010                 Awards Music Recital                                                                               TBA

Registration Begins on June 28, 2010

July 6 – August 13: Summer Semester for Music students only.

July 6th – to July 17th: CLASSICAL MUSIC INTENSIVE for children ages 7-14, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Appropriate for both beginners and intermediate students. * All interested students or parents should contact the specific program director at 212-427- 2244, Dr. Martin Soderberg, Classical Music: ext. 557

July 2nd – to July 16th: MUSICAL THEATER INTENSIVE for youngsters’ ages 12-17, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm For beginners and intermediate students who love to perform and would like to learn more about musical theater. *All interested students or parents should contact the specific program director at 212-427- 2244 *Musical Theater: ext. 570/558, Nina Klyvert-Lawson/Michael Awusie

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