The VITA Academy under the direction of Pete Nowlen will host two fundraising concerts — one in Davis, and one in Sacramento — to benefit its Link Up program, which promotes music education in the schools.
The first event will be Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. for a silent auction followed by an 8 p.m. concert at the Davis Art Center at 1919 F St. It will be repeated at 40 Acres Gallery, 3428 Third Ave. in Sacramento, on Sunday, Sept. 15, with the auction at 1:30 p.m. and concert at 2 p.m.
Participating musicians will include Pete Nowlen, who teaches at UC Davis and Sacramento State and recently became the artistic adviser with the Music in the Mountains festival in Nevada County on French horn; Deborah Pittman, who recently retired after many years on the Sacramento State faculty, on clarinet and Native American flute; Maquette Kuper, leader of the Davis Flute Choir and a member of the Auburn Symphony, on flute; Randy Fisher, violin and viola; Lena Andaya, cello; and Omari Tau, baritone.
The musical program will offer a variety of music from Beethoven to be-bop. The program will begin with the Trio in C Major for flute, violin and cello by Franz Anton Hoffmeister, who was a contemporary and friend of both Mozart and Beethoven. Hoffmeister founded the music publishing business Bureau de Musique, which eventually was taken over by C.F. Peter, a business that still exists today.
Also on the program will be American composer Randall Thompson’s Suite for Oboe, Clarinet and Viola. Thompson is probably best known for his oft-performed choral work “Alleluia.” Thompson both graduated from and ended up teaching at Harvard. At one point, he also taught at UC Berkeley and was director of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The program also includes music for flute and clarinet by British composers Malcolm Arnold (“Fantasy”) and Terry Kenny (“Bop Until You Drop!”). American composer Jan Bach’s “2-Bit Contraptions” for flute and French horn is a humorous work subtitled “A Collection of Diverse and Sundry Musical Amusements for a Contaminated Rainy Afternoon.” The audience will participate in the conclusion of the concert with songs from the Link Up curriculum.
The theme for the silent auctions will be “Mirror Mirror on the Wall.” One-of-a-kind art pieces created from mirrors by local artists will be auctioned while hors d’oeuvres are served.
The proceeds from these concerts will go to scholarship funds to cover the cost of teachers using the program in their classroom. Each school may send a teacher representative to one of the events to learn more about the Link Up curriculum. Attending the event will allow the teacher to receive a discount if he or she elects to participate in the 2013-14 Link Up program. Teachers may apply for a complimentary ticket at the VITA Academy website, www.VITAAcademy.org.
Link Up is a general music curriculum developed through the Carnegie Hall Weill Institute and implemented by orchestras across the country. Link Up culminates in an end-of-the-year concert, where students sing and play along in an interactive performance experience with the local orchestra. The Sacramento area students perform the same program in the Concert Hall at Sacramento State with the VITA Academy Orchestra.
This year will be the fourth year it has been offered in the Sacramento area, which includes schools in Davis, Esparto and Sacramento. It was so successful that it was awarded an Excellence in Education Award by the Yolo County Office of Education. Unlike the pull-out music programs, Link Up is taught in the classroom to all the students so that every student can benefit from a music education.
The proceeds from these concerts will benefit the scholarship funds for classroom teachers to apply for grants to cover the costs for implementing the program in their classrooms.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit www.VITAAcademy.org or call 530-756-7380 or 916-595-3351.