back to newsletters

Originally delivered on 1/16/2023 6:31 pm

SUBJECT: Music Monday 1.16.23

Image by Freepik

January 16, 2023
Message from the Reps

As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy today, let us reflect on how we can be a light within our communities, and be reminded that together, we can accomplish great things.

"Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

~from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 The Drum Major Instinct sermon.

Winter Concert Series

Hello Music Studio families! We hope you've had a restful extended weekend.

Hopefully you've had a chance to enjoy the winter concert series thus far, which has been absolutely astounding!

Congratulations to all of our young musicians and our music faculty! The talent and dedication of both, as evidenced by their performances, is unparalleled. Check out a few photo highlights below.

Our winter concert series continues next week on January 25, with New Music Showcase, followed by the final concerts of the season on January 26, with Senior Chorus at Carnegie Hall, and the Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band concert in the LaG concert hall.

Music Studio General Meeting

Please join us on Tuesday, January 17, at 8 p.m. on Zoom, for our next general music studio meeting. 

We will have special guests Mr. Blumenthal and Ms. Roof, who will be discussing their recent professional development experience at The Midwest Clinic - International Band and Orchestra Conference, which took place in Chicago in December. This conference is the premier event for the instrumental music education profession, where over 18,000 music educators, fine arts administrators, musicians, composers, industry professionals, and more, representing all 50 states and over 30 countries, gather annually for the largest conference of its kind in the world.

We will also discuss Jury Review for Juniors and Seniors.

Click here to join:

Meeting ID: 830 9235 4222

Passcode: 185200

All-School Spirit Shopping Day

Please note that the All-School Spirit Shopping Day has been changed, and is now happening on Thursday, January 19, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the 1st floor lobby.

Winter Musicales

Concert Orchestra

 Jonathan Bloomfield, Conductor

Dr. Valentina Shohdy, Assistant Conductor

Treble Chorus

Jeanne Cascio, Conductor

Mary Ann Swerdfeger, Assistant Director

Dr. Christopher Koelzer, Accompanist

Mixed Chorus with members of Symphony Orchestra

Jonah Piali, Conductor

Jana Ballard, Assistant Conductor

Dr. Christopher Koelzer, Accompanist

Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Valentina Shohdy, Conductor

String Orchestra

Jonathan Bloomfield, Conductor

Concert Band

Rocco Carbone, Conductor

Roslyn White, Conductor

Operetta Workshop

Mary Ann Swerdfeger, Producer

Dr. Valentina Shohdy, Conductor and Music Director

Dr. Christopher Koelzer, Accompanist and Assistant Music Director

Elementary Chorus

Dawn Jones, Conductor

Dr. Christopher Koelzer, Accompanist


Jana Ballard, Conductor

Dr. Christopher Koelzer, Accompanist

Fiorello Fridays

On Friday, January 13, Fiorello Friday featured the Jazz Vocal Club w/Jazz Orchestra.

Kevin Blancq, Advisor

Volunteers Needed

This Wednesday, January 18th, the Elementary Chorus is in need of five chaperones to accompany them to Sunnyside, Queens. We ask that chaperones meet at LaGuardia for a 4 p.m. departure and stay until dismissal at 7:10 p.m. If you can attend, please email our volunteer coordinator, Sherry Stuart-Berman directly at as soon as possible. 

Don't Forget!

Upcoming Events:

January 17 - Music Studio General Meeting via Zoom, 8 p.m. click here to attend

January 19 - All School Spirit Shopping Day, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., 1st floor lobby

January 19 - Concerts in Motion, Room 445

Session 1: 2:36 - 3:21 p.m.

Session 2: 3:25 - 4:10 p.m.

January 20 - Fiorello Fridays: Solo Voice, Jana Ballard, Advisor

January 25 - New Music Ensemble Winter Showcase, 6:30 p.m.

January 26 - Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band Concert, 6:30 p.m.

January 26- Senior Chorus performing at We Are Here: Songs from the Holocaust to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Carnegie Hall: Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, 7:30 p.m.

Click Here for more info and tickets

**Tickets for all on-site LaGuardia concerts can be purchased online at until 10am the day before the concert. They can also be purchased in person beginning one hour before the concert.**

Blurb from Ben

Hello Music Studio Families,

I hope you've had a chance to witness our wonderful Winter Concert Series thus far. Our winter performance season continues next week with New Music Showcase and Wind Symphony & Symphonic Concert Band. Hope to see you there!  

Below you'll find reminders regarding Concerts in Motion, Regents Week Blackout Dates, Jury information for Instrumental and Vocal Juniors and Seniors, and an important Commencement reminder for Seniors.

Concerts in Motion

Are you an artist looking to make a difference?

Are you interested in gaining performance experience in a fun and supportive environment?

Do you want to earn community service credit?

Concerts in Motion is a NYC-based nonprofit that, since 2009, has brought live music and engagement to individuals experiencing social isolation.

Our Youth Program provides students with the opportunity to perform music for our community members, participate in outreach efforts, earn service credit, and receive leadership training.

Attend a Youth Program info session to learn about how you can get involved!

Thursday, January 19th - Room 445

Session 1: 2:36 -3:21 p.m., Featuring CiM/LaGuardia Alum Orliana Morag

Session 2: 3:25 - 4:10 p.m., Featuring CiM/LaGuardia Alum Claire Coven

Can't attend? Email for more information

Regents Week Blackout Dates for Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band

Tuesday, January 24

Symphonic Band - 8:30 a.m to 12 p.m.

Wind Symphony - 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 25

Wind Symphony - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Symphonic Band - 1 to 2:30 p.m.

2023 Music Commencement Assessment for SENIORS ONLY

As we approach term two of your senior year at LaGuardia, we are thinking forward to graduation and the 2023 Music Commencement Assessment leading to the Chancellor’s Diploma Endorsement in Music. 

Please see the attached letter that was sent out to all 12th grade families and students on January 5th. The link to the google doc is HERE

2023 Juries for Instrumental and Vocal JUNIORS and SENIORS ONLY

Just a reminder that juries are happening during Regents week. Below you can find the original letters that were sent out in November.



Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions or concerns.

Benjamin Schott

Assistant Principal - Music

Music Studio Merchandise!!

Our online Music Studio Store is now openOrders will be available for pick-up on Fridays, from 3-4:30 pm, in the front lobby across from the security desk.

If you have questions or comments please email

Show Your Appreciation

Giving to your Music Studio has just become easier! 

We are happy to announce that we now have a QR code for direct donations to the Music Studio! No longer do you have to select Music Studio from a drop-down box. We welcome any donations, and all are greatly appreciated!  Just click the QR code below.

Other Opportunities


YO Jazz invites young musicians to audition for its summer 2023 season starting 9/8/22. Outstanding young musicians from across the US showcase the legacy and bright future of American jazz in a free rigorous training residency with world-class jazz masters on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY. Apply by 1/19/23.



NYO2 invites young musicians from groups underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestra field to audition for its free summer 2023 season starting 9/8/22.  Teen musicians from communities underrepresented in classical music work closely with top players from American orchestras and conservatories during a residency on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY. Apply by 1/19/23.


NYO-USA invites young musicians from across the US to audition for its free summer 2023 season starting 9/8/22. The program includes a training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians followed by a tour performing in great musical capitals of the world. Teens spend several weeks in sectional and full orchestra rehearsals, workshops designed to complement the repertoire, and social/recreational activities. Opportunities for orchestra librarians, orchestra management, and apprentice composers also available. Apply by 1/19/23.


Registration Now Open

Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center
530 W 166th St, New York, NY 10032
Washington Heights

Thursday, February 2, 2023 - 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

20 Cumming St, New York, NY 10034

Jazz Power Youth Spring Performance workshop is an award-winning, transformational, 12-week multidisciplinary program in singing, dancing and acting for youth ages 10-17. With support from the National Endowment from the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Miranda Family Fund with the Hispanic Federation, the Common Sense Fund, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the program is offered at no cost to families who fully commit to the program schedule and attendance policy.


2023 Summer Applications - Deadline January 25, 2023

This season offers more than 20 intensive programs for instrumentalists, singers, and composers, ages 14 through 20. Learn how to apply now on our website or flip through our brochure to feel a bit of Tanglewood Magic.

LaGuardia students have a coupon code for $30 off of their application! The code is 03BUTI29


2023 Summer Study Applications - Deadline January 25, 2023

We are so pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for Alumni & Friends Summer Study Grants for Summer 2023! 

Scholarships are available to juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, who may be eligible to receive financial assistance for supplemental study in their arts discipline during the summer of 2023. Find out all you need to know HERE.


Summer Applications Now Open

MSM Summer provides instruction and performance experience for students ages 8 to 17 in a dynamic conservatory setting. Students will develop their musical skills and will join a vibrant community of young musicians.  Early decision date: 1/16/23. Applications due by 2/17/23. Visit website for more details.

Precollege Applications Open 12/1/22

MSM’s Precollege program gives talented students professional instruction and multiple performing opportunities in a supportive environment, as well as collaborative time spent with like-minded peers, many of whom become life-long friends and colleagues. Students take part in either the Classical Program or the Jazz Program.

Instruction each Saturday throughout the school year includes a weekly private lesson and classes such as theory, ear training, composition, orchestra, chorus, and conducting. Students also take part in numerous performances held in our various recital halls. Click here for more information.


Summer String Quartet Program 

MICM, located in Northern Wisconsin is a summer program focused on chamber music. They offer an immersive three-week string quartet program for around 30 high school and college students. The program costs $3,865 including tuition, room and board. Scholarships are available and awarded based on financial need. Click here for more information.   Apply by 2/15/23.


Applications open 1/16/23

The NYU Steinhardt Music and Performing Arts Professions Summer Programs include the following options for students: Jazz Improv and Composers Workshop, Percussion, Strings, Brass Workshop, Woodwind Intensive, Piano Intensive, Vocal Performance Intensive, Screen Scoring Workshop, Songwriters Workshop, Musical Theatre Conducting Intensive, Music Technology Intensive, Music Business: What Makes a Star. Click the link above for more information.


Inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition 

Art of the Piano, led by Awadagin Pratt, is thrilled to hold its inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition.  Taking place in the summer of 2023, this bi-annual competition is specifically for talented young African American pianists.  

The aim of this Competition is to give these young artists a highly visible platform to showcase their skills, gain opportunities, experience, and support.  Additionally, the Competition aims to get more African American artists on concert stages in general, to commission new works, and to add more African American pianistic voices to the classical canon. Apply by 3/1/23.

Upcoming Events on the LaG School Calendar
Tuesday, January 17
4:30p Afterschool Dance hosted by Parent Association
Wednesday, January 18
Lunar New Year Celebration
11:15a Box Office Open
12:09p Senior Showcase
Friday, January 20
7:45a Fiorello Friday
4:00p Winter Dance Showcase
7:00p Winter Dance Showcase
Saturday, January 21
2:00p Winter Dance Showcase
Monday, January 23
COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution
Tuesday, January 24
6:00p SLT Mtg
Wednesday, January 25
11:15a Box Office Open
6:30p New Music Showcase
Thursday, January 26
2:30p School Spirit Shopping Day
6:30p Symphonic Band & Wind Symphony Concert
7:30p We Are Here: Songs from the Holocaust
Current Music Studio Board Members

General contact:

Instrumental Co-reps: Rebecca Sherman and Monique Johnson -

Vocal Co-reps: Marcee Smith and Christian O'Connor 

Corresponding Secretaries: Tauheedah Yasin and Danielle Soto

Recording Secretary: Catherine Bernstein and Laetitia Ducroux - Assistant 

Audit Manager: Barbette Leonard and Vanessa Enriquez - Audit Manager Assistant

Merchandise Director:  Marcee Smith and Diane Vasquez, Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinators - Sherry Stuart Berman and Sonya Houston

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -