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Originally delivered on 4/24/2023 6:21 pm

SUBJECT: Music Monday 4.23.23

image by Freepik

April 23, 2023
Message from the Reps

Hello Music Studio Families!

Today is the last Monday of April! Can you believe it?

Please join us tonight for our Music Studio general meeting at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. The virtual doors open at 7 p.m., but the meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Click HERE to join.

Tomorrow night, don't miss the Spring Band Concert featuring all three wind bands! Read on below to find out why this concert is so special and don't forget to purchase your tickets! Remember, cash only at the door.

Spring Band Concert, April 25th
You Don't Want to Miss This Concert!

For the first time, the LaGuardia High School Spring Band Concert will feature all three wind bands at LaGuardia - Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band and Concert Band. This concert, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 25th will celebrate the work of the entire wind band at LaGuardia!

The diverse programming includes pieces rooted in the wind band history, newer works from living composers, and three NYC based composers. During the concert, we are featuring five alumni brass players - all ranging in graduation years from 1969-2020. The alumni brass quintet will be featured in a performance of Bernstein's Suite from Mass with the LaGuardia High School Wind Symphony.

If you have not heard or seen the bands in a few years, this concert is a great time to reacquaint yourself with the wonderful work of our band students! 

Concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets HERE

Read on to learn more about the pieces being performed, below.

Concert Notes
A Note from Kimberly Roof, Conductor of Symphonic Band

Music has the power to engage and connect on many levels. The music itself must be viable. It has to have boundaries - it must say something. “Music for musics’ sake” is a common arts phrase. While this is true, much more goes into finding repertoire that students see themselves in, feel seen by the composer, get excited to play, is an appropriate skill level, and works cohesively in an artistic program. Admittedly, organizing a concert program is one of the hardest parts of the job as a conductor because the music is the curriculum. But it’s worth all the effort because it can have the greatest impact on classroom community, student representation, technical and rehearsal skills, and how the music makes them feel, which in turn enhances the depth of performance and connection with the audience.

Concert Band

Rocco Carbone, Conductor

Roslyn White, Conductor

Intrinsic Light - Cait Nishimura

With six sight singing classes to teach this year, and many of the students in the Concert Band also enrolled in sight singing class, the piece Intrinsic Light was selected for the vocal components embedded within the song at the beginning, middle, and end, among other things. Everyone eventually sings during multiple portions of the composition. Students voted on which pieces they wanted to perform from a list of various options, and this piece was one of the winners. Written by Cait Nishimura, who is a woman of color, this piece was also selected to highlight underrepresented composers. In this piece, students are challenged to work on intonation and listening across the ensemble to create a cohesive sound. Music is a language, and good communication has as much to do with speaking as it does listening.

The Bicycle Shoppe - Lisa DeSpain

On any given day, students can see Ms. White riding her bike to and from school, or walking down the hallway with her helmet on. The Bicycle Shoppe is reminiscent of this image. Lisa DeSpain is an underrepresented female composer. This piece displays all of the quirks, hustle, and bustle that can be found in a bicycle shoppe and on the streets of NYC as well as the sounds of students developing their own musical voices. Students voted on which pieces they wanted to perform from a list of various options, and this piece was another one of the winners. 

This Cruel Moon - John Mackey

This piece is an adaptation of the middle movement of Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band. The full symphony tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home following his victory in the Trojan War. But Odysseus’ journey would take as long as the war itself. Homer called the ocean on which Odysseus sailed, a wine-dark sea, and for the Greek king it was as murky and disorienting as its name; he would not find his way across it without first losing himself.

This Cruel Moon is the song of a beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who find Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone. She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom. Odysseus shares her bed; seven years pass. The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love. But one day Odysseus remembers his home. He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son. He scoffs at all she has given him. Kalypso is heartbroken. And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom. She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus. In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home.  Shattered, she watches him go; he does not look back. 

-Program Note by composer

Olympiada - Samuel R. Hazo

Olympiada was written to capture the human conditions of intense glory and pain that only the Olympic Games can inspire, while musically tying themes with a historic Greek feel to modern chord changes and melodies. It opens with an Olympic style brass fanfare to set the tone, and quickly breaks into a variety of themes and settings representing athletic struggle before recapitulating the fanfare at the end.

In its simplest analysis, the piece can be translated as a tone poem of a race. The piece begins with a driving ostinato in the woodwinds. The melodies, rhythms and textures then take the listener through the pace of such a competition. Adrenaline surges and excitement at the outset make way for the low brass theme representing vigorous effort. Layered on top of the low brass theme is the melodic line that immediately preceded it, only this time sounding much more strained. Then, the primal drums take over, conveying a racing pulse surrounded by asymmetric rhythms. The introductory theme is then repeated in a minor key with Greek woodwind passages played over top, representing the timelessness of physical competition. Following the threshold of pain expressed through rising staccato sixteenth-note passages, the tension is released with uplifting chords and textures, symbolizing the end of a struggle and a sense of victory. The recapitulated fanfare is then played by the entire ensemble signifying the sense of global unity, brought about for athleticism, which is the fundamental doctrine of the Olympic Games.

- Program Note by composer

Wind Symphony

David Blumenthal, Conductor

Kimberly Roof, Assistant Conductor

The Wind Symphony’s program on Tuesday evening is a celebration. A celebration of numerous composers and their vibrant, rich and dynamic compositions, as well as a celebration of LaGuardia’s history and alumni. We strive to create programs that are compositionally vivid and historically diverse. This program features music by living composers, historically underrepresented composers, composers who are connected to our wonderful city, and so much more. 

Overture in Five Flat - Julie Giroux

The Wind Symphony begins their program with Julie Giroux’s Overture in Five Flat. Giroux began writing music for the concert band in 1983. She has composed and published numerous works for professional wind ensembles, military bands, colleges and public schools. Giroux has conducted her music in clinics worldwide, as well as written works for symphony orchestra (including chorus), chamber ensembles, wind ensembles, soloists, brass and woodwind quintets and many other serious and commercial formats. The first page of the score sums up the nature of this piece by stating: "Quarter Note = You've got 5 minutes!"

Here We Rest - Anthony Barfield

Anthony Barfield’s Here We Rest, is a work “Dedicated to the state of Alabama in tribute to the victims of the 2011 tornado and those who were affected by it.” Barfield is an Emmy Nominated composer and multi platinum producer based in New York City. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Anthony has received commissions from organizations such as The New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with performances by orchestras such as The Toronto Symphony, The Seattle Symphony and Kansas City Symphony. Recently, our Wind Symphony student’s had the amazing opportunity of working with Anthony on his piece. He is incredibly excited for their performance this Tuesday.

Suite from MASS - Leonard Bernstein arr.

Michael Sweeney

Alumni Brass Quintet:

Richard Titone, Trumpet - M&A '69 

Kal Ferretti, Trumpet - LaG '20

Alejandro Gandara, Horn - LaG '17

Jack Schatz, Trombone - PA '75

Marcus Rojas, Tuba - M&A '81

Bernstein’s MASS is one of his most seminal and dramatic works. Premiered in 1971, the work contains profound messages of peace and unity that are deeply embedded into the music and the texts. On Tuesday evening, the Wind Symphony will perform a suite of the music from MASS, featuring an alumni brass quintet! These musicians represent multiple generations of alumni and our shared history, ranging in graduation years from 1969-2020. 

American Hymnsong Suite - Dwayne S. Milburn

I. Prelude on Wonderous Love

II. Ballad on Balm Gilead

III. Scherzo on Nettleton

IV. March on Wilson

Dwayne S. Milburn’s American Hymnsong Suite is firmly rooted in his family's history as church musicians. He “grew up singing and playing many different hymns, including the four tunes featured in this work.” A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Milburn is now a Lecturer in Music at UCLA, after completing a twenty-year career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Music Program.

Of Our New Day Begun - Omar Thomas

Born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, Thomas’ music is described as "elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent." The music of Omar Thomas continues to move listeners everywhere it is performed. Thomas writes, “Of Our New Day Begun was written to honor nine beautiful souls who lost their lives to a callous act of hatred and domestic terrorism on the evening of June 17, 2015 while worshiping in their beloved sanctuary, the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (affectionately referred to as “Mother Emanuel”) in Charleston, South Carolina. My greatest challenge in creating this work was walking the line between reverence for the victims and their families, and honoring my strong, bitter feelings towards both the perpetrator and the segments of our society that continue to create people like him. I realized that the most powerful musical expression I could offer incorporated elements from both sides of that line - embracing my pain and anger while being moved by the displays of grace and forgiveness demonstrated by the victims’ families.”

Symphonic Band

Kimberly Roof, Conductor

David Blumenthal, Assistant Conductor

The music selected for the Symphonic Band is a compositionally rich and historically diverse program featuring music by living composers, historically underrepresented composers, and composers who helped shape the beginning of the wind band genre.

Salt March - Aakash Mittal

Aakash Mittal is a NYC  composer and improviser. His work Salt March expresses elements of Hindustani Raga music as he depicts a contemporary imagining of the 1930 protest led by Ghandi.

Awakenings - Kimberly Archer

Kimberly Archer teaches music theory, aural skills and orchestration at Southern Illinois University. Dr. Archer is noted as a strong scholar in her field with high regard by her national and international colleagues and is the first woman to be commissioned by the “President’s Own” United States Marine Corp Band to write a composition (Fanfare Politeia) for a U.S. Presidential Inauguration, performed at the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Jan. 2021, also performing at Carnegie Hall in October of this school year. 

Awakenings, is based off of the Octotonic scale, which is made up of alternating whole and half steps.

Second Suite in F - Gustav Holst ed. Colin Matthews

I. March

II. Song Without Words

III. Song of the Blacksmith

IV. Fantasia on the "Dargason"

Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst was written in 1911, but not performed until 1922. It occupies a legendary position in the wind band repertory and can be seen as one of the earliest examples of the modern wind band instrumentation still frequently performed today.  Holst’s Two Suites for Military Band are like the mortar that binds the building blocks of military band instrumentation since the end of World War II.

Diamond Tide - Viet Cuong

I. Moderato

II. Allegro

Vietnamese-American composer Viet Cuong formerly lived in NYC and is now a professor at the University of Nevada.  His piece Diamond Tide features our percussion section, using common household items as instruments and a reimagining of typical percussion sounds.

Teacher Spotlight
Introducing the Spring Concert Band Conductors:
Rocco Carbone

This is Mr. Carbone’s third year at LaGuardia. He is Co-Director for the Concert Band as well as the Jazz Ensemble Director. As a part of the Jazz department, he also teaches Jazz Improvisation. Mr. Carbone enjoys music from all genres and periods. He loves teaching his music history course as it presents another opportunity to share an even wider breadth of music, not limited to the ensembles that he teaches. As a woodwind specialist, Mr. Carbone shares his expertise within his woodwinds class.

Outside of LaGuarida, Mr. Carbone is a Director for the All-City Concert Band and he is a mentor teacher for the Paul Simon Music Fellows. Mr. Carbone is active within the performing community here in New York, but feels most at home when he is sharing music with his students.

Roslyn White

Roslyn White is from the Bronx, NY. Her primary instrument is the French Horn. She is an assistant band director for the Middle School Jazz Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and a beginning jazz band director at Harlem School of the Arts. An alum of LaGuardia, Ms. White has taught Concert Band, Elementary Brass, Sight Singing, Music Theory, Music History, Jazz Improvisation, and Career Preparation and Media classes here.

Kimberly Roof Arazosa

Kimberly Roof Arazosa has been a teacher at LaGuardia for six years,  where she teaches Woodwinds, Chamber Winds, Music Theory, Music History, and Band. She is an active conductor in NYC and performs regularly with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, which is under the auspice of the Metropolitan Music Community (MMC), serving as the Assistant Conductor and clarinetist, and in 2019 she was appointed as the MMC President. In 2018 she was a semifinalist for the American Prize in conducting. 

Committed to advancing the wind band medium, Kimberly is involved in commissioning from new and established composers: including Michael Colgrass, Adam Schoenberg, Paul Moravec, Anthony Barfeld, David Heckenorn, Joel Puckett, and Aakash Mittal. 

Besides her musical endeavors, Kimberly participates competitively in triathlons (she is now an Ironman!) and can be found running or cycling throughout NYC and Long Island. She lives outside NYC with her husband Matt and 2 year old daughter, Nadia.

David Blumenthal

David Blumenthal has been a member of the instrumental music faculty at LaGuardia for five years. Throughout his tenure, David has conducted numerous ensembles, including the wind bands and musical pit orchestra, as well as taught courses in conducting and orchestration, music theory, aural skills, music history and brass techniques. Prior to joining the wonderful team of teachers at LaGuardia, David spent two years in Los Angeles, earning a Master of Music degree in wind band conducting from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

In addition to being a musician and educator, David is an avid hiker and cook. He currently resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his fiancé Leah, and their two dogs Ziggy and Graham.

Blurb From Ben

Hello Music Studio Families,

Our spring performance season continues with a very special Spring Band Concert tomorrow night, featuring all three wind bands for the very first time at LaGuardia! 

Tickets can be purchased HERE.

As we create the calendar, we must balance the needs of the studios, and student academic needs and commitments.  The below provides all ensembles with an opportunity to demonstrate their learning through performance.  

Tickets can be purchased at


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

Benjamin Schott

Assistant Principal - Music

Volunteers Needed


Hello, Music Families! 

Please log in to your Membership Tool Kit account or, if you don't have an account, you can create one HERE. Then choose how you would like to help. 

Lend a helping hand and meet fellow Music Studio parents too!

Your help is always needed and much appreciated!

Don't Forget!


April 24- Music Studio General Meeting, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Virtual doors open at 7pm. Click HERE to join 

April 25- LaGuardia Wind Bands Concert: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, 6:30 p.m. 

April 28 - Fiorello Friday, 7:45 a.m.

April 28 - Spring Musicale #1: Concert Orchestra, Treble Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, 6 p.m. 

May 2 - Spring Musicale #2: String Orchestra, Elementary Chorus, Cantare, Jazz Ensemble, 6 p.m. 

Show Your Support
Now There's Even More Ways to Support the Music Studio!

Text LAGMUSIC to 44321 to receive a private link to donate via credit card or bank account.

Celebrate your student and support the LaGuardia High School Music Studio! 

Don't forget to share with your networks!

Music Studio Merchandise!!

The Music Studio has some NEW MERCHANDISE just in time for Spring!

Don't be shy; show off your school spirit in our latest 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

Other Opportunities


Teen Summer Workshops

Welcome to Summer at Third Street!

We understand the importance of continuing your music and dance education year round, so we hope that you will register for individual lessons, or one of our exciting summer workshops:

Piano Ensemble Workshop

Chamber Music Workshop

Musical Theatre Workshop, Level II

Jazz Workshop

Instrument or Voice Lessons


From the Top is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of young classically-trained musicians ages 8-18. Students take part in their Fellowship, which includes recording for the NPR radio program and participating in online sessions with peers, exploring the power of community engagement, content creation, and career paths as musicians. 

If you would like to apply for this opportunity click HERE 

Application Deadline: June 15, 2023

FROM THE TOP Scholarship Opportunity

For any dedicated young musicians with financial need, in need of funds to support an instrument purchase, regular private lessons, or summer program tuition, students can apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. From the Top’s need-based award of up to $10,000 given in conjunction with full participation in From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab Fellowship.

  • High School seniors graduating in 2024 must apply by November 15, 2023 in order to be considered for the award before graduation.


Application deadlines vary by program, so please check the website.

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.

Upcoming Events on the LaG School Calendar
Tuesday, April 25
12th Grade Special Activity
9th Grade Special Activity
6:00p SLT Mtg
6:30p Wind Bands Concert
Wednesday, April 26
11:15a Box Office Open
12:09p Senior Showcase
Thursday, April 27
2:30p School Spirit Shopping Day
Friday, April 28
7:45a Fiorello Friday
International Food Fair
COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution
1:00p Senior Artshow #4
6:00p Spring Musicale #1
Tuesday, May 2
6:00p Spring Musicale #2
7:00p Our Town (Multilingual)
Wednesday, May 3
11:15a Box Office Open
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

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