Members of the MET Orchestra Musicians today visited The Richard Rodgers School of Arts and Technology, P.S. 166, to perform a “Musical Read-Aloud” — an original score composed to accompany Buzzard and Wren Have a Race, a story from the book A Ring of Trickers by Virginia Hamilton. The music was composed by Robert Miller, husband of MET Orchestra violinist Elena Barere, and the story was read aloud to children and teachers by New York City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal.
This children’s read-aloud program was organized by the MET Orchestra Musicians, who are engaging with communities across the city and advocating on issues that touch the lives of all New Yorkers—including the importance of a well-rounded cultural education, funding for arts organizations and artists, and increased diversity and equity in the arts.
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“We’re very excited to play for these young students at PS166!” said MET Orchestra cellist Kari Docter, “Countless studies have shown a strong link between music and a strong education. As musicians, parents and teachers, we are committed to strengthening the role music plays in the education of our children, as well as the role the arts play as part of a healthy, inclusive and positive society.”
“Once again, the MET Orchestra Musicians have demonstrated their commitment to the arts, their communities and to our children,” said NYC Councilmember Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan). “Clearly, this district is home to the most talented, passionate and devoted musicians in the world, and it’s an honor to call them my neighbors.”
“Music and the musicians who make it come alive play a vital role in our city and society at large,” said Tino Gagliardi, President, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians. “The MET Orchestra Musicians are not only musicians, they are New Yorkers—parents, teachers and community advocates who are active in the civic life of our city and who care passionately about the arts. Through their artistry and advocacy, they are inspiring our youngest generations to be creative, and showing that everyone can love and take part in the experience of music.”
This performance is a continuation of the MET Orchestra Musicians Community Performance Series, launched in 2017, which has included several important community performances, including two full-orchestra performances at the Veterans Affairs NY Harbor Healthcare System in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as three children’s “Musical Read-Alouds” taking place at Harry Belafonte Public Library in Harlem, with narration performed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; at Fort Washington Public Library, with narration performed by NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, and for Pre-K students at Harlem’s PS185/Early Childhood Discovery and Design. A MET Orchestra Musicians chamber orchestra performed Prokofiev’s children’s classic Peter and the Wolf with narration by NYC Councilmember Daniel Garodnick for students at the Rudolf-Steiner School in support of the environmental advocacy organization Our Children’s Trust.
For more information go to www.metorchestramusicians.org.
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For more information go to www.local802afm.org.
Photo credit: 1) 1) Helen Rosenthal poses with members of the MET Orchestra Musicians. 2) Helen Rosenthal and MET Orchestra Musicians are joined on stage by P.S. 166 students. 3) Helen Rosenthal reads “Buzzard and Wren Have a Race”. 4) Helen Rosenthal, P.S. 166 with MET Orchestra Musicians and PS 166 students.