Making Music On Julia Street
Several afternoons last May, the Julia Street Arts District overflowed with music. Surrounded by paintings and massive, fragile glass sculptures, small groups of local music students, coached by Birdfoot Festival artists, were oblivious to gallery visitors as they intensively explored works of classical chamber music. “Hearing music as they walked by, people would turn around and come back,” one Birdfoot artist observed. Students, parents, their Birdfoot coaches, and gallery owners alike were thrilled. Ginette Bone, co-owner of the Boyd-Satellite gallery said “it was a joy to have young people in the gallery making art. Their music was a perfect compliment to the artwork and enhanced the experience for the gallery visitors. I can’t wait for next year.”
Your support, along with a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, made Making Music on Julia Street possible. Surrounded by visual art, the students “learned how to be artists themselves creating music with one another…The audition process, the intense coaching, Birdfoot Backstage, and the performance class all get them thinking!” as a local music teacher noted.
Student ensembles, with the help of their local music teachers, prepare months in advance to audition for Birdfoot’s Chamber Music Mentoring Program. In addition to intensive coaching and mentoring from Birdfoot’s outstanding artists, many who are within 10 to 15 years of their age, students get the the chance to hang out with and watch their mentors rehearse and perform during the rest of the festival. Student reactions? “It was super cool to hear my coaches play in concerts and express everything they taught us during the coaching session and more!” Another put it more simply: “It’s fun!” A parent wrote afterwards, thanking the festival: “My sons are [now] eager for more, more, more professional training and performance opportunities…Birdfoot brings the outside world to us! It is an absolutely unique program in this region.”
Read The New Orleans Advocate article on Birdfoot 2014’s Mentoring Program HERE