Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Check out this interview on Fox 5 with WHEELS music teacher Gian Tornatore! He speaks about the WQXR Instrument Drive and the importance of music education.

Monday, December 22, 2014

It has been a busy month for WHEELS music students! We saw Orpheus Chamber Orchestra perform at Carnegie Hall, and were lucky enough to be visited by Orpheus violinist Laura Frautschi on the Monday following the concert.

One of our ensembles helped WHEELS seniors celebrate mailing in their college applications at the annual WHEELS College March.

We put on our first ever Winter Concert with our new elementary school music program and WHEELS students ages 4-17 played music together!

A small student ensemble performed at several private holiday parties.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We are excited to have more opportunities this school year to learn from the amazing musicians in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. We recently attended a rehearsal with violinist Jennifer Koh, and later this week we will get to see Orpheus perform with Jennifer Koh at Carnegie Hall!

Last Wednesday one of our ensembles, the WHEELS Jazz Messengers, performed at our first middle school awards assembly of the school year. The Jazz Messengers played everything from traditional Cuban music ("El Cuarto De Tula") to spirituals ("Down By the Riverside") to jazz standards ("I've Got Rhythm") to pop music (Michael Jackson's "Thriller"). We're proud of our musicians and of all the students that received awards for achievements related to academics and character.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You can watch the WHEELS Fania All-Stars perform live online and on BronxNet TV at the Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College tomorrow at 10am. Click this link for more information.

We are thrilled and grateful to be the recipients of a generous instrument grant from WQXR and the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation! The instruments we received were collected during the WQXR Instrument Drive.

WHEELS music students performed at the NYPR Gala on Monday night and were interviewed by the New York Times. Check out the article and video released by the Times today, featuring WHEELS!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Last spring the WHEELS Music Program helped the WQXR Instrument Drive collect nearly 3,000 donated instruments for NYC public school music programs! Now WQXR is raising money to repair each of the donated instruments before the instruments are distributed to schools. Please share this video (which includes WHEELS music students) and show your support!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Earlier this month one of the WHEELS student ensembles, the Fania All-Stars, performed at the National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony. They put on a lively performance that included the tunes "Afro Blue" and "Chucho." We are very proud of all the NHS inductees for their academic achievements and service to our school community.

Our school community is strong because students work together both in and out of the classroom. The photo below shows a high school student coaching a middle school student on trombone after school.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The 2014-2015 school year is off to a great start! A quarter of our 60+ band students are in Jazz at Lincoln Center's middle and high school programs this school year, and all of our students in Pre-K, kindergarten, 6th grade and 7th grade are enrolled in general music classes!

We are taking time to reflect on our progress last school year as we set goals for this school year. Here are two videos (a quintet performance and a compilation) of performances during the 2013-2014 school year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eight WHEELS music students had a blast studying and performing at Camp MSM this summer. We're very proud of their hard work and thankful to MSM for playing such an important role in our students' education.

Check out this cool video from TED Ed about how music benefits your brain!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WHEELS music students performed in middle and high school demo bands led by the great professors Ronald Carter, Reginald Thomas, Rodney Whitaker, and Jim Gasior at the 2014 Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Band Director Academy was an amazing opportunity for WHEELS music students and teachers to study with the best musicians and teachers in the world!

Last week was action-packed for WHEELS music students. Students performed at the WHEELS 8th grade moving up ceremony, high school graduation, and the day after the last day of school at the TACD Summer Institute 2014 at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Last week electronic musician Luke Folger worked with and performed for WHEELS middle school students. He recorded samples of WHEELS students playing their instruments and let them improvise using those samples! Check out Luke's music here or see him perform live in this video.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Members of the WHEELS Fania All-Stars performed at the WHEELS High School Arts Expo today. We're very proud of all the WHEELS students who presented music, dance, drama, and visual art!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WHEELS music students and National Junior Honor Society members visited Isabella Geriatric Center earlier this week. Band students performed for residents and enjoyed spending time talking with them.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thank you to the Crane School of Music Latin Ensemble for performing for and coaching our students last week! WHEELS music students are feeling inspired to check out new repertoire, practice hard and apply to the Crane School of Music when it comes time to apply for college!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ten WHEELS music students will be attending the competitive international summer music program, Camp MSM, this summer at the Manhattan School of Music! Our students have worked hard for this wonderful opportunity to study with world-class musicians.
Our Spring Concert was a great success! Thank you to everyone that attended.

A lot has been going on since the Spring Concert. Last Sunday, five of our students performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Middle School Jazz Academy at a celebration of great Duke Ellington's 115th birthday at the Duke Ellington statue in Central Park.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

You're invited to the fourth annual WHEELS Spring Concert on Tuesday, April 8th at 6:00 pm in the WHEELS auditorium! This event is free and open to the public. The concert will feature 60 band students in grades 6-12. These students have engaged in a year-long study of the history and culture around Latin and jazz music. The program will feature instrumental versions of Latin and jazz standards as well as several songs that will showcase singing and dancing by WHEELS high school students.
WHEELS music students and families were very fortunate to receive tickets to see Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's concert last Saturday at Carnegie Hall thanks to the Access Orpheus program. And our students got a special treat the following Wednesday, when violist and Orpheus Artistic Director Dov Scheindlin visited WHEELS and taught our students about Hungarian music, being a professional musician and playing the viola.

Check out Telemundo's interviews with WHEELS music students on Telemundo's coverage of the WQXR instrument drive!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Yesterday WHEELS music students performed at the kick-off event for WQXR's instrument drive for NYC public schools! Our students spoke eloquently about why music is important in interviews with WQXR and Telemundo. Thank you to the NYC Department of Education, Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Lincoln Center, WQXR and all the other organizations and individuals who are supporting NYC public school students through the instrument drive.

WHEELS music student Saudy Familia played drums in Carnegie Hall with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra last Sunday. This incredible concert of Duke Ellington's sacred music featured conductor David Berger, tenor saxophone legend Jimmy Heath, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Vincent Gardner, clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski, tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith, six youth choirs from around New York City, and singers Nicole Cabell, Lalah Hathaway, Damien Sneed, and Rufus Bonds Jr. We could not be more proud of Saudy's hard work and excellent performance. We are very grateful to Jazz at Lincoln Center for giving our students such amazing opportunities. Click here to read a review of the concert in the New York Times.

Last weekend six WHEELS students auditioned for the Summer Arts Institute at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts! During the past week we also had 16 of our 6th and 7th graders audition for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Middle School Jazz Academy! We are very proud of all of our students for taking on these challenges, representing WHEELS well, and being reflective and learning from these experiences.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

WHEELS music students are helping to promote the WQXR Instrument Drive! Check out this video featuring WHEELS students. Thank you to WQXR for supporting music programs in NYC public schools, and to all who decide to donate instruments!
WHEELS music students provided entertainment for the second annual WHEELS Up! fundraiser last week. The band broadened its repertoire by adding James Brown, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams to its set consisting of pop, Latin and jazz standards.
Last weekend 14 WHEELS students auditioned for a competitive summer music program at the Manhattan School of Music called Camp MSM. We're very proud of all our students who represented our school so well and learned from this audition experience. Our students are continuing to practice hard for several more auditions for competitive music programs coming up in the next couple of months.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our seniors are in the final stretch of the college application process. Last week one of our drummers auditioned for the jazz program at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music!

Last week we celebrated our students' hard work throughout the first semester with an awards ceremony for the middle school. Congratulations to all the students that received awards, and to the band students that put on a great performance at the ceremony!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thank you to Ivan Dominguez for sharing his expert knowledge of Dominican drums with WHEELS students! Mr. Dominguez explained the history and traditions around a variety of authentic hand-made drums and percussion instruments, including the tambora.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last week was an extraordinary week for WHEELS students! First, President Obama acknowledged WHEELS senior Estiven Rodriguez in the State of the Union address on Tuesday! Then, rivaling the State of the Union address in terms of historical significance, Jennifer Lopez's new music video came out. The video features four WHEELS middle school band students involved in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Middle School Jazz Academy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Last night WHEELS music students attended an incredible performance by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii at Carnegie Hall. The program included Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major. We're grateful to Access Orpheus for giving us this opportunity!

We are very proud of the four WHEELS music students who put their hearts and souls into a lively performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Saturday. These students are part of the Middle School Jazz Academy. We're grateful to Jazz at Lincoln Center for all they do for our students.

Last Thursday WHEELS music students got together with music students from The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School to practice two tunes: "Amazing Grace" and Eddie Palmieri's "Vamonos Pa'l Monte." The students sounded great! This is the first time these students have collaborated, and we're looking forward to more collaborations in the future.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last week WHEELS music students got to attend one of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's rehearsals! We watched pianist Nobuyuki Tsuji rehearse Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 with the orchestra. Thank you to Access Orpheus for giving us this opportunity!
WHEELS students had a great time performing at the fundraiser for 3 Mariposas Montesorri! Linhardt Design Gallery is a beautiful venue. Check out the video of the performance.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On Friday, January 17, WHEELS music students will perform at a fundraiser for 3 Mariposas Montessori, a school in the Dominican Republic. Check out the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/258323417663372