August 18, 2010- Opus 118 Students Featured in Vogue Magazine's Famous September Issue
Our very own students were asked by Vogue to represent Harlem in the magazine's spread for Fashion's Night Out 2010. They posed with performers Amanda Warner, a.k.a. MNDR, and Mark Ronson for an exciting photo shoot in East Harlem.
August 14, 2010- Children's Youth Festival Performance during Harlem Week
Members of the Opus 118 Performance and Ensemble Groups performed for the children and families of Harlem. Above, Congressman Rangel poses for a picture with the students after cutting the ribbon at the festival's opening ceremony. The afternoon celebrated the talented children of Harlem with a variety of performances from community organizations.
July 1, 2010- Bob's Discount Furniture Grand Opening Performance
Opus 118 happily welcomes Bob's Discount Furniture to the community with the Grand Opening of their new location in East Harlem. Opus 118 continues to transform the lives of children through music education with Bob's generous contribution of $5,000. Several of our musicians will perform at the opening ceremony. Thank you Bob, and good luck!
June 16, 2010- End-of-the-Year Concert
Students performed at The Academy of Arts and Letters, finishing out the year on a high note! When the performances ended, co-founder Roberta Guaspari was honored by alumni.
May 25, 2010- Joint Recital with Stellae Boreales
Opus students welcomed the musicians who traveled from Ottowa, Canada to take part in an exchange concert. Our students were happy to host Stellae Boreales and welcome them to New York City.
May 13, 2010- El Museo del Barrio Honor’s RecitalCome join us in our Concert Campaign! Guests and friends are invited to attend a performance at El Museo del Barrio, New York City’s leading Latino cultural organization. The event will be held in the newly-renovated galleries of El Teatro at 7pm. This is the first concert Opus 118 will be performing following the launch of our Concert Campaign.
Guests and Performers Include:
Can't make it on the 13th? Come to El Museo del Barrio on Saturday May 15th at 4pm for an additional performance as part of the museum's Super Sábado!
April 29, 2010- Nuttin' But Stringz Signs on as Spokespersons for Opus 118
Brothers Damien and Tourie Escobar, who compose the international urban rock violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz announced today that they have become spokespersons for Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, to help bring awareness and raise funds to continue the program during these difficult economic times.
Jesi Kelley, a parent of one of an Opus 118 violin student, praised NBS’s support for the school, saying, "It's so important for kids to see that practice and hard work brings real rewards—whether music is something they see as a profession or a personal pleasure. It's important for kids to know that studying music can provide all kinds opportunities.
“NBS is a wonderful example to our children—two young men who worked hard work and practiced and went to Julliard for classical training. Now are making their way in the music business, playing the music they love and doing well,” she continued. "They’ve even inspired my child to work out their song ‘Broken Sorrow’ on his own... with notes and a key that he hasn't played in before. That's a really big deal."
Damien, 25, and Tourie, 23, have long known about Opus 118. Damien was asked to audition for the movie 'Music of the Heart,' the 1999 movie about Opus 118’s founding. "I was asked to play the violin for [the] movie" said Damien, “but I was studying at Julliard and I missed the audition—but, I won't miss the chance now to help out." Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, Damien and Tourie began studying the violin at ages 8 and 7, respectively. As young teenagers they played in New York’s subways to supplement their single mother’s income.
Nuttin' But Stringz’s breakthrough performance came at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater in December of 2004, during a live talent showcase known for an audience that has no patience for mediocre performers. The Escobar brothers placed third in the competition.
That success led to a number of club dates in 2005, as well as an appearance at the famed Radio City Music Hall and several other venues. They later performed on Today, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and on programs in France and Japan.
Their big break came in 2008, when they auditioned for the third season of NBC's “America’s Got Talent” and were unanimously selected by the judges to advance in the initial competition. Ultimately NBS was one of five acts to make it to the finals, placing second in the hotly contested national competition.
They have since performed beside such legendary performers as Andrea Bocelli, Patti LaBelle, Al Jarreau, the Isley Brothers, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin, took part in the Inaugural Ball for President Barrack Obama and played on “Dancing With the Stars” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” Their debut album, “Struggle,” went multi-platinum.
April 20, 2010- Violin Students' Grassroots Efforts to Save Their School
Students showcased their talents on the streets of New York City in a grassroots effort to spread the word of Opus 118's concert campaign. In an effort to preserve their music programs here at Opus and help raise $500,000 to play in their end-of-the-year-concert, students performed at ten different locations throughout Manhattan. These sites included: Times Square, Grand Central Station, The Apollo Theatre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Union Square, Columbus Circle and our main location on 125th Street. Children from the ages of 5-18 were accompanied by parents and staff, these same musicians have played at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, have opened for the New York Philharmonic and performed at the Children's Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C.
April 20, 2010- NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: Making a Difference
April 19, 2010-WPIX Channel 11 News and reporter Marvin Scott visit Opus 118
April 19, 2010-Time Out New York KIDS posted by Mary Squillace
April 18, 2010-New York Post Exclusive StoryStudents were interviewed at our 125th Street location by NY Post reporter Ginger Adams Otis. The piece focused on Opus' current challenges and underscored the need for an arts school within the community. The NY Post also made a video of their Opus experience:
April 8, 2010-Academy of Arts and Letters PerformanceStudents were invited to surprise actress Meryl Streep, on her induction into the Academy of Arts and Letters. During dinner our musicians processed out and began to play for the dinner guests. One of their pieces, Son Montuno, was written especially for Opus 118 by David Grusin. To close their performance Roberta asked Ms. Streep to join in playing Orange Blossom Special. Ms. Streep made everyone laugh when she responded that she’d “clear the room!”. Opus 118 was delighted to celebrate Ms. Streep’s induction with her.
March 22, 2010-International House Hosts Opus 118 in a Joint Recital
Musicians of Opus 118 and resident students of International House performed in a joint recital that included both solo and group pieces. Over 200 audience members were in attendance to support the students. The musicans performed several pieces from their repertoire including Sinfonia, Sonata in D Minor, Eleanor Rigby and Orange Blossom Special.
March 10, 2010-Performance at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai
Ten musicians of Opus 118 performed over closed-circuit television for patients at the Kravis Children’s Hospital. Over 100 patients watched the proud musicians perform. This event is but one of the many contributions Opus’ students have made to express their gratitude and appreciation of their surrounding community for all their support.
Opus 118 receives three-year grants from both New York State Council on the Arts and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
February 23, 2010-Bloomingdale’s Black History Month Rally Performance
Ten students were selected to perform at an internal event for executives and associates of Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street as part of the Bloomingdale’s Black History Month Rally. The event included the performance of “Take the A Train”, “Florida Blues” and “Orange Blossom Special” as well as two guest speakers chosen by Bloomingdale’s.
February 7, 2010-Performance for Fresh Air Fund
Opus students partnered with New York’s historic Fresh Air Fund to give a performance at their annual meeting.
January 14, 2010-Performance at United Jewish Federation of New York
Students gave a special performance for the United Jewish Federation of New York at their New York location on 59th Street.
November 5, 2009-Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series
Performers from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW led an interactive concert at Opus 118 with students, family members, and friends.
September 2009-Opus 118 Supported by Manhattan Borough President
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer issued Opus 118 a grant for the After-School Program.
June 16, 2009-End-of-the-Year Concert at the American Academy of the Arts and Letters
116 students from participating in-school programs offered by Opus 118 Harlem School of Music took the stage for their End-of-the-Year Concert at The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Students attend schools in the community including: PS 129, River East and Central Park East I and II. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Performance Roberta Guaspari, led the students in performances exhibiting their range. Among the pieces played were J.S. Bach’s “Peasant Cantata”, J. Offenbach’s “Can Can” from Orpheus in the Underworld and “We Shall Overcome”.
May 21, 2009-Special Performance at the Parsons Home
Chairman of Citigroup Richard Parsons and his wife Laura Parsons welcomed seventy-five guests into their home for a performance by the students of Opus 118. The event was in support of our program and celebrated the hard-work of our students and staff. The musician’s performance motivated Pamela Miles to issue Opus 118 a generous challenge grant in the amount of $100,000.
February 28, 2009-Lincoln Center; A Lincoln Portrait: Four Scores and More Little Orchestra Society and Mark O’Connor
Opus 118’s Performance Group and Junior Ensemble were invited by the renowned violinist and composer, Mark O’ Connor, to perform at Avery Fisher Hall for 8,000 guests. Along with Opus 118 and Mark O’Connor, the Little Orchestra Society joined them in celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Hosted by James Earl Jones, the performance included “Fiddler’s Dream” and a solo piece by one of our own students. Opus 118’s participation left a major impact on O’Connor, resulting in his donation of three full scholarships to our students.
February 26, 2009-Proclamation Awarded at New York City Hall
The New York City Council and Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito of the 8th District awarded Opus 118 with a Proclamation recognizing the Opus 118 staff, Performance Group and Junior Ensemble for their continued work and accomplishments throughout New York City. Students were publicly recognized and were given an opportunity to meet with lawmakers. Coucil Member Mark-Viverito was so strongly affected she made a follow-up visit with Opus in May. The Proclamation is now hanging proudly at our 125th Street location, reminding everyone of the service we provide for the City of New York.
January 19, 2009-Washington, DC; Children’s Inaugural Ball
An invitation was extended to the students of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music to honor our new president at the Every Child Matters’ Children's Inaugural Ball at the Historical Society of Washington in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009.
Members of the Performance Groups and Junior Ensembles were chosen to take the stage to play before 2,000 guests because. Roberta Guaspari led the twenty-five performers in several songs, including “Can Can”, “Florida Blues” and their closing piece, “We Shall Overcome”.
The performance generated a significant amount of media attention from community and national media outlets. Print magazines such as People, Time and Strad spoke to several of our performers, as well as newspapers El Diario, Harlem News and The New York Daily News.
January 17, 2009-FOX and Friends In-Studio Performance
Co-Anchors Steve Doocy and Alisyn Camerota invited the students to perform live on Fox News. The Performance Group and Junior Ensemble were chosen by Opus to attend the event, as a way to prepare each student for the performance and interviews they would have the next day at the Inauguration Ball. FOX was so impressed by the performance, they asked the students to perform an encore and even featured them in the online after-show.
January 16, 2009-CBS Early Show In-Studio Performance
Anchor Julie Chen, asked the students at Opus to perform live on a Friday morning to showcase their talent before their highly anticipated trip to Washington, DC. The students from the Performance Group and the Junior Ensemble played for a national audience. Once the musicians completed their set and interviewed with the anchor Julie Chen they ran to the green-room, anxious to see their televised segment.
January 13, 2009-NBC Nightly News In-Studio Performance
Anchor Brian Williams covered the segment which featured Opus 118 Harlem School Music on NBC Nightly News. Opus 118 was visited by NBC at our 125th location where news crews recorded several rehearsals and interviewed students, as well as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Performance. The feature helped to generate awareness of our programs and mission. After the segment Opus received a number of inquiries from viewers anxious to help us with our work.
October 16, 2008-Performance for Netherlands American Community Trust
Opus 118’s Performance Group and Junior Ensemble performed with other young musicians from the Netherlands to celebrate the Dutch relationship with New York City.
Fall 08-Opus 118 Announces Its New Community Programs Initiative
We are very excited about the development of the Community Programs Initiative which is a direct response to the growing demand of Opus 118's services in the community. Opus 118 partners with local organizations in bringing classes and performances to more students then ever before. This program was developed by Karen Geer, Dean of Instructional and Community programs, and Walter Grandberry, Director of Pathways to the Arts. Six programs are being developed under the Community Programs Initiative:
School-Day Residency Program—Students come to Opus 118 during the school day to study music. For example, students from a Head Start program bring their preschoolers to join our Music Within program.
In School Residencies—Teachers spend from 6 weeks to 32 weeks at a school developing a certain music project, for example, a vocal performance or recorder concert. With longer residencies instrumental programs can be developed.
School-Based After School programs in community centers—Community centers in Harlem already provide excellent services, but lack music programs. Opus 118 programs enhance the programs that are already at these centers. For example, the Harlem Education Activities Fund like a choral and violin program for their Saturday program to complement the already existing academic programs.
Professional Development for classroom teachers and teaching artists—Part of the training that Opus 118 can offer will be to train the teachers so that they can lead music activities in their own classrooms. We incorporate classroom management skill training for both teachers and teaching artists.
Public Performances—We include public performances in all community programs whenever possible in addition to creating a separate performances program in partnership with Harlem businesses.
Currently we are partnering with the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Esperanza and the Children’s Aid Society.
June 24, 2008-Prelude for the New York Philharmonic
Members of the Opus 118's string ensemble were invited to open for The New York Philharmonic before 16,000 guests on Tuesday, June 24, 2008. Twenty children, ages 6 to 14 were led by Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Performance, Roberta Guaspari on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The students were honored to perform at the concert, which was conducted by Bramwell Tovery in pieces by Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Sousa. It was the first in the season’s New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer.
Guests of the event were impressed by the musicianship our talented students have acquired through the instruction of our dedicated staff. Among the audience was Philharmonic Chairman Paul B. Guenther who expressed his support for Opus 118.
“The New York Philharmonic is delighted to welcome students from the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music to our Central Park stage. Their success story is one that all New Yorkers should celebrate, and a testament to the power and importance of music education for young people - a commitment wholeheartedly shared by the New York Philharmonic.”
103 East 125th Street, 7th Floor | New York, NY 10035 | 212.831.4455