2020 Music-Science-Drama Summer Program
DATE: July 13th-August 13th
LOCATION: Saint John's In the Village, 218 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014
AGE REQUIREMENT: Grades 6-12 (ages 12 and above)
9:00am-11:00am Chorus focusing on polyphony
11:00am-11:45am lunch break
11:45am-12:15am Journal writing
12:20am-2:10pm Classical science, geometric and astronomical construction
2:35pm – 4:45pm Opera-Drama camp
The 5-week 2019 Foundation summer program will focus on three specific elements—music, science and drama. No specific background in any of these fields are required for participation in this program. However, an inquisitive mind is a necessity.
Understanding polyphonic textures in chorus. Campers are asked to participate in learning choral masterworks spanning four centuries. This involves the weaving of multiple voices (more than 2 voices, often 3-4 voices) in and out of each other.
Western classical opera was developed from on the principles governing the Greek Tragedies—bringing together all elements of the arts—story-telling, acting, movements and vocal music. This portion of the summer program takes from the morning choral practices and extending it to a staged presentation of a musical drama. This year, the presentation is Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Campers will participate in realizing all aspects of the presentation, including set design, costume design, props design.
At the end of the 5 weeks, campers will perform the complete production: Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
The Science portion will encourage and equip the campers to determine for themselves whether and how there exists a pre-established harmony between "science" and "art". The topical outline of the five weeks is as follows:
WEEK ONE: The first week will introduce campers to the works and method of thinking of Plato, as portrayed in his Meno dialogue, including the “thought experiment” of doubling the area of a square. Campers will be challenged to reproduce the discovery made by Plato’s original character, and to use that discovery for additional experiments, including the physical construction of the five unique geometric figures termed “the Platonic solids.”
WEEK TWO: Instructors will introduce campers to the world of astronavigation—learning to navigate by the stars. The organization of the solar system itself was famously rendered scientifically intelligible by Johannes Kepler – in work which will be explored by the campers. The use of the astrolabe for navigation, including the voyages of discovery of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and earlier, including but not limited to the Columbian expeditions, will not only be discussed but reproduced through the campers’ classroom construction of the instrument.
The campers will also be challenged to construct the methods of astronomical discovery that utilized polyhedra, stellations of polyhedra, and even, depending upon interest and time, as such ancient navigational devices as the Pentagramma Mirificum.
WEEK THREE: Instructors will continue these investigations of constructive astronomy, and introduce the electromagnetic spectrum (gamma rays, ultraviolet and visible light, infrared and radio rays) as a topic of discussion, using the fascinating case of the Crab Nebula, which emits radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Students will construct astronomical instruments that tell us where we are, and how to measure the distance to another place without actually going there. These include instruments such as the quadrant, which measures the height of any celestial body above you; the sundial, which measures time and latitude; and the theodolite, which is used to measure the distance to any object by measuring angles from the horizontal and vertical planes.
Instructors will introduce campers to the musical and scientific discoveries made by Johannes Kepler, who demonstrated that the planets of our Solar System were arranged according to principles of Reason and Beauty. (The choral work done over the prior three weeks is here utilized and established to be a necessary prerequisite for this scientific investigation.) The campers will be challenged to reconstruct the model of the solar system as imagined by Kepler, and will be encouraged to discover the principles behind Kepler’s "musical intervals" which defined his idea of the orbits of the planets.
WEEK FIVE: Instructors will continue elements of the work of the first four weeks, in workshop format, in order to take up matters left unresolved in earlier sessions. Campers will also be introduced to Albert Einstein, both as scientist and violinist. The instructors will utilize a now-established interactive pedagogy, including the principle of idea communication through choral singing, to acquaint campers with the relationship between the design of crucial scientific experiments and the use of the device of irony in music, to design thought-experiments using musical ideas.
MEET THE PROGRAM DIRECTORS:
Summer Camp Overall Director and Opera Camp Director Foundation Board President, Elvira O, Green,
Elvira O. Green, a North Carolinian by birth, a 1962 graduate from NCCU, began her professional career as a mezzo-soprano at the NY Metropolitan Opera.
Miss Green has spent more than forty years on the world wide operatic, concert and musical theatre stages; San Francisco Opera, Teatro dell’opera di Roma, The Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, Holland, Washington Opera’s Spoleto Festival in Melbourne, Australia, Metropolitan Opera on tour in Japan, International and European Tour of George Gershwin’s masterpiece Porgy and Bess and a return engagement to Sydney, Australia for eight months in Hal Prince’s Broadway production of Show Boat.
World premieres with lead, featured or supporting roles: Civil Wars, by Philip Glass; Sojourner, by Valerie Capers; The Outcast by Noa Ains and Incident at San Bajo by Patrick Byers. Two historical recordings at the Smithsonian Performing Arts Archives: Handel’s Messiah; Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert and selections from Sojourner by Valerie Capers.
Ms. Green has travelled to eight countries on the African Continent as a music ambassador for the African/African Summit sponsored by IFESH (International Foundation For Education And Self Help), a component of OICI (Opportunities Industrialization Centers International).
Elvira serves on several important boards: The Greensboro Opera, Education component, NANM Inc. (National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.)—which was established in 1919; President of North Carolina Carol Brice Music Association; Director of THE “SINGERS” STUDIO, the Summer Opera Program for Pre-teens and Young Teens.
As an academician, beginning 2000-2017 professor Green was appointed at the University of the Virgin Islands in St Thomas to design a vocal studies program and while there, from 2001 to 2004 co-produced two Rogers and Hammerstein masterpieces, The King and I and The Sound of Music at Reichhold Theater. Beginning in August of 2005 - May 2017 Professor Green was a faculty member in the music department at her alma mater, North Carolina Central University , in Durham, NC.
Choral Director Frank mathis
FRANK MATHIS, baritone, grew up singing at Bethany Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA. As a chorister and soloist with the Schiller Institute, Mr. Mathis is a strong proponent of singing at the “Verdi Pitch” of A=432hz. He has co-directed choruses in the Boston and NYC areas, as well as in Germany. He is also the bass soloist and section leader at St. Michael’s the Archangel Parish in Greenwich, CT. Mr. Mathis Frank was a soloist in the Roland Hayes Life of Christ song cycle performed in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in 2016. He has performed regularly in concert with pianist, Jonathan DePeri in the weekly "Bach to the Future" concert series at St. John's in the West Village. Mr. Mathis trained with Italian Soprano Antonella Banaudi, and currently studies with NYC-based baritone Jonathan Hare. He has been a leading part of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture's program to expose public school children in all five boroughs of NYC to classical music and choral singing, and is the music director for FFRCC’s ongoing youth chorus and summer youth music-science program.
COMMITMENT: $500 for the whole Summer Camp. $50 application fee (which will be applied towards the Summer Camp. Installment payment and/or financial aid is available! (Please contact Ms. Yen 203.441.7488).