Accents & Illuminations Newsletter – October 2020
Below is our Quarterly update from October 2020.
The Twin Cities Roy Hargrove Band at The Rondo Community Music Series this October, rewatch anytime.
Walker|West Accents & Illuminations
October 2020 Newsletter
Resilience Through Community
Exploring the Healing Power of Music and the Strength of Walker|West
Music accompanies movements for change and keeps people connected. Through spirituals, protest songs, and cultural classics the soul of our society is crafted in tune. Whether we seek justice and solidarity, or share a moment with family and friends, music is ever present.
Our organization continues to update our programming and capabilities to ensure the safety of our music learning community. It’s possible to gather, explore, and grow through music no matter our physical location. At Walker|West Music Academy we establish safe, enjoyable, and memorable experiences for all ages and backgrounds.
In this newsletter, you can explore the ways we gather through music and power through the season.
Keep scrolling to catch up with Walker|West!
“Drums. Music. Life.” Listen Anywhere.
Hear Kevin and his family share musical performances and rich cultural history, while highlighting how music is instrumental in positive mental health, especially within the African American experience.
Walker|West is grateful for continued and renewed support for our mission and programs. Here’s a look at some of the major support we have received this quarter:
- City of Saint Paul Cultural Star: for General Operations
- Sharon Garth: for Organizational Growth Through Debt Retirement Matching Initiative
- The Joan T. Smith Estate
- MAHADH Fund of HRK Foundation: for General Operations
- Minnesota State Arts Board: for General Operations and Creative Support
- Nordson: for the Early Childhood Music program
- Margaret Perryman
- Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation: for support through Covid-19 and an investment in technology
- Roderick Cox Music Initiative
Roderick Cox during a virtual visit to Walker|West.
Special thanks to the Roderick Cox Music Initiative for their focus on Strings and Classical Music for students of color. Roderick Cox Music Initiative Scholarships provide instruments to students in need, as well as funding for further learning opportunities. With the removal of financial barriers, passionate students remain empowered to focus on their journeys and dreams.
To make a major gift contact Braxton Haulcy, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To join our giving community as an one-time or monthly donor visit our website: walkerwest.org/our-music-school-community/how-to-donate/
Partners in Healing
Walker|West is invested in improving life and inspiring success through music education and music access. We are happy to collaborate with our community partners to explore reflection and healing through art and expression.
The Time is Now
In response to the tragic death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, in partnership with the McKnight Foundation initiated “Art in This Present Moment.”
This initiative supports artists who address social issues with their work. Several organizations including Walker|West were selected to participate. Composer, pianist, and Walker|West teaching and performing artist William E. Duncan was chosen to create and perform an original composition. Mr. Duncan was also interviewed to give his perspective on the importance of art during these times.
|Learn More About ‘Art In This Present Moment’|
Artists for premiere of “How Many Breaths…” seen from left to right: Lou Bellamy, Sarah Bellamy, Ariana Kim, Steve Heitzeg, and Walker|West’s own Sherine Onukwuwe
Art is the Backbone of Resistance
The premiere of “How Many Breaths? In memory of George Floyd and Countless Others” created by Violinist, Ariana Kim, took place on September 27th in the Walker|West performance hall. Walker|West’s new Executive Assistant, artist, TV host, and anti-bias education specialist Sherine Onukwuwe was invited to moderate the subsequent panel discussion following the premiere.
Please join us in welcoming Sherine! We are happy to have her on the team.
Walker|West at Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School
Music education is a necessary tool in the pursuit of academic excellence. Music learning inspires leaders of tomorrow, promoting brain development and opening space for exploration and artistic expression.
In a new partnership with Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School, we expand on our mission and highlight the K-5 student voice, despite limited access to music education in public schools. A series of online videos and mindfulness activities combine cultural representation with interviews of musicians and musical demonstrations. The host and narrator of the series is 10 years old and videos are presented via remote learning this 2020 – 2021 school year.
Stay connected as we build “Walker|West without Walls.”
Follow us on social media & join our mailing list for regular updates on programming, performances, students & teaching/performing artists.
A Space for Everyone
We are proud to teach music to any student no matter their age or background. Music has been proven to increase motor skills, cognition and promotes overall success. We teach music to children as young as one year and individuals over 70 years old. We believe in the power of life-long music learning.
Music for Families lead instructor Ivory Doublette working with a young music learner, during a pre-COVID19 session. Our early childhood program, in partnership with McPhail is currently enrolling.
Music for Families: An Interview with Main Instructor, Ivory Doublette
Ivory Doublette excels as the instructor for our Early Childhood Music Learning Program. To say that she is well-received by the little ones is an understatement. Families find joy in making memories with her each session.
“Being able to have access to YouTube versions of class as well as Zoom sessions helps keep families engaged in a way that works for them. I also think having the option of not commuting for extracurriculars during MN winters is also a bonus!”
For these young students and their families – virtual learning has its perks.
Tom Kellogg sits down at the keyboard with Walker-West founder and instructor Grant Walker. Kellogg is one of many students enrolled in the academy’s new program for aspiring musicians age 55 and older. Photo by Brad Stauffer; Caption by Anne Murphy
Lifelong Music Learning: Walker|West featured in The Villager
“Playing an instrument is good for the brain cells and it’s good for the outlook. It’s so important to have this kind of outlet today. Music is a gift, and lessons are a gift learners can give to themselves.”
Creating safe and new ways to gather through music is a critical part of bringing hope and healing to our communities. Every generation benefits from the gift of music. This is why we’re proud to provide music lessons for older adults (55+) who wish to start learning music or improve on the instrument of their choice.
*Due to COVID19 restrictions students and instructors are not often this close to each other during lessons; virtual lessons are still a priority at Walker|West for the foreseeable future
Grow Through Music With Us: Start or Re-Start Your Music Learning Journey
Our teaching artists are available for lessons at Walker|West Music Academy. We offer individual instruction to anyone regardless of age or level of musical knowledge. Virtual instruction consists of voice and a variety of instruments. If you or someone you know is interested in learning music or building upon current talents, don’t hesitate to reach out!
- New students start here with a free trial lesson: bit.ly/ww30minlesson
- Returning students sign up here: bit.ly/wwreturningstudents
Due to an anonymous donor, we’ve expanded our usual tuition assistance availability, so that cost won’t be a barrier to any one who wants to take lessons with us.
For questions contact Student Services: 651-224-2929 or email@example.com
Summer Jam Sessions
Grow Through Music Camp and the Summer Jazz Intensive allow students to become stronger musicians and learn together. Due to the circumstances of this year, we put a hybrid twist on our summer programming with support from the FS Foundation. Students from the Summer Jazz Intensive worked to master complicated pieces from jazz greats, like ‘Passion Dance’ by McCoy Tyner.
Check out this fun video showing how we keep the music going at Walker|West no matter what!
Preparing for the future (COVID19 Update)
As we continue to adjust during these times, we recently announced the partial re-opening of our facility. This includes the first phase of in-person lessons. Virtual instruction will continue, and remains a priority for everyone’s safety.
Physically Distant | Musically Close:
To fill the season with music, Walker| West Alums, Family, and Friends combine the virtual stage and the physical and spiritual effects of music to show that we can be Physically Distant, but Musically Close.
Here is a Recap of Our Season of Music So Far
Walker|West (and friends) at The Virtual Selby Jazz Fest
The Solomon Parham Quintet, the PJP Trio w/Patricia Lacey and more were highlighted for virtual performances during the 19th annual Selby Jazz Fest.
Selby Ave Brass Band at Golden Thyme
Selby Ave Brass Band graced Selby & Milton Ave on September 26th for a safely distanced live performance!
Rondo Community Music Series (September)
We are King gave an amazing performance to a live virtual audience of over 500 people! There were viewers from 39 states and over 15 countries!
|Rondo Community Music Series – Upcoming:
DeSean Jones – Saturday, November 7th
Ashley DuBose – Saturday, December 5th
*Duncan, Duncan, and Robinson has been rescheduled
We Appreciate You!
We appreciate you for being a partner in our music learning community at Walker|West Music Academy. As we navigate through these times, your support strengthens our work. We succeed and propel forward with the powerful force of music, which connects us all. Here are some ways to continue your support:
- Make a gift of any size to support our programming – Join our giving community today!
- Sign up for music lessons with our talented instructors – Enroll today!
- Be a Walker|West Ambassador – Share our stories via social media or Sign up for our newsletter.