"Preservation Through Music Education"


KQED Radio's "To Do List."

Fri, Jan 27, 2012 -- 8:33 AM
Host: Cy Musiker
OPC's “Danzas and Arias,” is mentioned at 5:05.

"Danzas and Arias" - featuring music of African British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor & Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music presents “Danzas and Arias,” a free concert of multicultural orchestral music performed by the OPC Symphony Orchestra. The concert will also feature arias from selected operas performed by Bay Area vocal artists, Michelle Jacques, Brenda Usher-Carpino, and Gustavo Hernandez.
Sunday, Jan 29 4:00p to 5:45p
Free Admission
“Danzas and Arias” features compositions by Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Arturo Márquez, Manuel de Falla, C. W. von Gluck, and Georges Bizet. Michelle Jacques performs the “Habanera” from Bizet’s opera, Carmen; Brenda Usher-Carpino performs “Divinités du Styx” from Gluck’s opera, Alceste; Gustavo Hernandez performs "On away! Awake, beloved!" from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s cantata, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. The orchestra will perform Coleridge-Taylor’s, Danse Negre from African Suite, inspired by a Paul Lawrence Dunbar poem; and Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, which Márquez dedicated to his daughter, Lily, and was first performed in 1994 in Mexico City. Also included on the program are two fiery flamenco dances, the Farruca and the Fandango, from Manuel de Falla’s opera, El Sombrero de Tres Picos (The Three-Cornered Hat).

The OPC Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to performing orchestral works of African American and other under-heard composers. It provides opportunities for musicians to explore, engage, and experience these compositions, while nurturing an appreciation for the cultural significance of these works and their performance in the community.

Maestra Sandra I. Noriega (aka Sandy Mabee) is the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. As well, she is the first woman to earn a Master of Arts degree in Percussion Performance from California State University East Bay in Hayward. In 2008, Ms. Noriega completed an intensive Post-Master’s Program, earning a Professional Performer’s Certificate in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Sacramento. Also in 2008, she created the Oakland Public Conservatory’s first adult symphony orchestra. In 2010, Ms. Noriega became a charter member of Classical Musicians with Disabilities, and was invited to conduct several works for the inaugural concert of "The D Major International Music Festival", in Kiev, Ukraine in the Fall of 2011.

Please support the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and its Bay Area Musical Artists by joining us for this exciting Concert!

"Danzas & Arias" featuring the music of African British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor & Mexican composer Arturo Marquez

Sunday, Jan 29 4:00p to 5:45p
Free Admission
This free concert of multicultural orchestral music is performed by the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra. The concert also features arias from selected operas (Carmen, Alceste, Marriage of Figaro, etc.) performed by Bay Area vocal artists. Renowned local pianist Victoria Theodore, keyboardist and background singer for legendary genius and icon, Stevie Wonder, joins the orchestra for this performance. Maestra Sandra I. Noriega conducts.

1 Origins of the Banjo

The Pioneer Online
By Dinah deSpenza
July 21, 2011

Guy de Chalus, banjo teacher at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music’s (OPC) summer camp, brings storytelling to instill the value of the instrument for cultural preservation and education.

One of 50 known people studying the history of the banjo in the United States, de Chalus embraces its African origins and the old time style of playing.

“As far as I know, there are perhaps one or two others on the west coast that play old time style banjo besides me,” said de Chalus.  “I haven’t seen them in these parts, I’m it.”

He purchased his first banjo for $50 from a man trying to get rid of it because he was moving out of town.  Read more


3 Sponsor Spotlight: The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music is the first and only public conservatory of music in the United States.  The Conservatory offers a range of classes in theory, instrumentation, and voice geared toward the preservation of music in all forms. 

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music is headed by Dean Angela Wellman, an award-winning educator and trombonist, who returned to the Bay Area, and served as the Education Director for the Oakland Youth Chorus where she developed award-winning community music education programs.  Wellman performs and teaches throughout the United States. Read more


Oakland Conservatory evening honors Elayne Jones,
African-American classical music pioneer

On Friday, the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music presented musical pioneer Elayne Jones with the first National Treasure Award during an evening of music and entertainment at the Piedmont Piano Company.

A hugely respected musician and Julliard graduate, Jones is recognized for her tireless efforts toward breaking the color barrier for numerous classical musicians around the world since the 1950s.

Jones' talent as a timpanist and percussionist drew national attention in 1949 when she became the first African American to play with the New York City Opera and Ballet. Read more
(Photo: One of the musicians who performed at Oakland Conservatory event on Friday.)

4 Symphonic Works of African-American Composers
Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Feb. 27

By AfriClassical
February 21, 2010

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music
Symphony Orchestra
Sandra I Noriega - Artistic Director
Saturday, February 27, 2010 - 3:30 PM
Concert Hosted by
The American Legion East Oakland – Post 471
Oakland Veterans Memorial Building
200 Grand Avenue at Harrison St., Oakland, 94610
This free concert is dedicated to the Symphonic Works of
African-American Composers
(Photo of Quincy Hilliard)

Jazz: The Next Generation Music Project

By Bread for the Journey of Oakland
September 29, 2008
Jazz: The Next Generation Music Project is the brainchild of 14-year old Ayinde Webb, a tremendously enthusiastic young man inspired by the music classes he is taking at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPC). At the encouragement of mentors at the Conservatory and local jazz artists in the community, Ayinde plans to build a music program for youth. Jazz musician mentors will provide music lessons to a group of 10 youth from under-resourced environments. In addition, the youth will support one another as peer role models. The goals of Ayinde’s new program include music appreciation and lessons in jazz, blues, and gospel; Friday night jam sessions for youth and mentors; and a venue to showcase developing talent.
Bread for the Journey of Oakland was honored to provide $1000 to Jazz: The Next Generation Music Project as seed money to get this program off the ground. When asked to share his story, Ayinde said: “I feel that being a part of OPC’s events help keep me and other young people out of trouble. Everyone who visits OPC falls in love with it as soon as they walk in the door. It feels just like home, and I am glad that there are places like this out there where the youth of the community can hone their musical talents.” Read More

Now a moment to remember a Fourth of July event from many years ago, not 1776 but 1852.

Unidentified Man: Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wails of millions.

MONTAGNE: Those are the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Words he spoke on Independence Day in 1852, reminding Americans that while they celebrated their freedom, others were enslaved.

Unidentified Man: To forget them and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking.

MONTAGNE: The words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass on an Independence Day. The actors we heard were James Brook and Michael Lang, reading at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music here in California.

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Angela Wellman doesn’t prac­tice trombone as much as she’d like these days. Her role as founder and dean of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music eats up her time. Founded with the intention to “open the world of music to all through access to quality instruction in a nurturing environment” and “provide economical study in a variety of musical arts,” OPCM (www.opcmusic.org) offers an array of classes for all ages, from beginning guitar for kids to Zimbabwean marimba and Irish song. The faculty includes such esteemed Bay Area musicians as Bill Bell (piano), India Cooke (violin), Babatunde Lea (drums, percussion), Avotcja (spoken word) and Ron Stallings (saxophone).
Wellman grew up in a family of musicians in Kansas City, Mo., and has been playing trombone ever since. When her uncle died, she inherited his collection of his good friend Count Basie’s band charts and makes use of them today in her 17-piece Count Basie Tribute Orchestara. But OPCM “isn’t about jazz,” Wellman says. “It’s about music, from Mozart to Basie to Irish folk music. I hope to someday have a place where we can rewrite American music history. Blues, jazz, R&B, even reggae, they’re all part of American music now, and they wouldn’t exist without the African experience here. Most conservatories don’t just leave out the African-American side; they are Eurocentric and leave out the American side.”
OPCM began to take shape in 2004 when Wellman met Regina Schaeffer, who shared the dream and had access to seed money. They found an ample, 4,400-square-foot space with soaring 30-foot ceilings at 1616 Franklin St., and opened the school in October 2005, initially offering private instruction, and adding community classes in January 2006.
Wellman is already looking beyond OPCM to starting a sister school in Kansas City, and then others. “It’s what the creator intended for me to do with my life,” she says. “As I look back now that I’m 51, I see everything I’ve done is toward this public music conservatory movement.”

Photo L.A. vocalist Dwight Trible performs in the conservatory's Ed Kelly Hall with the Muziki Roberson Quartet. Dave Ellis pictured on Saxophone.


Music Conservatory Adds To Downtown Oakland ‘s Cultural Resurgence

NEWS FROM: Cultural Arts & Marketing Department – City of Oakland
April 10, 2007

Downtown Oakland’s burgeoning arts and entertainment scene is getting a major boost from new performance venues and unique arts education facilities popping up in and around the Uptown district. One of the key players in downtown’s resurgence is the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music currently being showcased as the “Featured Venue” on www.MeetDowntownOak.com, the City of Oakland ‘s online guide to all that is hip in the heart of Oakland. Read More

By Jesse "Chuy" Varela
May 10, 2006

Glen Pearson is a world-class pianist from the East Bay who has played with jazz luminaries like James Moody, Mary Stallings, and Robert Stewart. Last year he took over the reins as jazz professor at the College of Alameda. Now partnered with the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Pearson presents free Sunday afternoon concerts and jam sessions this summer with the College of Alameda Big Band. This Sunday they perform a Mother's Day concert at the conservatory's....

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music - 2323 Broadway - Oakland, CA 94612 - (510) 836-4649 
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