Last night, the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY hosted some true all-star musicians for a worthy cause: clean energy. The Bowl was the center of a unique all-star jam that featured the likes of John Medeski, Billy Martin, Marco Benevento, DJ Logic, Ryan Montbleau Band, Yuka C. Honda and more! Each member of this unique supergroup called Mago came out and threw down for the occasion. The sheer force of each player’s musicianship was a true testament to the power of live music! Check out a short clip posted below.Thanks to Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography, we have some photos captured from the event! Check it out below. Check out a full gallery of images from Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography, posted below. Load remaining images
Back Row from Left to right: Bob Wilcox (instructor), Sean Doxsey (chimes), Floyd Labbe (marimba/suspended cymbal), Zachary Mathieu (concert toms/auxiliary percussion), Emily Kropo (marimba/concert tom), Ethan Dupont (congas/hi-hat/suspended cymbal), Ethan Contreras (tympani/suspended cymbal), Shane Jones (chimes/suspended cymbal), Donny Binette (instructor)Front Row from left to right: Erin McLaughlin (instructor), Marissa Carter (vibraphone/suspended cymbal), Lindsey Schulte (vibraphone/concert tom), Vincent Biancarelli (marimba), Heylee Walker (concert snare/shaker/rain stick), Blake Andrews (concert snare/shaker/ocean drum), Melody Ky (bells/gong/tambourine), Cassidy Rosado (alto glockenspiel/tambourine), Charley Marenghi (xylophone/granite blocks/suspended cymbal), David Pelaggi (instructor)Not pictured: Emaly Pereira (concert bass drum/suspended cymbal/triangle), Amanda Stevens (bells/crotales/wind chimes)Band director: Robert HughesOur percussion arranger: Dave Dion] It isn’t every day that you come across a group of teenagers with an interest in the music of Phish. Sure, The McLovins burst onto the scene in 2008—has it really been 9 & 1/2 years?—with their rendition of “You Enjoy Myself.” But even if you’re a parent trying to encourage your son or daughter to listen to music other than EDM or hip-hop or radio pop, more than likely, Phish, isn’t at the top of the list for most high schoolers. However, it might be now, after a high-school ensemble in Connecticut rode their rendition of “Divided Sky” to second place in competition following their rehearsal of the Phish song going viral earlier in the year and earned high remarks from Trey Anastasio himself. Don Binette, a percussion instructor at Naugatuck High School since 1999—his own alma mater—and a long time Phish fan, had an idea in 2009 after being inspired by Trey Anastasio’s orchestral version of the phish song “Divided Sky.” Why not perform the piece in competitions with the winter percussion ensemble he leads and that he had been a part of as a student. Binette sent off a few emails to the Phish organization, which eventually reached Don Hart—Anastasio’s string arranger—and was given the go ahead by Phish and Hart. Presented then to the schools’ musical director at the time, it was passed on and back-pocketed by Binette. Forward to 2016 and current percussion director Dave Pelaggi reached out to fellow instructors for ideas. Binette offered “Divided Sky.” Another email dashed off to Hart, “Hey Don, it’s 7 or 8 years later and we’re about to get this off the ground…” and Hart was all in, even offering his own thoughts on how the piece could be presented by a percussion ensemble. “We started rehearsals—not the piece—in December,” says Binette when asked about how long this ensemble has been performing the piece. “We did two pre-rehearsals to see what kids were interested so we could see how many kids we had to write the piece for. We actually started rehearsing the music in January. We missed eight rehearsals because of snow and that really set us back. But, pretty much every Tuesday and Thursday, and then we started adding in Saturday’s in February and started our competitive shows the second Saturday in March.”Among the students that showed an interest in the winter percussion ensemble was fifteen-year-old Emily Kropo, who as a freshman played piano in the school marching band. A natural talent and dedicated student, Kropo found her way to the marimba and vibes and other instruments in the percussion orchestra. Now a sophomore, she’s the lead instrumentalist in the ensemble, leading a group of twenty fellow students—for whom percussion is not their primary instrument and from several schools in Naugatauk including middle school—in competitive performances of the piece. She nor any of her fellow bandmates had heard the song before being presented with it for the performance. “No I hadn’t. I was very surprised, because I haven’t been in a winter ensemble before. For marching band, you usually do something that’s like … formal,” she states when asked about her thoughts upon hearing the song. “And this is formal, but it’s more like, jazz type of groove. So it’s surprising to me that we’re doing something that you can relax to and you can enjoy it while your performing it. And use your improvisation skills, like you can see where in the piece things need to be loud and things need to be soft.” She liked the song upon first looking it up on YouTube and even checked out another Phish song. She says that elements of this performance have helped expand her knowledge of the jazz style. “So I take that criteria that we learned in the winter percussion ensemble—cause it’s kind of jazzy—and I put it into the piano playing I do for the jazz band.”The hardest part she says is keeping the entire orchestra in rhythm and on tempo. “I guess the tough part is that I try to pulse to what the beat is and if the kids can’t get it in time or they can’t feel the beat as I feel the beat, it just throws everyone off track.” This performance is strictly done on percussion instruments and does not include a drum set drummer; Marimbas, xylophone, bells, orchestra bells, chimes, timpani, concert snares & toms & bass percussion are all utilized. Binette notes that the competition called for different styles of music with multiple musical elements. The piece performed is supposed to have high, fast, mild tempos; soft, subtle textures, slow pieces.The student performances are judged by two judges, one judging execution & technical performance, while the other listens for interpretation of the piece; highs and lows, crescendos for impact. “Divided Sky” encapsulates all of those elements he says, all in under seven minutes, the maximum amount of time allotted for performance. “As a percussionist myself, I know that there’s different time signatures, it gives different moods. It’s almost like a fugue—a variation of a theme throughout the whole thing,” he says. “With this show, we have a very specific purpose. As much as we are all about being competitive, we are all about competitively beating ourselves each week. We’re not necessarily looking to chase the group that’s ahead of us,’ Binette says. But competitive they were—each week improving their scores & placing second in every performance including the championship. “It’s a real dedicated group of kids,” Binette concludes. ‘Some of them are doing school sports now too. They’re going to school, doing their sports activity and heading here straight from that. I get tingles listening to them, when they hit the times and tempos right. It’s a dream come true to mix those two worlds together and to have it come out as well as it is right now.”You can check out the video of the group rehearsing in the Naugatauk High School auditorium below, courtesy of MK Devo.
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ After Syracuse (7-2) played a miserable first half against former Big East rival Georgetown (7-2) on Saturday, the Orange mounted a second-half comeback. But it all could have been for naught if not for a few key plays down the stretch.Here’s an in-depth look at a few of the plays that helped Syracuse push past the Hoyas. All embeds via watchESPN.Tyus Battle’s miss down 71-70Syracuse could’ve chosen to go earlier on this possession. Down a basket, a miss means the Orange might need to foul if the shot clock and game clock are too close.But SU doesn’t rush it. Georgetown drops back into a 2-3 zone, which the Hoyas ran occasionally on Saturday, and the Orange move the ball around the top. With about 10 seconds left on the shot clock, Battle decides it’s time to attack. On an Elijah Hughes swing pass, Battle dribbles hard left and explodes by the top defender.Battle gets the edge he wants and sees 6-foot-10 Jessie Govan in the center of the zone. So the SU junior rises up before he reaches Govan and puts a one-handed shot toward the basket. With the ball in the air, Marek Dolezaj has great rebounding position near the baseline, but Battle’s floater is just long off the back rim, bounding away from Dolezaj and into Georgetown’s hands.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen the rebound is gathered, there’s about 36 seconds on the game clock, about a six second difference with the shot clock. The Hoyas lead by one. At that point, SU has to decide whether to foul or to ride it out.Marek Dolezaj takes a chargeSyracuse could’ve elected to foul here, with the max deficit being potentially three points. But Jim Boeheim wanted his team to play defense, although he pointed out afterwards that there would’ve been criticism if it didn’t work. A few of the walk-ons at the end of Syracuse’s bench seemed to be gesturing to foul, but the Orange didn’t.Georgetown runs the clock down most of the way, and initiates offense with about 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Dolezaj looks to go with Govan after Govan sets a screen with Syracuse stretched out into a matchup zone look, but the SU forward reads the play and decides to wait back, near the foul line.When Jagan Mosely comes off the screen left, Dolezaj guesses that the Hoyas guard will try to get back to his stronger right hand. Dolezaj slides to his own left, while Mosely barrels straight into him. It’s a charge — Syracuse ball — and a chance for the heroics that come next.“‘Rek stepped up big with that charge,” SU guard Jalen Carey said. “We all congratulated him.”Tyus Battle game-winnerHere, Syracuse expected pressure. The plan was to hopefully inbound the ball to Hughes, Boeheim said, and that’s the man who freed up for the inbounds.But after the game, Battle said he knew he wanted the ball in this spot. Once Hughes caught, Battle headed right toward him and asked for the ball, which Hughes provided.From there, it’s all Battle. He went right, then crossed to his left, then went back right again. With a quick pace from his initial move, Battle’s got Mosely to hustle back quickly to try and cut him off. That gave Battle all the space he needed to stop and pop.Just inside the top of the arc, Battle rose up. Mosely, his defender, had over pursued at that point and didn’t even put a hand up. It was a purely open look for Battle, and he didn’t miss it with 2.5 seconds left on the clock.“Tyus just brought us home as our leader, and that’s what we needed,” Carey said.Final Georgetown shotOn the game’s final play, Syracuse chooses to leave the inbounder unguarded. In this instance, Georgetown would’ve had the option to run the baseline. Regardless, that leaves five Syracuse defenders back to guard four players.The Orange appear to be content with any catch in the back court. With the clock set to 2.8 seconds to begin the play, there’s no chance any Georgetown player who has to go back to the ball to catch can get a look from much past half court.It’s Jahvon Blair who got the ball, and with Carey pushed up on him, Blair shot for the game on a double-clutch attempt at the buzzer. The ball had the distance and the trajectory, but in the end, it hit just off the rim.“Little worried, but no,” Carey said. “I was just glad it didn’t go in.” Published on December 9, 2018 at 10:42 am Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3