Did you know that FolkMADS provides both scholarships to support our members and grants to support sister organizations with congruent visions and missions? Most of our outreach funds come from generous gifts at dance camps, direct donations, or small residuals.
We have a wonderful story this year about the ATC school in Santa Fe.
In addition to supporting the UNM Contra, providing scholarships to young musicians to attend FolkMADness, and sponsoring the AbqFolkFest, we have twice provided grants to the Academy for Technology & the Classics (ATC) college prep charter school in Santa Fe for music workshops. In January I wrote about how the ATC String Band (nearly all students) led by Eric Carlson played for a packed Santa Fe dance with Katherine Bueler stepping in to call a dance at the last minute — what a success!
Eric Carlson is a local hero, bringing the living tradition of folk music to his students. His report below describes the experience he was able to create [emphasis is mine].
Follow-up Report from ATC on the FolkMADS Scholarship Grant for the Fast Peso Stringband Concert & Workshop on 8/31/16
Thank you for the generous grant to bring the Fast Peso Stringband to the Academy for Technology & Classics (ATC). On Wednesday morning, August 31, the group performed a forty-minute concert for the whole school of about 400 students followed by an hour-long workshop with about 34 of our “Acoustic Americana” music students. The full grant of $500 was paid to the band.
The concert was highly successful. Many students had never heard Old-Time music before, and the Fast Pesos delivered a very engaging concert including a diversity of Old-Time music and some historical context. Students generally seemed to enjoy it, and many clapped their hands. Thus, the concert succeeded in introducing about 400 students to a musical style and a piece of musical history that most were not aware of. This helps enormously in recruitment of future students to the “Acoustic Americana” class.
The workshop following the concert was more successful still. To just sit in a room with a stringband of this caliber and hear them play acoustically for the first time may have been a life-changing experience for some. The band talked to the students about repertoire, tunings, techniques, and their own musical histories. Kids asked questions about their instruments, how they met, and other things. Since we are currently studying Old-Time music in class, this experience provided a crucial model and example that can only be experienced live. Students came away much more excited about learning Old-Time music and with a much clearer idea of what it should sound like.
Thank you again FolkMADS for making this event possible.
Music Director, ATC
Thanks to all the FolkMADS members for their generous donations that help make these experiences possible!
Erik Erhardt, President