News & Announcements
Son Monarcas presented guests with a surprise performance at EISMA Benefit
Halfstache and Taiko Legacy 13 rounded out the music-filled evening of food, wine, conversation and auction items at our event to raise money for our 2016-2017 season.
Son Monarcas, which will be performing for our fall 2017 concerts for kids series, opened with a sample presentation of music and dance moves along with a history of Mexican folk music, drawing our young guests from Five and Dime's game room to listen and participate. Halfstache, a quartet lead by Michael Werner on trumpet and the piano of Leif Opland, backed up by the amazing rhythms of Tony Mest and Simon Ciaccio, impressed the crowd with their sophisticated compositions and talent. Taiko Legacy 13 ended the evening with an awe-inspiring drumming performance.
Another pleasant surprise was the sunny, warm weather. Guests happily gathered outside on Five and Dime's terrace where they enjoyed wine, beer, peanut noodles, potato croquettes, and sliders among the food items passed around.
Silent items garnered fun bidding wars
The brazilian percussion instruments, including the caxixi (shakers) and the cajon (percussion box) had people buzzing around the auction the table, including many of the musicians present for performances. The cajon walked out at the "buy now price." Gretsch guitar painted by Evanston artist Fran Joy, specially commissioned by EISMA for this event, was a centerpiece and sold to a very eager participant. EISMA has started what could become great tradition of offering music, instruments, and gorgeous art at our annual event.
We want to express gratitude to everyone who sent in donations, attended our special event, sponsored or offered in-kind donations, showing their deep commitment to our mission to produce excellent programming for every child in District 65, St. Athanasius, and Pope John XXIII.
Musician and Artist Sponsors:
Gretsch Guitars Co.
Guitar Works, Evanston
Five and Dime
The Copy Room, Evanston
Members of Son Monarcas
Members of Halfstache
Tatsu Aoki and members of Taiko Legacy 13
Peter Seman and Seman Violins
Geraldo de Oliveira
Roberta de Oliveira
Haven Middle School
EISMA Presents Kontras Quartet and Ronnie Malley for the 2016-2017 Concerts for Kids Series
In November 2016 the spectacular ensemble Kontras Quartet will present students a program of Haydn, Mozart, Debussy, Schulhoff, and more, with an emphasis on music’s connection to story. “Although music is an art that can be appreciated purely on its own,” Kontras notes, “the impact it makes increases when we remember the stories that surround it: how the composers lived, what emotional content lives in the sound of the music, and what it means to us when we hear it. Some music has a specific story it depicts; some music does not but still has a ‘mood,’ it still makes the listener feel a certain way. This program explores both kinds of music (Absolute and Programmatic), and puts the music into the context of the composers lives through the sharing of their stories. It also invites the audience to imagine stories of their own as they listen to the music and get in touch with how it makes them feel.”
The Kontras Quartet currently has teaching residencies at Western Michigan University, Elmhurst College, and Chicago's New Music School. Passionate about music education and outreach, Kontras has made a major impact on students of all ages, presenting over two hundred innovative, interactive, and educational performances, and reaching over 40,000 children.
For the April 2017 concert series EISMA is thrilled to present the Turath Ensemble.
Turath Ensemble is a musical collective that performs folk music of Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon. Turath is the Arabic word for tradition or heritage. The group showcases songs, poetry, dance, and instruments from the Levantine region including the oud (Middle Eastern lute), shibaba (shepherd’s flute), and percussion. Audiences will learn about dabke, the folkloric dance of the Levantine region, as well as the music and meaning behind the songs that accompany the dance. Members of the ensemble are teaching artists who regularly perform and have conducted workshops and artist residencies for many occasions including DePaul University’s Arabic Language Conference, the University of Chicago STARTALK Arabic language program, the Old Town School of Folk Music, University of Chicago Spring Fest, the MCA, and many benefit concerts for children and refugees of the Middle East.
Dennis Stroughmatt Engages Students in 300-year-old French Creole Traditions
Dennis and his trio, L’Esprit Creole, came to us from downstate Illinois where Dennis has done extensive research in the French Creole culture still thriving in his community and in nearby Missouri. French-speaking students approached Dennis showing deep appreciation for the opportunity to hear their first language spoken on stage as other children left auditoriums singing new phrases in French. During the trio’s three opening concerts at Nichols Middle School, several songs were proving to be crowd pleasers, pulling the entire audience together to sing the refrain. “Don’t Mess with My Tout Tout,” a folk song using the Cajun term of endearment for “sweetheart” was especially catchy, encouraging loud voices, giggles, and clapping along. Read more about Dennis et L’Esprit Creole [concerts] and find the supplemental education materials here.
2015 - 2016 Concert Series Dedicated to Devoted Music Educator
EISMA's 2015-2016 Concerts for Kids series is dedicated to the memory of Michael Reiniger, a longtime EISMA board member and dedicated music educator. Mr. Reiniger was a strong advocate for music education in Evanston/Skokie School District 65, where he was the music teacher at Orrington Elementary School and band teacher at Walker Elementary School.
Wanting to bring the joy of live music to all Evanston children, Mr. Reiniger joined the EISMA board in 1995. Over the course of twenty years, he served as EISMA’s president, treasurer, vice-president of education, and most recently, as a member of the advisory board. Mr. Reiniger's enthusiasm and passion for music education will be greatly missed.