While music programs are being eliminated nationwide due to budget cuts, and focus on No Child Left Behind Act basics, music is vital for both students and communities, according to Evan Fein, a Juilliard doctoral student currently in Sedona.
was among the musicians and music aficionados who collected musical instruments Friday, Nov. 19, for Sedona Red High School's
burgeoning music program.
"In Venezuela, crime rates have dropped and academics have increased," Fein
"Now there are more kids in organized music than organized sports."
can attest to the importance of music firsthand.
is in his
last year of his
doctoral program at the Juilliard School
, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world.
Located at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, N.Y., the school is known for its classical music, jazz, dance and drama programs.
Ward Johnston, left, director of music at Sedona Red Rock High School, talks Friday, Nov. 19, with Evan Fein, who is attending the Juilliard School of Music.
As Fein finishes up his eighth year of musical training, he teaches ear training and music theory, performs and works as a freelance composer.
is often hired to write music for chamber orchestras and ensembles.
is also composing his
first opera to be performed at Juilliard
in the spring.
The five-voice chamber opera is melodic and accessible, but with a classical style that draws on collective musical experiences that people have today, he
was recently hired to orchestrate the music for "Sedona: The Movie," a feature film in postproduction debuting at the Sedona International Film Festival in February.
often has six months to produce his
commissioned compositions, he
has only six days to orchestrate the film's score.
The score's vocals and guitars were written and performed by another musician, and Fein
will take her
music and adapt it into a full musical score.
"Hollywood moves faster than the classical music business.
It's very schizophrenic, but exciting and very rewarding," Fein
"There's no such thing as a regular paycheck for a composer, but that's what makes it exciting."
did not grow up as a cloistered musical prodigy before Juilliard
He was born to a nonmusical but supportive family and raised in a Cleveland suburb.
high school was roughly the same size as SRRHS
It had a concert band, several choirs and was a social and cultural hub of the community.
"Because we were so small, we didn't have those traditional cliques," he
"We knew we couldn't have wresting practice at the same time as choir practice because we'd lose the tenor and bass sections."
"During football games, there were times when the guys, the football players, would run off, put on their band uniform and play the halftime show," he
graduated in 2003, an economic crunch hit the state of Ohio.
There was less money available, teachers got cut and classes got bigger.
The school district couldn't pass a school levy to keep programs alive and the teachers went on strike, he
"The shame of it was our bands and choirs had won national awards," Fein
"Of course, when I heard there were similar problems in Sedona, I was all too eager to help," Fein
Fein has been working to secure instrument donations with Mark Gorchesky, Ph.D., director of Mentoring that Matters, a multidisciplinary mentoring program working with SRRHS students.
, Gorchesky and others collected instruments and held a play-in with several musicians and bands.
Fein himself played piano with bassist Alex Gorchesky and jazz guitarist Ward Johnson, SRRHS music director and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
"We invited people to bring in old instruments and just enjoy the concert," Fein
"I'm blown away by the level of talent I saw in Sedona today.
For a community of this size, I was really surprised," he
also got a look at the new Sedona Red Rock Performing Arts Center.
"I was extremely impressed with the quality of the new facilities.
It would be a shame not to have a performing ensemble to put in it," he