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Common Core, Part 1: Goals and implementation

Common Core, a curriculum that has been adopted by most states, is now a fixture in the education of most children attending public schools. It continues to generate controversy. We here begin a series examining how it affects our students, teachers and parents. We look at what it was intended to achieve and ask if those goals are being met. (The federal government is not empowered to legislate on education. It is strictly a state issue.)

Jazz at the Millbrook Library

As part of its Winter Concert series, the Millbrook Arts Group sponsored a jazz quartet, Walking Distance, at the library last Saturday evening. The group consisted of Caleb Curtis (alto sax), Kenny Pexton (tenor sax), Adam Coté (double bass), and Shawn Baltazor (drums). These young musicians, in their early twenties, courageously offered original compositions of cool bop, composed by Paxton. The music was interesting and well performed, yet the group needed seasoning in the smooth texture of tempo that cool bop excels in.

Garrick Ohlsson at Alice Tully, January 29

Garrick Ohlsson is truly one of the giants of the piano, not just by virtue of his impressive size but for a special kind of gentleness that bespeaks the humanity that he brings to every piece he plays. His concert at Alice Tully Hall last Thursday, part of the Great Performers series, took a good look at three Russian composers: Prokofiev through four short early works, Rachmaninoff through a late piece, and Scriabin through five difficult pieces. 

Gidon Kremer and Daniil Trifonov at Carnegie Hall

Gidon Kremer, one of the old hands of the violin and Daniil Trifonov, a 24 year old Russian  already recognized as a prodigious pianist, teamed up Friday, January 23 offering a Carnegie Hall audience a singular program of new and old.  The old was a sonata and a fantasy by Mozart  and a Schubert fantasy (in C minor, D. 934);  two pieces by Mieszyslaw Wienberg were the newish although new really means, in this case, newly rediscovered. 

Soloists at Bard ASO

Two young soloists will be featured at Bard’s American Symphony Orchestra concert this Friday and Saturday evening, both 2014 Bard Concerto Competition winners. Sophomore Gabriel Baeza will perform Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s noted Violin Concerto in D major, and graduate student Adrienn Kántor will solo in Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto. Kántor has performed in 11 countries over the past five years, winning two concerto competitions in Scotland from the Royal Conservatoire.

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