First, lets talk ice cream!!! It takes quite a few gallons to pull off this social, and anything you can donate is super helpful! The link below takes you to a a website which will help us organize all of the donations we need to make the evening a success.
In the mid-1920s, Gershwin stayed in Paris for a short period of time, during which he applied to study composition with the noted Nadia Boulanger, who, along with several other prospective tutors such as Maurice Ravel and Arnold Schoenberg, rejected him. They were afraid that rigorous classical study would ruin his jazz-influenced style. Maurice Ravel's rejection letter to Gershwin told him, "Why become a second-rate Ravel when you're already a first-rate Gershwin?" ~wikipedia.
There were many “firsts” for Gershwin: the first to combine serious and popular music in his jazz concerto, “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924); the first to score a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Of Thee I Sing (1931), which was one of the Gershwin brothers’ “serious” musicals employing social satire; and the first to write an American opera, Porgy and Bess (1935), further distinguished by its all-black cast, its roots in African culture, and hits such as “Summertime.” ~excerpt from Jazzbiographies.com
Gershwin started his musical endeavors as a "song plugger," or someone who demonstrates new songs in a public setting to promote new sheet music in Tin Pan Alley in New York. He then was found by a recording company where he began arranging and recording piano rolls. Piano rolls were continuous pieces of paper punched with holes relating to the pitch and duration of notes. These rolls were sold to be used in player organs or pianolas in peoples homes to reproduce live performances without the performer needing any knowledge of how to play the piano! Gershwin's piano rolls have been collected and recorded on many albums today. From here, Gershwin teamed up with his brother Ira to write for Broadway until moving to California to write for film. It was in Los Angeles that Gershwin died at the early age of 38 from a malignant brain tumor.
Gershwin's music was extremely popular during his lifetime and after, which is why so many critics and historians categorize him in the Pop genre, although his classical works stand up to under the same scrutiny used to measure his contemporaries in the classical genre. Despite which category you put him in, this prolific composer demonstrated creativity, collaboration, and innovation which made him extremely successful. These are also the skills the Ice Cream Social and Concert inspires in students by bringing together so many talented musicians and artists!!! This year we are including guest artists: Thomas Mann, jazz pianist; Piper Smith, arranger; and Crockett's own Duncan on drums. It will be awesome!!! Happy Practicing!!!