Berklee Student Pens “The Boston Song”

ClifNite

Boston, March 31, 2014 – Clef Nite, acoustic guitarist/singer and student at the Berklee College of Music has a song in his heart, “The Boston Song.”  He dedicates his song to the spirit and pride of Bostonians.

Nite was inspired to write “The Boston Song” because of the indelible spirit that he felt and saw as the city of Boston recovered from the Marathon bombings in 2013. Nite noticed Bostonians sharing a common bond, the bond of the human heart as they rebuilt their city.  There is a certain empathy required for making music, and as Nite sings and plays guitar in his heartfelt song it is both encouraging and patriotic.  It speaks to the diversity, pride and historic nature of Boston.

“We are very special people

we show the light for other people

even tho they try to shake us

that only made us get up stronger”

The cheers of celebration that normally greets runners at the finish line turned into cries of panic with destruction everywhere and injured people in the streets. What could have been really hit home Nite said when Berklee College was closed for a week because it was in the crime zone.

In his second year at Berklee College, Nite is following his dream of a music career. He states that Berklee is every musician’s dream school and places you on the path to success in your music career. Nite states that he hopes to change people’s life with his music and that Bostonians might accept The Boston Song as their Anthem song.

 

 

About Clef Nite

Victor Chukwunoso Nite also known by his popular music name Clef Nite is well known for his amazing acoustic guitar skills. Nite’s music reflects the diversity of his influences and ignoring traditional boundaries in music, he blends folk and pop music into that of a style of Afro-pop music. Born in Nigeria, he studied classical guitar and was discovered by popular Nigerian music producer/artist Mekoyo. Working as a studio music producer, he had the opportunity to work with several African renowned artists like Nneka, Siji, Kefee and more.

 

 

About Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music was founded on jazz and popular music rooted in the African cultural diaspora. Through a course of scholarly and practical learning experiences integrating performance and writing the curriculum covers the variety of influential styles, relevant technologies, and career opportunities open to today’s music professional.

 

 

To listen to Clef Nite’s song, “The Boston Song” click on the link.

https://soundcloud.com/clefnite/the-boston-song or visit www.clefnite.com

 

 

The Boston Song 

Lyrics

 

intro

Doesn’t even matter

Cos we are just awesome

Yea yea

Oh yea

 

Verse 1

We are very special people

We show the light for other people

Even tho they try to shake us

That only made us get up stronger

 

Refrain

Cos we don’t die we make it

Forever we shall make history

From Fenway Park to TD Garden

Boston we’re the best

The best, the best

 

Chorus

This is why we are ballin’

Cos yes or no we are stronger

This is why we are patriots

Boston we’re the best

The best, the best

 

Verse 2

We are made in diverse culture

We are part of living history

Everywhere we go we’re awesome

 

Refrain

Cos we don’t die we make produce

Forever we shall make history

From Fenway Park to TD Garden

Boston we’re the best

The best, the best

 

Chorus

This is why we are ballin’

Cos yes or no we are stronger

This is why we are patriots

Boston we’re the best

The best, the best

 

Bridge

I don’t even care what you might say

We always head and other follow

Doesn’t even matter what you think

We are just nothing but the best

Eh eh eh

 

Back to chorus

Beethoven, Brahms at Next Symphony Concert

atlantic symphony orchestra

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

Masterworks Gala:

Viennese Masters

Saturday, February 1, 7:30 pm

New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall

30 Gainsborough St., Boston

 

 

Program

featuring Hung-Kuan Chen, piano

Beethoven – Symphony No. 4

Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1,

 

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, featuring world-renowned pianist Hung-Kuan Chen, performs a concert of masterworks at the acoustically superior Jordan Hall. New England Conservatory’s venerable concert hall is located right off Mass Ave and next to a parking garage.

 

For $20 per person, a luxury bus will transport concert-goers from free parking at Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, and bring them directly to and from Jordan Hall

 

Attendees may order a boxed dinner, with a choice of beverage, for $20 per dinner.

 

For reservations or more information, visit www.atlanticsymphony.org or call 781-331-3600.

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra presents Salon Revel, Nov. 10

The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra presents:

Cool & Colorful: Salon Ravel

Sunday, November 10 @ 6 pm

At the South Shore Art Center – 119 Ripley Road – Cohasset

 

Featuring:

Atlantic Symphony String Quartet

Jessica Lizak, flute

Kai-Yun Lu, clarinet

Franziska Huhn, harp

 

Set amid the stunning national exhibition “Cool” in the Art Center galleries, Atlantic Symphony musicians will perform an intimate chamber concert featuring Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro. The program begins at 6 pm with gallery viewing, delicious fare provided by Whole Foods, Hingham, and wine from Ralph’s Wine & Spirits. Concert will begin shortly after 7 pm.

Sponsored by Pilgrim Bank.

 

Tickets are $50. All proceeds benefit Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.

 

ASO tickets $50 – reserve online or by calling 781.331.3600

www.atlanticsymphony.org

Musicians of All Levels: A Chance to Play Beethoven with Professional Orchestra

Quincy Symphony Orchestra

The QSO, with conductor Yoichi Udagawa

The Quincy Symphony Orchestra (QSO) invites string players of all ages and abilities to bring their instruments and join them on Tuesday, Sept. 10, for a play-through of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. QSO music director Yoichi Udagawa will lead the ensemble through all four movements of Beethoven’s iconic masterpiece over the course of the evening. Community members joining in for the event will be paired with regular QSO members and seated right in the heart of the orchestra. This event will launch the QSO’s 60th concert season, which will also include three free concerts in the coming months.

“The Quincy Symphony is made up of fabulous amateur musicians from all walks of life. The orchestra is serious, focused, committed and disciplined. At the same time, we have a lot of fun and enjoy making music together in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. We take it seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously,” said Udagawa. “Even if you haven’t played in an orchestra for a while and just want to give it a try, come out and join us on September tenth. We are quite sure you’ll be glad you did.”

The Play Along event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at North Quincy High School, which is located at 316 Hancock St. in Quincy. Free parking is available on site. North Quincy High School is also walking distance from the North Quincy MBTA station.

Founded in 1955, the QSO consists of more than 50 volunteer musicians, including both amateurs and professionals, from the Boston Metro-South region. The QSO offers three free concerts every season, in addition to an annual Pops fundraiser and a holiday concert in partnership with the Quincy Public Schools. For more information, call 800- 579-1618 or visit www.quincysymphonyorchestra.org.

“I Will Run Again” Original Tribute to Runners of 2013 Boston Marathon

Video:

At the June 9 Milton Music Fest and Fireworks show, poet and composer Kathy Ready presented her original poem and song tribute to the runners of the 2013 Boston Marathon, accompanied by the Pierce Middle School Treble Chorus.

From YouTube:
Poet and composer Kathy Ready presents a heart warming tribute to the runners of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Kathy narrates the poem while accompanied by Glenn Costa on the piano and the Pierce Middle School Treble Chorus lead by Dawn Sykes at the Milton Music Fest and Fireworks June 9th 2013. The poem is based on Kathy’s real encounter with a runner in a bakery in Westwood, MA, a short time after the bombing. The soloist is Grace Varella.

I will run again. I will cross the line.
I will run for them……the victims of this crime.
I will run for Hope
I will run for Life
I will run for Peace, turn the dark to light.
I will run ………again!

You will run again. You will cross the line.
You will run for them……the victims of this crime.
You will run for Hope
You will run for Life
You will run for Peace, turn the dark to light.
You will run ………again!

We will run again. We will cross the line.
We will run for them……the victims of this crime.
We will run for Hope
We will run for Life
We will run for Peace, turn the dark to light.
We will run ………again!

Our city pride will grow. Our country’s grace will show.
We will rise above, on the wings of love.
Out of darkness light will flow.

We will run again. We will cross the line.
We will run for them……the victims of this crime.
We will run for Hope
We will run for Life
We will run for Peace, turn the dark to light.
We will run ………again!

With Talent and Heart, Kingston’s “Last Call” Is Poised to Make Some Noise

PHOlastcall2

There’s a certain chemistry, a balance between a diverse set of skills and being on the same page, that seems to serve (and have served) as the bedrock for a huge number of successful bands.

It has something to do with open-hearted, charismatic vocalists, intense, creative songwriters that seem to pluck magic out of the air, and an addictive spice and savvy that glues the whole thing together.

“Last Call,” a three-year-old dub/funk/hip-hop band out of Kingston that has been steadily growing in popularity along the South Shore and recently in Boston, has brewed up a sound and story and has the pieces that make a group compelling over a period of time.

Going from playing backyard barbecues to headlining the Middle East and competing in the Hard Rock Café’s battle of the bands, this five-member group that formed from family connections and neighbors, brings the west coast, Long Beach rock/reggae sound to the Northeast, combining the blue collar, free-spirited, rebellious-yet-supportive heart of bands like Sublime and Red Hot Chili Peppers with the persevering attitude that is common to a place that often gets buried in 25 inches of snow.

 


 

Guitarist Johnny Alves and bassist Mark King with their heads down, concentrating on perfection, lead-singer Adam Frates’ square frame pacing across the stage with mic in hand, drummer and rap-vocalist Mike D’s ever-present smile emanating from the back, and DJ Darren “Caucajion” bobbing and contorting behind his turn tables, Last Call’s stage presence is engaging.

They play a mix of cover songs – the best dead-ringer for Sublime and Bradley Nowell I have ever heard – and original tunes, with a five-song LP out now, and a ten-song album being cleaned up for release in the coming months.

 

 

Bassist King, the youngest of the group at 21, brings a funky backdrop to the plucky, catchy melodies layed down by Alves, whose infectious riffs form the core of most of the band’s song-writing.

Lyrically, Frates and Mike D split the duties, singing about their lives, the realities of having full-time jobs, (which all members except King have at this writing, among them directing a funeral parlor, running a flooring company and working at a commercial suspended lighting company) what it takes to chase down your dreams and drinking beer and smoking at back yard barbecues.

Caucajion lays in samples, scratches and recorded percussion with great touch and timing, giving the music an other-worldly feel. The entire package is a sound that anyone familiar with Sublime, 311, Slightly Stoopid or the Chili Peppers will connect with immediately.

Both guitarists are obviously talented, and are students of music; King loves listening to a wide variety, including jazz and “weird Berkley [College of Music] stuff,” while Alves loves jam bands like Humphries McGee – and also told me that if given tens of thousands of dollars for a new guitar, he would keep the one he’s got, which was handed down to him and has the pick guard falling off, and restore it.

 

Last Call Band

Back row, Cucajion and King; front row, Frates, Mike D and Alves

 

The dub, reggae and hip-hop come from Frates, who tells me, “Reggae, dub, it’s my life. … Sublime, Brad Nowell was a real inspiration to me,” and Mike D, who was inspired to write by the way Tupac put his life story into lyrics, and originally got hooked on Boys II Men and Bel Biv Devoe, a fact which he states proudly.

The two vocalists, who are the original founders of the band, are the torch-bearers of communicating the heart of the band to the audience. “We know how tough this life can be, every single one of us,” says the drummer. “We go to work, every single day, and at the end of the job, pack our equipment, go practice, come home, go to bed, wake up, go to work, play the show. We talk about how tough it is to achieve your dreams, and if you don’t do it now, you may never reach it. It’s about working hard, never giving up when you’re getting beat up by life and it seems impossible. Keep pushing through. That’s why people can relate. All our friends have jobs. Blue collar, plumbers, electricians, claimers. So you got to be able to relate to what’s going on.” Appropriately, “Stick Wit It” and “Rock Steady” are the names of two of the songs on the LP.

And the DJ brings an eclectic, old-school sensibility to the process, having been rocked by the wave created by Run DMC’s earth-shaking rock-rap collaboration with Aerosmith, as well as Herbie Hancock and Grand Master Flash, later getting into reggae legends like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, who are both major influences on the entire band.

 

A nice video bio from the band (Contains mature content)

 

There’s nothing inauthentic about these guys, who seem to genuinely like each other, which is a good thing since Frates is married to Mike D’s sister, King’s sister is good friends with Mike D’s fiancée, and three of them are next-door neighbors. In an era where so much of the music we hear is prefabricated to nab a particular demographic, bands like this, who want to show you their soul, connect and have a good time, (and of course make some money, too) are beyond inspiring – they’re comforting.

“This is our one life, this is the path that we chose,” defiantly states one refrain from some of their new music. This is a crew who is making no apologies, and makes an effort to live up to its ideals, playing multiple benefits a year for house fire victims and the disabled, and spending a large chunk of their time at each others’ families’ birthdays and other celebrations, while finding the time to enjoy life.

“An expression of life, that’s all music is,” says Mike D. “How else can they know us unless we describe it right?”

You can find out more about Last Call, get their gear, listen to and buy their music and find out about future shows and news at www.WeAreLastCall.com

 

Folk-Southern Rock, South Shore Roots

UPDATE: Wild Northern released their new album “The Whiskey Season” at the Middle East Downstairs in January, and it’s great.

Have a listen to a few of the tunes right here.

 

 

You can listen on Spotify or buy it on iTunes. They’re on Facebook too.
END UPDATE, Jan. 14, 2013, by Tom Pilla

 

 

Brian Gallagher, Andrew Guerini and Jim Abdon may not have known what their future would hold if you talked with them when they graduated from Milton High School in 2006.

But playing in a rock band at gigs in New York City and Boston may not have been on their list.

The three have joined forces with New Jersey native Roland Eckstein to form the band The Wild Northern, and they are getting some attention in the music industry.

 

 

“We were never in the band or anything like that back at the high school,” Gallagher said, remembering the roots of the group’s talents. “My mom bought me a guitar when I was in sixth or seventh grade. We kind of formed our own group outside of school.”

The three would perform at events such as the old WBCN radio station’s Battle of the Bands, but once it came time for college, they each went their own way.

Gallagher went to Fairfield University where he met Eckstein, and the two worked on an acoustic guitar project together that got their creative juices flowing.

They started writing some music, and performed at a few venues near Fairfield in New York and Connecticut.

“After that, we wanted to form a full band,” Gallagher said.

That’s when he remembered his old buddies back in Milton.

“We recruited them to join us in February of 2011,” Gallagher said.

The Wild Northern officially launched last May, and has a self-described folk rock sound with southern influences. Listeners may find some of the band’s music is reminiscent of Matchbox Twenty.

 

121105wildnorthern

 

The Wild Northern featuresvocals by Gallagher and Eckstein, with Abdon on bass and Guerini on drums.

The group has performed in various clubs in New York City and around the Boston area. They plan to make appearances at The Beachcomber in Quincy.

The Wild Northern has recorded about six songs, and a video they recorded and posted online – a live version of their song “The Demarcation” – gives those who see it a feel for the professional commitment and impressive talent of the band. They truly seem to love what they are doing.

Cuts of the band’s work and more information are available on Facebook and at Reverbnation.com.

And while music is clearly their passion, right now they all have day jobs “to help pay the bills,” according to Gallagher. He works in accounting at Pioneer Investments in Boston; Abdon works at MediTech in Westwood; and Guerini is finishing school while working at his family’s concrete business.

“We would all love it if this takes off,” Gallagher said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make it happen.”

Philosophy in Music at the Quincy Symphony Orchestra

 

QSO pic

The Quincy Symphony Orchestra

A cosmopolitan night at Quincy Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Concert on Feb. 16 was welcoming, well-balanced and full of intrigue and contrast.

Though the musicians hail from surrounding towns, the music in this concert was anything but local — though the atmosphere, due to the friendliness and accessibility of the conductor, composers (two of whom were in the auditorium – sadly, Beethoven couldn’t make it) and musicians made for an intimate, living-room feel.

An intellectual twisting of expectation ran throughout the evening’s program. After a short, rousing brass-only fanfare from the French composer Paul Dukas, and the playing of the national anthem just like at the ballgame, we heard a fascinating modern composition by Harvard’s Martin Schreiner that brought together traditional Japanese, Western and Franco-Latin aesthetics. “Tango at the Edge of Time” featured double soloists Ralph Samuelson and Yuki Yasuda on the bamboo flute, the shakuhachi, and the six-foot-long zither, the koto, something like a horizontal harp-guitar, respectively. Backed by the western-style orchestra and playing to the marching rhythm of the tango, the Japanese instruments, with sounds recognizable to the layperson from anymovie with scenes in the orient, set a nuanced, foreboding tone that contrasted well with the more confident, humanistic feel of the backing instruments and Argentine dance. Any philosophers in the audience surely went home thinking of a comparative thesis.

Following was a work more closely in line with the Japanese tradition, titled “Crossing Mountain,” by composer and founder of Boston Koto Academy, Dr. Takashi Koto. Featuring the same two soloists as the tango, this piece was a true musical painting, transporting listeners to a flight through snowcapped mountains, sandwiched on either side by pounding percussion arrangements, designed to be reminiscent of the massive Japanese taiko drums. Then came an encore of a traditional sakura, or cherry blossom, song.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, “Pastorale,” filled the second half of the concert, an interesting choice, as this five-movement piece contains many naturalistic elements, even direct facsimiles of bird calls and brooks bubbling, which played upon the earlier contrasting of the eastern, nature-focused aesthetic and the more anthropocentric western. “Pastorale,” with the joy of a representative Beethoven composition, takes us through a walk in the countryside, a prance with happy villagers, a raging torrent and its peaceful aftermath – another musical journey painting, presented with vigor by the capable QSO.

In addition to being thought-provoking, the concert was also fun, in no small part due to the energetic and emotionally generous conductor Yoichi Udagawa, whose ease in talking to and bringing along the audience invites classical music novices to enjoy alongside lifelong patrons, and whose near leaps off the stage betray a childlike exuberance for the music.

The Quincy Symphony Orchestra, in its 59th season, will offer its Spring Concert on April 13 at 8 p.m. at its home, the Lloyd Hill Performing Arts Center, at Quincy High School. It will feature Vaughn Willams’ 5th Symphony as well as 12-year-old piano soloist Megan Tan, winner of the Eleanor Nelson Concerto Competition, playing Shostakovich Piano Concerto #2. Visit quincysymphony.org for more information.

 

A version of this story appeared in the Milton Times on Feb. 21, 2013

ASO Mega-Chorus

ASO Consortium Rehearsal 2

 


T
he newly formed Atlantic Symphony Choral Consortium, a 220-voice chorus formed by combining the high school choruses of Braintree, Hingham, Milton and Scituate, will accompany the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, one of the South Shore’s two professional orchestras, (the other is the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra) at their Masterworks Gala concert on April 9 at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

The annual concert, this year titled “Mozart Legacy,” will offer two of Mozart’s final works, his final symphony, No. 41 “Jupiter,” and his final opus, “Requiem,” the latter with the accompaniment of the consortium.

Involving the high school singers for the first time is one part of a larger outreach program that the symphony has put at the top of its list of priorities, including a March 10 “Discovery Concert” with music familiar to elementary school students, wall-projected student artwork and a chance to meet musicians and try out their instruments afterward; a competition for musicians under 30 whose prize is a showcase performance with the orchestra; and school visitations by conductor and Music Director Jin Kim, among other initiatives.

The Weymouth- and Braintree-based orchestra, which is made up mostly of young professional musicians or students finishing up their graduate studies and is now in the 16th year of its professional iteration, began in 1945 as the Hingham community Orchestra. And those roots show: “First and foremost, providing to the South Shore community” is the priority, says Kim. “When they hired me [16 years ago], they wanted to completely change course from a community orchestra to an orchestra for the community.”

Kim, whose musical interests began with the piano and singing, comes from a community organizing background, and was not planning on conducting when he was coming out of St. Olaf College in Minnesota: “Here I was, planning on doing voter registration and racial equality. … Classical music was still a very upper class hobby. … I took musical gigs to avoid having to move back home, and I joined two professional choirs. … Then, after a year of doing that, touring around the country to places like Carnegie Hall, it just clicked: this is community organizing!”

This kind of synergistic, original thinking defines a lot of what the orchestra does. Kim, for example, frequently addresses the audience directly before and after a particular composition is played, foregoing the more traditional pre-concert Lecture, a decision that was made in 2012 and has been very popular with audiences.

“Every single one of our concerts, the audience – they come up and tell me – is blown away by the quality, and it seems so warm and inviting and accessible.”

The dual focus on quality and accessibility lives in part of the organization’s mission “to bring the highest level of symphonic orchestral music to the region through exceptional performances, innovative educational programs, and a commitment to integrating the arts into the life of the community.”

For the student singers, the experience of this program seems be having the desired effect: “The most exciting thing about this is actually working with a true professional orchestra and conductor while collaborating with other schools in the performance,” says Milton High School senior Kevin Mehdizadeh. Other students expressed similar feelings, and also cited excitement over performing at Sanders Theatre, hearing the different sound of a relatively large number of voices, getting to meet new friends and performing a challenging work by one of the world’s most famous composers.

“The Mozart Requiem is an ideal student work since the vocal demands fall in their capability, while expanding their aptitude as ensemble musicians,” says Bill Richter, Scituate chorus director and chorus master of the consortium, who also runs a similar program with the Plymouth symphony and schools further down the coastline. “It’s a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone; As an educator, it’s great that we can do top-of-the-line music with the high school and perform with the top programs in the region; the kids win with getting to experience working with this challenging music; and the orchestra wins with putting people in the seats with the large networks from the schools. … It’s hard to contain our level of excitement.”

“It’s wonderful to see the students embrace Mozart’s final master work with such enthusiasm,” says Kim. “It sustains the idea that great classical music transcends the ages.”

It’s not all gravy, though. The individual choruses, led by Rachel Hallenbeck (Braintree), Joseph Young (Hingham), Dr. Noreen Burdett (Milton) and Richter (Scituate), have been rehearsing the requiem since October, with 80 pages of music of a type with which most of the students are unfamiliar.

“The process of preparing for this has been rigorous,” says Milton High senior Emily Driscoll, “There have been many night rehearsals allowing us to practice with the other schools and many hours spent in class.”

The challenge is something that all choruses may not have been up to, according to Richter. “We tried to recognize high schools in the area who have had a tradition of excellence in choral music. The Mozart Requiem is a major work with demands not usually found in high school literature, and there are collegiate and community groups that would not be able to undertake this masterpiece.”

For all the hard work and dedication of those involved, they will have a grand stage on April 9 to showcase what they have put together.

“We’re grateful to enable these students to perform with an outstanding orchestra like the Atlantic Symphony in a world-class concert hall like Sanders Theatre,” says Richter. “It is an experience they will never forget.”

 

In addition to the Mozart Legacy concert, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will finish its 2012-2013 season with a season finale, “Timeless Treasures,” on April 27, back at their usual performance space at Thayer Academy in Braintree, and will feature works by John Knowles Paine, Aaron Copland and Johannes Brahms.
For those unfamiliar with the Mozart Requiem, pick up a copy of the movie “Amadeus,” throughout which the requiem plays in the background.
Tickets for each concert are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors and $10 for students. The Masterworks Gala will begin at 7:30 pm, on Tuesday April 9, at 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. To order tickets, or for directions to Sanders Theatre, parking, and more information about the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, visit www.atlanticsymphony.org or call 781-331-3600.