The Soulful Symphony Premiere at Merriweather is June 29th at 7:30pm

Our friends at Merriweather Post Pavillion welcome Soulful Symphony’s inaugural three-show season, Soulful Summers, as Merriweather Post Pavilion’s resident symphony, beginning a new era for both the acclaimed orchestra and iconic music venue.

Soulful Symphony takes the stage June 29 with #soulfulsetlist. Continuing its mission of exploring the rich diversity of American Roots Music, Soulful Symphony captures the magic and wonder of one of the most iconic stages in the country with a mash-up of American anthems covering every conceivable style and genre – original orchestral arrangements, magnificent vocal performances and spectacular dancing. It’s the ultimate Remix. This is what makes Soulful Symphony unlike any orchestral ensemble in the world.

As part of the lead up to #Soulfulsetlist, fans will be able to vote on songs to be included in the #Soulfulsetlist program, taking Soulful’s radically inclusive approach to new levels. More details will be announced soon about the fan voting component, but the message is clear: #Soulfulsetlist has something for everyone.

Get tickets here!

Jordan Kitt’s Music and over 100 music retailers and manufacturers from around the country advocate for music education to Congress.

The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) D.C. Advocacy Fly-in for music education.

May 20-23, 2019

Recently, Jordan Kitt’s Music was again joined in their home town by over 100 music industry leaders, notable artists and arts education activists to advocate for equal access for all school children for music education in our schools and for full funding of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Federal education bill that became law in 2015.

Richard Riley

Chris Syllaba, Jordan Kitt’s CEO with Dick Riley, Former Education Secretary

As part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-in, held May 20-23 in conjunction with the NAMM Foundation, the delegation of over 100 individuals met with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a “well-rounded education”.

“Jordan Kitt’s Music has enjoyed a special bond with area music education efforts for more than a century, but that doesn’t guarantee its continued longevity” said Chris Syllaba, Jordan Kitt’s CEO. “Continued action is imperative to keeping the dream of music alive in schools throughout our district, and throughout the country as a whole.”

Charles HartStudents from Charles Hart Middle School participate in music guitar, ukulele and drum classes

Charles Hart Guitar

The Advocacy week began on Monday, May 20 with a day of service at Charles Hart Middle School in Washington D.C. Members of the group helped 6th, 7th and 8th grade students experience playing the guitar, ukulele and drums through various classes and a drum circle. Other members completed an inventory summary and analysis documenting all the schools band and orchestral instruments. They even made minor repairs where possible during the process!

In the evening, after a cocktail reception and dinner at the Hyatt Hotel Capitol Hill, the delegation welcomed a panel of special guests. Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations was host and moderator to the panel, consisting of James Mitaritonna, Manager of Music and Learning in the Office of Teaching and Learning, D.C. Public Schools; Christie-Jo Adams, K-12 Fine Arts Instructional Specialist, Richmond Virginia Public Schools; and Chiho Feindler, Senior Director of Programs and Policy, VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

 

The next day, Tuesday, May 21, delegates walked to the nearby offices of Nelson Mullins for a day of advocacy training. After opening remarks by Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO, and Robin Walenta, NAMM Chair, the group heard from special guest Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean, Yale School of Music.

Michael Yaffe

Syllaba with Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean, Yale School of Music

Yaffe spoke about Yale’s innovative “Music in Schools” initiative for the New Haven, Connecticut School district. He also introduced delegates to the “Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students”, a report on Yale’s 2017 Symposium on Music in Schools.

Other guests included piano prodigy and SlapDash Productions founder J. Dash, and CBS television drama “Madam Secretary” actor Erich Bergan.

Tuesday evening, at a seated dinner in the Nelson Mullins rotunda, Jordan Kitt’s CEO Chris Syllaba joined NAMM’s Joe Lamond and NAMM Foundation’s Mary Luehrsen in awarding the annual SupportMusic Champion Award to Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA). Congressman Scott currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, who in 2015 was one of the four primary authors of ESSA.

 

JKM President Chris Syllaba with Dick Riley, Former Education Secretary (L) and Congressman Robert C. Scott, D-VA (R)

The award was presented in recognition of the Congressman’s tireless work regarding ESSA and his continued efforts in supporting music and the arts.

Wednesday, May 22, was the actual “Hill Day” with Syllaba and the more than 100 NAMM delegates meeting with Members of Congress. The message centered on NAMM’s support of the concept of a well-rounded education, including music; state and local decision-making; and full funding through the congressional appropriations process of ESSA, Title I, II and IV, Part A.

For the third year in a row, NAMM delegates also met with officials in the D.C. offices of a number of State Governor’s Offices. With ESSA pushing much of the decision-making authority to the state and local government level, these meetings were an important part of the delegates’ efforts during the Fly-In.

Pritchard

L to R: Joe Pritchard, Pritchard’s Music Gaithersburg; Tiffany Waddell, DC Office of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan; Chris Syllaba

On Wednesday evening, all the delegates and numerous special guests joined on the Nelson Mullins rooftop to celebrate the most successful Hill Day yet – over 230 congressional meetings were completed that day! This was an all-time record number of meetings in the 15-year history of the NAMM Fly-In! It was also a very special evening during which the group honored former Yankee and Latin Grammy nominated musician Bernie Williams for ten years of service to the NAMM Fly-In.

Bernie

NAMM CEO Joe Lamond (L) presents award to Bernie Williams

Over the years, Williams has been a constant and reliable advocate with a belief that all children have a right to receive music education in school. Williams currently serves on The NAMM Foundation Board of Directors, is an artist with the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts program and is a frequent guest artist with musical notables around the globe.

The Fly-In concluded on Thursday, May 23 at Nelson Mullins offices with a SupportMusic Coalition national conference call where delegates de-briefed about the week’s activities and efforts. This was an opportunity for music advocates and stakeholders from around the country to listen in on the call and stay informed about NAMM’s ongoing advocacy efforts.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 member companies located in 104 countries. NAMM events and members fund the NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music and advance active participation in music making.

For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org

About Jordan Kitt’s Music

Jordan Kitt’s Music is Washington D.C.’s oldest continuously operating piano retailer, offering new and used piano sales, service, rentals and lessons since 1912. A longtime partner of area institutions, universities, and music education organizations, Jordan Kitt’s Music has been a community leader in furthering music education throughout the region for more than a century. For more information about Jordan Kitt’s Music, please visit www.jordankitts.com

Jordan Kitt’s & the DCACC host Clarissa Bevilacqua backstage at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Howard County Plays, a partnering of Jordan Kitt’s, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, and the Columbia Festival of the Arts, hosted international violin phenom Clarissa Bevilaqua backstage at Merriweather Post Pavilion this week.

As part of an outbound effort to bring local and international artists to the Howard County community, this marks the first community concert of 2019 featuring one of the world’s great, young violinists, accompanied by master pianist Terry Lowry.

Praised for enchanting the audience with her musical interpretation and style, Clarissa has always had a passion for music. She started playing the violin at age five, and debuted at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago in front of ten thousand people when she was nine years old. She has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and has given solo recitals and concerts in the United States and Europe.

Chris Syllaba
Chris Syllaba, President & CEO of Jordan Kitt’s Music introduces Clarissa to a near capacity audience this week.

The audience was also presented with a preview of “Hear Us”, a reality series focused on the lives, struggles and successes of three young artists seeking to attain the top tier of international musicianship in their respective disciplines.

To learn more about events like this in Howard County, visit Howard County Plays, Jordan Kitt’s Music, The Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, or the Columbia Festival of the arts.

15 Year Old Violin Prodigy Clarissa Bevilacqua comes to Maryland for a documentary premier and Q&A session.

Praised for enchanting the audience with her musical interpretation and style, Clarissa has always had a passion for music. She started playing the violin at age five, and debuted at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago in front of ten thousand people when she was nine years old. She has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and has given solo recitals and concerts in the United States and Europe.

She is the youngest violinist chosen to perform at the Auditorium Arvedi in Cremona with the precious Stradivari collection of the Violin Museum.

Clarissa will be presenting a preview of the documentary series “Hear Us” and a Q&A for students and families at two locations:

AMP by Strathmore on Tuesday, May 7th at 7pm

Backstage at Merriweather Post Pavillion on Wednesday, May 8th at 6pm.

“Hear Us” is the extraordinary true story of three young and gifted musicians as they pursue an ambitious goal: to become world famous classical soloists. This true story of passion and dedication, sacrifice and perseverance, is as timely as it is beautiful. These young musicians bravely navigate a world divided by political ideologies and the tensions of clashing civilizations.

Please join us at one or both events to see, hear and experience one of the world’s up and coming talents of both stage and now screen!

 

Blind 6 year old piano prodigy plays Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Avett Ray Maness is a 6-year-old piano prodigy from Dayton, Ohio, who not only taught himself to play piano by ear – but he’s also blind.

“The moment he could pull himself to reach the piano, he was playing the melody to ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,'” Avett Ray’s mom, Sara Moore, told CBS News. That was when he was just 11 months old. Avett Ray has since gotten a piano teacher, who helps him learn new techniques and classical tunes.

“Music is in his body,” Moore said. “He’s really practicing on performing now. Since his talent is so amazing, people are asking him to perform.”

One of his upcoming events includes a performance for a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser in April. He also performed for the entire faculty and staff of Centerville, Ohio schools, Nine hundred people were in attendance and it was his biggest performance to date, Moore said.

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody Piano Cover with Crossover by Avett by Avett Ray on YouTube

Avett Ray’s first viral video was one in which he asked his mom to send his songs to superstar Adele. She was Avett Ray’s favorite singer at the time and the cute video of the boy asking his mom to text Adele spread like wildfire online. It was even picked up by the local news.

Now, Avett Ray loves to perform “Queen” and the “Turtles.” The Oscar-nominated movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” intrigued Avett Ray, who did his own cover of the title song. It’s the latest video to go viral for the young piano prodigy.

Happy Together by The Turtles Cover by Avett by Avett Ray on YouTube

Avett Ray was also inspired to try rapping by his mom’s fiance. His musical preference is always changing, Moore said.

What makes this musical prodigy so inspiring is that he was born with optic nerve fibroplasia. “He’s completely blind in one eye but has a little bit of vision in the other,” Moore said. “He’s significantly visually impaired. He walks with cane and he reads braille.”

Moore wants to teach others to be accepting and understanding of people with special needs. She visits Avett Ray’s school to teach students about his condition. She also wrote a book called “Cotton Candy Clouds” to raise awareness and show support for visually impaired and blind people.

“He’s the character in the book,” Moore said. “Basically, he couldn’t see the clouds in the sky, so I wrote this book so he could see them.” The book serves as “a chance to talk about diversity and how everybody’s made special and we’re all born with our own gifts,” Moore said. “I teach people how to engage with blind and visually impaired people.”

Moore says the amount of resources available to blind and visually impaired people is still somewhat limited — considering how many people are affected by these conditions. “If every company would focus on inclusion … what a difference it would make for so many Americans,” she said.

Avett Ray is an old soul, his mom said. And with a talent this extraordinary, it’s clear he was born with a ton of soul.

It’s International Teach Music Week!

Keep Music Alive is celebrating the 5th Annual “Teach Music Week” from Monday March 18th to Sunday March 24th. We are encouraging musicians and music schools everywhere to find one new student they can begin to teach by offering one free 30 minute lesson. We are also inviting all interested music students (kids and adults) to seek out a music school or musician participating in “Teach Music Week”.  We have chosen a week in March to coincide with Music in Our Schools Month ® (MiOSM) to help focus attention on the importance of including music and arts as part of our children’s education. Public and private schools can participate in Teach Music Week by asking current music students to invite their friends to music class and band/chorus rehearsals.

Celebrate by taking lessons for kids or adults of any age at Jordan Kitt’s Music School.  Find out more or enroll here!

Keep Music Alive is a national 501c3 non-profit that is on a MISSION to promote how valuable and important music is in all of our lives: academically, therapeutically or just overall making us a happier society. To help support this mission, they founded two music holidays: Kids Music Day (1st Friday in October) and Teach Music Week (3rd week in March). Each year, Keep Music Alive partners with hundreds of music school and music retail locations to celebrate by offering free music lessons and holding numerous events including open houses, student music performances, community jams, instrument donation drives, instrument petting zoos and more. For more information please visit www.KeepMusicAlive.org

Maryland Winds presents “Suites & Treats” on February 19th!

Join our friends at Maryland Winds for the penultimate concert of their season!

“Suites & Treats” premiers at South Carroll High School in Sykesville on Tuesday, February 19 at 7:30pm.

In this tantalizing array of selections for you and your Valentine, Maryland Winds presents a balance of new and old instrumental suites.

Tenor Tim Augustin showcases his interpretive artistry with some of the best love-themed opera arias and enchanting selections from the Great American Songbook.

Tickets are available here or at the door!

Brian Ganz Plays Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore!

Saturday, Feb. 2nd at 8 pm

Join our friends at the National Philharmonic as they welcome pianist Brian Ganz and Polish mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wór for the 9th recital in Ganz’s journey through the beloved Romantic composer’s complete works!

Featured on this program will be works that reveal the composer’s deep connection to his homeland: Polonaises, Mazurkas, Etude in E Major, Allegro de Concert and a selection of songs with the brilliant mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wór.

featured performers:
Brian Ganz, piano
Magdalena Wór, mezzo-soprano

the event will take place at:

Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD

Kids 7-17 Free. Tickets can be purchased at nationalphilharmonic.org or by calling 301-581-5100.

 

Meet some of our teachers!

Jordan Kitt's Lessons

Olena Pereverten
Olena

Olena was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. She began her piano studies at the age of three. She attended the Odessa Special Music Boarding School and received a Bachelor Diploma and a specialist Diploma in Music Teaching and Piano Concert Performance.

She has won many piano competitions including the First Prize in the Piano Competition “Blue Bird” in Simferopol, Ukraine ; the Third Prize in the International Competition in memory of Sergei Prokofiev; the Special Diploma in the International Piano Competition in the name of Emil Gilles; and the Special Prize in the International Piano Competition in the name of Vladimir Krainov.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Li-Ly Chang
Li-Ly Chang

Li-Ly Chang, is a pianist, composer, teacher, and chamber musician. She has received many grants and awards including MD State Arts Council, Jordan Kitts Music Teacher’s Enrichment grant, MD State Music Teachers Association and Montgomery County Music Teachers Association grants.

Her performances include the Dame Myra Hess Series, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Roosevelt Hall, Shriver Hall, Strathmore Center, Savannah on Stage Festival, Levine School, and New England Conservatory.
Her piano teachers include Sacha Gorodnitzki, Leon Fleisher, Sequeira Costa, Fernando Laires, Walter Hautzig, Jack Winerock and Ming Tcherepnin. Her composition teachers are Joe Nelson, John Pozdro and Henry Mitchell.

She has been invited to perform and teach at International School in Shanghai in 2017. She was a music panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council and is the Director of the International Young Artist Piano Competition, Washington DC. She is a faculty member at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Nuria Planas-Vilanova
Nuria Planas-Vilanova

Núria was born in Barcelona, Spain and began learning music theory and piano at a young age. She studied both at the Conservatori Municipal Superior de Musica de Barcelona for ten years. She also studied piano in Germany with Stanislav Rosenberg for an additional four years.

Since moving to the United States she has continued her classical piano studies with renowned Russian pianist Nikita Fitenko. Núria competed in her first Washington International Piano Artists Competition in 2017, and looks forward to competing again in 2019.
Olena has performed extensively throughout the Ukraine including performances with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.

A hardworking mother of two, Nuria has been playing the piano for over four decades. She taught beginner and intermediate piano to children and adults for over 5 years before joining the Jordan Kitt’s team in 2019. Based on her students’ interests, she teaches classical, contemporary and modern styles of music.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Find out more about our private and group lessons for either adults or kids here!