Join us for a Facebook Live Concert featuring Yamaha Artist & Product Developer Craig Knudsen

Join us for a very special event featuring Yamaha Artist and Product Developer Craig Knudsen as he performs on the new flagship Clavinova CVP 800 series digital piano on Thursday, June 4th at 7pm EDT.

You can join it on Facebook Live here, or see it below!

Tony DeSare and the “Jordan Kitt’s Music Piano Song”

Here’s an interesting and entertaining video from international recording and performance artist (and our good friend) Tony DeSare coming to us from his studio with a recollection of writing the “Jordan Kitt’s Piano Song”.

It’s a piece he wrote to help us commemorate our 100th anniversary, and one you may have heard on the radio on stations like WTOP.

And here’s another performance of the song from the grand opening of our Rockville Showroom & Music Education Center:

See and hear more of Tony at his website here, and keep up to date on his area concert appearances!

Clarissa Bevilacqua wins International Mozart Competition

Our good friend Clarissa Bevilacqua has won the first prize at the 14th International Mozart Competition of the Mozarteum University Salzburg.  Clarissa performed at Merriweather Post Pavilion in the fall at a special event sponsored by Jordan Kitt’s Music and Howard County Plays as part of a series designed to bring music education and outreach to the general public.

Here are the details from thestrad.com:

The 18-year-old, from Italy, received not only the €10,000 first prize but also the €1,000 audience award and the special award for the best interpretation of a piece by Mozart – a copy of Bärenreiter’s New Mozart Edition. Bevilacqua, who has studied with Maria Luisa Ugoni, Daniele Gay, Olga Kaler and David Taylor, performed the composer’s Violin Concerto no.5 KV219 in the final round. Two years ago, aged 16, she became the youngest student ever to receive a Bachelor of Music in Italy.

Second prize and €7,000 went to Yun Tang, 27, from China. She has previously won prizes at the Shanghai Isaac Stern Competition, the International Yankelevich Violin Competition and the Schoenfeld International String Competition. Third prize went to 18-year-old Lorenz Karls, who was born in Vienna to Austrian-Swedish parents.

This year’s jury was chaired by Benjamin Schmid (Austria) and comprised Pierre Amoyal (France), Lars Anders Tomter (Norway), Jan Vogler (Germany), Andre Mijlin (Spain), Hanna Weinmeister (Austria) and Gerhard Schulz (Austria). A total of 182 applicants from 37 nations registered for the 2020 competition, with 28 violin candidates admitted. Each of the three finalists performed with the Salzburg Orchestra Soloists under the direction of Tibor Bogányi.

Get a preview of the Fall with the Jordan Kitt’s Music School Newsletter!

Another season of fabulous music making has come and gone, and there is so much to look forward to as fall begins!

The students at Jordan Kitt’s Music have given dozens of recitals, performed for events, festivals, and competitions throughout the region, and have grown as musicians in private lessons and in the Yamaha group classes at each of our three locations in Rockville, Fairfax, and Beltsville. The Jordan Kitt’s Music Piano Festival continued this year with more than 60 performers, and a fantastic Honors Recital that showcased the hard work of 18 talented young artists and their teachers. We are thrilled to provide our students with the best educational and performance opportunities we can and look forward to another year of music making with you!

Get your instant copy of the newsletter in pdf format here!

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Enroll in lessons today here!

How Music Saved My Son’s Life

from ADDitude mag

My son’s young life was a matrix of appointments — ADHD specialist, child psychologist, occupational therapist, audiologist, speech therapist. He struggled in school and was in trouble more often than not. Then one day he discovered a beat-up, old piano and his entire life followed a new and wonderful trajectory.

Can attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) respond positively to the healing power of music? My youngest son, Michael, is living proof that music can change lives — and brains.

Michael was 10 days old before I saw him for the first time — his tiny, blue body lying limply in the incubator as he struggled to breathe. He was diagnosed with Hyaline Membrane Disease, a respiratory disease that makes gas exchange difficult or impossible. He was so ill that every time the neonatal staff touched him, his heart stopped beating. He had three cardiac arrests during the first ten days of his life. Doctors warned me that he might be brain damaged as a result.

But Michael grew and grew. A beautiful child with big blue eyes and blond curly hair, he was very hyperactive, demanding constant stimulation. He did not sleep through the night until the age of 2 and had me up five to six times a night to comfort and reassure him. “Let him cry,” people said, “he’s just being naughty.” But if we left him to “cry it out,” he would scream and cry until he went blue in the face and stopped breathing.

Michael was also extremely lovable, always laughing and smiling. But he did not measure up to his brother in terms of crawling, walking, feeding, and dressing himself. I was concerned about a developmental disorder, but my doctor assured me that all was well.

The bombshell hit when Michael went for his ‘School Readiness Tests’ at the age of 6. The psychologist noticed that he could not hold a pencil correctly. He would clutch it in his fist, instead of holding it between his fingers to write. Though Michael was highly intelligent with a good memory, he was diagnosed with ‘minimal brain dysfunction‘ (now ADHD) and we were shattered, but also relieved.

He wasn’t just ‘naughty.’ There was a reason why he did not seem to listen when spoken to; would daydream and become easily confused; would struggle to follow instructions; be easily distracted, miss details; forget things and constantly demanded attention. He talked non-stop, would twitch, fidget and squirm constantly in his seat. If he flew into a rage, he could not control himself; on occasion, we had to stop him from beating his older brother to a pulp.

We saw an ADHD specialist, who referred as to several medical professionals whom, unfortunately, the Medical Aid did not cover. We were really struggling financially at the time, but somehow, we found the money. Michael saw a child psychologist, occupational therapist, audiologist, speech therapist, etc. Still, the doctor told us that, because Michael was ADHD, he would probably drop out of school early. The best thing we could do was to let him start school early, so that when he failed and repeated a year, he would still be the same age as everyone in his class.

We followed his advice, which I have regretted all my life. Had we just let Michael start school a year later, his journey would have been far less difficult. He would have been more mature emotionally and better able to cope intellectually. We enrolled him in a private school, thinking he would cope better in a smaller class. In the beginning, Michael lived up to the psychologist’s expectations. He had difficulty concentrating at school; he did not understand the work and drove the teachers crazy with his hyperactivity. It was so bad that the teachers would duct-tape his mouth and tie him to his chair with his hands behind him. At the time, we had no idea that they were doing this to him.

At the age of 9, Michael discovered a toy piano that a friend of mine had left lying around. He found that he was able to listen to tunes on the radio and work out to play them on this piano. Though his father and I were divorced by then, we immediately recognized his talent, clubbed together, bought him an ancient piano, and organized for him to have music lessons.

He excelled in piano lessons, which in turn had a positive impact on his schoolwork. He found that he was able to concentrate better in class and the work at school started to make more sense. What was most important, though, was that he started to believe in himself. Until he started playing the piano, he was convinced that he was stupid and not capable of doing the things that other children could. Playing the piano was something he was good at, and not many other people were able to do. When he started to get 100% on his music theory exams year after a year, he began to believe that perhaps he was not as stupid as everyone made him out to be.

Read the full article here

Great video on the NAMM Fly In Event to Washington DC…

Here is a great recap from the folks at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) on this year’s fly-in event to Washington DC.

The furtherance of music education in schools and throughout the communities we serve is one of the reasons Jordan Kitt’s Music has been in the piano business for more than a century.

For more details, visit the original article here.

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.