As part of its Strings for Cambodia fundraising campaign, Middlesex Community College’s Music Department is donating a carbon-fiber violin to Cambodia’s Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA).The state-of-the art violin and bow were recently presented to Middlesex President James Mabry by Luis Leguia, founder of Luis & Clark Carbon Fiber Instruments and retired cellist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The presentation took place on the Lowell campus.Also present was recently retired MCC Music Professor Johannah Segarich, founder of Strings for Cambodia. She started the campaign to support RUFA’s goal of forming a Cambodian National Symphony Orchestra. “We are all thrilled with this beautiful violin and knowing it will be put to good use, both in an educational setting and also in the newly formed symphony orchestra,” said Segarich. “One of my goals in teaching is to raise awareness and sensitivity toward other cultures and ways of thinking.” Segarich launched Strings for Cambodia following a 2010 U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad to Cambodia. While in Phnom Penh, she met with RUFA faculty, administrators and students who expressed a desire to acquire high quality Western classical instruments – especially strings – for teaching music and to establish an orchestra.
Innovative carbon-fiber instruments are ideal Cambodia, because they not only produce high quality tone, but also will be more durable than wooden instruments in the hot, humid climate. The violin will be delivered to RUFA this summer by Dona Cady, MCC Dean of Global Education, who is traveling to Cambodia on another Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad.
When students walked into their MCC Radio Production class this spring, the first thing they saw were ten shiny new big-screen Apple computers in their new classroom at Lowell Telecommunications Corp.
Even more exciting, they hit the road for a series of field trips that brought them face to face with a variety of interview subjects, ranging from Division I hockey players and a concert promoter to glass blowers, quilters and painters.
The Radio Production class teaches students how to collect, edit and produce material for broadcast on a radio station or a podcast. Students produce public service announcements, radio promos, and several NPR-style news stories.
Students hit the ground running with a visit to Tsongas Arena to interview members of the Division I UMass-Lowell hockey team, during the team’s exciting playoff run to the Hockey East finals. Students used professional Marantz recorders to capture ambient sound like the scratch of skates on ice and the crack of a puck against the boards, then met with players for interviews. They also got to meet veteran WUML play-by-play announcer Bob Ellis, who gave the class tips on how to do an interview.
The class sat down with John Marciano, who books the bands for the Lowell Summer Music Series. John explained the process of getting big-name bands like Peter Frampton, Dr. Dog, the B-52s, Los Lobos, Eric Burdon and Edgar Winter, Patty Griffin, Peter Wolf, Weird “Al” Yankovic and The Lone Bellow. John also explained how he finally booked Guster, a band he's been pursuing for years and scored for a concert on June 11 at Lowell’s Boarding House Park.
The class also visited artists at Western Avenue Studios to ask them about their work blowing glass, stitching quilts, making paintings and taking photos around the world. These recordings will become short audio profiles in the style of NPR’s StoryCorps feature. Instructor Jill Arabas is also creating a web page featuring these audio profiles alongside photos of the artists and their works, an effort that Middlesex will share back with the artist community at Western Avenue.
This is the first year students created their audio pieces at LTC at 248 Market Street. The collaboration allows Middlesex students to work on state-of-the-art Apple computers running Adobe Audition, Audacity and other software programs.
Registration is now open for Radio Production for Fall 2016. More exciting trips are planned!