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What's New

Student of the Month Award Recipients

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Emilio Lois

Mr. Cameron, Emilio's trumpet teacher, writes "Even at such a young age, Emilio has demonstrated that he has a very mature understanding of trumpet technique. In a little over a year, he has developed skills that can take many years to hone. He comes to his lessons always ready to play and always with a commitment to progress. I have no doubt if he continues this path he has the potential to become an incredibly high level trumpet performer."

Congratulations from all of us at San Marino Music Center!

Kaitlyn Nguyen

Mr. Cameron, Kaitlyn's piano teacher, writes "Kaitlin has consistently been an ideal piano student. She always comes into her lessons prepared and keeps the smallest details of the music she studies in mind. She is always focused and committed to learning something new. It has been an absolute pleasure teaching her this past year and I am excited to see how much she grows as a musician."

Congratulations from all of us at San Marino Music Center!


Summer Jazz Combo Performance

Last week, we wrapped up our third annual Summer Jazz Combo group class, a two-week intensive ensemble where students had the unique opportunity to learn jazz standards, develop improvisational skills, and experience playing together in an immersive group setting.  Our members this year included Hannah (piano), Jack (guitar), Lamont (drums), Enrique (trumpet), and Diego (trombone), who were led by musical director, Jason Golday.  Jason has been teaching with San Marino Music Center since 2014 and has taught this course in both 2016 and 2017.

The students worked on many pieces throughout the two weeks, such as “Freddie Freeloader” and “Milestones” by Miles Davis.  They also learned another jazz standard titled “Autumn Leaves”, which they arranged to perform and improvise in a Latin style. The students then took melodies from the video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and used them to learn about improvisation.

Hannah, the pianist of the group noted that she most enjoyed “figuring out different parts of the music by ear” and thought “improvisation was really cool, and a great learning experience” for her.  Jack, the guitarist, commented: “Jazz Combo class was a blast!  Two weeks straight of playing jazz music was like a dream come true for me.  Jason is an excellent teacher!  We played some classic jazz tunes and learned how to improvise over them".  As the musical director noted, “By the end of the two weeks, the students had learned how to build a tune up from the melody.  They learned how to organize a song from the key signature, how to implement chords and how to use these functions for which to improvise on”.

All this year’s members expressed interest in returning to the Jazz Combo next summer and are looking forward to the opportunity of forming a weekly “jam session”-something SMMC is looking to provide.  Stay tuned!

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