The Langdon Area Music Teachers Association will be putting on a Latin Lights Festival for their students on May 9 and 10 at the United Lutheran Church with special guest, composer Wynn-Anne Rossi.
Posted on 5/3/14
By Dee Entzi
LAMTA president Lisa Schuler, had the honor of meeting Rossi, who is a nationally acclaimed composer, at a North Dakota Music Teachers Association conference two years ago. After hearing about her love for teaching composition to young musicians, Schuler extended an invitation to Rossi to come and work with our own students here in Langdon; she gladly accepted. After lots of planning and with the help of the Langdon Eagles Club and Northern Lights Arts Council, LAMTA was able to come up with the funding to host the composer for a two day event centered around Rossi’s passion for Latin America and ending with a public recital. The teachers and their students couldn’t be more excited about her visit.
A piano student of Schuler, Sydney Crockett, commented saying, “I am so excited for the Latin Festival because for the first time ever, I get to meet a composer!”
The festival will start for the students on May 9 when they will have the opportunity to meet the composer and join her for a group music activity. The following morning the students will learn all about Latin American culture while participating in several activities led by their music teachers and Rossi herself.
“The purpose of the Latin Lights Festival is to take our students to Latin America through music. “By the conclusion of the festival, the students will have learned not only the music styles, but the art, foods, geography, instruments, dance, and culture of the 20 countries that make up Latin America,” remarked Schuler.
“It’s fun and exciting to learn different pieces of music from different cultures.” remarked sophomore piano student, Jocelyn Dinius.
The consumer science class and art class of the Langdon High School will be providing food and displaying their art, all influenced by the Latin American culture.
The activities will come to an end at the United Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 10, at two in the afternoon when a select group of students will perform for the public. The students will be performing Latin American pieces written by Rossi who will also take part in the event. Rossi and the students will be performing a special piece entitled ‘Tango Lights Celebration’ that Rossi specifically composed for this event. There is no charge for the community to attend, though there will be a free will offering if anyone would like to give to the Langdon Area Music Teachers Association.
The Langdon Area Music Teachers Association is made up of four music teachers with over 125 years of teaching experience combined; President Lisa Schuler, Vice President Elsie Magnus, Secretary and Treasurer Kathy Johnson, and new member Beth Kennedy. Together they have over 60 students. The teachers, who are being recognized nationally for their efforts to make this event possible, are honored and excited about this unique opportunity for their students.
“It is not only important to teach our students about the historical composers of our past, but of the living composers of today. Commissioning a composer teaches our students about the lives of these special people, the process of composition and we hope that it will give them motivation to try composing themselves.” commented Schuler. “I am so proud of the Langdon Area Music Teachers Association for all it does for its students. I have been told many times by members at the state and national level that our small local association of four teachers has done more in its community than many larger organizations in cities around the country.”
The teachers would like to thank everyone who has helped make this possible; Langdon hardware for donating craft supplies; Amy Kram and Mindi Paulson and their classes for making food and bringing art work for the event; Jill Dalzell for her time and commitment; United Lutheran Church for allowing the use of their building; Langdon Eagles Club and Northern Lights Arts Council for providing the funds to bring Wynn-Anne Rossi here to Langdon; and to Rossi for her willingness to come here to Langdon and work with their students.
The teachers and students welcome and encourage everyone to come and enjoy their recital and see Wynn-Anne Rossi perform live alongside them.