Sheri GermanHerding Cats

Or how I manage to maintain control in this crazy biz

The New Year of Music Begins

Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 11:22:47 AM by Sheri German

The first rehearsal of Howard Regional Youth Orchestra (HRYO) took place last night. My son spent three happy years in the Howard County GT Middle School orchestra, but has now entered 9th grade. The new orchestra is a huge change, and something of a jump into the deep end of the pool. Where the middle school orchestra had been strings only, HRYO is a full orchestra. Where much of the music the middle school orchestra played was simplified adaptation, HRYO plays the original scores of standard orchestra repertoire - and at concert speed!

My son and another viola playing friend were the new kids in the viola section last night. Both boys are good about practicing and had thoroughly prepared their music - or so they thought. In middle school orchestra, the kids first rehearsed pieces at a slower speed, cleaned them up, and gradually increased the tempo. At HRYO there was no such coddling. The group started out right at the suggested metronome markings. I could see my son and his friend valiantly attempting to keep up and giving each other eye-rolling glances throughout.

These directors aren't kidding around. Here's what's up for the fall concert:

  • Holst's Jupiter from his famous work The Planets. This is a great one for high schoolers. Kids identify easily with the dissonance and unpredictability of 20th century music.
  • Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, oh my. Imagine Shakespeare's tragedy married to Tchaikovsky's height-of-romanticism music in the hands of kids. The constant key changes, top speed runs, and high drama make this a treacherous piece to pull off. I can't wait to see what the kids make of this masterpiece of incredible beauty.
  • Beethoven's Fifth: (Sotto voce for this God of music.) So often Beethoven's music takes listeners through a deep psychological experience. He sets up the struggle, then travels through the depths of suffering, and finally emerges in a final movement of triumphant resurrection. The kids will never need to save Beethoven because he will save them...may they learn to revere him.

Category tags: Music

Introducing CMX JumpStart Machu Picchu

Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 10:49:26 AM by Sheri German

We are so excited by the great new CSS tools in Dreamweaver 8 that we just had to create a CSS layout template that takes advantage of them. CMX JumpStart Machu Picchu is a centered, fixed-width, two-column CSS layout that includes screen, print, and handheld style sheets. With the new drop down media type menu in the Attach External Style Sheet dialog box, it is easy to add the correct style sheet links to your documents. You'll also be able to see how the page looks with each style sheet right from Design view in Dreamweaver 8 by using the new Style Rendering Toolbar. Finally, the new Unified CSS panel and div visualization make it easier than ever to understand how a JumpStart was constucted.

Like all CMX JumpStarts, the pages are constructed using valid XHTML and CSS. Machu Picchu also follows the WAI and Section 508 accessibility guidelines to provide you with a solid foundation for your work and give your users the best experience possible.

Category tags: Dreamweaver

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