February 27, 2011
http://bcove.me/4l14l2s8 View Video here
A year of hard work will get showcased this Mardi Gras season as the Martin Behrman Charter School “Stinger Band” marches in eight parades. Under the direction of Birdell Mitchell, the band regularily practices in the streets surrounding the school in Algiers Point .The elementary school has more than 100 students participate in the band and they will be performing in Cleopatra on the West Bank Friday, February 25, 2011.
SUSAN POAG / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE A driver waves as he passes as Martin Behrman Charter School’s marching band practices on Opelousas Avenue in Algiers Point Thursday, February 18, 2011. The band, under the direction of Birdell Mitchell, has been practicing four days a week since last Mardi Gras in preparation for the parades this Carnival season. Behrman will march in the Krewe of Cleopatra parade Friday, February 25, 2011. It is one of the eight parades they will be marching in.
February 24, 2011
Media-NewsWire | Source
Drummers from Louisiana’s Southern University Marching Band entertained residents in the Algerian cities of Algiers, Bentalha, Sidi Fredj and Tiaret from January 31 to February 5.
For band member Alexander Riggins, a trip to a Muslim Boy Scout camp in Sidi Fredj made him feel at home.
“They were taking pictures with us, hugging us, greeting us,” Riggins said. “It was like we were one big family.” Some scouts are keeping in touch with him on Facebook.
Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and supported by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in cooperation with the Algerian Ministry of Youth and Sport, the band’s visit to Algeria was the second leg of a North African tour. Before arriving in Algeria, the band experienced the Maghreb’s hospitality when they performed in Morocco.
Riggins said musical tours like this build bridges of understanding among diverse cultures.
“I think it is beneficial because, first, you get to learn a new culture,” Riggins said. “Do something that you have never done before, experienced a different society, a different way of life.”
The 14 drummers are members of one of America’s top collegiate marching bands. With 225 members, the band is a leading innovator of performance styles and plays at America’s most storied venues including the Super Bowl, the American football championship.
Throughout the North African tour, band members engaged with audiences and performed with other musicians. In Morocco, they were joined on stage by deaf drummers, and in Sidi Fredj, Boy Scout musicians joined them in an impromptu performance.
In Bentalha, the group performed to a standing-room-only audience at FOREM, a nongovernmental organization. FOREM provides vocational training for women widowed during an era of terrorist attacks and promotes psychological health for their children and families.
Following the show, the group made a three-hour journey to Tiaret, where they played to a packed house of 600 at a local theater.
The band held its final performances during two half-times at basketball games in Algiers. More than 1,200 spectators watched as the percussionists played complex rhythms with perfect precision.
Lawrence Jackson, director of bands for the university, said the trip to Algeria was a memorable experience.
“I hope that someday we get to go back,” Jackson said. “The young people were so welcoming and happy to see us.”
( This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:http://www.america.gov )
February 20, 2011
Seventeen-year-old Michael Washington never had an art lesson, until he transferred to O. Perry Walker High School in Algiers this year for his senior year.
That lack of formal instruction didn’t stop Washington from winning the Krewe of Muses cup contest, a competition that allows students from across New Orleans to submit designs reflecting the krewe’s theme each year.
Washington, a humble New Orleans resident with a shy smile, beat out students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and other schools to win, earning his school a $1,000 grant from Muses.
Kathy Conklin, head of community involvement for Muses, said the contest helps educate students about the classics. As in all years, the krewe’s theme is one of the nine muses from classic Greek mythology. This year’s selected muse is Terpsichore, the muse of dance and choral singing.
Michael said he did research on Terpsichore in order to create his drawing, which depicts Terpsichore holding a tambourine over her head in the middle of the scene, with a half sun/half moon on one side and various items from nature, such as a tree and mountains, in the background.
Michael said he has always loved drawing, ever since he was “a little kid.’’
He cartoons “whatever comes to mind,’’ he said, and hopes to become a professional cartoonist someday.
Dixie Moore, talented in arts coordinator at Walker, is helping Michael prepare his portfolio for art school submissions. The $1,000 grant helped purchase supplies for his portfolio, she said, as well as supplies for the art classroom.
Michael also plays tuba and trumpet. He is a member of the Walker marching band and plays in brass bands in his spare time: the Young Ones, Free Agents and One Mind.
Previously a student at St. Augustine, Michael has marched in the Muses parade as a St. Aug band member.
And now, the krewe will toss 67,000 cups emblazoned with his design at their parade, which rolls March 3 at 6:30 p.m. Uptown.
Melinda Morris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.826.3782.
February 10, 2011
As stated by Brandin Jones on the Bandhead.org Forum
The Ballou movie is now on youtube free for the whole month of February. Its all about what goes on behind the scenes of the band. Its a great movie for everyone and anyone who loves band. Its not like drum line because it features the whole band, even staff. So if you are ready to laugh ( which i bet you will ) then check it out and feel free to comment.