Town Gown Works for the Arts

Ithaca High School students are going to college, and before they graduate. In a wonderful partnership with Ithaca College and Cornell University, Ithaca High School students will perform concerts and plays this year at Ithaca College’s Ford Hall, Cornell University’s Bailey Hall and Risley Theater. Due to the renovation of Building A, Ithaca High’s Kulp Auditorium is not available during the 2009-2010 school year. Ithaca High Orchestra, Band, Choir and Drama needed alternate locations for their performances. In addition, Boynton Middle School sought other locations, as this middle school regularly used Kulp Auditorium.

George Myers, District Liaison for Music and Ithaca High Orchestra teacher, worked last year to find alternate locations. Ithaca College and Cornell offered their help. Mr. Myers explained, “Both Cornell and Ithaca College have been exceedingly generous, not only in offering us their beautiful performance spaces, but in meeting numerous times with us to assure our needs for concerts are met. We are fortunate and grateful to be working with such cooperative partners during this transition year at ICSD.” Students will experience the beautiful settings of Ford Hall and Bailey Hall and get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes workings at these college campuses. Students can experience “going to college” by using the resources of these sites.

“We are so delighted to welcome ICSD performances to Cornell’s Bailey Hall this year. The Bailey staff look forward to servicing our public school students with the same state-of-the-art equipment and resources used by world class artists — it will be fun and inspiring for all involved.” states Kiko Nobusawa, Concert Manager of the Cornell Concert Series.

Boynton Middle School students also get to visit the college campuses. Ithaca College Associate Professor Keith Kaiser had Boynton Middle School students in Ford Hall in November and a partnership with the Ithaca College Brass Choir has developed in a new initiative to connect Ithaca College music majors to the community. Keith Kaiser, Chair of Music Education and Interim Associate Dean at Ithaca College, commented, “I believe very strongly that it is this type of community collaboration and advancement of the art that is the most important thing we can contribute.”

December/January events include: December 9 Ithaca High School Orchestra at Bailey Hall, Cornell, 8:00 p.m. December 15, Ithaca High School Band at Bailey Hall, Cornell, 8:00 p.m. December 17, Ithaca High School Choir at Bailey Hall, Cornell, 8:00 p.m. December 18, 19, 20, Ithaca High School Drama at Risley Hall Theater, Cornell, 7:30, 7:30 and 2:00p.m. January 12, Boynton Middle School Orchestra, Ford Hall, Ithaca College, 7:00 p.m. January 14, Boynton Middle School Band, Ford Hall, Ithaca College, 7:00 p.m. January 19, Boynton Middle School Choir, Ford Hall, Ithaca College, 7:00 p.m.

Concerts began in December and continue through June. Fifteen events will take place off site in 2009-2010, representing a generous gesture from the education partners on both hills. Check the district’s fine and performing arts calendar at www.icsd.k12.ny.us and click on calendars or go to www.fabgithaca.org and see upcoming events.