North High Teacher And Student At NAfME

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Joseph Rutkowski and Casey Poon. (Photo by Jeff Barlowe)
Joseph Rutkowski and Casey Poon. (Photo by Jeff Barlowe)

Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental music director at North High School, has been chosen to present a workshop on organizing chamber music programs at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference at the end of October. The conference will be held in Nashville, TN.

The clinic, Play for Your Life!, offers music educators the “how to” for introducing chamber music programs in their middle and high schools. The value of chamber music programs goes beyond the classroom. Rutkowski explained: “A goal of music education is to help instrumental students find opportunities to make music throughout their lives. Playing chamber music gives students the chance to become lifelong participants in music as those who play chamber music usually play for the rest of their lives.”

Rutkowski has presented chamber music workshops numerous times. When the conference is nearby, North High chamber music students have performed as part of the workshop. Since attendance at the Tennessee conference would necessitate North High students missing too many classes, a group of students from Nashville will assist Rutkowski in his workshop presentation. The program will include works by Mozart, Dvorak, Gounod, Beethoven, and Stravinsky; arrangements of pieces by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin; and some disco.

One of Rutkowski’s students, tuba player Casey Poon, a senior at North High School, was selected for the highly prestigious 2015 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Symphony Orchestra. At North, Casey is a member of the Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra and Brass Choir. He has also been selected for All-Eastern, All-State (for the second year in a row), and each year, for All-County, except for this year when he decided not to be nominated since it would have meant his missing too many Saturday sessions at the Juilliard Pre-College program which he attends.

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