All About Acting School and How to Become an Actor - U.S. News & World Report

All About Acting School and How to Become an Actor - U.S. News & World Report All About Acting School and How to Become an Actor - U.S. News & World Report Posted: 28 Sep 2020 12:00 AM PDT [unable to retrieve full-text content] All About Acting School and How to Become an Actor    U.S. News & World Report You are subscribed to email updates from "online mfa programs,colleges in usa" - Google News . To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now . Email delivery powered by Google Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

BGPS music students learn from the masters | Home Family - The Reflector

BGPS music students learn from the masters | Home Family - The Reflector

BGPS music students learn from the masters | Home Family - The Reflector

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 12:18 PM PST

Band students at Battle Ground Public Schools recently had the opportunity to learn from seven world-class musicians though a series of virtual "master classes" online. Featuring two Grammy award winners and a pair of college music professors, the lineup of guest musicians worked with middle and high school students in the district to deepen their level of understanding, performance and appreciation of music. 

"We are extremely fortunate to have such high caliber musicians who are willing to spend time with us," Band Teacher at Tukes Valley Middle School Alison Pierce said in a news release. "We had a great turnout of students who took advantage of the opportunity, and it was inspiring hearing from such talented musicians from varying backgrounds."

Battle Ground's band directors work throughout the year to connect their students with professional musicians. This year is no different, despite learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first round of master classes took place on Nov. 4 and featured sessions on percussion techniques from the University of Idaho's Director of Athletic Bands Spencer Martin; four-time Grammy Award winning jazz vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding who talked about the creative process of writing original music; and Grammy Award winning bassist John Clayton who talked on the topics of jazz improvisation and jazz rhythm. 

"The master class reminded me that music is not just built on rules and how you are supposed to play the song," Makayla Buck, an eighth grader at Tukes Valley Middle School said. "Music is also about emotion and expressing yourself."

The second set of classes took place on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and featured instrument-specific courses on playing technique. 

Vern Sielert, Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies at the University of Idaho, taught a course on trumpet technique; musician, composer and educator Chris Brown taught a session on jazz drumming; Assistant Professor of Flute at Washington State University Sophia Tegart taught a session on flute technique; and Vanessa Sielert, Associate Professor of Saxophone and Associate Director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho led a session on saxophone technique.

"The master classes taught us that music is an art form," Brandon Hall, eighth grade student at Tukes Valley Middle School said. "The guest speakers talked about how you can play jazz music however you feel like playing it to make it your own."

Melissa's Music Studio transitions to some online instruction for Corridor music lessons - The Gazette

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 04:09 AM PST

Melissa Brobston started taking piano lessons from her grandmother — who lived just a mile away from her family's farm in northwest Iowa — when she was in elementary school.

She started playing trumpet in fifth grade band.

"I saw all my other friends playing the flute and I wanted to try something different," she recalled.

"I actually couldn't even make a sound on the trumpet, but I thought it was so cool and I wanted to learn how to play it."

By the time Brobston was in high school she had not only figured out how to play the trumpet, but was earning first chair and opportunities to participate in honor bands and jazz band championship, among other achievements.

Her love of making music followed her into the professional world. Brobston today is the owner of and main instructor for Melissa's Music Studio, which she started upon moving to Iowa City in the early 2000s.

Since then, she has added other instructors in other specialty areas to provide a variety of musical instruction on brass, woodwind, string, piano, voice and percussion instruments.

"My business is not just one person teaching everything because I don't think anybody can be that for every instrument," she said.

"In 2015 I had my highest number of students at 40," she said, recalling that she started with just two piano students.

"And I thought, 'Wow, that had always been my goal.' I always felt like if I made it the 40 students, I was just going to be over the moon. And I was. This has just evolved."

She now offers lessons in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

The numbers and types of students at Melissa's Music Studio in any given year ebbs and flows. Most are children, but there are a few adults, as well.

While Brobston doesn't have quite that many students today, she believes it is a good thing as this year has meant a full transition to online instruction.

"I started 25 beginners online this summer from home," she said. "It was a little bit of a challenge because I was hearing a lot of teachers saying it can't be done. It does take more time and you have to just have to be more patient."

She's grateful that a friend asked her to teach her son to play trombone remotely back in 2016, as it gave her the confidence to know virtual instruction could happen during the pandemic.

She is used to being flexible in her work, as over the years Brobston has managed to fit in teaching lessons and building and operating her business while working as a band instructor at local schools and while working on her master's degree.

"I also like to build students' confidence so that whether they continue playing their instrument or maybe start up again later they always have a passion and appreciation for music," Brobston said.

"They take those skills of practicing and being dedicated to something and building their confidence so that they can go on and when they do other things, they can bring those skills with them."

Know a Corridor business that might make for a really interesting "My Biz" feature? Let us know about it. Email

Melissa's Music Studio

• Owner and instructor: Melissa Brobston

• Address: Iowa City and Cedar Rapids

• Phone: (319) 930-2969

• Website:

Virtual Production of Atlantic Theater Company's She Persisted, The Musical Now Available for Streaming -

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 11:01 AM PST

Atlantic Theater Company's kids series Atlantic for Kids has released a virtual production of She Persisted, The Musical. Adapted from the book by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boigner, the musical enjoyed a run at Atlantic for Kids earlier this year. The virtual production of She Persisted is available to stream on demand via ShowTix4U through January 5, 2021.

She Persisted is directed and choreographed by MK Lawson. Filmed remotely, the virtual production features the complete Atlantic for Kids cast, including Auberth Bercy, Jianzi Colón-Soto, Amanda Corday, Amber Jaunai, Cynthia Nesbit, and Heather Sawyer.

With a book and lyrics by Adam Tobin and music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, She Persisted centers on fourth-grader Naomi and her class field trip to a Women's History Museum. Naomi travels through time to meet inspirational women from history who broke through barriers and persisted, including Harriet Tubman, Virginia Apgar, Ruby Bridges, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, and Sonia Sotomayor.

The virtual production features music supervision by Macy Schmidt, production design and illustrations by Edward T. Morris, costume design by Rose Bisogno, sound design and mixing by Cameron Hoffman, video editing by Janna Emig, and video and effects consultation by Liminal Entertainment Technologies. Louis Markowitz was production stage manager.

For more information, visit

New Episodes of Musical Podcast WHAT WILL SHE DO NEXT? -

Posted: 20 Nov 2020 11:44 AM PST

New York-based musical theatre writing team Bird & Mirabella are pleased to announce new episodes of their free musical podcast "What Will She Do Next?". Performed by Broadway, film and TV stars, these family-friendly podcasts use interactive storytelling and Broadway-style songs to celebrate key moments in the lives of history's greatest women. The educational and entertaining series also features "Bite-Sized Biographies," all-spoken, full length biographies (no singing or actors) – perfect for bedtime!

The newest episode, to be released Monday, November 30, 2020, features Yasmeen Sulieman (Broadway: Beautiful) as Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Special guest stars include Jonathon Timpanelli (National tour: School of Rock), Gabrielle Reid (Broadway: Beautiful, Hairspray) and C.E. Smith (Broadway: Leap of Faith, The Full Monty). Creator Gabrielle Mirabella (National tours: Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical) also narrates a "Bite-Sized Biography" (just released!) of Victoria Woodhull, an American leader of the women's suffrage movement who ran for President of the U.S. in the 1872 election.

"What Will She Do Next?" podcasts can be streamed free of charge at, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio or anywhere you get your podcasts. Donations, which go directly to the performers, are accepted at The podcast is also seeking corporate sponsors.

Children (8 – 12 years) are also invited to share information about their favorite historical women to be featured at the end of each podcast. To learn more, visit

Past podcasts available for free streaming:

  • Episode #1 – Gabrielle Reid (Broadway: Beautiful, Hairspray) as American engineer and physician Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space.
  • Episode #2 – Gabrielle Mirabella (National tours: Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical) as American socialite and philanthropist The "Unsinkable" Margaret "Molly" Brown.
  • Episode #3 –Cassandra Murphy (Frozen Live at the Hyperion) as Maria Tallchief, America's first prima ballerina. Special guest stars Marina Vinogradova and Ernie Bird.
  • Episode #4 –Kara Lindsay (Broadway: Newsies, Wicked, Beautiful) as American journalist, businesswoman and inventor Nellie Bly. Special guest star Matt Lucas (Co-Host The Great British Bake Off).
  • Episode #5 – Niki Badua (National tour: Mamma Mia!; Miss Saigon, Titanic at Serenbe Playhouse) as teenage warrior leader Xun Guan. Special guest star Austin Ku (Soft Power at The Public Theater).
  • Episode #6 – Georgie Kate Haege (National tour: Mamma Mia!) as Mary Shelley, English novelist and author of "Frankenstein." Special guest stars T.J Newton (National tour: Spamilton), Sarah Smith and Jacob Hoffman.

Comments Co-Creator Gabrielle Mirabella, "We hope to keep kids entertained, learning, and to understand that they aren't alone in feeling 'stuck' right now. We're all searching for 'what to do next', and isn't it great that history's women can give us those answers? And, truly, the actors who bring these characters to life are the backbone of the show. With live entertainment at a standstill, listening to these artists perform gives you the feeling that you're back in a Broadway theatre... if only for twenty minutes."

Co-Creator Ernie Bird adds, "My goal as a musical theatre composer has always been to provoke critical thinking and questioning of the norms. With What Will She Do Next? I inspire kids (and adults) to overcome societal obstacles and accomplish their dreams; while bringing overlooked factual stories to life in a Broadway musical format."

Gabrielle Mirabella is an actor and musical theatre writer. Graduate of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, recent writing credits include: Theater Now New York's 10-Minute Musical Festival at Merkin Hall with her musical RISE, in collaboration with Ernie Bird. As a performer; (National Tours) Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical, andYou Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! (Regional Premiere) First Date, the musical (Professional Premiere) Bubble Boy, the musical (World Premiere) Stranger Sings! A musical parody by Cinco Paul presented by Wolfbane Productions. Graduate of Manhattan School of Music and proud member of Actors' Equity, Maestra Music and Dramatists

Ernie Bird is a musical theatre composer, writer, performer, and audio engineer living in New York City. His musical RISE, in collaboration with librettist Gabrielle Mirabella, will be produced as part of Theatre Now New York's Sound Bites Festival. Bird & Mirabella are also currently co-producing and writing the Musical Women's History Podcast, What Will She Do Next?. Ernie has received numerous writing accolades, including; The International Songwriting Competition (Finalist 2012 & Semi-Finalist 2013, 2017, 2018), and The Curtain Up Musical Theatre Songwriting Competition (2017, 2020). He has also worked more than six years in audio engineering, music production and live sound. After receiving a competitive Graduate scholarship, Ernie attended the New York University Tisch School of the Arts where he received an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing. Thesis projects include: Return to Grace; book by Gabrielle Mirabella, and lyrics by Jessie Field; and Soroka, libretto by Trinity Chen. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ernie received a Bachelor of Music degree while double majoring in Music Production & Engineering and Music Management. As an actor, international voice-over work includes; Goofy Movie (Max), Hercules, Bad Teacher. Regionally; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (The Pit, NYC), Legally Blonde, Cabaret, Midsummer Night's Dream (BPC, Boston). He is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild and the Audio Engineering Society.


Popular posts from this blog

Talk of the Towns: Feb. 6, 2020 - The Recorder

Baker Technical Institute launches Certified Medical Assistant program - Blue Mountain Eagle

For inbound college students — and universities — fall semester presents new choices and dilemmas - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette