Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter

Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter Posted: 05 Oct 2020 12:00 AM PDT Even before the coronavirus pandemic propelled UNLV into remote learning in the spring, online courses at UNLV were prevalent.  "There's been a steady decrease in the number of students that have never taken an online course," said Elizabeth Barrie, the director of the Office of Online Education . She recently presented during The State of Online Education webinar event. It highlighted some of the initiatives and cross-campus partnerships that contribute to student achievement and shared how faculty prepared for online learning through the summer. She noted that 95% of students who graduated in spring 2020 with an undergraduate degree had taken at least one online course. And, compared to past years, there has been an increase in the number of students who have taken more than 30 credits, or two semesters, online. 

Armenian Museum of America announces 'Kez Het Hayastan' concert honoring Armenia - Armenian Weekly

Armenian Museum of America announces 'Kez Het Hayastan' concert honoring Armenia - Armenian Weekly

Armenian Museum of America announces 'Kez Het Hayastan' concert honoring Armenia - Armenian Weekly

Posted: 01 Feb 2021 11:25 AM PST

WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian Museum of America recently announced the third in its bi-monthly Online Concert Series. The performance is being recorded live in New York by Armenian sopranos, Hasmik Meikhanedjian, Alvard Mayilyan and Anahit Zakaryan. They will be accompanied by pianist and composer Hayk Arsenyan. The concert "Kez het Hayastan" (With You, Armenia!) is dedicated to Armenia. 

The event will air online on Sunday, February 14 at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST and 11:00 pm in Armenia). It is free, open to the public, pre-registration is not required, and the video will be made available on the Museum's website and social media pages including Facebook. This concert series is supported by a generous grant from the Dadourian Foundation It is curated exclusively for the Armenian Museum audience by artistic director, composer and conductor Maestro Konstantin Petrossian.

"We're excited to present this third concert to our members, followers and community," noted Executive Director Jason Sohigian. "We joined many institutions in offering virtual programs during the pandemic so people can remain connected while we are temporarily closed. Normally we would host performances such as this in our gallery, but we are happy to host it online for our community in Watertown, Los Angeles, and around the globe. It is fitting because the audience at the Armenian Museum is truly global and people visit our website and social media pages from more than 75 countries." 

The Armenian Museum of America has expanded its offerings of virtual events while the galleries are temporarily closed to comply with COVID-19 regulations. In addition to the concert series, online programs include a weekly "show and tell" video about an object from its collection by Curator Gary Lind-Sinanian and a monthly virtual exhibition series which has already featured Artsakh Rugs and Armenian Embroidery. 

Clockwise starting in the top left: Alvard Mayilyan, Hasmik Meikhanedjian, Anahit Zakaryan, Hayk Arsenyan

Hasmik Meikhanedjian has been singing professionally for more than 30 years. She has degrees in music from the Armenian State Pedagogical University and Komitas State Conservatory. Hasmik has worked with the State Radio and TV Chamber Choir of Armenia, performed in numerous festivals and concerts throughout Europe and the US, and was a member of the choir of Holy Etchmiadzin. She joined the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir in 1993, for which she is currently one of its leading soloists.

Alvard Mayilyan is an expert in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music and has performed throughout Europe and the US. She holds a master's degree in voice and academic music from Yerevan State Conservatory. She has served as vocal coach to the Gomidas Choir of the Eastern Diocese in New York, and as director of the children's chorus of the New Rochelle Opera. Her singing is featured throughout Sonia Balassanian's film "Who Is the Victim?" which was presented at the Venice Film Festival.

Anahit Zakaryan started her voice training at a very young age at the School for Gifted Children and then the State Music Conservatory under the tutelage of Tatevik Sazandarian. After graduating, Anahit was invited to continue her studies at the Juilliard School of Music. She was soloist at the Armenian State Opera, Academy Choir of Armenia, and Armenian Female Choir, as well as soloist and one of the founders of the Armenian Youth Opera Theater. In 1993, her vocal talents earned her first place in a national Komitas Competition.

Pianist and composer Hayk Arsenyan has appeared in recitals throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. A professor at NYU's Tisch School, Hayk holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano from the University of Iowa. He was awarded the Yevgeny Kissin Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music. Hayk is a lifetime member of the French Society of Authors and Composers, a member of the Composers Union of Armenia, a member of the Ararat International Academy of Sciences in Paris, and he directs the AGBU's Performing Arts Department.

These New York-based musicians have crafted an inspiring program that includes works by renowned composers such as Komitas, Tchukhadjian, Melikyan, Amirkhanyan, Petrossian and Mekanejian, paying homage to Armenia and celebrating hope, faith and love in these difficult times. 

The Armenian Museum of America is the largest Armenian Museum in the Diaspora. It has grown into a major repository for all forms of Armenian material culture that illustrate the creative endeavors of the Armenian people over the centuries. Today, the Museum's collections hold more than 25,000 artifacts including 5,000 ancient and medieval Armenian coins, 1,000 stamps and maps, 30,000 books, 3,000 textiles and 180 Armenian inscribed rugs, and an extensive collection of Urartian and religious artifacts, ceramics, medieval illuminations, and various other objects. The collection includes historically significant objects, including five of the Armenian Bibles printed in Amsterdam in 1666.

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School of rock: 4Cs alumni help relaunch college station, expand course offerings - Cape Cod Times

Posted: 01 Feb 2021 12:49 PM PST

Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll   | Cape Cod Times

WEST BARNSTABLE — WKKL is back on the air, revamped and reinvented.

After going dark for a year following a transmitter failure, the Cape Cod Community College radio station started playing music again in recent weeks at 90.7, and is also  livestreaming for the first time.

With its new technology now fine-tuned, there will be a formal relaunch of WKKL today, with some celebrity alumni filling the airwaves. The relaunch extends to the college's curriculum, as classes — currently online-only during the pandemic — broaden to cover podcasting, YouTube videos and other skills.

"The real focus this semester is getting students back on the air, getting our listeners back and really developing (WKKL) as a cornerstone of the communication program," said Cathy McCarron, the college's dean of arts, humanities and adult education. "So many community college radio stations are going purely online … but because we had the actual station, we didn't want to give that up."

The station that had most recently played "an eclectic mix" of music now has a classic alternative music format. That includes tunes from 1977 to 2000.

Think Elvis Costello, The Cure, Joe Jackson, the Sex Pistols, Squeeze and "stuff you remember when you were a cool kid in that time," said Lisa Zinsius Supka, a WKKL alum, media professor and longtime radio personality known as Liza Z.

Zinsius Supka is a familiar voice on Cape airwaves. After joining WKKL in 1985, she went on to work at local stations WKPE (Cape 104), F101, WCIB (Cool 102), 96.3 the Rose and 106 WCOD. She also taught broadcast classes for hundreds of students at the Cape college from 1995 to 2012, and has now returned to program the new WKKL, instruct its online radio classes and help design the college's future media program.

"During a time of COVID, (it's a positive sign) to have some creativity going on." 

The radio station's new format was suggested by fellow alum Rick Pendleton, also known in the industry as RJ Jordan, who also assembled the music library and developed various other elements for the new station. Classic alternative represents an unclaimed niche by area commercial broadcasters with stronger signals, he said, and fits the Cape's older demographic well while still highlighting WKKL's history of playing "college music."

Starting with today's "Groundhog Day" theme, a la Bill Murray's 1993 movie about reliving the past, Zinsius Supka has set up programming through the week with Pendleton and other radio-industry alumni contributing from studios around the country. Among them are Clarence Barnes, a national radio/TV host and anchor and former record-company executive; radio personality Don Gaston, also known as Don "Action" Jackson in Las Vegas, Cleveland and national broadcasts; regional radio personalities Tracy Lynn (currently with iHeartMedia in Providence); Rick Burgess (now heard locally on Pixy103) and Dan Towers; and Sarah Colvin, whose local career includes stints at WQRC, WOCN and Frank-FM.

"WKKL has produced some of the best broadcasting talent in our region and beyond," college president John Cox said in a statement. "We are delighted so many are giving back to the station to help us celebrate our relaunch."

Pendleton, who became involved at WKKL in 1984 as a high schooler working summers, went on to work at close to 20 radio stations on the Cape and elsewhere, sometimes as program director. He's now a full-time record producer and on-air talent based in Rochester, New York.

"I emphatically trace my current employment, as well as all my other prior industry involvement, back to my time at WKKL," he said. He says "students getting involved with WKKL today can experience similar success in the future."

The enthusiasm from alumni about the relaunch and potential future mentoring exemplifies what McCarron said studies also show, which is that students involved with college radio form a bond both with other students and the institution. As a result, they are more likely to stay and graduate from the college.

WKKL had been among the top programs in the country for student involvement under Zinsius Supka's leadership, but the station at the Makkay Broadcasting Center she helped design and build went dark in January 2020 after an aging transmitter and tower deteriorated enough over time to become irreparable.

The college's education foundation contributed about $70,000 of the $106,000 cost to replace the transmitter to get the station running again by the one-year deadline to keep its broadcasting license, McCarron said.

More upgrades are planned as equipment is inventoried for potential replacement and part of the center is turned into a podcasting room, officials said.

WKKL will play music 24/7 via automation, with specific shows building up over time. Already, communications professor Tyler Daniels is contributing "Manic Mondays" and "Golden Era Radio."

Award-winning local radio personality Stephanie Viva will involve students with the simulcast of her "Lemonadio" show from 7 to 10 a.m. Thursdays. Kristen Eck, whose 33-year broadcasting career started at WKKL and includes WCOD and WXTK on the Cape and 23 years as helicopter reporter for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston, has developed BumbleBeeRadio.com, a streaming indie and alternative music station, during the pandemic. Her show will be simulcast on WKKL from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

While shows and classes are being done remotely because of the pandemic, Zinsius Supka said so much of what is on radio and television during the pandemic is being produced remotely, too. She and McCarron said skills such as problem-solving, marketing, teamwork and project management taught through the program are prized in many other fields beyond broadcasting.

Both leaders said today's relaunch is just a start. They hope to add more classes, and Zinsius Supka has also talked about students covering high school sports and Cape Cod Baseball League games.

There are also plans for a possible glass-walled studio elsewhere on campus so students can watch radio being done live, McCarron said. Students from other departments, including nursing, biology and print journalism, could also make use of the studio by recording public service announcements and podcasts and coming on air to talk about their stories. Students with the college's Sea Change literary magazine could also come on the air to read their work.

"We're looking at the best way to serve not just as a radio station but as a multimedia center so these students get the best experience," Zinsius Supka said.

Want to listen?

WKKL can now be heard at 90.7 on radios and live-streamed at capecodedu.wkkl.

Celebrity alumni will be featured for today's Groundhog Day relaunch, and alumni greetings and student voices will be mixed in from morning to night.


Morning: 6 to 8 a.m., RJ Jordan; 8 to 10 a.m., Lisa Z and Stephanie Viva; 10 to 11 a.m., Kristen Eck; 11 a.m. to noon, Dan Towers

Afternoon: noon to 1 p.m., Sarah Colvin; 1 to 2 p.m., Rick Burgess; 2 to 3 p.m., Tracy Lynn; 3 to 5 p.m., Don "Action" Jackson 

Evening: 5 to 7 p.m., Clarence Barnes; 7 to 9 p.m., RJ Jordan; 9 to 10 p.m., Dan Towers; and 10 p.m. to midnight, Rick Burgess

Opinion: NYC Students Need Music Education Now More Than Ever - City Limits

Posted: 29 Jan 2021 12:58 PM PST

'Fifty-five percent of city public schools didn't have a music educator, even before the COVID-19 pandemic…one aspect of that rebuilding must be integrating music as a core subject in the curriculum and ensuring all city schools have certified music educators.'

Emil Cohen/NYC Council Flickr

Students at Queens' P.S. 150 perform in 2018.

As teaching moved rapidly into uncharted territory last spring, New York City students lost family members and teachers to the pandemic, leaving them with still-to-be-resolved trauma. Teachers had to teach via online platforms, while students lacked access to computers or internet access. Yet, despite ongoing and seemingly insurmountable challenges, teachers continue to be innovative and find ways to keep students motivated and engaged in learning.

Over the past year, the nation has gotten better at recognizing issues that were always there. As the new administration in Washington thinks about how to get us beyond the pandemic, and candidates for the New York City mayoral race line up, we have the opportunity to rebuild better on all fronts. As a former educator, I believe one aspect of that rebuilding must be integrating music as a core subject in the curriculum and ensuring all city schools have certified music educators. Despite the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) specifically highlighting music as critical to well-rounded learning, 55 percent of city public schools didn't have a music educator, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Music is core to what makes us human. After I was kicked out of my middle school chorus at a New York City public school, I felt excluded and my confidence plummeted. I have always wanted to make sure other children don't have to have the same experiences. I now lead Education Through Music (ETM), a nonprofit that provides access to music education to thousands of children in NYC.

Music is critical to a well-rounded education, developing our students' creativity as well as promoting overall achievement in school. By nurturing students' passions and interests, we help them develop and grow beyond the restrictive and relentless focus on standardized test results. We also keep students engaged with learning. Recently, one ETM school found that students were more likely to attend school for the full day when they had music class first thing in the morning. One online student started the year disengaged and hating music class, but through the past few months has participated more and more in online activities and recently shared that she "LOVES music!" in her class chatroom. Encouraging students' enthusiasm for learning in any subject can only be beneficial to their wider learning.

That infectious enthusiasm is needed now more than ever. As our young people—especially the vast majority of city public students who are BIPOC—come to terms with the collective trauma of the pandemic and of a history of racial injustice, music is both a means to process and heal and a way to bring classes together to share their emotions. Seven out of 10 New York City schools say arts funding is insufficient. High-poverty schools are about seven times less likely than low-poverty schools to fund their arts programming through their Parent Teacher Association (PTA). High-poverty schools are also three times more likely to report receiving no arts funding other than the insufficient Department of Education (DOE) provision.

We can no longer treat music as a "nice to have" extracurricular. It must be taught by credentialed teachers who are both musicians and education professionals, like ETM teacher Mr. Martinez, who explains music theory through basketball and cooking. We also need a socially conscious curriculum, including different types of music from a wide variety of cultures that engage with students' interests. Just after the election results were announced, Mr. Taylor, ETM teacher at MS/HS 223, asked his students to select two or three songs to be set with now-Vice President Kamala Harris's nomination acceptance speech, either as background music for or commentary on the speech. This allowed students to analyze the world around them through songs they understood and work towards a full playlist for the class to share. 

As a city, we must reprioritize funding for arts education as soon as possible. I understand this won't be achieved overnight but, in the meantime, I urge teachers and parents to make the most of the resources ETM and other organizations provide for free. These online music lessons are not a substitute for a full music program in the core curriculum, but can serve as a stop-gap until those programs are established.

We need high-quality music education for all students and it can be done, in person and online. Students blossom through music teaching. Let's grasp this opportunity, as we rebuild in response to the challenges of the pandemic, and ensure all NYC's public school students have access to music teaching so more children have that transformative experience.

Penny Swift is the executive director of Education Through Music.

Virtual piano and vocals performance scheduled for Feb 13th - My Little Falls

Posted: 02 Feb 2021 02:00 AM PST

The Little Falls Public Library is pleased to announce, just in time for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday, "I'm In The Mood for Love" a piano-and-vocals performance of romantic tunes as interpreted by Martha Regelmann presented live online through the Zoom teleconferencing app, Saturday, February 13th at 1 PM.

Martha Regelmann

Ms. Regelmann's love of music started early when in the second grade her parents took her into a piano store to browse. She asked her parents why they were there, she was told they'd thought she might want to take piano lessons, and she was hooked from then on. Through her high school years, she gave private lessons to local youths and was the organist/choir director of the family church, eventually leading to higher education in the field, earning a Bachelor's of Music from the Westminster Choir College in New Jersey, majoring in Organ and minoring in Voice.

The main focus of Ms. Regelmann's professional music career was as the main organist and choir director for Trinity Episcopal Church at Roslyn, NY on Long Island. Alongside those duties, she later expanded into musical education, teaching vocal music and music theory at Friends Academy in Locust Valley and conducted the community choral society for Mineola. She additionally conducted private lessons in piano, organ, and vocals throughout that time. In 2018, she retired from full-time education and performance to the Central New York area to be with her sister Patricia LaFontaine and her mother Lucille Smith.

Her Valentine's program "I'm In The Mood for Love" is designed to touch upon the many facets of the holiday and the theme of romance in music, in all of its trickiness, not just the spectacular first blush of young loves, but also the comfort and warmth of long-lasting loves as well as the tumult of loves gone rocky or sour. Selections such as "Almost Like Being in Love" will touch upon that joy, songs like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" will touch on the sadness, tunes of beauty and playfulness like "Claire de Lune" and "Bye, Bye Blackbird" filling in those myriad feelings in-between. It is Ms. Regelmann's hope that through this emotionally wide-ranged mix of classical and popular songs that a feeling of hope and connectedness can be fomented despite the physical distances many of us still need to employ over a holiday usually so tied to closeness.

The concert will be available on the Zoom application with the meeting ID 928-0774-4064. For more information, you can visit the Little Falls Public Library's website at www.lflibrary.org or check out the library's Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlefallslibrary not only for information of this event but also for other future events like it. The Little Falls Public Library appreciates the opportunity to share local arts and culture with the local community as well as the world at large and hopes to see you online for the pre-Valentine's Day concert!


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