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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
November 14, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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November 14, 2014

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Concert From page 1 When did you start playing saxo- phone? Nathanieh My mom plays piano and sings. She was going to be a professional opera singer, but then got pregnant with me and had to stop practicing voice lessons. When I was little I took a few piano and guitar lessons, but it wasn't until the 6th grade when I started taking music les- sons seriously and began playing the saxophone. Islander: How did you feel about being asked to write music score that would be performed by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra? Nathanieh I thought it was very cool. Living here on Catalina we don't get a lot of outside experi- ences like that. This is something that I can proudly say I got to do. Islander: What inspired you to compose that piece? Nathanieh We had to follow a certain set of criteria when com- posing the music. Our AP Music Class teacher Mr. Markowitz worked with us throughout the process. We were given a baseline melody to work with and had to come up with our own music variations. Islander: How did it feel to hear your composition being played by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra during the rehearsal? Nathaniel Breese, 17, of Avalon Schools is planning a music career. Last year, he was one of five students who composed scores for the Second Annual Catalina Island Museum Holiday Symphony Concert. He's working on a new score for this year's event. (Photo courtesy Catalina Island Museum) Nathanieh I thought it was really cool because most of the music I usually hear is on the computer and it is all electronic and automated. Hearing the music I composed being played by a live symphony orchestra was a thrill- ing experience. Islander: Did you want to make any changes after you heard the piece performed by the orches- tra? Nathaniel: Yes, there were a couple of things I would change. Once you hear it live, you real- ize there are little nuances that just make the melody better. Mr. Markowitz did a lot of ear train- ing with us, enabling us to under- stand if the melody sounds right or if there are certain changes that need to be done to make it sound better. Islander: I know that Anna Wittstruck, who was the conduc- tor last year, gave some feedback afterwards. Was that helpful? Nathaniel: I thought it was definitely a very valuable and eye- opening experience for me to have a college level orchestra play the music I composed. I was glad they didn't have any issues playing the piece. The conductor indicated some things that could have been done differently and I thought that was really helpful. Islander: Was last year's Holiday Symphony Concert the first time you've attended a classi- cal music concert? Nathanieh Yes, it was. I've never been to a symphony concert before. The opportunities on the island are limited, and also tickets to most concerts on the mainland are pricey. Islander: This year you've been asked to come up with anoth- er composition. Are you working on the piece now? Nathaniel: Yes, I've been working on it. Our assignment is to take the final music piece that we composed in the AP class last year and base our composition on that. We originally wrote it for a voice trio and are now changing and adapting it for violins, violas, cellos and base. Islander: This year the Holiday Symphony Concert is comprised of classical works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Have you heard any of Mozart's pieces before? Nathanieh I know the compos- er's name, but I haven't listened to Mozart's music much because as a saxophone player I mainly listen to jazz. But I am looking forward to listening to it in the concert. Islander: You performed at JazzTrax this year with a group of friends. Could you tell us about that experience? Nathanieh Yes, a couple of my friends and I had the unique opportunity to play at JazzTrax during both weekends. I person- Alzheimer's & Dementia Medication Reminders Light Housekeeping Meal Preparation Companionship Our Careg ers Liability Insured Background Checked Pre-employment Screening CNA's Available S joo OFF First Month with Live-In Care. Satisfaction Guranteedl ally loved the experience, as I have wanted to play there since I was in the 6th grade. It was almost unbelievable to actually perform there at age 17. We played in the Marine Bar during intermission "and I think our performance was very well received! Islander: What are your plans for the future? Are you going to pursue a career in music? Nathaniel: I do plan to pursue a music career. I plan to go into either music performance or music education. My preference would be to major in music performance and to minor in music education to be able to both perform and possibly become a music teacher, like Mr. Markowitz. I am in the process of applying to Berklee College of Music in Boston. I am particularly inspired to apply there because of professional saxophone player Mindy Abair. She went to Berklee College of Music and I have seen her in concert at the JazzTrax Festival since I was in the 6th grade! Islander: You're willing to go across the country to attend a col- lege in the East Coast. How does it feel? Nathaniel: The furthest I've ever been from home is Minnesota and I am really looking forward to the big change. I am also applying to other schools in Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts. I am ready to see and experience new things! High school students and chil- dren of all ages will be admit- ted free of charge to the Second Annual Catalina Island Museum Holiday Symphony Concert, which takes place on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Avalon Casino Theatre. The program's theme, "A Very MoZart Christmas;'" fea- tures an ensemble of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anna Wittstruck performing three compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The general public may pur- chase tickets for $5. Limit two tickets per member. For more information or purchase tickets, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414, or at its website: 8 '. Friday, November 14, 2014 THE CATALINA ISLANDER