Musically Minded Academy, a brand new school, community center and concert venue in Rockridge, opened its doors to students of every age this January. Singers, drummers, and classic pianists—and no matter what their experience level—can find a place at this progressive, nonprofit facility.
Judging by the audience’s loud cheers, fifteen-year old Tyler Thompson’s opera rendition of Justice Bao, a Chinese judge who fought government corruption, was spot-on. He hit all the notes, his Mandarin flawless, and the cheers he received from the nearly-packed Rawley Farnsworth Theater at Skyline High School Saturday evening were the loudest of the night at a performance to raise money for the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation.
Oakland residents John Morgan and John Boomer graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009. A few months later, they faced a decision: make some quick cash, or move back home. On a lark, Morgan wheeled a full-size piano out to Macarthur BART station, sat down, and played.
Brother and sister Sarah Lynn and Aaron Goeth were raised on church service and bar music while growing up in San Antonio, Texas. Now living in Oakland, the ginger-haired duo have been playing as Aquarena Springs, a country, honky-tonk band that incorporates the ukelele, drums, bass, melodica and keyboard.
Dancers with the Oakland Ballet Company have spent the past month preparing for this year’s production of “The Nutcracker. The shows, which will be presented at the Paramount Theater, are scheduled for Christmas weekend, but you can listen in on a rehearsal in this audio piece.
Mariella Cordova and Jeff Derenthal, both seniors at Skyline High School, sat in the fifth row of the theater red seats laughing and talking over each other in their excitement to explain the dance-musical-comedy performance they were about to take part in—the school’s new fall musical, A Cinderella Christmas.
With Carlos Santana playing alongside the Oakland East Bay Symphony at the Paramount Theater this weekend, concertgoers will have a chance to broaden their musical palettes.
Combine two parts jazz music with one part history and a dash of visual stimulation. Toss it together and you have a Bay Area vocalist’s multimedia performance, paying tribute to female singers and songwriters of the Tin Pan Alley era.
Bud Cropsey is an institution on the Oakland music scene—a longtime middle school and private music teacher, as well as a patron of the Oakland East Bay Symphony. This week, shortly after Cropsey’s 99th birthday, the symphony is honoring Cropsey with a three-day series of concerts geared at helping children learn about classical music. Read the story of Cropsey’s musical life, and hear more from this week’s concert series.