This second trimester, our art program continues for all students. Sonja Donahue and Jacob Johnston now work with 2nd and 5th graders while 1st, 3rd and 4th graders are exposed to music with very talented artists. The program is done in collaboration with the Center for World Music who brings to our school an amazing selection of professional musicians from around the world!
Bellow is a short presentation of Balkan vocal teacher Marie Hayes, Zimbabwean mbira teacher Garit Imhoff and Capoeira teacher Ilana Queiroz.
Balkan vocal teacher Marie Hayes holds a B.A. degree in sociolinguistics from UCSD, where she also studied music as a Program of Concentration. For over a decade her San Diego vocal quartet Harmonija, with the motto “Harmony Music from the Balkans and Beyond,” performed under the auspices of San Diego Folk Heritage. For the last ten years she has been singing and playing percussion with Eastern Exposure, a Balkan dance band that plays live music for folk dancers all over Southern California. She has studied with many world-renowned singing teachers, including Bulgarians Donka Koleva, Tatiana Sarbinska, Iliana Božanova, UCLA Balkan Choir director Tsvetanka Varimezova (and her daughter Tanya), Bosnian Mirjana Lausevič, Rom Macedonian Esma Redžepova, as well as American master teachers Mary Sherhart and Michelle Simon for Balkan singing, Canadian Brenna MacCrimmon for Turkish singing, Christos Govetas for Greek singing, and Polly Tapia Ferber for doumbek (drumming) and frame drum. Marie is also active as a traditional Balkan dancer. She has taught English as a Second Language at Miramar College, has tutored for the Laubach Literacy program, and spent many happy years as a teacher at Mission Bay Montessori Academy.
Zimbabwean mbira teacher Garit Imhoff is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts and has played in world music ensembles for the last forty-five years. He is a professional mbira performer and an all around entertainer, specializing in storytelling and movement. He is also a teacher of special theater arts and music programs supported by The California Arts Council, National Endowment of the Arts, and local community grants. He works with special-needs students in his local school system, provides entertainment programs for seniors in skilled nursing and Alzheimer facilities, and is part of a program that raises funds for arts education in developing countries. He has been a member of Zimbeat, a professional San-Diego-based Zimbabwean music ensemble, since its inception. He has studied and performed Zimbabwean music extensively both in the United States and in Zimbabwe.
Capoeira teacher Ilana Queiroz is a teaching artist from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She teaches Capoeira and music, two constant elements in her life for the last 25 years. She has been teaching Capoeira and music since 2000, working in more than a dozen schools in the San Diego area.
In Ilana’s Capoeira music classes, she teaches rhythms and different instruments through Capoeira songs. Children learn how to play the agogô, pandeiro, atabaque (drum), reco-reco, caxixi and sometimes the berimbau. The students learn to work in harmony with other players, because in Capoeira we play and respond to the chorus. The lyrics are in Portuguese, so the children have the chance to get in touch with a new language, bringing a new experience to her students.
“Capoeira is a complete art. It teaches timing, spatial perception, eye contact, respect, community, and partnership. It teaches children to be courageous and to try a new art, in a different discipline.”
Ilana is trained as an anthropologist, and has a profound interest in culture. She began teaching Capoeira because she noticed that this practice had begun to spread all over the world, but in the process, it was losing its focus on the history, lyrics, meaning and purpose of the art form. She loves to use music as an approach to history and meaning, and as a dancer and a Capoeira player, she brings dance stretches, yoga, and strength movement to her classes. As an anthropologist, she sees Capoeira as much more than just movement, and she tries to share this life experience and show the respect that every culture deserves.