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The Music Studio turns 35

Director Noel Liberty says students become like family

Students playing Orff instruments, named after German Composer Carl Orff, during one of their many performances throughout the year.

Students playing Orff instruments, named after German Composer Carl Orff, during one of their many performances throughout the year.

— It can be hard to get kids to do anything, but the ones at The Music Studio in Albany show a work ethic that is rarely seen.

The studio is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and will look back on several years of performances with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, concerts in the community and various charity events.

The studio is made up of a group of pianists with ages that range from 7 to 18 years old. Their duties are not simply constricted to just piano. The students also do vocal performances and take part in playing what are known as Orff instruments, inspired by Carl Orff, a 20th century German composer. The instruments used consist of xylophones, glockenspiels and big bass instruments.

“They’re teaching them piano, rhythm and music skills,” said David Alan Miller, conductor for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. “They’re also teaching them the beauties and uniqueness of music… It’s an amazing music resource in our community.”

Noel Liberty, director of the studio, said students performed an Orff-like piece in the lobby of the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Magic of Christmas show at the Palace Theater as a way to introduce audiences to the composer. Liberty said a piece could not be found for the students to perform with the orchestra, so a composer was commissioned to write a piece for the kids.

“We used Paul Geriki because we could not find anything appropriate for Orff instruments on the theme of Christmas,” Liberty said. “He writes for the kids and ends up coming out each year after he had written it and works with them a little bit before the concert. It’s good that the kids learn there are composers that are alive and breathing, and not old and dead.”

Albany Symphony Orchestra Conductor David Alan Miller said his two children went through the program. He said The Music Studio is a unique program that introduces children to the many facets of music.

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