An exciting musical collaboration — thanks to the Brookline Education Foundation!
Making music with composer Jim Papoulis
The Public Schools of Brookline's Performing Arts Department was awarded the Brookline Education Foundation 's 35th Anniversary Gift. This generous gift is being used throughout the 2017-2018 school year to work with Jim Papoulis, one of the most highly sought-after internationally renowned composers, conductors, educators, and producers of music.
Jim, a Brookline resident and parent of a Brookline graduate and current BHS student, is meeting with students and music teachers from all our schools in all grades to run songwriting workshops and gather ideas and input from students on their thoughts about Brookline, their hopes, and their dreams.
He is drawing on these student-generated ideas and concepts to compose original songs for each of our elementary general music classes (at least one song for every grade kindergarten through 5) and an original piece for our grade 6 through 12 choruses and orchestras. The music comes from, embodies, and represents the students of Brookline.
These songs will become part of our K-12 Performing Arts repertoire and curriculum for years to come, and the songwriting experience will be one in which our music teachers, in addition to our students, participate and learn from. Throughout this past fall and into the winter, Jim and our 6th- through 12th-grade students finished the first part of this project, together creating a moving and inspirational song called, "Let Us Rise as a People," which speaks about learning to listen to one another, bringing our voices together and rising up as a people.
Over four hundred Brookline chorus and orchestra students debuted this piece on January 9th and 10th, 2018, in our annual All-Town Choral Concert. The Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) filmed each night of the concert (different elementary schools on each night and BHS students on both), and our Performing Arts Curriculum Coordinator, Kenny Kozol, made a short documentary of the process of creating the song "Let Us Rise as a People," with piano accompaniment by Jim Papoulis.
Four performance videos capture the first piece,