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2017 Registration Open for Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts

Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts (WAMA) is a summer music festival and arts camp designed for students ages 6–18 who are interested in studying music. The academy’s mission is to provide music and arts education of the highest quality to students of all music abilities and backgrounds. Supported in a creative and musically nurturing environment, WAMA students learn and perform alongside professional faculty and guest artists from across the country.

WAMA offers six sessions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced music students:

Advanced Orchestra: June 11-23, 2017 (weekdays only, with the exception of the assessment day on Sunday, June 11)
Advanced Vocal Instruction: June 11-23, 2017 (weekdays only, with the exception of the assessment day on Sunday, June 11)

Intermediate Instrumental Instruction: June 26– July 7, 2017 (weekdays only)
Intermediate Vocal Instruction: June 26 – July 7, 2017 (weekdays only)

WILDMusic Beginner Instrumental Instruction: July 10 – July 14, 2017
WILDMusic Beginner Vocal Instruction: July 17 – July 21, 2017

For more information about WAMA and each session, click here or contact Angela Collier, Curriculum Manager.

The deadline to register is April 30, 2017; click here to register online.

Scholarships are available; contact Angela Collier or call (501)821-7275 prior to March 31, 2017.

 

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Dr. Bevan Keating named Artistic Director

 

HyperFocal: 0Dr. Bevan Keating named Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts

Dr. Bevan Keating has recently been named as the Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization located in west Little Rock on Denny Road. Keating draws upon a wealth of experience as a performer, educator, and artistic director to guide Wildwood’s contribution to the arts community here in Arkansas. Wildwood is expanding its innovative music and arts education programs, as well as fostering development of Wildwood’s offerings in the Park’s 625-seat Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre, the Art in the Park visual arts exhibitions, and series of concerts, events and festivals.

Among his first projects as Wildwood’s Artistic Director is the upcoming LANTERNS! Festival, February 10th through 12th. Wildwood’s annual deep-winter festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year. Held over three magical evenings, guests are transported to faraway lands and times as they stroll through the beautifully lit pathways of Wildwood’s gardens. Cultural vistas feature live entertainment, food, drink, games and more throughout the Park’s Butler Arboretum and inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre.

Hailing from London, Ontario, Keating naturally selected Canada as one of the six vistas for this year’s festival, which also includes the Caribbean Islands, China, France, America’s Wild West, and the Moon. Located at Wildwood’s iconic Butler Gazebo next to Swan Lake, the Canadian vista will be the first stop for guests entering the Park’s east gate and the launch site for floating luminaries that guests launch along with their wishes for the lunar year, which is the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster. Keating will personally lead the vista where guests will have opportunities for karaoke with tunes by some of Canada’s most famous singers (Celine Dion and Justin Bieber among them). Maple syrup will surely play a role in the cuisine, along with beverages preferred by our neighbors up north.

Prior to accepting the position of Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts, Dr. Keating collaborated with Wildwood on several stage productions and provided artistic leadership for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA). In 2015, Dr. Keating directed The Bremen Town Musicians as part of Wildwood’s Art to Go! statewide educational touring program to introduce youth across Arkansas to opera and the dramatic arts.  He also served as the Director of Vocal Programming for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA) in 2015 and as Artistic Director for WAMA in 2016. The Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts is a rapidly growing summer music academy for student musicians of all ages and abilities. Approaching its fourth year, WAMA is attracting some of the most talented youth in Arkansas, and students during the program’s first years have gone on to study music at the university level.

The Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA) provides youth in Arkansas access to the highest standards in music and arts education. With primary emphasis on instrumental and vocal music, WAMA also provides opportunities to explore multiple artistic genres, from visual and culinary arts to literary arts and musical theatre. Through orchestral, large and small ensemble, and solo experiences, students receive training and performance opportunities supported by professional faculty. Public performances and master classes by internationally renowned faculty and guest artists are held throughout June and July.

Dr. Keating has directed several productions recently in Wildwood’s Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre, including Dracula: Unearthed (2015), The Kristin Lewis Opera Gala (2015), and The Music Man (2016). He will also direct and conduct Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, onstage in Wildwood’s Cabe Theatre March 31 – April 2 this spring.

These productions are produced in partnership with Praeclara, of which Dr. Keating is also the Artistic Director. Praeclara is a multidisciplinary performing arts company supported by Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock where Dr. Keating serves as Director of Music. Praeclara specializes in creating unique performances of both original scripts and classical masterworks that challenge Arkansas audiences through innovative staging and adaptations of familiar works; works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Dido & Aeneas, but also introducing new stories and interpretations as in the original script of Dracula: Unearthed.

Dr. Keating is responsible for the thriving music programs at Second Presbyterian Church; including the Adult, Youth, and Children’s Choirs, a chamber ensemble, the annual youth musical and several hand bell and instrumental ensembles. The Adult Choir and Chamber Ensembles have participated in high profile local performances and have toured internationally in Canada, the UK and Ireland, Austria, Germany, and Hungary. As part of Second Presbyterian Church’s and Praeclara’s commitment to bringing excellent music to the community, Dr. Keating also facilitates the performances of the Little Rock Wind Symphony and the River City Men’s Chorus at Second Presbyterian.

As director of the choral and voice department at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Keating leads the UALR Concert Choirs, the elite UALR Chamber Chorus, and Women’s Chorus, as well as the UALR Community Chorus. He also teaches a rigorous series of coursework for aspiring orchestral and choral conductors. He serves as a mentor and teacher for students studying both performance and music education, and his students have gone on to complete post-graduate degrees in music; perform and teach professionally; and to serve as musicians for congregations across the U.S.

Keating is Wildwood’s third artistic director of the Park, following Dr. Ann Chotard, the founding artistic director, and Cliff Fannin Baker, who also served as CEO. Ms. Leslie Golden was named Executive Director in late 2012, having served as Managing Director for several years with Mr. Baker. For more information about Wildwood Park for the Arts, visit wildwoodpark.org.

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Great strides: WAMA @ Wildwood

 

As of June 27, the third week of WAMA is in full swing! The first two weeks of the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts were absolutely invigorating, and we’re continuing the momentum! WAMA is showing its capacity to expand – both in size and scope:

In 2016, WAMA supporters made it possible to bring students and interns from across Arkansas to make music together at Wildwood. (Housing was provided in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.) Young instrumentalists worked intently in full rehearsals with conductor Daniel Black (Ft. Worth Symphony) each day. They shared in master classes with the renowned ensemble WindSync and a variety of side-by-side performances and coachings from the faculty, which included Tatiana Kotcherguina, Ashley Walla, Barry McVinney, and Kiril Laskarov, Concert Master for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

WAMA is living the vision to bring students in both the Instrumental core and the Vocal core together in concert. Under the batons of Daniel Black and Dr. Bevan Keating, WAMA Artistic Director, more than 30 orchestral musicians collaborated with almost as many advanced vocal students to create a spectacular culminating concert, A Summer Schubert Serenade, on June 24th.

The intermediate program is overflowing with instrumentalists and singers eager for training to reach the next level. Music faculty from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, UALR, and local schools are joined by teaching artists who provide such multi-arts electives as yoga, visual arts, culinary classes, creative writing and theatre.

In week three, advanced vocal students shift their focus to the more whimsical side of musical theatre, with equally intensive training by faculty and two internationally-renowned guest artists. Baritone-bass Curtis Sullivan and collaborative pianist, Dr. Kyung-Eun Na, will also perform a concert for the public:

Awake the Beauty

Thursday, June 30 / 7:30 pm

Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival (indoors)

The next afternoon, July 1st at 5 pm, participants in the Advanced Vocal Core will present a culminating concert.

In the weeks following, WILDMusic beginning students will embark upon artistic adventures in African drumming, ukulele classes, visual arts, culinary arts and musical theatre. Each week culminates with a student performance. These emerging young artists, just like the more advanced WAMA students, are developing musically and artistically the skills crucial for self-discipline, collaboration, exploration and creativity. Register your young artist here.

WAMA students are making great strides. Help us continue the momentum. Keep the metronomes going, the paintbrushes vivid, the voices on cue. Thanks to a growing number of funders and patrons just like you, WAMA is pleased to provide world-class faculty members, innovative classes, and a variety of performances and performance opportunities so that hundreds of young people each summer have access the highest standards in music and arts education. Click here to make a donation today to support the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts. Or contact Mary Bea Gross, Development Officer, at 501-821-7275, or via email at marybea@wildwoodpark.org.

With gratitude,

Dr. Bevan Keating, WAMA Artistic Director

Angela Collier, WAMA Curriculum Manager

Leslie Golden, Executive Director

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Thank you, Americorps Alpine 6!

Farewell, Alpine 6!

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Wildwood has been bustling with improvements January – February of 2016 thanks to nine Americorps team members, led by grounds manager David Pickens, facilities manager Ira Grace, and an elite crew from Central Arkansas Master Naturalists, the Nature Conservancy, Tom Tull Studios and Stageworks. Known as “The A Team” around Wildwood, Alpine 6  of NCCC Americorps’ Southwest Region provided more than 4500 hours of volunteer service to improve the Park and its amenities.

Here’s a condensed list of what Team Leader Brian Wegner, along with Haley, Maddy, Charles, Patrick, Tayla, Perry, Jessica and Waldemar accomplished:

  • Trailblazed the Wild 40, the Nature Trail, and the Ruth Allen Dogwood Trail
  • Landscaped park areas and refurbished multiple flowerbeds throughout the Butler Arboretum
  • Recovered 100+ lobby chairs
  • Built a new bridge and created a new rock dry bed for the Nabucco Waterfall in the Asian Woodland Garden
  • Attained Level A chainsaw status
  • Removed thousands of pounds of tree debris from Denny Road and the Wildflower Glen
  • Provided support for Wildwood’s Jr. Naturalist Camp
  • Inventoried properties and scenery and, outdoors, indigenous plantings throughout the Park
  • Painted the concessions stand and several restrooms
  • Built a volcano and decor for LANTERNS! Festival, and hosted more than 8000 guests with 350 volunteers

Thank you, A Team, for being part of Team Wildwood – may our paths meet again!

 

 

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Wildwood Hosts Annual Quad-School Poetry Slam

Wildwood hosts its annual quad-shool poetry slam on May 15 at 10:30am. The slam is the culmination of four individual slams that were held at Baker, Chenal, Roberts and Robinson elementary schools. Poet Chris James has spent a week in residence at each school through Wildwood’s Arts in Education program. He mentored students as they wrote, edited, and performed their own poetry. 25 students will compete at the final event in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.

The poems of all finalists have been collected into a book that can be downloaded via the link below.

Quad-School Poetry Slam Anthology

 

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Wildwood Hosts a Public Performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians” on May 17

Wildwood’s touring production of The Bremen Town Musicians will have a public performance on May 17 at 2pm in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.

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The Bremen Town Musicians is a children’s musical theatre performance based on the Grimm folktale of the same name. The performance is ideal for children in Pre-K through 5th grade. It will visit elementary schools on a state-wide tour as a part of Wildwood’s Art to Go! program. Bremen_13

The May 17 performance is open to all members of the public with a suggested donation of $5.

You can learn more about the tour and the Art to Go! program here. Bremen_40