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Jacobs School to live-stream concert of 'West Side Story' to Indianapolis school

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Department of Recording Arts and IU Opera Theater will live-stream a children's concert from the Musical Arts Center (MAC) stage to the Indianapolis Public School District Eleanor Skillen School #34 on the morning of April 7.

Designed by Konrad Strauss, chair of the Jacobs School's Department of Recording Arts, the project is a pilot for a more extensive series of streamed events to public schools. The April 7 telecast will showcase three scenes from IU Opera Theater's upcoming production of Leonard Bernstein's classic West Side Story. Performed by Jacobs School students and conducted by Music Director Rob Fisher, the performance will also take place in front of a live audience of approximately 1,400 Monroe County Community School Corporation students.

If the test is successful, the Webcasting technology the Jacobs School has developed over the past three years will allow for regular live-streamed and on-demand children's concerts to all Indiana schools.

"With the recent cutbacks in education and the general decline of music and arts in the public schools, we feel that this project is very timely," said Strauss. "While not a replacement for music education, this project will allow schools that do not have access to live music performance to take part in our regular children's concerts."

Eleanor Skillen School #34, on the near-south side of Indianapolis, has a student population of about 550 in greades K-6. The school serves and supports a diverse student population that includes intellectually challenged and emotionally handicapped children from the area. The pilot live-streamed program will be watched by students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

"We have been studying Leonard Bernstein in preparation for the presentation," said Beth Brooks, music teacher at the school. "The students are very excited to have the opportunity to experience a world-class production from their own classrooms. They are particularly looking forward to having the opportunity to ask questions during the performance. With the exception of the Discovery Concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, most of the students will have never seen a live concert."

The Jacobs School of Music also announced this week that Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, a Jacobs School faculty member, will perform April 13 at 8 p.m. at IU Bloomington's Musical Arts Center with acclaimed British pianist Sam Haywood. The concert is a fund-raiser for the local Monroe County Community School Corporation's elementary school instrumental music programs. For more information on the Joshua Bell concert, see http://info.music.indiana.edu/web/page/normal/13857.html.

On-Demand Video Site

To watch archived on-demand video performances from the IU Jacobs School of Music, using the same technology for the pilot project, visit http://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive.

About the IU Jacobs School of Music

As one of the world's premier music schools, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music maintains a distinguished reputation for the quality of its programs. Students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries study in a conservatory atmosphere with 170 full-time faculty members who are among the best performers and educators in the world. Talented students consistently win national and international competitions and advance to careers in performance and teaching. World-renowned faculty, exceptional students, and incomparable artistic achievement are the hallmarks of the tradition at the Jacobs School of Music, which touches virtually every segment of musical life in the Americas and beyond.