Boy Scout collects instruments to donate to local schools

Boy Scout Karl Kilb (center) sold homemade chocolates shaped like instruments at St. John the Evangelist Church on East 55th Street last November. (From left to right: Charles Greatrex, Jacob Tannen, Trevor Kilb, Karl Kilb, Calista Kilb, Christopher Gergis and Jed Chapin)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Boy Scout and LaGuardia High School student Karl Kilb had to come up with an idea for a service project to become an Eagle Scout, helping out young musicians seemed like the perfect fit. The 15-year-old sophomore is an instrumental music major at the performing arts school and plays piano, clarinet and saxophone.

“I wanted to do something to help the music community and wanted to do something that would reflect my interests in music so this combined those things really well,” he said

Recently, Kilb, an East Midtown resident, enlisted the help of his fellow members at Troop 414 at Immaculate Conception and together they collected 67 instruments that will be distributed at neighborhood schools.

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Third Street Music School Settlement teacher receives Guggenheim fellowship

Teacher and composer Matthew Barnson at the Third Street Music School Settlement Photo by Jennifer Taylor

Teacher and composer Matthew Barnson at the Third Street Music School Settlement (Photo by Jennifer Taylor)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Third Street Music School Settlement composition teacher Matthew Barnson got a response to his application to be a Guggenheim fellow, he wasn’t sure at first if he should be thrilled or crushed.

“They send you a very cryptic letter saying you haven’t won anything,” he said. “But then it asks, if you did win, what would your budget be?”

The 35-year-old musician said he asked for insight from a faculty member at Stony Brook University, where he also teaches, because she had received the fellowship a few years ago. She told him that it meant he had won.

Barnson is the first currently serving faculty member of the community music school to become a Guggenheim fellow, although he noted that there have been former faculty members from Third Street who later became fellows after leaving their post at the school.

The fellowship was awarded to 175 recipients chosen this year from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants and is given to scholars and artists to help them engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts.

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Third Street Music School anniversary celebrated with concert on 120 pianos

Students perform in a building-wide concert at the Third Street Music School Settlement on Saturday. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Students perform in a building-wide concert at the Third Street Music School Settlement on Saturday. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The oldest community arts school in the country celebrated its 120th anniversary this past weekend with what it does best: music. Third Street Music School Settlement, which has actually been on East 11th Street since the 1970s, has been offering various celebratory events for the occasion in the last few weeks. Last Saturday, 120 pianists participated in a 15-minute concert, with kids, parent volunteers and faculty members alike playing Pachelbel’s Canon throughout the building’s hallways and rehearsal rooms.

Piano department chair Joan Forsyth, who came up with the idea for the building-wide performance, said that they ended up having even more people show up on top of those that had registered so it was actually more than 120 students participating, but spots were found for everyone.

“We were running around and pulling keyboards out of closets but everyone had a good time,” she said.

Executive director Valerie Lewis said that there were students as young as six who participated, but among the adults, aside from faculty and parents, were some of the school’s older students. Ray Sauerbrey started taking classical lessons about five years ago and recently came to Third Street for lessons because his previous teacher retired.

“It’s hard to get into a music school without classical training but (Third Street) welcomed me with open arms,” he said. “It isn’t a conservatory, it’s a community-based school and they turn away practically nobody.”

Sauerbrey noted that Third Street made it easy for all students to participate in the holiday festivities.

“They broke the Canon into pieces so it was manageable, like they do with everything else,” he said. “They reach out to your ability.”

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