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Local Composer/Conductor Gets Jazzed About Summer School May 21, 2012 Nyack Jazz composer/conductor Anita Brown has been selected to participate in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute this summer. Each year the JCOI selects up to 35 jazz composers in various stages of their composing careers from a national call for applications. Brown, an accomplished jazz composer and conductor, premiered her 9/11 inspired composition and performance art, Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, in Nyack’s Memorial Park on September 10, 2011 featuring The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute is a joint effort of the American Composers Orchestra and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University in cooperation with The Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. In the first phase of the JCOI, participants study with renowned leading composers, conductors and performers. Under the tutelage of these composers, the participants examine aspects of writing for the symphony orchestra, one of the supreme challenges for any aspiring composer. After completing the first part of the program, participants can apply to be part of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute New Music Readings, to be held April to September 2013. The second JCOI phase includes up to 18 composers. Composers will receive coaching from mentor composers and a professional music copyist/engraver during the period they are writing their pieces; and feedback from orchestra principal musicians, conductors, librarians, and mentor composers during the readings. Brown’s credits include work as a composer, a conductor and a columnist for JazzEd magazine. In 2000 she founded the Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra and independently recorded and released her debut CD 27 EAST in 2003. Brown served as conductor, contractor and executive producer of this recording which features seven of her original compositions. Since its release it has received critical acclaim and appeared in six categories on the ballot for the 46th Grammy Awards. In 2006 Brown received the ASCAP/International Jazz Composers’ Symposium New Music Award for Big Band Works for her composition, The Lighthouse. See also: Stand: A Symphony For Jazz Orchestra,” - Dave Zornow

Nyack News and Views

Saturday In the Park: Stand, A 9/11 Jazz Tribute September 9, 2011 by admin at Leave a Comment Nyack, Sept 9 — Fair skies, a big crowd and more than 70 marines are in the forecast for Saturday afternoon in Memorial Park at 2p. That’s when Stand, a concert jazz program commemorating the American experience surrounding 9/11 will be premiered by the Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra. The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks, Washington, DC will be on hand representing all first responders with an additional thirty Marines from Brooklyn, Newburgh and Middletown attending the event. “Never in the history of jazz has there been performance art that brings both NYC’s finest Broadway and studio musicians together with the finest ceremonial representation of our nation’s first responder, The United States Marines,” says Nyack’s Anita Brown, an award-winning New York jazz composer. Brown says it’s fitting to premiere this production on the eve of the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. “I did not set out to create something ground-breaking, but that’s sometimes what happens when artists just follow their instincts,” she says. Haley Swindal, the granddaughter of the late George Steinbrenner, will be the Master of Ceremonies for this event. Swindal will sing the national anthem and perform with several other vocalists in the final movement of Stand. Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra in five movements, will be performed at Nyack’s Memorial Park on Saturday September 10 at 2p. Admission is free — but it’s recommended that concert goers bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show. Memorial Park in Nyack overlooks the Hudson River with an entrance at Depew & Piermont Avenue in Nyack, NY. The final movement of Stand includes audience participation. Here’s a preview of Saturday’s performance: The first movement, The Homeland, is a blues in the style of America’s own classic tradition of swing jazz, conveying a sense of security pre-dating 9/11/01. The second, Tuesday Morning, opens with the depiction of a lovely morning and moves through the events of that tragic day. Benumbed follows, an expression of grief and confusion. The fourth movement, Valor, was inspired by traditions of military funeral honors. It includes a dramatic moment of silence/reflection representing of all first responders and a renewal of strength. The audience is invited to join the performers in song in the final movement, fittingly called Stand. Brown says it includes an anthem-like, unison melody showing the united strength of many. Public response to Stand has been positive. “People are fascinated with the idea and have thanked me for doing this,” says Brown. She’s especially pleased about how people have responded to the significance of the USMC’s Silent Drill Platoon participation. “The Silent Drill Platoon is world renowned. The fact that they have approved support for this event is amazing to me,” she adds. It’s a big event for Nyack and Brown hopes the community will come out to support the performance — with their lawn chairs and their wallets, too. “We are operating with very little capital and truly need donations from individuals and businesses.” Brown is hoping that donations at the contributor page of will help cover the costs of feeding and busing 33 Marines from Washington, DC, the professional musicians that will be performing as well as the sound engineers and the videographers, too. “Writing music is time-consuming; writing while there is no income raises many challenges,” says Brown. Multi-talented Anita Brown is a composer, a columnist for JazzEd magazine and the founder and leader of the Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra. The ABJO has been described as a ‘blue-chip’ ensemble, calling upon ‘top drawer New York session’ players including a ‘platoon of persuasive soloists’ breathing life into Ms. Brown’s works with conviction and finesse. In 2006 Brown received the ASCAP/International Jazz Composers’ Symposium New Music Award for Big Band Works for her composition, The Lighthouse. In the event of rain, Stand will performed indoors at the Bowman Gymnasium at Nyack College, 1 South Boulevard in Nyack.” - Dave Zornow

Nyack News & Views

Home»All Photographs»Stand: A Symphony For Jazz Orchestra 62 photos Commemorating our national tragedy of September 11, 2001. Please see for more details. These are the artful photographs of local photographer and friend, Marc Santos. Please visit his website to see some beautiful shots of the day. ~AB” - Marc Santos

Marc Santos Photography

The Neighborhood Files Viewfinder: Jazz, Marines At 9/11 Commemorative Event Jazz Concert, U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon along the waterfront in Nyack. The U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performs at Nyack's Memorial Park at a 9/11 commemorative event. Credit: William Demarest Stand, a symphony for Jazz orchestra, composed and conducted by Anita Brown of South Nyack, was performed Saturday at a 9/11 commemorative event at Nyack's Memorial Park. At the event, the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C., performed — symbolizing all the first-responders who answered the call of duty on Sept. 11, 2001 when the nation was hit by terrorism. [*There are many wonderful photos at this link by Phil Costas. Click the link at the end of the comments to connect. ~AB] Comments (7) Craig Sherman 9:58am on Sunday, September 11, 2011 Phil these are some amazing photos! Thanks for being there as we were all wayyyyy to busy to get such great shots! Reply Stanley Nichols 4:55pm on Sunday, September 11, 2011 Excellent article. Phil, you are on your way! Reply JSimms 11:02am on Monday, September 12, 2011 . Reply Comment_arrow JSimms 11:19am on Monday, September 12, 2011 Was this a 9-11 memorial performance. If it was, why was there no mention of the victims or families? Why was there so much talk from Mrs. Cornell about the band leader? Seemed out of place and borish. The marines were wonderful! They stole the show and lent pride and partiotism to it all. So many marines attended to support the performing marines. My my grandfather was a marine. Ooh-rah! Delete Anita Brown 1:51am on Thursday, September 15, 2011 Dear Mr. Simms, With all due respect, Ms. Cornell was talking about "the band leader," as she is the one who conceived of the idea of this piece of performance art and is the single person who was responsible for securing the Silent Drill Platoon's support, among meeting all the contractual obligations of The United States Marine Corps, and creating a "new work of performance art" that seeks to "commemorate and depict the American experience surrounding our national tragedy of 9/11" and during which the Silent Drill Platoon was carefully integrated to "represent all first responders in the scope of the piece." Please visit for clarification. Thank you for coming. I hope at least some of my efforts pleased you and I do hope the information on the website will clarify an confusions you may have. The concert program is downloadable at that site. I hope it will illuminate the intention of the piece. Very Respectfully, Anita Brown, Composer, Conductor, Executive Producer. Reply Delete Anita Brown 3:33am on Thursday, September 15, 2011 BTW Those Marines in attendance were there by design. After many discussions w/ HQMC The Commandant of The Marine Corps decided to send an officer in his behalf. LtCol. Meyer therefore attended on General Amos' behalf and decided to bring a number of Marines from Newburgh. The Brooklyn Marines brought color guard & firing detail; an integral part of the "performance art" rendering the highest military funeral honors, for all victims of 9/11 & those who fell since then as a result of answering the call to arms. Those Marines didn't just show up of their own accord to support "the performing Marines." They attended in an official capacity as a result of tenacious effort. Tenacity yielded about 70 Marines tasked, one on stage & one photographer. The number of Marines in attendance was no accident. I hope they didn't "steal the show" as you say, as I spent 12 months plus, composing that music so that I could present this in my home town for the 10th anniversary of this solemn occasion, offering light and inspiration for all to Stand together as one. In the history of USMC, this is the first time it was approved that SDP would participate in a piece of performance art. In the history of jazz, no composer ever sought to put NYC's finest jazz, B'way & studio musicians on the same stage as the ceremonial representation of USMC, telling an American story together. Completely new. Never been done before. Never be presented here again. Never. Reply MaryBeth 11:27pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011 Honestly, JSimms, your comment was uninformed, ill directed, narrow minded, and out of line. Enough said.” - Phil Costas/William Demarest credit

Nyack composer's new jazz symphony pays tribute to 9/11 5:15 PM, Sep. 7, 2011 The Journal News (Rockland/Westchester Counties) by Emily Kratzer The inspiration for composer Anita Brown's "Stand: A Jazz Symphony" began on Sept. 12, 2001. I didn't plan to do something big, I just followed a little idea," says Brown, a Nyack resident and prolific jazz composer and arranger. "I followed those ideas once I got the strength to face (9/11) events again. … and here we are. Brown's symphony, a large-scale work commemorating the American experience surrounding 9/11, will have its debut on Saturday at Nyack's Memorial Park. The performance is free. Like many, touched and spurred to action by the events of 9/11, Brown's "little ideas" led to some major action. Her symphony will get some assistance from the U.S. Marine Corps, which is sending a unit from Newburgh led by Lt. Col. Peter Meyer. The unit will stand at attention during the entire performance. A firing detail and color guard from the 6th Communication Battalion out of Brooklyn will also enhance the performance. Brown has pulled together some amazing performers, as well. Among the 29 musicians and six vocalists are percussionist Lee Finkelstein of the Blues Brothers, trumpeters Staff Sgt. Josh Economy from the U.S. Military Academy Band's Jazz Knights and John Owens ("Mama Mia" and "Wicked" on Broadway), and alto saxophonist Dave Pietro, who teaches at New York University's Steinhardt School. Haley Swindal, a granddaughter of the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, will sing "The Star Spangled Banner. Brown points out that the structure of her composition is not literally a symphony but inspired by the symphonic structure. In a traditional performance, the audience refrains from applauding between movements, but since this is a jazz performance you can applaud after an improv solo," she says. "Otherwise, applaud between movements depending on how you are moved. The first movement is the swing-inspired "Homeland," which depicts time pre-Sept. 11, 2001. It's followed by "Tuesday Morning," which evokes the traumatic and haunting events that actual morning. Brown describes the third movement, "Benumbed," as quieter, an exclamation of pain that uses the strains of the U.S. Navy Hymn to depict both honor and personal grief. Valor," the fourth movement, begins with seven of the Marines firing three rifle volleys, and a performance by the Silent Drill Platoon. In Brown's description of her work, she says "The inclusion of the Silent Drill Platoon as the centerpiece of this movement is visual testament of the courage, commitment, honor and discipline of our nation's first responders. ... The silence during their performance provides the audience a moment to reflect on personal experiences and emotions aroused during the previous movements and by the changes our nation has undergone since the attacks. Stand, A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra," is the latest in a string of acclaimed works for the composer, whose 2008 work, "Remembrance," an original piece dedicated to the late bassist Dennis Irwin, premiered with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at The Village Vanguard, under her direction. Before Saturday's performance, Brown led "Stand" workshops at Reality Bites, Nyack High School and the Nyack Center to familiarize people with the words to the work, which will be printed in the program. That's key because the audience is invited to participates in the final movement. It is, says Brown, a living affirmation of "out of many, one" because the intention of the piece is to "bring us together to an uplifted state. by Emily Kratzer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Anita's editorial: Ms. Kratzer writes well. I'm very happy that she decided to write this article. The inaccuracies however were significant enough that I had to clarify: Hi Emily, Thanks for writing this article. It's very nice. I am, however, disappointed with some specifics that are not accurate as per our discussion and while I know that you can't change anything, I just feel it necessary to let you know. -The title of the piece is "Stand" The subtitle is "A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra." This verbiage was carefully selected as it is necessarily different from "A Jazz Smphony" in my vernacular. -"Her symphony will get some assistance from the U.S. Marine Corps, which is sending a unit from Newburgh led by Lt. Col. Peter Meyer. The unit will stand at attention during the entire performance. Not true. This is not what I said. They are NOT "standing at attention for the whole performance." Rather they are standing the perimeter of the Silent Drill Platoon's parade deck and assisting with other needs. This matters to me and the Marines. -"Brown has pulled together some amazing performers, as well. Among the 29 musicians and six vocalists are percussionist Lee Finkelstein of the Blues Brothers, trumpeters Staff Sgt. Josh Economy from the U.S. Military Academy Band's Jazz Knights and John Owens ("Mama Mia" and "Wicked" on Broadway), A misquote: **20 players, 6 vocalists **Lee Finkelstein is NOT a "percussionist with the Blues Brothers," he is their "drummer." This is a huge differential. He is MY auxiliary percussionist for this event. A percussionist does not sit at a drum set. A drummer never stands up and does not play any instruments not relating to a drum set. Good to know. **Josh Economy is NOT in my band, and NEVER has been. He plays for West Point Jazz Knights and I worked with him and that entire ensemble when I did a rehearsal with them "for fun." The connection is that he & I are both graduates of UNH, Durham, NY Music Dept. There is no further professional connection. **Jon Owens does NOT play for BOTH "Wicked" & "Mama Mia." Jon Owens (spelled J-o-n, which I always spell for everyone) plays lead trumpet in Wicked. Ray Marchica, my band's regular drummer, plays in Mama Mia. Both are cited in the pdf of the print program you quoted from. The greatest disappointment is that your article does NOT discuss the Marine Corps SIlent Drill Platoon from Washington, DC or even tell the reader that they are from DC. This is an enormous big deal, the fact that THEY are coming to Nyack for THIS occasion and for THIS composer's request is enormous. The fact that they are integrated into this work and have never participated in anything like this before is also of gransiose significance. FYI. That I apparently did not communicate the grandiose significance of their participation is just an enormous disappointment. I will revisit my website and try to be sure this is communicated there. Thank you for writing this. I do appreciate it. I just have to let you know about the inaccuracies or I would be grossly remiss. Thanks again. Respectfully, Anita Brown” - Emily Kratzer

The Journal News