A Trip to Newark

From Michael Hunter:

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Opera Friday

Lynne Hayden-Findlay, who teachers our weekend classes (W1 & W4), works with the Chelsea Opera Group. This week they are putting on two shows, The Winners and La Pizza,

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More information about the operas can be found “here“.

I am the stage director and costume designer for the production, in addition to being co-producer.

University Settlement Adult Literacy students are invited to attend the Friday, Oct 11, 7:30pm performance free of charge at St. Peter’s Church  in Chelsea, 346 West 20th Street between 8th & 9th Avenues.

If students wish to attend, they must arrive at the theater between 7pm and 7:15, go to the box office table and say “Lynne sent me!”  They can then go in for free.

Winners (1999) is based on the play Lovers by Irish playwright Brian Friel.  In Richard Wargo’s opera, Mag and Joe, two young lovers, celebrate their final days of high school, pending marriage and dreams of their life together.  But as foretold by two ballad singers, they will die later that day in a boating accident.  The lovers will leave the world with their love intact and their youthful aspirations unscathed, never to know heartbreak and disillusionment. In that sense, they are “winners”.
La Pizza con Funghi (1988) is a parody on 19th century Italian opera: the soprano, in love with the tenor, plots to poison her older baritone husband.  Her mezzo maid spills the beans and as in many operas, no one is left alive at the final curtain!  The casting mirrors that of Winners (soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone) and singers will appear in both operas.
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The Jazz Man Testifies

This post is from Weekend teacher, David Moss. David is also a Jazz musician, he plays bass. Here is a photo of him at one of our class parties (David is on the left).


Check out David’s new website. You can listen to some music and read his biography. Check back for updates!


Below David tells us about Jazz music and one of his favorite musicians, Miles Davis. You can see some pictures and listen to some music Miles made throughout the years.

Jazz is the only art form invented in the United States.  Many other countries can claim to have invented more than just one form of art, but for the U.S., they can only claim Jazz as their unique invention and contribution to the art world.  There are several noteworthy musicians who were innovators of Jazz, with Charlie Parker being the main innovator who kicked it off and ignited the flame for the rest of the 20th century.  However, another musician who came from St. Louis, Missouri, and “hunted down” Charlie Parker in New York City to join his band when he was only 17 years old, was the trumpet player Miles Davis.  Miles continues to be recognized in history as the most influential and famous (most recognized) Jazz musician ever.

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Every decade, from the 1940’s up until the time of his death in 1991, Miles tried something new, and “changed with the times” along with how the state of consciousness and culture was changing.  He adapted and created music that was relevant to any present time.  In the 1940s, he would contribute to Be-Bop, in the 50s it would innovate “cool” music, which was vastly different than any other trumpet player during that time.  In the 1960s, he would go on to pioneer the way for hard hitting Hard Bop. The 1970s also saw a radical change with Miles using a lot of electronic instruments, synthesizers and pedals for trumpet.  In the 1980s, Miles led the way in the genre of Fusion, continuing to use a lot of Pop electric sounds.  The fascinating part of it all was that Miles Davis always sounded like Miles, no matter what configuration or experimentation he would embark in, one always knew that Distinct, personalized tone and sound that Miles had.
Miles Davis also helped many other musicians launch their own careers, because basically if you played with Miles Davis, then you had to always be good enough.  Miles was renown for choosing the right musicians at the right time for his bands.  He thought like an artist, knowing how to use each musician to achieve the effects he desired.
Miles Davis and Charlie Parker in the 1940s
Miles Davis in the 1980s
video of 1950’s quintet:
1960’s quintet, sorcerer  
1960’s live
1970’s “bitches brew”
miles live 1970’s
miles in the 80’s (good one!)
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What’s Cooking?

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The following post is from E1 teacher Evelyn Stoecklein and her Evening Class, E1:
Class E1‘s last unit was all about food. As part of the unit, we each wrote recipes for some of our favorite dishes. Then we put all the recipes together in a class cookbook. There are recipes for all sorts of dishes, like steamed shrimp, pepper beef, pasta, and soup. The recipes are from many different countries, from the Dominican Republic to Poland.

If you’re looking for dinner ideas, try a recipe from the E1 Class Cookbook. I think they all sound delicious, and I think you will too. If you try one of our recipes. or have a favorite recipe of your own, let us know in the comments section.

Enjoy, from Class E1!

Just click on the cover below to read our recipes:

cookbook cover

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My Life as a Military Brat

This post is brought to you by Class 2A & 2B teacher Regina. After you read, take the quiz to test your comprehension:

Life as a Military Brat

When people ask me, “Where are you from?” I don’t know how to answer the question. This is because I come from a military family. My father worked for the US military. People who work for the military have to move often. As a result, their families also move with them. I was a military brat. A military brat is a phrase used in the US to describe children of parents who are in the military.

I have lived in many different places around the US and the world with my family. Many people ask me if I liked moving around so much. I always say, “yes!” It is fun to travel, to meet new people, and to try new things.

Here’s a map of the states I lived in:


Regions of the USA:


Here’s a map of the countries I lived in.


Continents of the world:


In addition to moving a lot as a child, I was also raised by parents from two different backgrounds. My mother was born and raised in a big city in South Korea, and my father was born and raised on a farm in South Dakota. They met in South Korea when my father was working there. Here’s a picture from their wedding day in traditional Korean clothes. (They look so young!)


Overall, I think it was fun to be a military brat. When I was young, I did not understand why we had to move. It was difficult to say goodbye to people I grew to love. However, there were always new people and places to learn about. It was also fun growing up in a multi-cultural home. My brother and I grew up with two very different cultures that were mixed together. Our family made our own culture as a military family and as Korean-Americans.

I think it would be difficult to be a military brat now since the US is involved in war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many military members are gone for 6-12 months at a time, and must return to war many times after. I know it must be very difficult for them and their families. I was lucky that my father did not go to war while we were growing up.


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Qian Hua’s Staycation

E0 teacher, Qian Hua visited some local sites in NYC, such as Times Square, the M&M store and Grand Central.  She tells us about her experience and shares some of her photos. Enjoy her story and pictures and then take the quiz to test your understanding. Thanks for sharing Qian Hua.

Staycation in New York City

I decided to spend the Christmas and New York break as a staycation and explore local holiday attractions with a close friend.  To my surprise, the Big Apple has a lot of impressive sites for a day trip.  We window shopped at Macy’s and took plenty of photos of the holiday display.  I found out I was a green M&M for the day in the Times Square M&M store; whereas, my friend was a brown one.

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