MIM Education Newsletter


Dear Friends,

September already?? That’s what a lot of the kids are thinking as well, as we move into the new school year.  And boy are we busy!  Starting with Young Composers Project’s new and exciting project with Sierra Streams Institute, we have a fabulous school year planned at MIM.

Read on to find out more about this fantastic project, a review of our summer fun, and a passionate address by one of the great musicians of our time advocating for arts education.

Mark Vance
Education Coodinator

Upcoming Events

Sept 12 Winery Dinner
Oct 5 & 6 Home Tour




Prelude for Yuba Salmon – A benefit house concert
Thursday, October 3, 6:30pm
Tickets $50

When art and science collide, creative sparks fly.  Join us to celebrate a new partnership between Music in the Mountains (MIM) and Sierra Streams Institute (SSI), as they launch their Prelude for Yuba Salmon project this fall.  A dessert and champagne reception will be followed by a short film and a command performance of Young Composers Project compositions.

For more information and tickets, please contact the MIM box office at 530.273.6124 or nancy@nullmusicinthemountains.org

SummerFest opened with 2 epic evenings of inspired brand new music with the Young Composers Concerts. 24 students worked with teachers Mark Vance and Toon Vandevorst writing music. Their compositions were premiered by 22 professional musicians, plus an impressive 12 voice a cappella choir (harvested from NU’s Chamber Choir). There were brass quintets, songs, choir, string quartets, piano 4 hands, woodwind quintets, trombone duets, piano quintets, jazz trios and…well, you get the picture, virtually something for everyone. If you haven’t attended these concerts, you’ll be astounded at both the level of both the writing and performance!

Family Music Faire on June 22, was rip-roaring a success. FMF is a special free event specifically designed to introduce families throughout Nevada County to classical music. Maestro Vajda and the

SummerFest Orchestra performed Mozart’s Overture to the Magic Flute and Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. The concert was followed by a BBQ lunch, followed by a crazy fun, outdoor music faire. MIM partnered the Community Support Network and was able to reach out to all the different Nevada County social service organizations and school summer programs to reach this targeted audience. FMF is a fantastic family friendly event and couldn’t be done without support from the James Irvine Foundation. FMF is also a model of community collaboration, working together with John Frantz with Lyman Gilmore Middle School band program, the Nevada Union band students, Cathy Dowling with Foothill Children’s Chorus, Jim Swisher and Al Schafer with Gold Country Kiwanis, Melissa Masles with 49er Breakfast Rotary and Dave Painter with SPD to name a few.

Happy Birthday USA,featured the 2013 winner of MIM’s prestigious annual $1500. Lucy Becker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, mezzo soprano, Sarah Saturnino. Sarah sang Gershwin’s Summertime from his opera, Porgy and Bess for an audience of 1500.  A Nevada County product, Sarah attended Union Hill and Nevada Union High School (Valedictorian), and is now starting her sophomore year at UCLA majoring in vocal performance. She is on Dean’s List at UCLA and was recently inducted into UCLA’s Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma.

Side by Side provides incredible educational opportunities for Nevada Counties young musicians to rehearse and perform with Maestro Gregory Vajda and the MIM SummerFest Orchestra. This summer, Robin Daly (clarinet), Matteson Daniel-Padgett (French horn) and Rebekah Shulhom (trumpet) participated in 3 different concerts; June 21 Ravel, Rodrigo and Bizet concert, June 22 Family Music Faire concert and the July 3 Happy Birthday USA extravaganza. This experience is invaluable to budding young musicians. 

Yo Yo Ma: “Art for Life’s Sake”

With all the recent talk about STEM – a focus on teaching science, technology, engineering and math – Yo Yo Ma makes the point that we should really be about STEAM, adding arts to both the mix and the acronym.




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