Menlo-Atherton Academy of Contemporary Music



About the Menlo-Atherton Academy of Contemporary Music

The mission of the Menlo-Atherton Academy of Contemporary Music (MAACM) is to expose, educate, and engage the students of the Sequoia Union High School District and members of the Menlo-Atherton, Peninsula, and greater Bay Area communities in a broad range of twentieth and twenty-first century music concepts, techniques, and practices. The MAACM champions an inclusive approach to music education and is oriented towards students of varying levels of musical experience. We embrace the diversity of backgrounds and creative interests that each of our students present and will bring to our community. In establishing critical connections with the curricula of area high schools via masterclasses, workshops, guest lectures, and concerts by local, national, and international performers and composers of the highest caliber, the MAACM will serve to expand the knowledge-base and abilities of our students, and enhance skills pertinent to other areas of their study (e.g., critical thinking, collaborative strategies, and creative and disciplined approaches to problem solving). In keeping with the innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley, the Academy will grant students the unique opportunity to interact with leading figures in the domain of contemporary music, participate in the creation of new works through the use of cutting-edge techniques and technologies, and familiarize them with advanced principles, methods, and repertoire that one normally first encounters in the context of a high-level undergraduate curriculum. In so doing, the Academy will broaden the scope of available music and arts instruction in the community and provide the participating students with a competitive advantage in their preparations for undergraduate study in Music and related fields.

The MAACM was founded to address a cultural and educational gap in the Peninsula region of the San Francisco Bay area. Unlike the neighboring urban centers of San Francisco and Berkeley, the available cultural (and specifically musical) offerings accessible to Peninsula residents are limited. However, the significantly high attendance rates evident at local events have indicated a demand on the part of community members for a heightened level of artistic activity within the region. Furthermore, the infrastructure and resources for an engaging and unique workshop and concert series already exist in this densely populated and dynamic region. It is thus our intention to introduce enriching musical and educational opportunities of the highest quality to the Peninsula. In cooperation with like-minded local arts institutions and organizations, it is our long-term objective to place Menlo-Atherton "on the map" as a thriving and diverse cultural destination in the Bay Area.

Presented at the recently opened state-of-the-art Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, the Academy's concert series will introduce members of the community to high-quality cultural offerings not readily accessible in the region on a regular basis. Ultimately, it is the goal of the Academy, in conjunction with local, like-minded arts organizations and institutions, to establish and contribute to a varied and vibrant cultural scene in the Menlo-Atherton area. As an additional benefit to the participants and the community at large, all concerts and events will be professionally recorded and documented on the Academy's website.

The activities of the MAACM will consist of:

workshops and masterclasses, presented on a semi-monthly basis during the school year to High School students of the Sequoia Union High School District by the Academy's distinguished guest artists

coachings in chamber music, solo repertoire, and improvisatory-collaborative compositions, culminating in public performances at the Performing Arts Center

public lecture-demonstrations and concerts

Academy participants will also have the privilege of accessing valuable Internet resources relevant to contemporary music composition, performance techniques, and diffusion, including a database of salient institutions, festivals, scores, recordings, and journals.