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Usdan Center(Jazz Grant)10/23 Open House
(Published: October 03, 2011)

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, whose August 3 Gala featured the World Premiere of a jazz work by Richard DeRosa, will hold its first Open House for its 2012 season on Sunday October 23. The Open House, a chance to obtain information and tour the Center's beautiful 200-acre woodland campus, will be from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Center at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights (Huntington) Long Island.

.The commissioned jazz work at the Gala by Richard De Rosa, whose arrangements have been played by Wynton Marsalis and Gerry Mulligan, is part of a new two-year grant for audience building in jazz, one recently awarded to the Usdan Center by the Rauch Foundation's Founders' Memorial Program. The program, titled Sustaining American Jazz: Inspiring Young Artists and Audiences, is intended to encourage interest in listening and performance by young people. The program will provide scholarships each year to promising high school students for summer jazz study at the Center; commissions for new works by leading jazz composers; collaborations with Long Island high school jazz ensembles for additional performances of the new pieces; and concerts and master classes at the Usdan Center by prominent artists. Usdan's Jazz Department was founded in 1986 by Dr. Billy Taylor, and performances and master class teachers have included Jimmy Heath, Arturo O'Farrill, John Faddis, and Marian McPartland. The 2012 commissioned piece will be composed by Ted Rosenthal, whose works have been performed by Ron Carter and other major artists, and who has been called "A new jazz leader" by the New York Times.

Usdan Center, featuring more than 40 programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, creative writing, nature and ecology and chess, annually hosts more than 1600 students from throughout the Tri-State New York area. No audition is needed for most courses, and transportation is provided by air-conditioned buses that depart from most New York-area neighborhoods. One-third of Usdan's students receive scholarship assistance based on family need.

Many of Usdan's programs and special events, including excerpts from its August 3rd 2011 Gala Concert, may now be viewed on the Center's recently re-launched website, www.usdan.com . Designed by Lafiya Watson, Usdan's Coordinator of Electronic Media, the site features a host of expanded functions intended to illustrate, for prospective and current students, and for families, alumni, and website visitors, the enormous range of programs available to students at Usdan. It has been designed to maximize the immediacy of visual and electronic aids, and it is fully coordinated with Usdan's YouTube and Facebook sites.

At Sunday Open Houses, visitors are greeted at the Administration Building by faculty and staff who introduce visitors to course options at Usdan, and also review the application process. These greetings are followed by self-guided tours.

The Center is always developing new programs, and new courses for 2012 will shortly be announced. In addition, there will be special public events in the coming months, including exhibits by the Portfolio Preparation Track art students, the pre-professional program for advanced and talented teenage artists.

Future Open Houses after October will be on Sundays November 20, 2012, January 22, 2012, March 18, 2012, April 22, 2012 and May 20, 2012; and Wednesday, February 22, 2012. All Open Houses will be from 11 AM to 2 PM. For appointments for weekend or weekday tours, call Gail London at (631) 643-7900.

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, whose alumni include singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey and actor Natalie Portman, has introduced the arts to more than 50,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in 1968. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. Usdan's program features more than 40 four and seven-week programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, writing, nature & ecology, and chess. No audition is needed for most programs - rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,600 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan's students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers.

Usdan's 45th season begins June 25, 2012. For more information, write to info@usdan.com, Call (212) 772-6060 or (631) 643-7900, or visit www.usdan.com

More Information: https://www.usdan.com

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