Newark in Tune
The Latest Update
MUSIC VIDEO IS NOW ON YOUTUBE!
The music video is now completed and available on YouTube! We traveled throughout Newark and captured the beauty and power of this incredible city. Please support the incredible young people who created this song by watching and sharing the video! Like, comment, subscribe, and join our community. We need your support to continue our work!
Help Us In Our Crowdfunding Campaign!
It’s finally coming, the Newark in Tune Track Release Party, featuring the Brick City Anthem and other guest performances. Also, we are in the process of making a music video, starring the young artists who wrote the song!
Please check out our crowdfunding documentary video above. It shows amazing behind the scenes highlights from our workshops and performances with the young artists pictured in this project’s featured image! You can find our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/newarkintune
No donation is too small, help us fund the last stretch of this exciting community project! Also, join us at the track release party, which is free-to-the-public and taking place at Gallery Aferro from 5-7 PM on Saturday, March 18th. Thanks so much!
Performance at the Newark Museum!
On Wednesday, November 19th, 12 kids and teens came together at the beautiful Newark Museum to perform the “In Tune” song at the opening reception of the Newark Open Doors art festival! They were a huge hit! Check out the attached video (a series of snippets, the entire performance was 6 minutes long).
Sheikia Norris aka Purple was the amazing teacher and coordinator of the writing workshop, who also scouted the talented youth! Hezekiah Crockett was not just a performer, but also the team captain who did an incredible job, at only 20 years old, to choreograph everything and share his performance skills with the others! I can’t say enough about the vocalists: Alexis, Cielo, Daniella, De’Seana, Gabriella, Hezekiah, Paola, Rodney, Xiomara; and the jazz horn players: Guillermo, Nadiyah, and Opoku! Thanks to Elijah, Jeremiah, and Xavier for helping create the instrumental!
Special thanks to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark School of the Arts for giving us talent to work with and a space to write lyrics and practice for this amazing event, and to Gallery Aferro and Yendor Arts for fiscally sponsoring us! Finally, thanks to New Music USA, The Newark Arts Council, and the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs for funding this project! We will be back this December to perform it again, this time having recorded the vocals and completed the final track! Details coming soon…
Vocalist Workshops and Upcoming Performance!
We are in the final stages of our songwriting workshop with 7 young vocalists selected from NJPAC’s Hip-Hop Academy! We will be performing the song at the Newark Museum as part of the Open Doors Opening Reception on Wednesday the 19th! Also with us will be a drummer from Weequahic High School and Jazz horn players from Science Park High School. The event is from 6-9 PM, more info and tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/886030394832236/
After the performance, we’ll begin the final recording process. I can’t wait to reveal the song to the world, so far it sounds amazing!
Jazz teens of Newark recorded!
Hot off the heels of a residency with Jazz House Kids, our new partner Science Park High School offered up remarkable Newark youth to help compose the jazz section of Newark in Tune, and they really proved themselves! These teens have never composed original music or been recorded professionally before; so even though they clearly had fun, this was a true learning experience for them as well. The recordings sound great! And I’m in the process of recruiting young rappers and singers to start writing lyrics. From what I hear, my prospective vocalists are second to none… Newark is unstoppable. Check out more pictures from the jazz sessions in the link below:
It’s been an exciting 2016, and Newark in Tune is well on it’s way! Various Newark youth have met with me on Saturdays to brainstorm the composition of the piece, and, as you can see in the picture above, I recorded drums at the Newark School of the Arts. The drummer here is 13, and I recorded a local 16 year old drummer as well. I’ve also conducted interviews with various life-long community members so the voices of Newark can be included in the song. It’s been a rewarding experience for us all! In addition, Newark’s Science Park High School has offered the services of their incredible jazz band, so expect the next update to include images of that recording session.
I want to thank everyone for their support so far! I’m looking forward to nice spring weather and discovering more of the wonderful talent that Newark has to offer. More pictures can be found at the following link: https://goo.gl/photos/DrRb4YJQkEs3Wo1Q8
Newark Patchbay’s project Newark In Tune mobilized Newark’s rich diversity of arts institutions, musicians, and talented youth towards a common goal. Spencer Frohwirth, a resident educator, musician, audio engineer, and founding member of Patchbay directed the creation of a city-wide theme song and music video to represent the urban experience, cultural heritage, and combined hopes for the future of this wonderful city. The project will culminated in 5 exciting performances all around Newark, as well as a professionally produced audio track and music video that is free to the public.
We engaged our target population by working with Newark-based institutions and educators who serve and have access to a diverse population of local youth and musical talent. Also, individual musical artists worked closely with youth as mentors and in lead songwriting workshops. We conducted interviews with long-time Newark residents to sample in the song and inspire lyrics and visuals for the video. Our partners included Essex County Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs, The Newark Arts Council, New Music USA, Gallery Aferro, Yendor Productions, Newark School of the Arts, Science Park High School, and the Institute of Music for Children.
Our goal is to foster team-work, self-expression, new opportunities for learning, and positive communication in a safe, fun, and professional environment. There are many quality music programs and talented individuals in Newark, but few that cross their own boundaries at the level this project inspired. Through this song, we hope to build connections between Newark’s valuable musical resources and see what great things can happen when everyone works together.
This collaborative effort with The United Youth of New Jersey was inspired by the poem on the statue of liberty and the first dubbed a “Frollaboration” by my students, a play on my nickname, Mr. Fro. After teaching them how to make musical compositions using computer software, I mashed up their original songs into one long one. We broke into groups- singers, poets, and dancers (many students were in more than one group). From there we developed this dynamic performance that blew the minds of our audience! Don’t miss my dance at the end…
This track is one of several from my spring residency this year at BRICK Avon Academy in Newark. I worked with two 5th grade classes of about 15 students each once a week for three months to create original musical compositions using iPads. Poet Gha’il Benjamin worked with them to write poetically about themselves and their experiences. At the end of the residency, I recorded all the students speaking and singing their words, then layered their voices over their musical compositions!
This was my first major collaborative project back in 2012 that inspired me to continue this work. During the Institute of Music for Children’s Summer program, I utilized dozens of students from the Elizabeth area, and a few of the instructors; recording them playing drums, piano, violin, and cello. Inspiring positive lyrics, and joyful performances from the singers and rappers, all of which were campers, except myself (around the 2:00 mark), we paid homage to our favorite place in the world.
Start and End Dates
01/04/2016 — 09/30/2016
Newark, New Jersey