Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kayla Burggraf Represents Iowa in JFK Summer Music Institute

An 18-year old aspiring orchestral flutist, Kayla Burggraf is currently studying with Leone Buyse, former principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Wind Chamber Music Program and 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. Kayla is the daughter of Marybeth Gallant and Marcus Burggraf of Decorah.

This summer, Kayla will have several opportunities to pursue her professional music career. As a finalist in the competition for the 35th Annual Glenn Miller Scholarship, she will compete on June 9, 2011 in Clarinda, Iowa. 
Glenn Miller, a Clarinda native, formed one of the most popular bands of the "Big Band Era" of the 1930's and 40's. During his assignment in the special Services branch of the Army Air Forces, in which he was in charge of bands and broadcasting, Miller was lost at sea in December 1944. 

He is honored by residents of Clarinda by the creation of a permanent instrumental and vocal music scholarship fund. During the Glenn Miller Festival, June 9-12, in Clarinda, three vocal finalists and three instrumental finalists will compete, with the winners performing on June 11. See more information about the scholarship competition and Festival at

June 18-22, Ms. Burggraf will be part of the Marina Piccinini Summer Master Classes at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Piccinini is widely recognized as one of the world's leading flute virtuosos. For more information about the Summer Master Classes, go to

From June 27 to July 25, Kayla has been selected as an Iowa representative in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Summer Music Institute in Washington, DC. She was nominated by the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, an affiliate of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network--a consortium of 35 state alliances across the United States dedicated to arts advocacy and quality arts education for the nation's children.  
Each summer, approximately 70 student (ages 15-20) from all over the US, as well as a number of other countries, meet in Washington, D.C. for this program. Kayla qualified for a full scholarship and will play flute in the Summer Institute Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Schulze. 

The members of the Orchestra will also take part in private lessons, master classes, and coaching by National Symphony Orchestra musicians. The Orchestra members have several performance opportunities, including the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. For more information about the Summer Music Institute, go to

Following this summer of learning and performing, Ms. Burggraf will spend a short time in August in Decorah before returning to Rice University. During her time in Decorah, she plans to play a recital for Decorah residents. Further information about the recital will appear in the local media. 

Ms. Burggraf began her music study at the age of five on the piano. At age twelve, she began studying flute, first in high school band with instructor Jim Fritz and then with private teacher, Suzanne Ernst of Decorah, Iowa. As a young child Kayla competed and performed extensively on the piano, participating in many festivals and competitions. Throughout high school, Kayla participated in her high school Band, Choir, and Orchestra programs, earning top honors in all three.

Before attending Rice, Kayla studied with soloist and flute professor at University of Iowa, Nicole Esposito. Most recently Kayla performed with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra after winning their Young Artist Concerto Competition in April 2010. In March 2010, Kayla won the soloist competition at the Dorian Honor Band at Luther College. In fall of 2009 Kayla was selected for the second year to the Iowa All-State Orchestra, winning co-principal chair. Kayla has participated in two intensive summer music festivals, Lutheran Summer Music Program (LSMP) and National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University (NHSMI), both of which she won the principal positions in the Symphony Orchestra.

In summer 2009 she attended NHSMI, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala former principal piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other honors include six Best-of Center Awards at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, over 35 division one ratings at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and chamber and solo honors performance selections at LSMP and NHSMI. 

Read more about the Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Report

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools

Washington, DC, May 2011

Over the past eighteen months the PCAH has conducted an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, surveying recent research about its documented benefits and identifying potential opportunities for advancing arts education.
"While we found a growing body of research to support positive educational outcomes associated with arts-rich schools, and many schools and programs engaged in such work, we also found enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others."
Read their report... 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The High Cost of Low Teacher Pay...

WHEN we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” 
This New York Times Op-Ed contributor piece is by Dave Eggers and Nínive Clements Calegari, founders of the 826 National tutoring centers and producers of the documentary “American Teacher.” Published: April 30, 2011  


Sunday, May 1, 2011

It Matters

This video was put together by students at Iowa City West HS in response to potential teacher layoffs/cuts for next school year.  At their April meeting, the school board decided to not make most secondary level teacher reductions by lowering their reserve unspent balance.  There were a couple hundred students, parents, and teachers in the audience with many who spoke against teacher cuts. 

Next the video will be sent to House Republicans and the Governor to get them to move off 0% allowable growth.

The students and staff at West High asked that this be shared.  They suggested that it would be a great organizing tool to get other schools to produce a short video about what 0% allowable growth would mean for their school programs.  If anyone has questions, you can contact Mitch Gross, West High teacher at