Max Weinberg gives Carteret students a taste of the performing arts

Carteret students get a taste of the business side of a career in the performing arts from Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

And they also learned to use their creativity thanks to Greg Kennedy, a Cirque du Soleil juggler.

The pair met Carteret high school and middle school students this fall as part of a free masterclass program offered by the new URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events center at the corner of Washington and Cooke avenues.

The Master Class program, sponsored in part by a $250,000 grant from Amazon, is a series of interactive workshops taught by professional and academic instructors in various genres of performing arts. The series provides students with opportunities for teamwork and skill-building exercises that exposure to the arts has proven to deliver.

“The Carteret Master Class program is an extremely valuable resource for students preparing for their college years and entering the workforce,” said Mayor Dan Reiman. “Our Carteret community embraces the arts and the opportunities they provide for our children. We are grateful to Amazon and all of our corporate sponsors for their generous support of the arts in our borough. »

Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, speaks to Carteret students during a masterclass at the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center.

Diana St. John, director of the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center, said Kennedy met with students Oct. 16 and Weinberg Oct. 23. Each session involved approximately 50 students.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra based at Carnegie Hall gave a performance on the evening of December 11 at the site and during the afternoon they held a workshop for students.

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“They (the orchestra) don’t have a conductor. They travel all over the world giving workshops to companies on how you should work together as an ensemble or as a team,” St. John. “They work together on the plays. And they work with the students to prepare them for what a team environment will be like. It was interactive, they did a lot with the students.”

She said in early meetings with Amazon that they wanted to be part of educational programs involving the arts.

“The idea was for students to come and get first-hand mentorship from people who work in the business.” said Saint-Jean.

World-renowned Cirque du Soleil juggler Greg Kennedy talks to Carteret students during a masterclass at the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center.

She said Weinberg explained how to surround yourself with the right people for your accounting needs and run your business as an artist. Kennedy, a mechanical engineer, created a device around which Cirque du Soleil built its show. She said her workshop was about creativity and the art form.

“Each of the workshops so far has been a slightly different take on what happens behind the scenes and how people from different backgrounds have been influenced by the arts in their lives,” said St. John. .

With sponsorship from Amazon, a total of 10 classes were planned, with the balance scheduled for 2022. Carteret high school and middle school students can attend classes in person for free and can ask questions. Classes will be streamed live to students in other school districts for additional outreach.

Master Class instructors include local songwriters, orchestra musicians, ballet choreographers, musicians, and business leaders whose lives have been enhanced through participation in arts programs.

“The Carteret Master Class is a wonderful initiative that enriches the lives of students and helps them succeed in other academic areas beyond the arts,” said Jillian Irvin, senior director of regional policy for Amazon in the New Jersey. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to join Carteret Performing Arts and Events Center in helping to bring this innovative programming to the youth of Carteret.”

According to Americans for the Arts, research has found that arts education provides valuable physical and mental development in adolescents, improves fine motor skills, neurological development and problem-solving abilities in young students, which creates a greater success in subjects such as reading, writing, science, and arithmetic.

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