rbr string concert 2PHOTO:  On October 21, renowned musician and Educator Christian Howes of Ohio, was the guest artist who conducted an all-day workshop and culminating inter-string concert which brought together middle school musicians from Red Bank and Little Silver along and RBR high school string players.

Little Silver: Every year, the Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) invites its sending school string students to join their big brothers and sisters for an Inter-District String Concert. On October 21, students from Red Bank Middle School and Markham Place in Little Silver spent the entire day at the high school and were treated to a special workshop conducted by a renowned virtuoso and crossover violinist and music educator Christian Howes.

Mr. Howes focuses on having the students improvise musical pieces and to explore different music genres with their strings. Mr. Howes has served as an associate professor of music at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and founded an on-line music learning site to help classically trained musicians to explore their creativity and develop their improvisation skills

Bringing those lessons to RBR he explains, “My mission is to challenge their creativity and self-expression. I encourage them to look behind the curtain on how music is constructed, demystify music theory and to celebrate multi-cultural traditions of music. For instance, we explored Reggae, blue grass, rock in roll.”

RBR strings teacher Jeffrey Boga first met Christian Howes at a professional developmental conference. He was delighted Mr. Howes could find time in his schedule to conduct the RBR Inter-District String workshop as well as the culminating concert of over 65 students who had never played together before.

He comments, “I was happy to hear that many students were able to see string instruments in a different way after experiencing Christian Howes performing all genres on his acoustic and electric violins. They said that they were inspired to take the skills that they already have to make and share music.”

rbr string concert 1

Above, over 65 students from RBR and sending middle schools in Red Bank and Little Silver convened for an all-day workshop at the high school and later performed a concert together for the first time. Special guest educator and conductor Christian Howes conducted both.