on June 14th, 2013
This year CAFE summer fun camp will be held at Queens Manor Gardens apartment complex, 2707 Queens Chapel Road, Mt. Rainer, Maryland 20712. This year will be the best summer yet, offering delicious, healthy meals, music, sports and field trips. Before and aftercare is available. Secure your space, Register Now!
on June 14th, 2013
CAFE’s 16th annual graduation ceremonies were a huge success. Held in the Kogod Theater, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, on June 8th, the program celebrated the commencement of three students Janene Franklyn, Ian Laurenceau and Kenya Lara. Attendees were entertained by a self-written play produced by the elementary school students; music selections by the Rhythem Starters, Pantones adult ensemble, and Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra. Each of the graduates have participated in the CAFE program for many years (Ian – 4 years; Janene – 8 years; and Kenya – 12 years). We will miss them very much, and wish them the very best in their future endeavors. The MCs, Delia Gonsalves (WUSA*9) and Abby Charles were superb as was the keynote speaker, Tonya N. Times, Ph.D candidate, who traveled from Sacramento California to participate in the festivities.
on May 31st, 2013
This year CAFE sent two ensembles to the Virginia Beach PANorama Caribbean Music Fest to represent the organization’s legacy of musical excellence (CAFE’s Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra has retired from the competition after being crowned “Grande Champion” for two consecutive years). This year the PanTones (CAFE’s adult ensemble) and Rhythm Starters (the elementary/middle school group) faced stiff competition but held up firmly bringing home gold and silver medals, respectively. We are proud of the musicians, instructors, and volunteers that allow CAFE to continue that legacy of excellence. Well done!
on May 31st, 2013
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the hair oil we order online as a means of avoiding Whole Foods is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, the importance of instrumentation, lyrics and the combination thereof.
Holli Ryan Clements writes: “I’d be interested in hearing you discuss the value that you place on lyrics when digesting a new song, as opposed to simply the ‘sound world’ the song inhabits. Do you hold these two in equal regard, or is one more important than the other to your initial listening experience?”
Which is more important: The word “Hallelujah” or music that says “Hallelujah” on its own?
If you were to of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen listens to lyrics first, while Robin Hilton listens to the music first and barely notices the words until later. Working in close proximity to the two of them is like living inside one of those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials, but with “music” and “lyrics” swapped in for “chocolate” and “peanut butter.” Except those commercials didn’t have people arguing about which is more important to the taste of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. So wait. Okay, working in close proximity to Bob and Robin is like whichever beer commercial has dudes arguing over “tastes great” versus… Look, Bob and Robin argue about this a lot, okay? Breaking the tie would make one of them happy, so I try to stay out of it entirely.
So I’ll split the official verdict right down the middle: When judging a song based on first impressions, my primary concern is that 1) the music is done right; and 2) the words, whether in content or presentation, aren’t done wrong.
Putting it that way, strictly by definition, lyrics and singing play a slightly secondary role to music: Music without lyrics is still music, but lyrics without music are poetry. Massive swaths of jazz, electronic, classical and other forms of music subsist just fine without words; I’ve got a gigantic folder in my iTunes marked “Ambient For Editing,” which is stuffed with the wordless (or largely wordless) works of Stars of the Lid, , , and others, which is saying nothing of ‘s hit “U Smile,” which an enterprising DJ turned into a gorgeous ambient work by slowing it down to . Like so much instrumental music, these works access emotions just as efficiently as words do, if not more so.
Lyrics and singing, on the other hand, are music’s greatest deal-breakers; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pushed play, been sucked into a perfect sound world and sat nervously, thinking, “God, please don’t let the singer screw this up.” As often as not, he or she does just that. Vocals and lyrics are far more subjective than other sounds: What tugs at my heartstrings may well work your nerves. Which, in turn, makes great words and great vocals harder to come by — and, perhaps by virtue of their scarcity, more valuable in the long run. But, since you asked, there’s clearly no wrong way to listen, much as I’d love to tell Bob and Robin that they’re doing it wrong. Call it a draw, but let’s agree to tell Bob and Robin that they’ve both lost.
on November 17th, 2012
Saturday December 8th, 5:00-6:30. Featuring CAFE ensembles and the Georgetown Chorale!
on June 14th, 2012
At the end of each school year CAFE celebrates the accomplishments of our students with an awards and graduation ceremony. This year the ceremony was held at the Kogod in the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. In addition to presenting our students with awards for Excellence and Improvement in categories such as chess, robotics, visual art, mock-trial, and music, CAFE also acknowledged Leadership, Students-of-the-Year, PVYSO MVP, and the Directors Award. Finally, CAFE’s graduating high school seniors, Osman Adam and Anthony A. Stubbs Jr., were each presented with a beautiful plaque and given brand new laptops! Congratulations to all of our wonderful students! Enjoy your summer and we will see you in the fall!
Full photo gallery at CAFE’s Facebook Page
on May 9th, 2012
Despite a hectic morning, tight security, and extraordinary time constraints, the Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra was a huge hit at this year’s International Children’s Festival. Here is a story about the event from this weekend’s Washington Post:
on March 5th, 2012
For the second year in a row CAFE’s team has made the Mock Trial playoff round. Congratulations to the members of the team for all your hard work and dedication. You should be very proud!
on February 13th, 2012
Here is a message from our committed Parent Coordinator, Marlene Daniels:
“On Wednesday, February 1st, our very talented, spontaneous, clever, observant, well-prepared CAFE Mock Trial Team (CMTT) participated in their first competition, which took place in FUMC’s Chapel on the 2nd floor.
CAFE competed against High Point High School from Beltsville, Md. – - a sharp all girls’ team.
I am so excited and proud to say………………….”WE WON”………………………………..YAAAAY!!!
GOOD LUCK AT YOUR NEXT COMPETITION!”
on January 17th, 2012
Start fulfilling those New Years Resolutions NOW! CAFE offers beginning and intermediate/advanced steel band classes for adults and seniors. Students with no musical training can learn to play songs on the steel pan in just a few sessions. It is fun, and dancing is great exercise! (more…)