Volunteer Spotlight: Stefan Maryniak

 

stefanrocksBoston Landmarks Orchestraphoto credit: Michael Dwyer

Do you know Stefan Maryniak? While he is deeply beloved by many in our community, the true extent of his involvement could easily have slipped under the radar…until now!

Beginning with his first foray into the ZUMIX Songwriting & Performance programs as a volunteer with the Write Rhythm in Spring of 2016, Stefan brought a level of expertise that was almost as impressive as his level of modesty about it. Having a rich background of experiences in music composition, production, and performance, it was clear from the start that there would be ample opportunities for Stefan to support ZUMIX programs in a thoughtful, inventive way. After that semester, Stefan expressed an interest in working with advanced songwriters to hone their craft, and since became an integral part of with Wild Painting’s monumental Boston Landmarks Orchestra collaboration, guiding the group in songwriting and orchestration. As if all of that wasn’t enough, he even provided a database management consultation with our administration team, drawing from his professional experience in software development!
Here’s what Wild Painting’s Angelina Botticelli has to say about working with Stefan:
“I got the privilege to work very closely with Stefan when Wild Painting started writing for the Landmarks Orchestra collaboration. We started off as strangers and 6 months later, he’s not only super close to me, but to everyone in the band. He knows our inside jokes and he’s become someone we look to for insight and advice. He’s one of the nicest, coolest, most down to earth people I’ve ever gotten to work with/meet & his British accent makes it even better.” 
Stefan, from all of us here at ZUMIX, thank you for making a difference in our community through your love of music and support of talented young people. You totally rock!

Boston Landmarks Orchestra & ZUMIX: Anthems of the World

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

IMG_6795.JPG

On August 9th, ZUMIX youth band Wild Painting performed with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Memorial Shell! ZUMIX has been partners with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra for the past two years, and this year the theme was Anthems of the World. The performance was one of six that night, along with performances from the Boston String Academy and music from composers such as Amy Beach.

Wild Painting’s “Views”, written and produced with the help of Gonzalo Grau specifically for this performance, is raw and emotional, and described as “an anthem of youth culture”. It features three main components that are meant to describe three aspects of life many youth today experience: pressure, passion/production, and activism. The transitions between the three parts were flawless; going from upbeat, to more emotional and intense, then back to upbeat. The lyrics were breathtaking and honest, featuring lines such as “the pressures getting around and pulling me down”, “music is flowing and growing seeds in the ground”, and “if we’re taught to be conscious consumers are knowledge and our loving is what brought us here”.

 

Not only were the lyrics amazing, but the combination of the band’s instruments and vocals with the orchestra’s instruments were so powerful and uninhibited that you could not help but be moved. The performance was astounding, and a perfect example of the greatness that can be created when youth are allowed to be creative and true to themselves. Wild Painting broke barriers with their performance, and there is no doubt that they, and other youth as well, will continue to do so in the very near future.

 

Listen to and download Wild Painting’s first album, Emotions, here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/zumix/

Follow them on their social medias to keep up to date:

Instagram: wildpainting.band

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildpainting.band/

Meet Our Youth Staff: Kaylene Sheran

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

image1.JPG

Kaylene Sheran

This summer, ZUMIX has a new group of youth staff members working here as part of the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program! We caught up with them and asked some questions about their lives, their connections to ZUMIX, and their connections to music! This week, I interviewed Kaylene Sheran – here are her responses:

What’s your name and age and where do you live?

Kaylene Sheran, 17, East Boston

If you could describe ZUMIX in one word, what would it be?

I would describe ZUMIX as powerful because it gives ordinary people extraordinary power to be able to share their thoughts and opinions through the arts.

How has ZUMIX impacted your life?

ZUMIX has impacted my life bc I’ve never been able to play sports due to my health so ZUMIX has given me an outlet to be able to express myself in ways that other programs are unable to

Who would you recommend to visit and learn about ZUMIX and why?

I would have to say that it would be my 11th grade English teacher because she started off doing radio  and I feel like she would really enjoy the radio station here.

What is your most prominent memory at ZUMIX?

My most prominent memory was when I got to go with Madeleine to WBZ radio and be on air to talk about the DJ event that was happening at ZUMIX at the time.

What about music is most important to you?

Music gives people a chance to express themselves in a way that other things like spoken word may not be able to give to them. I feel that every song has the power to connect to people on a personal basis because there are songs about every possible feeling and every possible situation someone may be in.

If you were a genre, which one would you be?

I think that I would be alternative because it’s kind of a genre like no other genre and I like to be unique and share my stories because I feel that every person is different and that’s what’s so special about the world.

This Summer Speakers Series Event Was Boss!

By Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

On August 3rd, ZUMIX Pathways hosted the third Summer Speaker Series event of 2017, “How To Be Your Own Boss”. We welcomed six panelists, each of which had experience in being their own boss and running their own business. During this event, the panelists answered many of the typical questions that people have when they want to start their own business, as well as questions about their products and what a typical day of work looks like for them.

One of the main topics that the panelists focused on during this event were the challenges that they have faced as entrepreneurs. Tivan Amour, the CEO of Fortified Bicycle, spoke about the financial challenges that he faced when wanting to start Fortified Bicycle, since he had lost a large amount of money from two previous businesses endeavours. Tivan was able to overcome this challenge by creating a Kickstarter campaign for his product, which enabled him to raise the adequate amount of money needed to start his business. Mark Ethier, the CEO of iZotope also faced challenges in his company when his company began developing photo editing software. When Mark began to realize that the photo editing software that his company was producing was not in popular demand, he decided that his company would just solely work on technology that would inspire musicians and audio technicians.

Many of the panelists agreed when speaking about the keys of success in a business. All of the panelists believed that luck was a main factor in their success, since it typically takes a lot for entrepreneurs to get people interested in their products. It also takes luck to find employees who share the same values for the company and have the same ability to get the customers interested in a product. Kannan Thiruvengadam, the founder of Eastie Farm, spoke about the difficulties of having the ability to convince the city of Boston that a farm would be the best use of the land. Kannan was able to overcome this challenge by convincing city officials to provide him with a temporary permit, which allowed people to realize how beneficial Eastie Farm was to the community.

Some of the other panelists who spoke at this event included: Marlene Del Rosario, founder of Marlene Jazz Ensemble and Home Chef worker, jazz and pop teacher, and musician; Joel Edinberg, physicist and founder of Somerville Symphony Orkestar; and George Howard, entrepreneur and Business Teacher at Berklee College of Music and Brown University.

The next (and last) Summer Speaker Series event will be on Thursday, August 24th, 2017 from 6-8pm. The topic of this event will be “How To Turn Your Passion Into A Full Time Job”. The Summer Speaker Series events are free, and open to people of all ages. This event will take place in the main lobby at ZUMIX. We hope that you will attend!

sunner.jpg

Meet Our Youth Staff: Lesly Monroy

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

IMG_2285.JPGLesly Monroy

This summer, ZUMIX has a new group of youth staff members working here as part of the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program! We caught up with them and asked some questions about their lives, their connections to ZUMIX, and their connections to music! This week, I interviewed Lesly Monroy – here are her responses:

What’s your name and age and where do you live?

Lesly Monroy, 15, East Boston

If you could describe ZUMIX in one word, what would it be?

Growth. First of all ZUMIX itself has been growing so much since it started, because we started off in a living room but now we’re in a firehouse that can hold lots, but also because it helps the community grow as people and musicians. When I came here I was not the me I am now, it’s definitely a place where you can explore and learn about yourself.

How has ZUMIX impacted your life?

I came to ZUMIX in the 7th grade during the spring semester and I wasn’t the most talkative kid especially, when being around new people. I started with radio, rock ed, music theory, and fix it, and from there I got to explore what my interests were and I definitely knew that music was one. Here I started playing music more in depth than in school, and I started my love for music here and soon enough I started my own band then, my own radio show. and started doing a lot more active work with the office people. I became the opposite of who I was then, meaning now I talk more, am more interactive, and try to introduce myself first to new people and welcome them. There’s definitely been a change of personality, but I also view the world differently now because ZUMIX is active in social justice and the community, so now I help out in city life and on the issue of gentrification. ZUMIX has changed me in many ways and I have grown as a person into someone who isn’t afraid of welcoming new people and ZUMIX has also increased my love for learning in basically every subject. 

Who would you recommend to visit and learn about ZUMIX and why?

I would want my mom because she has never been here despite many invitations and she has never taken it seriously and never been as interested to learn about ZUMIX and what it does. She would get to know the stuff I do here rather than just know me as a girl who’s never in the house anymore. She seems to think of it as me just playing music and not being productive, so it would be a good thing to show her that it’s more than just a regular music program and that ZUMIX does way more like tutoring, dancing classes, offering tech gigs at events, etc. If my mom got the chance to see that I think she’d be more supportive of ZUMIX and maybe even consider donating every year. I think she would have a bit more respect for what we do here rather than how she thinks of it now.

What is your most prominent memory at ZUMIX?

They’re all sort of equal level but I guess one of the most prominent would have to be working with MIT co-lab. This is because I got to explore how people use one of the tactics we use here in the real world. We were making a radio podcast on topics around Boston, and my group worked with a newspaper writer who also does a radio show here and we got to interview him and make our own podcast. Later it was put on another podcast from California and the co-lab blog as well as SoundCloud. We got a lot of feedback from the people we worked with and a bunch of great reviews; it was one of the experiences where I got to work with adults and students from MIT which is a college I would love to go to. It was also amazing to see how it is to work with other people outside of ZUMIX and it was a very helpful skill to learn. 

What about music is most important to you?

Music has been my stress reliever a lot of the time; playing it and listening to it releases stress for me. When I don’t know how to handle a situation or I feel overwhelmed, I tend to look at music to calm down. Sometimes I listen to instrumentals to chill out and relax, other times I’ll use the lyrics to help me motivate myself to move out of a place I’m stuck in. Music makes me really happy, so I’ll just pick up my bass and start playing. It’s a healthy response to my stress and it positively affects my mood and behavior.

If you were a genre, which one would you be?

I think I would be indie rock because it can have many different vibes but normally it’s very chill and fun; it’s always very fun to play as well in my personal experience.

Pathways Speaker Series: Art With a Heart

sZ3QkVDMKLN71FSY3Wf4GbirHlUy51EPRCCaTcgBLH6tV0dk-3smsduA59-GeFRxvsN2jzEYk-_gphHj_X4U7ywuGgQ=s2048

By Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

Have you ever heard a song, read a book, or watched a play that had the power of connecting with you on a personal level? On July 21st, ZUMIX Pathways hosted it’s second Summer Speaker Series event, “How To Use Art For Healing’. The Summer Speaker Series is a collection of four “how to” events created to help ZUMIX youth, staff, and other community members to connect with professionals in various industries, with a goal of helping people learn about various careers. At this panel, there were six panelists from various art fields who have used art to help others heal.

Many of the panelists, including Cliff Notez, the founder of Hipstory and New Music Programs had shared how creating his own music has also helped him to heal from his own personal challenges. Cliff spoke about the challenges that he faced in regards to living in America as a man of color and how music was always his main outlet to help him heal from the trauma that he faced. Noemi Paz, the founder of “Sharing Our Stories” also spoke about how helping others who have faced sexual traumas has helped her to overcome the pain that she faced from her own trauma.

Other panelists who spoke included: Yadriane De Angel, a music therapy student at Berklee and musician who aims to help other people through giving them the ability to create music; Dee Diggs who helps marginalized groups of people to heal through her DJing at Evlv Tech; KC Mackey, who aims to help African American individuals through her DJing; and Allyssa Jones, who helps children to heal through performing arts. At the end of the panel, audience members were enthusiastic towards asking the panelists more about their careers. The audience Q&A session was particularly exciting for many ZUMIX youth since many of them plan to help others through the arts when they are older.

The next Summer Speaker Series panel will be on Thursday, August 3rd 2017 from 6-8pm, and the topic of this panel will be “How To Be Your Own Boss’, which will feature many chief executive officers from various businesses along with entrepreneurs. All Summer Speaker Series events will take place at ZUMIX. These events are free, open to the public, and open to people of all ages to attend! We hope that you will join us!

HipStory House Band at ZUMIX

By Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

This past Saturday, July 29th, Boston-based hip-hop group HipStory ended their tour with a concert at ZUMIX! HipStory is a group made up of different Boston artists – such as Cliff Notez and Oompa – whose art often focuses on topics such as what it means to be Black in America. Some of the members, like Oompa, were even ZUMIX youth or involved in ZUMIX when they were younger. Cliff Notez was at ZUMIX two weeks ago for our Summer Speakers Series as one of our panelists, discussing “How to Use Art for Healing”.

The concert began around 7:30, with ZUMIX youth hip-hop band Project Method opening for the group. One member, Dawry Ruiz, started with a spoken word piece about life in America as a person of color, before they began to perform some of their music. As the group performed, the audience was enthused by Chad Williams’s sick dance moves and inclusion of the audience in their performance.

After Project Method, ZUMIX alum and friend of HipStory Nick Shea performed a short impromptu original set.

By the time HipStory went on stage, the place was filled with audience members of all kinds of ages, ready to be entertained. Tim Hall, a member of HipStory who was on the saxophone for the night, started the show by hyping the audience, before introducing the other artists to the stage.

The night was met with music from each of the artists – Oompa, Cliff Notez, and Forté – as well as some special guests and the chance for audience members to buy some merchandise. The music itself was powerful, and at times so raw your heart hurt a little bit; they sang about lost love, black power, those days when getting up is just too hard, losing family members, and more. Yet, they still kept things lighthearted too: they ended the night with their “get lit” songs, including one about black female empowerment.  There were also some pretty funny moments, like when Oompa sang to one of the audience members –  ZUMIX youth Mario, from Wild Painting.

Throughout the set – HipStory kept the audience in check by ranking the energy of the room on a scale. At intervals the room progressed from 5/10 to 8/10. Although it was never announced whether we reached level 10 – I think it’s safe to say we did.

Keep up-to-date with HipStory by visiting their website, www.hipstory.org and following them on their social media platforms:

Tumblr: https://thehipstory.tumblr.com/

Twitter: thehipstory

Facebook: TheHipStory