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“As soon as we got together,” says Spellman-Diaz, “we played music that wouldn’t necessarily be European composers. We started reading more diverse repertoire, pieces by Paquito D’Rivera — a fantastic Cuban composer and musician — and other composers of color. Valerie is a composer herself, as is Jeff Scott, our horn player. So early on, we were trying to change not just the face of the wind quintet, but also the sound of the quintet.”. The program at Stanford on April 26 is to include klezmer music and pieces by Rivera, Miles Davis and American composer Samuel Barber, as well as Scherzo from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Felix Mendelssohn.

Imani Winds has commissioned works from diverse composers, including Wayne Shorter, Jason Moran, Palestinian-born Simon Shaheen and Rivera, “Like a garden, you have to have a variety in there, in order to have healthy soil and create beautiful new landscapes,” Spellman-Diaz says, “It’s important for all musicians to always orthotics for ballroom dance shoes look inward when they’re preparing to play new music and see what inspires them, And it may not necessarily be Beethoven and Mozart, It may be other things.”..

Coleman, Scott and Spellman-Diaz are joined in Imani Winds by clarinetist Mariam Adam and bassoonist Monica Ellis. Spellman-Diaz was always more drawn to chamber music, rather than orchestral music. “Around the time that Valerie was thinking of starting a group, I’d had an epiphany that I didn’t really want to play in an orchestra for a living. With chamber music, you’re more in control of what you’re doing. “Also, when I was playing in orchestras, I missed seeing people that looked like me. So when we got together for the first time, I was so excited to see people who have similar backgrounds playing their instruments at such a high level.”.

Each member of Imani Winds teaches, as well as performs, Spellman-Diaz, 42, is on the faculty, Pre-college Division, at Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her masters and professional studies degrees, She’s married and has a 5-year-old daughter, She grew up in Washington, D.C., where her father worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, He took her orthotics for ballroom dance shoes to operas and ballets from the time she was 4 years old, He was also a jazz historian, Spellman-Diaz says, “Part of the idea for Imani Winds, from the beginning, was to inspire children of color to play instruments, But what it’s grown into now has grown beyond the color.”..

The group’s most recent album is “Rite of Spring.” Spellman-Diaz says, “I’ve listened to rock bands in interviews, and they often talk about how they try to connect with the audience and shape the experience and the energy coming their way. It’s rare to find that connection between audience and performer in chamber music. But that’s what we try to achieve.”. Audiences warm to Imani Winds. “At first, people might concentrate on the visual of us being African-American and Latino. But once they experience the concert, they’re surprised by how much they connect with it.

The American Association of University Women recently honored 32 high school orthotics for ballroom dance shoes students from Antioch, Deer Valley, Dozier-Libbey and Pittsburg high schools, The members of this mighty group have all achieved a 3.5 gpa or above during their high school years, Beyond great grades, these seniors are also involved in athletics, community service clubs and their communities, Below are the honorees and brief bios for each, Emily Amen has participated in student government and volunteers at Kaiser, where she was recognized for 300 hours and promoted to shift leader, Her goal is to attend Sacramento State for a degree in health administration..

Mizrahy Bernardo will attend Yale on a full ride scholarship to major in mechanical engineering. The student body treasurer was on the academic decathlon and Model United Nations teams. An AP scholar, he performs jazz guitar at community events and works in anti-bullying outreach. Tiffany Cooper is on the track team and co-founder of a mentoring program for middle school girls. The Miss Antioch Teen USA has been offered a full scholarship to St. Mary’s and plans to major in psychology there or at Georgetown on her way to a law degree from Harvard.

Karsten Fonseca hopes to attend Cal to major orthotics for ballroom dance shoes in aerospace or mechanical engineering, His clubs include Interact, Key and Anime, and he plays varsity tennis, runs cross country and is first violinist in the orchestra, Ruth Kopiko is a member of knitting and art clubs, plays clarinet in concert and marching band, and is a scholar athlete, Ruth hopes to attend San Francisco State or UCLA to major in linguistics to become an educator or translator, Jessica Odom plans to attend Los Medanos College, a university and then become a flight attendant, Active in volleyball and soccer, she serves in student government and was a homecoming candidate, She is a kindergarten aide and member of the Girl Power leadership group..