Southborough middle school music director Jamie Clark, the main character (and real-life dude) in Mr. Clark’s Big Band, and I will be making a joint appearance on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11:25 a.m. through noon with “The Saturday Swing Session with Howard Caplan” on WICN Public Radio 90.5 FM, Jazz+ for New England.
Clark and I will be chatting about the history of the Trottier Middle School’s elite Big Band, including its evolution, and the shelf-load of awards it has accumulated during Clark’s tenure, as well as how the book Mr. Clark’s Big Band, about the 2012-2013 Big Band, came to be. Excerpts of recordings of Trottier Big Bands, including the ensemble featured in the book, will be played during the broadcast.
Given Clark’s penchant for loquaciousness, don’t be surprised if he attempts to hijack the show and stretch our 35-minute appearance into a marathon take over of the airwaves. Ya never know.
You can stream the interview live at: wicn.org.
Image credit: WICN.
Want to hear what Mr. Clark’s voice sounds like? Want to hear him talk about Mr. Clark’s Big Band, the ups and downs of teaching middle school? Want to hear a recording of the jazz band premiere “Kaleidoscope” at the memorial service for their beloved friend Eric Green, for whom the piece was written?
The Kindle version of Mr. Clark’s Big Band, out this week, contains those special goodies.
However, if you’re a lover of all things tactile–count me among them–consider getting the music lover, the teacher, the band parent, music student in your life a copy of the paperback book for the holidays. Better yet, get them both the digital and the paperback and they’ll think you are a wildly generous soul.
An added Christmas/holiday bonus: If you email me, you can buy a copy of the book which I will sign and mail to the recipient of your choice! firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be my (and their) holiday hero!!
Image credit: Amazon.
I was honored to participate in the League of Women Voters of Worcester forum “Media Literacy and Fake News: Decoding Media in 2017” on Nov. 29.
The two-panel forum included remarks from journalists (from MassLive, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and Worcester Magazine) and academics (from Assumption College, Northeastern University — that would be me, and Andover High School) who urged news consumers to be smart about their media consumption and to read a wide variety of sources.
MassLive.com’s coverage, “How can you tell if the news story you’re reading is ‘real,'” began this way:
“Identifying fake news is no straightforward task, but a panel of local journalists and academics says there are strategies readers can take to stay accurately informed.”
Here’s how the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s story, “Communicators on Worcester panel urge critical eye on media in age of ‘fake news,'” started:
“Understanding the ideas and motivation behind the notion of “fake news” is important, but as several panelists pointed out Wednesday night at a League of Women Voters forum, the onus on ferreting out truth in a broadly diversified media landscape is increasingly being put on the consumer.
Image credits: Alban Murtishi of MassLive.
I am honored to join a panel of media and academic folks as we dive into the meaty subject of “Media Literacy and Fake News” on November 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Worcester.
I’ll be appearing at the League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area’s “Decoding Media in 2017” forum alongside:
Worcester State University’s Stacey Luster will moderate.
Image credit: League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area.
Thank you to Westfield (Mass.) independent bookstore Blue Umbrella Books for hosting my Mr. Clark’s Big Band book talk and signing on Veterans’ Day weekend.
It was great fun to visit my old stomping grounds and chat with friends from high school and college. Family members who live in western Massachusetts also came out to represent!
If you missed the event, signed copies of Mr. Clark’s Big Band are still for sale at Blue Umbrella.
The bookstore folks live-streamed my book talk on Facebook. You can watch a recording here:
Image credits: Scott Weiss.
I’ll be heading to western Massachusetts for a book signing on Nov. 11 from 1-3 p.m.
The independent bookstore, Blue Umbrella Books of Westfield, MA, will play host as I sign copies of Mr. Clark’s Big Band.
My ties to the city run deep. I lived in Westfield for my first six years, did my first journalism internship there (at The Westfield News) and covered the area as a young reporter for The Republican.
I’m looking forward to seeing friends from my hometown, the neighboring West Springfield. If you’re in the area, come join us!
Image credit: Blue Umbrella Books.
Bay Path University played host to its 16th Writers’ Day this past weekend, as scribes talked about how to effectively read one’s work aloud in front of a crowd (Charles Coe, All Sins Forgiven poet and author extraordinaire!) and how to turn family documents, handwritten letters, and memories into an intergenerational memoir (the fabulous Patricia Reis, Motherlines author).
The final panel was packed with tales from three writers–Kinship of Clover’s Ellen Meeropol, This is How It Begins’ Joan Dempsey, and yours truly (see above photos)–who discussed how we used events in the world and in our own lives to inspire our writing, as well as how we folded current events into existing narratives on which we were working. My presentation focused on the real life events in my town of Southborough that inspired Mr. Clark’s Big Band, and how I worked events such as the Newtown school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing into my book about a middle school jazz band.
Thank you to author and educator Suzanne Strempek Shea for putting these panels together and for affording us the opportunity to spend an afternoon talking about one of our favorite subjects: writing.
Image credits: Suzanne Strempek SheaSuzanne Strempek Shea via the Bay Path University MFA Program.