Steeltown Friends of Mohawk Music

Under the auspices of the Hamilton Music Collective, the Steeltown Friends Of Mohawk Music is a non-profit, volunteer fund-raising group, comprised of private citizens, employees of Mohawk College Of Applied Arts and Technology and Mohawk College music students, whose main purpose is to raise funds to aid, abet and enhance the music programme at the college, while at the same time enjoying the camaraderie and love of music one to the other.

During the hazy days of the summer of 2000, a number of concerned and interested private citizens banded together with the Mohawk music faculty and formed an ad- hoc volunteer group to try and raise money to assist the music department, which at the time was dealing with some severe budget restraints.

It was decided that a live jazz concert was the most obvious means of raising money. Under the banner “The Steeltown Friends of Mohawk Jazz,” Hillfield-Strathallan’s Artsplex Theatre was booked, faculty member Dave McMurdo put together a solid big-band and invited esteemed Toronto based flugelhorn player Guido Basso to appear as the featured artist.

Since that time there have been twelve additional fund-raising concerts, four black-tie gentlemen’s dinners, three themed dinners at Ancaster’s Rousseau House and three special concerts following “artist-in-residence” sessions. The committee has managed to raise well over $600,000 since its inception and has provided a large number of full tuition scholarships, funded all the master classes , purchased a grand piano, sponsored students to attend special music events and underwritten a number of miscellaneous endeavours.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the many sponsors who have donated to the cause, plus the large number of music loving citizens who have purchased tickets to our concerts.

In late 2009, in an effort to create something for perpetuity, it was decided to convert the existing Bickert and Nimmons annual SFMM scholarships into full endowments to go along with the already existing Rolston endowment. With the generous assistance of government sponsored funding matching schemes, the total funds sitting in endowments has increased from an initial $12,000 to $200,000. New scholarship level donations now have the option of remaining in annual scholarship form or being contributed to this new endowment funding.

While the SFMM’s main goal is to offer as much support as possible to the Mohawk music program, we also pride ourselves on the fact that we have managed to serve the needs of the music appreciating public by featuring a long list of outstanding national and international stars such as the aforementioned Guido Basso, Phil Nimmons, Ranee Lee, the late Rob McConnell, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes, the late Bob Brookmeyer, Tom Scott and Larry Carlton.

The Steeltowners continue to work closely with the college on a number of initiatives and it is indeed our sincere pleasure to offer our support to this excellent and valuable course of study.

Effects of Music in Treating Depression

treatingdepressionDepression is as hard to detect as it is to cure. Its usual treatment involves prescribing anti- depressants and mostly, counseling. Others take years before they can finally over come and recover from depression while others only take months.

It doesn’t really matter how long a person has been experiencing it and several studies suggest that music can actually help in treating patients with depression. Music can affect their mood and train of thoughts in one way or another.

  1. Music can help the patients to express their thoughts especially if they feel the need to conceal it from other people. For people dealing with depression, crying is actually a good sign. It only means that they are able to release their stress which will make them feel better afterwards.
  2. Listening to music also improves a person’s creativity. One of the effects of depression is feeling of emptiness and lack of inspiration or motivation. Lively music can actually trigger our brain to do lively tasks or activities that matches the beat of the song, same way when you feel more energetic when listening pop music while working out.
  3. Depression also has physical manifestations on the patients. Some of them are having trouble sleeping while others’ blood pressure gets affected by their condition. Recent studies show that listening to classical music everyday can significantly lower your blood pressure over time as it soothes you and lower your stress levels.
  4. There’s a chance that music can actually change a person’s plan of committing suicide. Music affects people mostly on the emotional aspect which basically controls most of our decision- making. If a certain song motivated a person who’s planning to commit suicide, that person will most likely ditch his plan and get on with his new- found motivation.
  5. Music can be strongly associated with our memories. If a person associated a certain song or genre to his happy thoughts, he’ll have something to get back to whenever he experiences panic attacks or feeling down for no reason (which is part of having depression).
  6. Classical and relaxing music affects our breathing. Our body actually responds to the type of music we’re listening to. If your heart is racing, you can try to listen to slow music where your heart beat and breathing can get in sync with.

It’s never easy to deal with depression and it’s one of the worst condition as it can lead to death. Some people might still be in denial that they are actually suffering from it because of the stigma that comes with it. People who suffer from depression choose to keep it to themselves as they don’t want other people around them to change on how they interact with them or worse lose them. Thanks to recent studies and campaigns nowadays, more and more people are getting aware on how to deal with it and how to help people who are suffering from it. So the next time you see your depressed friend, be his guide and give him a nice piece of music.

The Best Upcoming Music and Arts Events this Summer in Boston

It’s finally summer and it’s the perfect time to enjoy, have fun and get baked under the sun. if you’re looking for the most exciting upcoming events here in Boston, then look no further. Let’s try a challenge and attend each event this summer!

Prepare to fall in love with Ellie Goulding all over again as she serenades us on June 15, 2016, in TD Garden at 7:30 P.M. you can get your tickets here.

Dance the night away as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis bring their latest hits at Agganis Arena on June 17, 2016. The show starts at 7:30 P.M. and you can get your tickets here.

If you enjoy classical music, then you’re in luck as Concerts in the Courtyard is giving a free musical treat at the Central Library’s courtyard on Boylston Street on June 1 to August 31, 2016, every Wednesdays and Fridays.

On June 3 to 5, 2016, bring your family and friends to relax in Salem Arts Festival, a free event celebrating photography, painting, writing, poetry, theatre, cuisine, dance, and music.

Let the artist in you celebrate as another free artistic treat will be given away by Cambridge Arts River Festival that features poetry, art making, jazz music, theatre performances and many more. The event will be held on Cambridge Parkway at the Charles River on June 4, 2016, from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Did we mention that it’s totally free?!

Another free arts and music event, Somerville Arts Festival, will be held in Davis Square on July 16- 17, 2016. The ArtBeat features live bands, more than 50 craft makers, and vendors as well as dozens of dance troupes. Prepare to feast your eyes and heart in this art- filled event this summer!

Prepare to be reborn and have stronger connection with the Divine power as GospelFest feature songs of praise at City Hall Plaza on August 7, 2016, at 5 P.M. you also don’t need to worry about anything as the event is free.

Newport Waterfront Reggae Festival will bring the summer and beach vibe into the city as they showcase reggae music on the waterfront as well as Jamaican food, crafts, and cocktails. The event will be held on August 13, 2016, at 12 noon onwards. You can chill and enjoy your way throughout this event as it’s free.

Experience a laid- back summer while listening to soothing jazz music of veteran and upcoming jazz artists as Boston Jazz Fest at South Boston Maritime Park brings you a free jazz music treat on August 27, 2016. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this one cause we’re going to be attending ourselves. The only trusted piano moving company in Boston is going to be setting all of the pianos and one of sponsors of this great event.

Check out last year’s performances.

We have a jam- packed summer and luckily, most of these events are free so we can just focus on having fun and live our summer to the fullest!

Which of these events will you be more interested to go to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!