Join us for the final installment of this Spring’s BurghSong concert series, featuring local favorite and BurghSong founder Ben Shannon and Baltimore singer songwriter Letitia VanSant. The BurghSong series pairs local and national songwriters for an intimate night of stories and songs and a listening room environment unique to Pittsburgh. Tickets are just $10 for students of Sunburst!
Did you know that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers resources to help you become a better musician? All you need is a library card to access extensive musical resources at the Music Department of the Carnegie Library Main in Oakland.
You can find print and e-books about music theory, instrument instruction, and band biographies, as well as sheet music and guitar tabs. If you want to learn about Pittsburgh’s rich music history the library offers books, periodicals and scrapbooks of musicians of the 19th and 20th centuries. A music librarian can help you on your search or lead tours upon request.
If you’re looking for something more hands-on, try out the electronic instruments found at the library’s Musical Instrument Playground. You can even check out gear! Synthesizers, beatmakers, sequencers, effects pedals, digital theremins, recording equipment and ukuleles are available for 3-week rentals. Call 412.622.3105 to put an instrument on hold or stop in to check them out. If you’re under 18 you’ll need a parent or guardian to accompany you at check out.
The 2019 Sunburst House Band has been decided, and they’ve already been practicing hard for a few weeks. Meet the 7 students who’ll be playing gigs all year representing our community! Check out our Events Page all year round for when you can catch one of their shows, you can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates.
This Summer our group programs, Sunburst Rocks Main Stage, Emerging Artists and the Suntones, will be learning all about the works of the greatest record producers of all time. What are record producers? They’re the people on the other side of the recording studio glass who help make all of the little decisions that add up to amazing music–none of your favorite songs would exist without them!
From the Beatles to Beyonce, every great musician is but one part of a team who works together to make the music we love. If you think of a band or artist as an orchestra, the producer is the conductor; while they may never touch an instrument, they’re often the single most important factor in how the music turns out. Like great musicians, great producers have their own sound and style and can give birth to huge movements in music, art, and culture through their work.
Our bands will choose from a list of incredible producers including:
Jack Antonoff, and more
The Bands will then conduct research to come up with a setlist of songs they produced. We’ll learn about what makes each producers style distinct and see if we can rework some of our other favorite songs in that style. We’ll also try our hand at songwriting and work to come up with a few tunes of our own to round out our set.
Our Behind the Glass Season runs June through August and will feature several performance opportunities within the month of August.
We’re excited to announce that our Spring Recitals will be taking place in early June, with 9 recital sessions and hundreds of performers we’re expecting this to be the most fun yet! Our recitals aren’t about perfection, they’re about learning and growing through performance and about supporting our fellow learners for all of the hard work they’ve put in. That’s why we always recommend to any and every student that they at least try getting on stage and playing something they’ve been working on, even if it’s really simple.
We break our recitals into one hour sessions with a few of our instructors at each. We’ve found that between 12-15 performers and their friends and families fill the room nicely without overcrowding and that an hour is an agreeable length of time or even our youngest audience members to stay engaged through.
Next month we’ll be posting the list of which instructors will be in which sessions, and we’ll start taking sign ups at the desk. For now, we just wanted to make sure our students save the date for our big Spring Recitals!
Sunburst Spring Recitals:
Friday 6/7 - 7-9p - Adults Only, BYOB
Sunday 6/9 - 10-11a, 12-1p, 2-3p, 4-5p - All Ages
Saturday 6/15 - 10-11a, 12-1p, 2-3p, 4-5p - All Ages
Sunburst founder and director (and me, your faithful Sunburst News Editor) will be taking the stage at Sunburst for a solo acoustic performance on Saturday March 16th as part of the BurghSong Concert series, which pairs local and touring songwriters for intimate shows. Alex’s music project townsppl was just awarded the 2018 Local Album of the Year from WYEP, he’ll be performing some songs from that record, as well as testing out some brand new ones. The show also features Alice Peacock from Nashville.
Tickets are $10 for Sunburst students and families, with Alex’s share going to the Sunburst Music Scholarship Fund.
We just wanted to give our 2018 House Band a shout out for all their hard work and all of the incredible shows they’ve played over the past year. The band capped their season with a killer performance at the Spirit Lodge in February, although they’ll get to have an encore performance at the WYEP Summer Music Festival as part of the ReImagination project. Special shout out within a shout out to Riley Deringor, Shane Cranor and Mason Miller, these three have been with the House Band since it began and will be headed off to college in the fall. Check out some of their performances from over the years on Sunburst’s instagram. We’ve also got some recordings coming soon.
Stay tuned next month to meet the 2019 House Band!
Do you often stare at your recycling bin and think how musical everything in there looks? We do too! Our Junk Yard Jams camp is all about creating instruments from recycled materials, and we need your help to get our collection ready! Item’s of particular interest are large cardboard tubes, water jugs, and lidded tins but we’re open to anything that our campers can use to get creative. Much like the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works, we prefer our materials to be clean and food free prior to donation.
Drop off donations at the desk or let us know if you have any questions!
Check out info and sign up for Junk Yard Jams and our other camps on our camps page
With Summer Camps, holiday travel and the like, we know summer can be a tricky time to keep up with your music practice. Our goal is to make it easier for students and families to do their thing during the summer, without losing too much ground with their practicing, and also not need to worry about losing a spot with their favorite instructor.
Enter the Summer Lite Plan, newly revamped for 2019.
At the conclusion of each season, our Sunburst Rocks Main Stage, Emerging Artists and Suntones programs hit the studio to lay down some tracks of what they've been working on. To wrap up last fall's Pittsburgh Live! Season the groups recorded a great combination of cover and original songs that we're excited to share with you below, let us know what you think!