3/26/14 = Thank You

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 the Dryden Middle School student body was treated to a professional performance by the Brooklyn, NY power funk band, TURKUAZ.  The day quickly became a series of exciting collaborations.

The first collaboration of the day brought the band together with a local sound production team from Sound on Sound Productions.  In a few short hours the two groups transformed the Dryden Central Auditorium into a professional level music venue comparable to the Historic State Street Theater in Ithaca, NY.  With speakers and microphone chords surrounding the stage, the band began a quick sound check before we filled the room with an eager and well behaved middle school student body.

After a brief review of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) program auditorium expectations, the middle school student body were treated to a thirty minute performance by the band.  Our students were an unusual audience for the band as they are most accustomed to playing large music venues and festivals across the country.  The only previous performance experience the band had similar to ours was a performance at Rikers Island!  During the assembly our students were very well behaved and some students took the chance to dance in their seats to the band’s exciting sound.

After school, over 50 middle school (MS) and high school (HS) musicians met with the band for an up close and personal music workshop.  The students were introduced to the band and participated in a question and answer session.  The students kept TURKUAZ on their toes with fun and entertaining musical questions.  They were also allowed to ask the band numerous other questions covering topics like fashion, movies, sports, hobbies, and how the band came up with their name.  The second half of the workshop became an interactive jam session, where TURKUAZ invited the students up on stage.  The band taught the student musicians their original composition “Gremlins” and the students soon became a part of the Brooklyn Power Funk sound.  TURKUAZ even selected a few of our older high school students to join them on stage during the evening show to perform the new song they learned.

After the musical collaboration, the band meet with Mr. Andrew Dutcher, MS/HS Library Media Specialist.  Mr. Dutcher conducted a large group interview with the band which he recorded and will be posting on his Visitor Showcase podcast series.  

After the interview with Mr. Dutcher, the band reviewed several student designed posters.  The posters were created by Ms. Elizabeth Sprout’s HS Art classes to help promote the event.  The band then  traveled across the building to Ms. Janet Vorstadt’s Family and Consumer Science room.  Ms. Vorstadt with the assistance of Ms. Elizabeth Sprout, Ms. Jill Dornbos, Ms. Cathy Wakemen, and several MS/HS students provided a delicious dinner for the band with fresh local ingredients.  The band had an opportunity to relax and chat with several student volunteers and faculty members.

The fun filled day kept going as the band headed back to the auditorium for their grand finale, “An Evening With TURKUAZ”.  As hundreds of audience members filled the auditorium, the band made their final preparations to show the Dryden community just exactly “what is TURKUAZ?”

The collaboration between the Sound on Sound Productions engineers, TURKUAZ’s lighting engineer, and the band themselves quickly whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy bringing over a quarter of the audience to their feet right down in front of the band.  For over an hour and a half the Dryden Community learned just “what is TURKUAZ?”  The cheers for an encore made it clear to TURKUAZ that Dryden not only heard their musical message but were hungry for more.  Audience members as young as 4 years old as well as those well into their 70s were treated to the special brand of TURKUAZ fun.

After signing autographs, and loading up all their gear, TURKUAZ ending their evening with first class accommodations made possible by the Ithaca Hilton Garden Inn.  As a result the band was able to head off the next day to the next stop on their CD release tour well rested.     

The Dryden Guest Artist Series has a long history of bringing exciting interactive improvisational musicians to the local community.  These memorable collaborations would not be possible without the tremendous support of our local community.  Our guests leave Dryden with just as many wonderful memories of the experience as do our own students and attendees.

The following list of people were contacted and responded generously in support of this Guest Artist Series event:

Dryden Central School (DCS) =

Sandra Sherwood, Superintendent

Emily Shipe, Business Manager

Lori Mudge, Treasurer

Robert Medeiros, Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds

Jim Dugan, Maintenance Mechanic

Dryden Middle School (DMS) Administration Team =

John Birmingham, Principal

Abigail Adams, Assistant Principal

Jennifer Amato, Secretary

Betty Walsh, Secretary

Dryden Music Boosters =

Cathy Wakeman

Allison Pelletier

Dryden Fire Department, Neptune Hose Co. #1 =

Rick Young, Fire Chief


Dave Brandwein, composer/producer/guitar/vocals

Taylor Shell, composer/bass

Craig Brodhead, guitar/synths

Michelangelo Carubba, drums/percussion

Greg Sanderson, tenor saxophone

Josh Schwartz, baritone saxophone/vocals

Chris Brouwers, trumpet/keyboard/tour management

Geneva Williams, vocals/tambourine

Sammi Garett, vocals/tambourine

Zach Zaba, lighting director

Hoplite Music Management =

Tom Baggot, President, CEO, Artist Manager, Senior Agent

Cara Baggot, Administrator, Contracts & Deposits, LLC Secretary

Kyle Hannon, Artist Manager, Marketing Director

Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund =

Paul Streeter, President, Board Member

Dryden SERTOMA =

Paul Streeter

Sound on Sound Productions =

John Ryan, Owner Operator, FOH Engineer

Art Porter, Monitor Engineer

Ithaca Hilton Garden Inn =

Kelli Cartmill, Director of Sales

DMS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Committee =

Eric Guercio

Patti Finnerty

Tricia Goodenough

Lois Loiselle

Robert McMahon

Lydia Mychack

Beth Sannerud

Erica Savoie

Rebecca Tice

Margaret Welch

PBIS Reteach Team -

John Birmingham, Principal

Eric Guercio

Beth Sannerud

Janine Bennett

William Finnery

Daniel Fink

DMS Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Department =

Janet Vorstadt

Adult Volunteers -

Jill Dornbos

Elizabeth Sprout

Cathy Wakeman

Student Volunteers -

Desiree Muldoon, Hostess

Marita Miller, Server

Alicia Bailie

Teaghan Murphy

Byrann Frost

Cameron Park-Miller

Angel Berrios

Cameron Landon

Katie Keeghan

Kylie Grover

Rock Fuller

Allison Morrow

Branden Madigan

Laurel Deacon

Sean McDaniel

Dryden High School (DHS) Art Department =

Elizabeth Sprout

Student Volunteers -

Elizabeth Altier

Emilee Brecht

Valerie Horn

Masa Kiba

McKayla Macomber

Susan Tate

Autumn Schutt

DMS/DHS Media Center / Library =

Andrew Dutcher

DHS Science Department =

Travis Crocker

Karen Taylor

Media =

Tompkins Weekly - Jim Graney

WVBR Radio - Dan Cole

Ithaca Journal and i100 Radio- Jim Catalano

Poster locations =

Ithaca College School of Music - Greg Evans and Collen Clark

Hickey’s Music Center, Ithaca - Will Hanson

Ithaca State Street Theater - Chris Mazer

Medusa Tattoo, Ithaca - Cesar Enciso and Carol Oddy

Southworth Library, Dryden

Dryden Community Cafe

Dryden First National Savings Bank

Dryden Post Office

Shear Visions Hair Salon, Dryden

Ithaca Coffee Company, Triphammer Mall, Ithaca

Kinney Drugs, Triphammer Mall, Ithaca

Collegetown Bagels, Triphammer Mall, Ithaca

Collegetown Bagels, Aurora Street, Ithaca

Starbucks at Ithaca Hilton Garden Inn

Greenstar, Dewitt Mall, Ithaca

Ithaca Elks Lodge #636

Music Workshop Participants =

Richard Huyge

Joseph Woloszyn

Student Participants -

BAND 6 -

Caelan Murphy

Ashley Thorington

Rhiann Johnson

Robert Busby

Samuel Dow

Thomas Finney

Laura Krebs

Tennessee Newhart

Evan Becraft

Shelly Kehn

Daniel Buckholz

Adrian Finney

Emily Miller

Patrick Murphy

Ethan Underwood

Nathaniel Hollenbeck

Nicole Lawson

Morgan Pursell

Alexander Pushlar

BAND 7 -

Gabrielle Schneider

Hannah Tennant

Tennyson Sprout

Jordan Arnold

Zachary Sinnott

Joshua Dobush

Adam Buttaccio

Ioannis Katsiroumbas

George Murphy-Wilkins

Ryleigh Scales

BAND 8 -

Lynn Maybee

Cameron Park-Miller

Nicole Zhe

Tiffany Burgos

Mark Dodici

Carl Varvayanis

Matthew Krebs

Tiffany Lobdell

Marita Miller

Joshua Ver’Schneider


John Whitmore

Emily Gordon

Jacob Yatsko

John Varvayanis

Olivia Lutwak

Allie Young

Jaclyn Calale