May 16-22 2003
Back Issues
Bond, Morse, Terry win 2003 Sullivan Awards
Advocate for diversity leads by example
Finals factoids
Music major creates programs for local schools

Tragedy spurs Muslim student’s effort to bring understanding

Finding history among the trees
Community through architecture
Moving toward a more inclusive environment
Jobe leads with faith, activism
Exploring vast worlds with Harrison Awards
Harvey blends work, study with passion for civic participation
Designing women sow success
Merging technology, music and art
From one-room school to athletic field
Persistence pays for Ukrainian student
Swimmer sets her eyes on Olympic event
Firefighting ideal job for Jefferson Scholar
Pruett’s ready to deploy, but not to leave her kids
Cancer survivor helps others

Music major creates programs for local schools

By Jane Ford

Mary Malerich
Photo by Peggy Harrison
Mary Malerich, above, coupled her love of music with teaching, and area middle-school students were the beneficiaries. Malerich scripted music ed programs that were used by U.Va. performance groups, such as the Virginia Gentlemen,below, who worked with students this spring at an assembly at Walker Upper Elementary School.

Mary Malerich has been playing piano since she was 5. But her passion is music education.

“I like playing for fun. It’s a hobby,” said the fourth-year music major. “What I really like is seeing others perform onstage.”

Malerich shared that passion by creating two music education programs for area schools as part of an independent study project.

For each program, she teamed U.Va.’s strong tradition of volunteering with a talented student performance group.

The young kids really respond to college-age students, said Malerich, who also coordinates the Community Arts Volunteers, a U.Va. student-run, after-school arts program in area schools.

“I only saw good things coming out of it.”

This spring, the Virginia Gentlemen presented an a cappella performance for about 300 fifth-graders at Walker Upper Elementary School. Student members of U.Va.’s Jazz Ensemble entertained seventh-graders at Jack Jouett Middle School with a presentation that wowed the students with their ability to improvise.

Not only was there music on stage, but Malerich also scripted the events to encourage interaction between performers and audiences and incorporated Standards of Learning requirements.

Students jumped out of their seats, eager to volunteer when the Virginia Gentlemen asked for help with the vocal percussion of their rendition of “Army.”
The Jazz Ensemble exposed Jack Jouett students to a mini-history lesson in jazz styles. The group played melody together but improvised solo parts, emphasizing that in order to be able to create as you go, you need to know a lot about music.
The fact that U.Va. does not have a music education program did not deter Malerich from achieving her goal.

“There was a lot of freedom and opportunity to do what I wanted at U.Va.,” said Malerich. “It’s important to be as involved as you can, to get the most out of being here.”

In addition to the requirements in her music major, Malerich took courses in museums and educational psychology, plus classes in the Curry School of Education.

Her work with the Piedmont Council of the Arts was a crash course in arts administration.

Malerich came away with an important lesson, she said. “Volunteers are the key to success of many arts organizations.”

Interning in U.Va.’s Department of Development for the Arts,
Malerich researched performing arts facilities, gathering information for the planned performing arts center. There she learned that each facility had an education department that served the community.

Although U.Va.’s center is in the early planning stages, Malerich decided it was a perfect time to start implementing a community outreach plan.

“Why don’t we utilize what we have now and set the stage for when our facility and programs are in place?” said Malerich. “It’s a lofty goal, but there is a need and we have a lot to offer in terms of student performing groups.”



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