What’s New With U? – Week 3

What’s Inside

What’s New With U? – Week Three

All the world’s a stage, and all of Usdan is enchanted by its players.

This week’s Festival program was filled with music, theater, poetry, and dance.  It started on a cool note (pun intended) this Monday, with members from the cast of Broadway’s Frozen — including Usdan alum Mat Eisenstein. In addition to performing several beloved show tunes, they took time to sit down with campers who are performing the show next week, sharing tips and tricks of the trade along with words of encouragement.

On Tuesday, Grammy-nominated Falu broadened our minds and dance experience with her integration of classical Indian melodies and contemporary western sounds. Then on Wednesday, scribes from our Performance Poetry & Podcasting class shared writings from the stage (check out one of their gems down below), followed by Rock Band students, who had everyone jamming out to hits by David Bowie, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and more. On Thursday, young pianists filled the air with a blend of electronic and acoustic sounds that gave classical Mozart pieces a unique twist. And, on Friday, members of the Jazz Ensemble played us into the weekend. Remember to check out our YouTube to view the recorded Festival Performances.

Outside of the Amphitheater, so many departments are preparing to perform and exhibit at the Gala. (Don’t forget to buy tickets so you can see and experience all of the amazing work.)

See U next week!

#WordsAreMyLife (Performance Poetry & Podcast Class, Group Poem)
If anyone calls you names, know you are not that #LoveYourself
When you fall, get up #DontGiveUp
Writing it not right or wrong, writing is writing
Words can lift you up when you’re down
Bullying can stop the flow of the world, hate and gravity pulling us
We are killing the earth so save it, one word at a time
What you desire most is who you are
#BeYourself decide your own path
Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something
Your difference brings the best in you
Do what makes you special #ExpressYourself
Don’t be what someone wants you to be #BeYou
Write because it’s not how you write, it’s because you write
Write #ExpressYourself, and be complete
Writing is your thoughts on paper #WriteWhatYouWantToWrite
Words can make a show, words can make you say whoaa #WordsAreMyLife

Here’s Looking at U

Every newsletter, we will have a compilation video and collection of photos from the previous week. Scroll through and click on photos to enlarge.

#AMoreSustainableU: Sustainability Tips and Tricks

One of the many amazing things about Usdan is finishing off a hot summer day with a delicious ice cream treat. In fact, Usdan goes through approximately 35,000 ice cream wrappers every summer.

In line with our mission of sustainability, we’re partnering with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company.  This year, their  Zero Waste Box™—which helps everyone recycle almost any type of waste, from coffee capsules to complex laboratory waste— can be spotted in key locations around campus. And, as a result, those thousands of wrappers that would have been thrown out are now being recycled.

Finally, here’s bit of inspiration to close out the week:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Summer Learning #Goals

Take a look inside the Usdan classroom to see how our teachers are collaborating with students and what their summer goals are. This week’s segment focuses on the Music department’s Trumpet teacher, Michael Blutman.

A longtime educator, Blutman’s guiding question for the summer is: “How do you make the most traditional things a far more creative and generative process?”

Over the first two weeks of camp, he utilized several methods with different age groups:

He had his older campers rehearse with full scores (as opposed to just their individual parts).  The aim: Help them become active problem-solvers in the rehearsal process instead of leaving that creative role to the teacher.

With his younger campers, he devised an incomplete notation system to help them learn tunes by ear and then transpose them onto keys. Students of all ages improvise fanfares daily, and are asked to copy their classmates’ to help train their ears.

Looking forward, Blutman hopes his students will continue this work for the rest of the summer and will carry these skills back to school in the Fall.

Gearing Up: Merch Item of the Week

This week, the featured merch item is the Usdan poncho– a must-have so you won’t miss out on any summer fun because of some drizzling rain.

You can order this for $10 and more at the Usdan shop online or at our Welcome Center.

Up Next: Upcoming Events and Programming

Next week, the 4-week students will wrap up their final week at Usdan (how time flies!) and have a chance to showcase their incredible work onstage and in-studios.  We’ll also be welcoming International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), one of our 2019 Artists in Residence, to campus; the Choreographic Institute will present their work in progress; and it will be “brooms up” for the first of two Quidditch tournament days this summer. And, of course, our annual Gala, The Sassafras Bash, will be a festive way to round out the week.

As always: You’re welcome to join us for a performance and backstage lunch. Please contact us at RSVP@usdan.org at least 24 hours in advance to reserve your place.

The full event calendar, including in-studio showings, demonstrations, and tournaments can be found here. Next week’s schedule is below:

Monday, July 22
Festival Student Performance –
Orchestra III at 12:10 p.m.
Orchestra IV at 12:35 p.m.
Orchestra I & II at 1:15 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23
Festival Guest Performance – The Chameleons
12:10 p.m. and 12:35 p.m.

In-studio showings and demonstrations:
Aladdin JR. Seniors T5 (10:30 a.m.) Juniors (1:30 p.m.)
Sr. Chamber Ensemble Minor at 1:15 p.m.

10:00 a.m.
Hip-Hop, Period 1, Junior Minor, with Jacqueline
Beginner Ballet, Period 1, Junior Minor, with Jess A
Broadway Jazz Dance, Period 1, Junior Minor, with Jess B
Dance Adventure, Period 1, Junior Minor, with Mary
Modern Contemporary, Period 1, Junior Minor, with Alicia 

11:05 a.m.
Choreographic Institute, Periods 1-2, Senior Majors with Marion
Hip-Hop, Period 2, Junior Minor, with Jacqueline
Dance Adventure, Period 2, Junior Minor, with Mary
Tap, Beginner/Intermediate, Period 2, Junior Minor, with Jess B
Tap, Intermediate/Advanced, Period 2, Junior Minor, with Jess A 

1:15 p.m.
Broadway Jazz Dance Beginner, Period 3, Senior Minor, with Jess B
Hip-Hop, Period 3, Senior Minor, with Jacqueline
Modern Contemporary, Period 3, Senior Minor, with Victoria 

2:15 p.m.
Hip-Hop, Period 4, Senior Minor, with Jacqueline
Broadway Jazz Dance Intermediate, Period 4, Senior Minor, with Jess B
Tap Dance Beginner, Period 4, Senior Minor, with Jess A
Ballet, Intermediate, Period 4, Senior Minor, with Alicia

Wednesday, July 24
Festival Student Performance –
Concert Band III at 12:10 p.m.
Concert Band IV at 12:35 p.m.
Concert Band I & II at 1:15 p.m.

In-studio showings and demonstrations:
Showstoppers Juniors T8 at 1:30 p.m.

10:00 a.m.
Absolute Beginner Upper Strings
Jr. Guitar & Songwriting

11:05 a.m.
Absolute Beginner Lower Strings
Jr. Absolute Beginner Guitar
Sr. Guitar Majors

1:15 p.m.
Rock Band (Period 3)
Sr. Guitar and Songwriting

2:15 p.m.
Rock Band (Period 4)
Sr. Absolute Beginner Guitar

Thursday, July 25
Festival Student Performance –
Discovery at 11:00 a.m.
Jr. Vocal Ensemble at 12:10 p.m.
Sr. Vocal Ensemble at 12:35 p.m.

In-studio showings and demonstrations:
Frozen JR. Seniors T6 (10:30 a.m.) Juniors T6 (1:30 p.m.)

10:00 a.m.
Bassoon & Oboe IV
Jr. Advanced Beginner Piano Minor
Violin IV

10:30 a.m.
Sr. Piano Majors

11:05 a.m.
Bassoon & Oboe III
Jr. Absolute Beginner Piano
Violin III

1:15 p.m.
Sr. Advanced Beginner Piano Minor
Trumpet I
Violin I

1:30 p.m.
Jr. Piano Majors

2:15 p.m.
Bassoon & Oboe II
Sr. Absolute Beginner Piano Minor
Trumpet II

**The Sassafras Bash**
Festivities start at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, July 26
Festival Student Performance –  Select Dance Performances
12:10 p.m. and 12:35 p.m.

In-studio showings and demonstrations:
Sr. Creative Writing & Sr. Photography A15B Majors at 10:30 a.m.
Jr. Creative Writing Majors at 2:15 p.m.

10:00 a.m.
Saxophone III & IV
Absolute Beginner Woodwinds

11:05 a.m.
Absolute Beginner Brass
Cello III & IV

1:15 p.m.
Saxophone I & II

Administration Corner

The Seedling Shindig

We are hoping to see you next Thursday, July 25th at The Sassafras Bash, our summer Gala.

Children are welcome at the Gala dinner with a Gala ticket or are invited to The Seedling Shindig, a free party for kids of dinner attendees.  Don’t forget to reserve your place — and a spot for your kids — now.

Extend your summer

There is still time for 4-week campers to extend their summer experiences at Usdan by signing up for the final three weeks of camp: July 29th to August 16th. TWe have a special extension deal where we are waiving the administrative fee if you choose to extend your summer before Friday, July 19th.  The deadline to extend your summer is July 24th. 

Please note that families will be charged a $325 administrative fee and the difference between the 4- and 7-week programs in addition to any necessary premiums (and depending on class and bussing availability).

Interested? Please contact the enrollment office as soon as possible to secure your child’s spot: enrollment@usdan.org or call 631.643.7900. 

Think about next summer

As we cherish the days ahead of us this summer, we’re starting to look forward to summer 2020. If you are also thinking of next summer, join our Return2U program and pre-register now for next summer.

Between today and the last day of our 2019 season, August 16, you can sign up for Return2U and receive 2019 rates and other perks. Additionally, if you pre-register before July 25 for 4-week campers or August 15 for 7 and 3-week campers, your child can ring our end of the session gong (a high honor around here). You must enroll in the same session length or longer than in 2019. Return2U closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 16, so don’t miss out.

There’s an app for that!

Search and download ‘Usdan Summer Camp’ from the Google or Apple App Store and have all important camp information right at your fingertips. 


Executive Director Lauren Brandt Schloss is giving us a blast from the past with these polaroid photos. Due to the cloudy weather, this week’s pics are even more vintage-looking than usual.

What Do U Think? Weekly Poll Question

What does Usdan encourage your child to do? Tell us at tellus@usdan.org.

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