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November 3, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat: Phoenix Symphony & Music Education

  |   Video
  • Symphony for the Schools and Classroom Concerts are two programs The Phoenix Symphony sponsors to instill an appreciation for music in a new generation of concert-goers. Learn more about the Symphony’s music education and outreach efforts with Resident Conductor Joseph Young.
  • Joseph Young - Phoenix Symphony, Resident Conductor
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: art, symphony, education,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: On tonight's "Arizona art beat," how the Phoenix symphony is reaching out to a younger generation. As David Majure reports, one successful program takes the symphony to valley schools.

David Majure: Students at Archway Veritas Charter School in Phoenix file into the cafeteria turned concert hall.
Mark: Good morning! I'm mark and I play the Viola with the Phoenix symphony.
David Majure: These third, fourth and fifth graders are being treated to a performance by Phoenix Symphony Musicians.

Mark: Unfortunately we couldn't bring in the whole orchestra but brought about half of our string players with us. Because if we brought the whole orchestra, there wouldn't be room for you guys. The theme is the science of sound.

David Majure: The symphony's classroom concerts of a mixture of entertainment and education.

Mark: The cause of all sound is vibration. I'm going to turn the speaker up now. I left a space so air can get in. Now when I turn that on, look how windy it gets.
I need three more volunteers who have not been up here yet.
David Majure: The programs vary depending on the age of the students and instruments featured. But the goal is always the same.

Mark: The point is to get music into our community. We have one more piece to play for you today. And then we're done. To reach kids who might be hard to reach because of the difficulties coming down to symphony hall or economic issues.

David Majure: The concert series is made possible by private donations and public grants and contributions for the schools, an investment in a new generation of concert goers. [Applause]

Ted Simons: Classroom concerts, special performances for schools at symphony hall, and the family concert series all fall under the leadership of Joseph Young, the symphony's resident conductor. I recently spoke with Young about these outreach programs. Thanks for joining us tonight on “Horizon."
Joseph Young: No problem.
Ted Simons: What are we talking about here? Music, education and outreach program for kids?

Joseph Young The Phoenix symphony really caters to a wide variety of patrons and one of the things I'm ahead of is our education programs and our family series and this year we're trying to do something a little different with our family series. Our family series is focusing on literacy. So every -- or literature, so every concert has a book tied to it. And it's more of a shared experience for families. I think of families can -- can share the book with their kids before coming to the program and then get a really different experience with having a symphony orchestra perform some of these books with live music. Some people -- kids may think that, you know, classical music is daunting and we're going to -- music is daunting and we're doing a show called "Dr. Seuss" and when you hear "green eggs and ham" played as an opera. But when you put it to something familiar like "green eggs and ham, it changes the experience. We're trying to give them something new and traditional.

Ted Simons: You mentioned opera, is it something more like a play.

Joseph Young: That one, Dr. Seuss is going to be more like a opera. We have a soprano and we have Beethoven which is more of a play about Beethoven's life and that the concert, hear about his life but also here -- you hear excerpts from his symphonies or concertos and they're exposed to Beethoven and not knowing it through a play.

Ted Simons: How do you keep these kids attention? How do you know when you’ve got them and when you might be losing them?

Joseph Young: Kids are the easiest audience to read. When they start to get a little loud in the audience, we know we're losing them. But we try to keep most of our pieces short. Four or five minutes and try to capture them that way. We also give them example what is we're playing before we play the whole piece so we want them to listen to the Oboe, who may sound like a rooster crowing. We tell them about that before. What we're trying to do with our family series is to create something new and traditional and combining them to keep the kids' attentions.

Ted Simons: In baseball games, they say - an inning per year. A two-year-old is going to last about two innings, a five-year-old is going to last maybe five innings. How long do these pieces last as far as Symphony is concerned?

Joseph Young: We can play a whole symphony for an hour, but we wouldn't do that to kids.
Ted Simons: Yeah.
Joseph Young: We keep it about four or five minutes.

Ted Simons: Talk about your background. How long have you been in Arizona with the Phoenix symphony?

Joseph Young: I’ve been with the Phoenix symphony for a year and four months, before this year, I was considered the assisting conductor and this season, I was promoted to the resident conductor.

Ted Simons: What's the difference there?

Joseph Young: The difference is I get more conducting responsibilities, I'm doing a lot with the pop series and the family series and the education series and they also gave me a classics performance as well.

Ted Simons: When did the classic bug hit you? Was it aa-ha moment?

Joseph Young: I started playing trumpet at the age of 12 but didn't see a orchestra until I was 16. And when I saw that orchestra, I was hooked. I told my parent, I want it be a conductor at 16. So really focused from that age on that this is what I wanted to do. And so I think that's why it's important that I'm in the education part of the orchestra because we're hitting kids at the age of kindergarten and to have a kid come up and say I want to play the harp at kindergarten, and have that opportunity. I didn't have that opportunity. So to be a part of their life and have them experience this is really important to me.

Ted Simons: And that visceral thing when the orchestra hits and they're all doing that, is that what hit you, A, and B, do you see it hitting the kids?

Joseph Young That's what hit me, the sheer sound of a orchestra, it changed me. I -- orchestra, it changed me. Recording is pretty daunting to most, but when you go in an auditorium and see an orchestra and see the teamwork, that gives you a whole different experience and that's the experience that got me, and when I do these education concerts and bring them into the halls, I see it
hit a lot of kids and I feel it's important for me to reach out even for. They keep my energy up when I see them smiling while we're playing.

Ted Simons: For folks who say never mind the kids, for adult, it's too much work, too difficult to understand and if you don't understand it, it's hard to appreciate it. How do you respond?

Joseph Young: For me, the orchestra caters to everyone. We're playing pop music and music from Broadway and people who think that classical music may be daunting, there are times when where music is not supposed to be understood and that's ok. There are times when conductors are explaining what the composer's intentions were before we play a piece. If it's daunting, sometimes there’s a way out of it. Sometimes there's a way to -- to just close your eyes and just enjoy it. So sometimes there's just music for sheer enjoyment and I think that's the biggest thing for me. The first time I hear something, it's about enjoyment. The second time, what's the intention of -- of the music.

Ted Simons: Yeah.

Joseph Young: So I think -- I think everyone should be giving the orchestra a chance.

Ted Simons: Last question: And I love to ask this of classical folks. There's so much to choose from. Is there a -- desert island. A favorite piece -- all-time favorite piece of music. Number one on the hit parade?

Joseph Young: Number one of the hit parade - I would say Prokofiev’s fifth symphony that's fun and dramatic and lighthearted and has everything.

Ted Simons: Prokofiev’s fifth symphony - Someone checks it out and just listen to it. Don’t try to make any sense?

Joseph Young: Don't try to make sense of it. You'll hear a big sound but also a lot of fun that happens in that piece as well.

Ted Simons: Family series starts when?

Joseph Young: We have our first family series a weekend in December with our holiday family series.

Ted Simons: Very good. Good to have you here and thanks for joining us.

Joseph Young: Thanks for having me.

Election Preview: Phoenix Mayoral Race

  |   Video
  • Arizona Republic reporter Lynh Bui provides a preview of the November 8th Phoenix mayoral election between Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett.
  • Lynh Bui - Arizona Republic
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: phoenix, mayor, elections,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The race to become the next mayor of Phoenix concludes on election day, Tuesday. Here to talk about the contest between Wes Gullett and Greg Stanton is "Arizona Republic" reporter, Lyhn Bui. Thanks for joining us.

Lyhn Bui: Thanks for having me.

Ted Simons: How is the race shaping up?

Lyhn Bui: It's shaping up to be a little more competitive and ugly and nasty as we hit the home stretch with a lot of mailers from various groups. You know, it's kind of getting down there in the mud, but they're working it.

Ted Simons: Let's talk each candidate. Wes Gullett. What is he emphasizing?

Lyhn Bui: He's hitting hard on the union versus taxpayer has been the theme. We see a lot of signs in front of Greg Stanton's signs that say "union owned" or something like that and Gullett came out with a TV ad, that said, kids first and I'll be the candidate to put kids first and Greg Stanton voted for all of these union contracts and endorsed by the union.

Ted Simons: Is that significantly different? We've been hearing a little bit of that throughout the campaign. New spin or basically the same thing or only ramped up.
Lyhn Bui: It's ramped up and the newest ad, the spin you get is the can Is first bit. Because Stanton, when on the council voted for employee contract, look, this money could have gone to after-school programs and Stanton has been pushing himself hard as the education mayor and that twist is something new near the end.

Ted Simons: Honor the Stanton side, what's the emphasis?

Lyhn Bui: A lot of, hey, remember Wes Gullett? He's a lobbyist. If you haven't heard. And also, you know, still hammering his education campaign. This week, he came out with a piece trying to distinguish himself with Gullett, reminding people that he wants to be very aggressive in terms of expanding the light rail and Wes Gullett has said we shouldn't spend any more money on light rail until we capitalize on the system we have.

Ted Simons: Same question, any of that seem like it's any different than what was said earlier of the just another ramp-up? I'm asking because seems like this race has yet to catch the imagination of the public. Phoenix, obviously people care, but what's going on? We're not seeing the dynamic, it is the mayor of Phoenix we're talking about here.
Lyhn Bui: I think the issue with being the mayor of Phoenix, we have a council manager form of government. The city manager is in charge of the day-to-day, unlike Chicago where you can bring in a whole new administration and I think we haven't seen a lot in the home stretch. We have with mailers and robocalls and TV ads but the final days we already have 124,000 ballots already cast.

Ted Simons: Interesting. What does that say?

Lyhn Bui: That a lot of people already made up their minds and the final push is really just getting out the vote and a numbers game and get as many ads as we can.

Ted Simons: What you're seeing and hearing, what -- maybe there will not be one single big issue in this race, but something that you think -- what -- what are -- what do people care about out there?

Lyhn Bui: We hear a lot about people talking about the food tax. There's a discussion whether people notice that two bucks a month or goes on their bill and I think definitely a lot of the emphasis from the national level. It's all over the place right now.

Ted Simons: Any polling right now?

Lyhn Bui: Kind of rough numbers but I think Stanton ahead.

Ted Simons: And so with consensus on the LDA right, a tight race. We're not sure?

Lyhn Bui: Not sure, I guess it's how reliable the numbers floating around are. But Greg has been ahead throughout and -- you know, but Gullett's folks are trying and there's a conflicting poll saying they're within the margin of err.

Ted Simons: Do we know who has raised more money?

Lyhn Bui: Greg Stanton has raised the most money out of the campaign. More than half a million dollars. This campaign finance period, Gullett for the first time out-raised Greg and the theory was that well Gullett was running against four other conservatives and that support now has funneled to him. But the most interesting thing has been the outside money and, you know, these shadow groups as some like to call them.

Ted Simons: Yeah.

Lyhn Bui: Throwing their support to Greg and Wes.

Ted Simons: And we still don't know who they are, do we?

Lyhn Bui: We don't, but, you know, the secretary of state is looking into it. And by the time the election rounds up, maybe we'll find out.

Ted Simons: Well, we'll find out Tuesday and have you back to dissect. Thanks for joining us.

Election Preview: Senate LD18 Recall Race

  |   Video
  • Arizona Republic reporter Alia Rau provides a preview of the November 8th Senate LD18 recall election between incumbent Senate President Russell Pearce and challenger Jerry Lewis.
  • Alia Rau - Arizona Republic
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: recall, pearce, lewis, election,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Here now to talk more about the recall election in Mesa’s District 18 is Alia Rau. She's been covering the race for "The Arizona Republic." Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.

Alia Rau: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Ted Simons: We heard about the "Capitol Times" poll. Statistical dead heat. Lewis a couple of percentage points. Does that surprise you?

Alia Rau: It doesn't. We've heard of polls for about a month saying similar things. It's a little bit surprising, close to the election. You would think that somebody would pull ahead.

Ted Simons: And 2.5% for Olivia Cortes even when told she is not in the race. We need to mention that the pollster told Jim that might be people pressing the wrong button on the phone or wanting to monkey with the system. 2.5% is a sizeable for folks who’ve just been told she is not in the race.
Alia Rau: Right.
Ted Simons: we are in the home statute. What are you seeing out there? Give us an overview.

Alia Rau: Everybody is going high speed. Sheriff Joe coming out this weekend to knock on doors for senator Pearce. The Lewis campaign out in the neighborhood and new videos coming out and independent groups spending all kinds of money throwing out mailers at the last minute. Everybody is going as hard as they can right now. Particularly because everybody does think it is dead heat. Anybody can win.

Ted Simons: As far as the backlash, are you hearing any backlash from the Cortes affair? Is that a play out there or is that old news now.

Alia Rau: It is little bit of old news. You can see this linger in the voters’ minds as they go to cast their ballot. But in terms of talk, not hearing it as much.

Ted Simons: What are you hearing? What's the major issue right now?

Alia Rau: I think concern how the election is being played. You've got senator Pearce who has been tough. His campaign has made accusations and supporters made accusations against Lewis. He's been fighting in the election and Lewis said I'm going to stay positive and defended himself but hasn't come back. There are studies that say going negative, pushing hard works.

Ted Simons: The Pearce campaign seems to be targeting what as far as Lewis? Experience, what are they --

You're seeing some of that and his stance on immigration issues and that's the biggest difference between the two candidates and some say the only difference in terms of issues. You've got the accusations in terms of what may happen with him giving clothing that was donated to the homeless school to a teacher. Some things -- where the money is coming from. That's the big thing in the last couple weeks, who is getting the money? Who is spending money on your behalf.

Ted Simons: That idea that the recall has been led by outsiders, the Pearce campaign still pushing that pretty hard?

Alia Rau: Absolutely.

Alia Rau: How about the Lewis campaign that Russell Pearce is getting money from the outside.

Alia Rau: They're pushing on that too.

Ted Simons: What else is Lewis pushing here?

Alia Rau: He's still, like I said, hasn't gone after Pearce much. Your seeing a little bit from his campaign on where does Pearce's money come from, who is supporting Pearce. The amount of money or lack thereof that came donated to Pearce but for the most part, he's in a little bit of a defense mode in terms of defending himself.

Ted Simons: You mentioned Sheriff Arpaio going door to door, a shall the big Republicans still lining up behind Pearce. Making the robocalls or pounding on doors or where are they?

Alia Rau: For sure with the robo calls, not sure about knocking on the doors. We are seeing press realeases and e-mails. Yesterday, we got a surprise - "A email from Kirk Adams, the former speaker of the house who has stayed out of the race and been criticized for not backing Pearce and came out and criticized Pearce supporters for the negative attacks against Lewis. Didn't go as far as endorsing.

Ted Simons: Does something like that play out there? Could that swing --

Alia Rau: No, no, that's politics. I don't know about that, but it was fun.

Ted Simons: Also, the capitol times poll showed an even-steven split among LDS voters.
Alia Rau: Right.
Ted Simons: When you are out there You talking to folks here and there, seem like the same thing?

Alia Rau: Absolutely, the neighborhood -- certain neighborhoods are packed with signs. Some neighborhoods with street -- streets with a lot of Lewis signs and streets with a lot of Pearce signs. It's an emotional election.

Ted Simons: Can voters expect lots of mailers in their mailboxes the next few days?

Alia Rau: I would think so. But a lot of early voters are probably turning in stuff or have already.

Ted Simons: Have you heard anything along the line of a bombshell or something that someone is waiting for for the final weekend?

Alia Rau: Not yet. But there's always something.

Ted Simons: You never know. Well, thank you so much. I know it's a grind for you, but it's -- at least it's a close race. Covering a horse race.

Alia Rau: Absolutely, it's fun. Thank you.

Public Opinion Poll: Russell Pearce Recall Election

  |   Video
  • Jim Small of the Arizona Capitol Times discusses a new poll that shows a dead heat between the candidates.
  • Jim Small - Arizona Capitol Times
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: recall, pearce, lewis, election,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. "The Arizona Capitol Times" is out with a new poll that looks at the Russell Pearce recall election. Here to tell us what the numbers show is Jim Small of "the Arizona Capitol Times." Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
Jim Small: Thanks for having me.
Ted Simons: All right, first of all, what did you ask, what did you find?

Jim Small: Yes, we spoke with almost 600 voters in district 18. The poll that we commissioned along with ABC15 news and asked them, who are you going to vote for? If the election was today, who would you vote for, among Russell Pearce, Jerry Lewis, and Olivia Cortes, whose name still appears on the ballot even though she is no longer an official candidate.
What we found was a statistical dead heat. Jerry Lewis got 46%, Russell Pearce got 43%, Olivia Cortes got and 2.5% and about 8% were undecided. The difference, the three point difference between the candidates is within the margin of error, about 3.95%.

Ted Simons: Now the Cortes factor - did you inform whoever you were talking to that she is not—how is that information passed on?

Jim Small: Yeah we did. We told the voters – Hey, there's going to be three names on the ballot, here are the names and Olivia Cortes, even though she is no longer a candidate and asked them who would they vote for.
Ted Simons: And what did she get again?
Jim Small: 2.5%.
Ted Simons: 2.5%. Ok. What else -- more questions asked on this thing?

Jim Small: Basically the other main question we asked whether the voter was Mormon, a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And we got about 160 or so people who said that they were and interestingly you saw that Jerry Lewis was slightly ahead of Russell Pearce among Mormons and obviously there's a lot of discussion about the Mormon’s church's stance on immigration and how that plays a role in the campaign.

Ted Simons: Within the margin of error as general, dead heat otherwise. Dead heat among LDS voters. It's shaping to be a tight race.

Jim Small: And it was a dead heat among Republican voters. Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis separated by only a couple of votes and that was shocking and is going to catch a lot of people off guard.

Ted Simons: Did you ask what issues resonate or anything along those lines? Or just who are you leaning toward?

Jim Small: We didn't do any issues. We just did a straight ballot test. We are only five days away from the election day so I think it weekend will see a flurry of activity as both campaigns get the voters out to the polls to maximize their support.

Ted Simons: Ok how was the sampling done, what kind of sample size and when, when was it done?

Jim Small: The poll was done November 1st, a couple of days ago and we chose the voters off a voter list. Took lists of Republicans, Democrats and independents who and in order to qualify they had to have voted in two of last three general elections, so people who are motivated and likely to show up.

Ted Simons: Last question. What do we take from the poll?

Jim Small: I think we take that Tuesday is going to be a fun night. No one knows what is going to happen. This echoes the result he we heard through the grapevine. There haven't been other public polls and that this race is close and probably too close to call.

Ted Simons: I was going to ask, you're a political observer, you've heard little sample polling here and there. Does it surprise you at all?

Jim Small: This actually fit pretty much exactly what we had been hearing, so I guess in that sense it wasn’t a surprise. But six months ago, to win the recall -- when the petitions weren't even turned in yet. This is a surprise. I don’t think most people back then thought this would be where are sitting at now.

Ted Simons: So 46% Lewis, 43% pierce and 2.5% for Cortes. Again within the margin f error. Who knows what will happen Tuesday.

Jim Small: I certainly don't.

Ted Simons: Alright Jim, thank for joining us.

Jim Small: Thank you.