By Stephanie Kistner, Education & Programs Associate
For the second summer in a row, P.S. ARTS teamed up with The Yale Black Alumni Association, and the Association of Yale Alumni, to host the Summer Institute of the Arts (“SIA”) at Lennox Middle School, in Lennox, California.
The program targets middle school students and exposes them to careers and higher education opportunities in the arts by introducing students to professionals who work in the arts.
Jongnic Bontemps, who heads up the SIA Los Angeles chapter, kicked off this summer’s program by sharing with students his experiences as a composer and orchestrator for film and video games.
Other guest speakers this summer included Tanya Greig, head of music at Telemundo, Jaime Paglia, Executive Producer of “Eureka” and Christopher Lennertz, a musical composer for film, television and video games who’s probably best known for his musical score for the 2007 film “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
The students, excited about Lennertz’s work, asked him some great questions, including:
“How did you become interested in music?”
Lennertz: “I started playing the trumpet in band when I was in elementary school. From there I moved on to playing the guitar, because, to be honest, I thought the guitar was cooler than the trumpet, and that girls liked it better. After high school I knew that I wanted to continue pursuing music, so I attended the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. After a lot of hard work, here I am today.”
“How long does it take to make music for for movies and video games?”
Lennertz: “Film soundtracks typically take about 3-6 weeks to produce. Video games take much longer, more like 5 – 6 months.”
And my favorite questions: “Have you ever given up?” and “Do you ever get stressed?”
It turns out that while yes, Mr. Lennertz does get stressed at times, he has never given up. According to Lennertz, “if you do what you love, and this is what I love, then it feels like a lot less work, and a lot more fun.”
SIA’s fundamental belief is that the study of the arts, like painting, dance, or music have a meaningful and positive impact on children. We couldn’t agree more! We’re proud to support SIA in their mission to develop young people’s characters and minds through the study of the arts.