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San Jose Schools Celebrate Beethoven with Essay Contest


San Jose Schools Join San Jose State University’s Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies in Birthday Celebration

San Jose State University’s Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and the San Jose Jewish Film Festival have teamed up with the San Jose Schools in an event to celebrate the San Jose State University’s Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies twenty first year. The celebration event also includes the premiere of the film “Beethoven’s Hair” at the San Jose Jewish Film Festival. This will be an event for the whole community held in downtown San Jose in October.

The 2006 San Jose Jewish Film Festival will be the central event and is where the film “Beethoven’s Hair” will be shown. This film follows the perilous journey across 179 and two continents of a lock of Beethoven’s hair. In 1827, a lock of hair was clipped from Beethoven on his deathbed. This lock of hair can now be found in the San Jose State University’s Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies. The film “Beethoven’s Hair” examines how the lock of hair was passed from generation to generation and how it survived the Holocaust and World War II.

The San Jose Jewish Film Festival will host a fundraiser and celebration event near the end of October. At this event, which will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. library, all participants will screen a private viewing of the film “Beethoven’s Hair” and meet the director Larry Weinstein for a question and answer discussion about the film. The author of the original book “Beethoven’s Hair”, the source for the film, will also be in attendance. Russell Martin will sign complimentary copies of his book and speak at the event. Everyone at this event will receive a private tour of the San Jose State University’s Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, which has in its collection numerous personal letters and musical compositions written by Beethoven along with the previously mentioned lock of hair clipped right from his head.

San Jose Schools Beethoven Essay Contest

For its part in the birthday celebration event, the San Jose Schools have created a special essay competition. The person behind the essay contest is the Assistant Superintendent of San Jose Schools, Dr. Dr. Bill Erlendson. Dr. Erlendson believes that music appreciation is an important facet in the education of all San Jose Schools’ students. The essay contest will be open to almost 30,000 students in grades fourth through twelfth. The main idea behind the essay is that Beethoven had a huge impact on the musical world and hopefully this essay contest will help to raise the students’ awareness about the importance of music in their lives.

For the San Jose Schools’ Beethoven Essay Contest participating students must write at least 250 words about one of four topics. The four choices are:

1. What important lessons did Beethoven’s life teach us?
2. How did Beethoven change music history?
3. How was Beethoven’s life different from/the same as Mozart’s?
4. Beethoven was inspired by nature and social events. What things inspire you to do a better job?

The Beethoven essays are due September 29, 2006. One grand prize winner, from each level of elementary, middle and high school, will attended the private screening of “Beethoven’s Hair”. While the five first place winners will receive tickets to the public screenings at the 2006 San Jose Jewish Film Festival.

Submitted by:

Stacy Andell

Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more information on San Jose schools visit http://www.schoolsk-12.com/california/san-jose/index.html





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