Long Beach Middle School Students Experience Early American Music

On March 1, Long Beach Middle School’s instrumental music students attended demonstrations of Early American Music by members of The Stony Brook "Roots" Ensemble. This chamber music group was formed in 2015 by Taylor Ackley with the goal of bringing the tradition of music making into concert halls and academic settings. 

The ensemble has performed across the nation and presents at lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses. During the visit to Long Beach Middle School, they focused on folk music as well as Bluegrass, Country and Western Swing. 

Ackley played various string instruments including the guitar, banjo and mandolin and was joined by Alison Rowe on the cello and Wil Dannenberg on the tuba. All three are vocalists as well and sang throughout the performances. For several pieces, teacher David Lobenstein accompanied the group on the bass. 

At the end of each period-long presentation, the ensemble opened the floor to questions from the students. The professionals shared details about their passion for music, experiences as performers and dedication to practicing daily.