Background: "Music is a basic
part of us," said James Blanton who in 1983 formed Goliard Concerts, a Queens-based
performance group. With a doctorate in Musical Arts from Florida State University, Blanton
came to New York to further his musical studies and for professional opportunities. He
settled in Astoria 18 years ago because he "fell in love with the community. Im
from a small town in North Carolina," Blanton explained, "and Astoria felt like
a small town." Blanton has received a commendation for his musical contributions to
the community from the Queens borough president.
What is Goliard Concerts?
"Its a professional chamber music company and we have voices
and instruments. Our big goal is outreach, to bring music to the public and community. We
try not to perform in concert halls alone but to go to where the people are. Our office is
located in Astoria. We felt there was a need for what we do in Queens. We try to work with
many communities and organizations so that we can get to many different groups. We have
performed for or been sponsored by over 100 organizations in Queens alone, but we do
Why did you form Goliard Concerts?
"New York is full of so many wonderful, brilliant musicians I felt
that people need to experience this and I wanted to bring it to people who havent
heard classical music before."
What programs can people attend?
"You name it! We do a lot of educational programs to introduce
children and teach them about fine music. In January we began our yearly series of
KidsClassics. These are family programs at Colden Center. We do special
programs for senior citizens. We put a lot of variety into our programs. We work some
humor in, and drama, a little bit of acting. During intermission, people can come up and
Why is music important in our lives?
"Music is a part of everyones life. All people listen to
music. Its what people are. Our hearts are beating its rhythm. Language
is a musical thing. Music is just part of us, innate. What we do with that music can make
a difference in enriching our lives."
Why should children learn music?
"Because its a part of who they are. The reason to study
music is because its an integral part of our lives. Music can help heighten the
experience of life . . . help to develop creativity . . . thoughts."