Turner’s Bell Schedule Got a New Ring this Month – Brien Engel

Douglasville, Georgia – On the morning of September 25, the Cultural Arts Council Douglasville/ Douglas County (CAC) announced a September ARTSventure to Turner Middle School.  Brien Engel, one of the few glass harpist musicians in the world, played an instrument almost three centuries old – 50 wine glasses each making a different sound as he glides his fingers across the rims. Engel played multiple songs, some classical and others pulled directly from recent Disney movies. He demonstrated various instruments created out of household items, all the while explaining how the effects are created, from balanced forces to vibrations changing resonance.

What did Engle share?

Principal John Chandler spoke to his student body throughout the performance, commenting on how the presentation recapped recent lessons. Principal Chandler was exceptionally appreciative that Engel referred to principles of earth sciences and natural sciences, social studies, World History, and even American History. Engel incorporated the experimental breakthroughs of Benjamin Franklin as an inventor and appreciator of various early instruments. Engel demonstrated and explained the molecular mysteries of sound, and discussed how glass is made from sand. Engel expressed to CAC staff how thoroughly he maps out his learning criteria based on the Georgia Department of Education.

“He shared so much impactful information with us, so interwoven with our curriculum,” reflected Principal Chandler, “friction, the history of our earth… the historical importance of the invention of instruments and those key historical figures who brought them to America. I’m so excited that my students got to experience this because learning isn’t just about what happens in the classroom… [these programs] help to extend learning beyond what’s in the textbooks.” Other teachers willingly commented, “The presentation was all cross-curricular, engaging, and interactive.” And a science teacher confirmed, “The integration of arts and education fits my science curriculum [since] we cover sound waves in the Spring.”

Through funding from the Georgia Council for the Arts, GreyStone Power Foundation, and Douglas County School System, the CAC provides these educational productions to students to enrich their curriculum topics, bring awareness to diverse cultures, or share unexpected sources of learning. The CAC hopes that school staff will reference these relevant demonstrations in the classroom. Perhaps ARTSventures will refresh teachers’ passions amongst their daily routine, and remind them how widely those passions are shared. Maybe the visiting artists can bridge awareness to both staff and students that efforts to instill enlightenment in the next generation are not a job that teachers are doing alone.

CAC Quick Facts

The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County, located at 8652 Campbellton Street in historic downtown Douglasville, Georgia, is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For directions and more information, visit www.artsdouglas.org or contact the Cultural Arts Council at 770.949.2787.

The mission of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County is to nurture, guide and stimulate the enjoyment of and participation in the arts among Douglas County residents by providing an atmosphere conducive to the arts, broadening the spectrum of quality exhibits and performances available to the community, and fostering individual interactions with the arts through a wide range of satellite groups. The Cultural Arts Council is supported in part by the City of Douglasville and the Douglas County Board of Commissioners