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Robley is an energetic and bright young whale, but he is troubled by a unique problem. North Atlantic Right Whales have a pair of blowholes that create a V-shaped mist when they exhale warm air into the colder air at the surface of the water. When Robley first began to spout, he was surprised and frustrated that his water droplets formed into all the wrong alphabet letters. While Robley's mom admires his creativity, Robley wants to create the letter V to be just like the other whales. As Robley and his mom begin their long migration from the southern calving areas off the Florida/Georgia coast to the cool, northern feeding areas off the Cape Cod Bay, Robley discovers threats from approaching ships. With danger quickly approaching, will Robley's unique ability help keep him and the other whales safe from harm? The story can be experienced in two formats: an illustrated children's picture book and a unique, narrated video with a specially composed orchestral soundtrack. The book's QR code launches the "Right Whale, Wrong Letter" webpage containing an original, narrated, orchestral soundtrack with storybook illustrations and actual North Atlantic Right Whale nature footage. In the music for the soundtrack, the composer manipulates the elements of rhythm, pitch, contour, texture, and orchestration to directly mimic North Atlantic Right Whale behaviors and locomotion that correspond to events described in the story. The North Atlantic Right Whale is an endangered species with less than 350 whales remaining. The final pages of the book provide conservation information to highlight ways that we can help to protect these whales.
About the Author
David MacKenzie is co-founder and Music Director for the nonprofit organization Sound Explorations. David's career spans more than forty years as a conductor, educator, composer, and arranger. He has guest-conducted orchestras across the United States and internationally, and his permanent positions have included Music Director of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts, Music Director of Mastersingers by the Sea in Massachusetts, and Artistic Director of Rogue Opera in Oregon. In 1994, he was invited by the government of Colombia to become the Music Director of the National Symphonic Band of Colombia, a professional wind ensemble. Dr. MacKenzie received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Tennessee in 1974 and a Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University. In 2011, he received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
Terry Wolkowicz is co-founder and Education Director for the non-profit organization Sound Explorations. For more than two decades, she has been designing innovative integrated arts educational curricula. Her background includes 15 years as a public and private school music educator, and Education Director for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, Terry was named New Bedford Woman of the Year for her contributions to the community, and in 2014 she was chosen as a Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winner by the New England Patriots Foundation. In 2016, her arts integrated curricula has received the Excellence in Education Award from the Goldin Foundation and the Massachusetts Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. Terry received her bachelor's degree in music education from the New England Conservatory of Music and a master's degree in education from Harvard University.