Introducing Bell Tower Records Artist, Xilomen

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“I think that it evokes goosebumps when you are listening to it because it has a lot of spacey sounds, but it’s really like heartfelt. So I guess it’s for…I would say an experimental mind,” says Xilomen.

Xilomen is a Bell Tower Records artist from Chesapeake, Virginia who recently released her new album, Black Mamba Part 1. Music fans gathered at the album release party hosted by Bell Tower Records at Pub Webb.

“I’ve been making music for a long time and I figured it would be a good platform to get my music out to…I guess a larger audience,” says Xilomen.

The album is part of one of two. Xilomen was inspired by one of her favorite dancers for the album title.

“His name is Laurent Bourgeois from the collective. I went up to him and told him you inspire me and everything. He sees my tattoo, one of them, and he grabs my arm and says ‘Black Mamba.’ I’m going like, ‘what does that like even mean?’ But it has some kind of significance to him,” says Xilomen.

Black Mamba Part 1 is available now on the Bell Tower Music Bandcamp here.

Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market

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Christmas is almost around the corner.  Being it’s mid-December, most big box stores are selling out quick when it comes to common gift items. Well, good news if you are in Center City, make a trip down Dilworth Park, and JFK Plaza where the Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market and Christmas Village in Philadelphia have both been located since a little before Thanksgiving this year.

The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market has made it’s return to compliment the long-time annual Christmas Village in Philadelphia.  Every year, this event attracts local, national, and international shoppers with it’s vintage outdoor Market look. “I’ve enjoyed the international aspect of this event every year because people from all around the world are circulating,” says long-time small business owner Sheikha Maryam. Sheikha has been participating in the Christmas Village in Philadelphia since its inception.

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Food, handmade jewelry, soaps, and lotions, are just some of the stuff that popped up at this year’s Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market. It’s the perfect event to bring children, and even your future parents-in-law. “I would actually recommend this place to everyone I know,” says Ron Salam, a tourist and shopper, who was visiting the city of brotherly love for the first time. Ron was there with his fiancée’ and her parents.

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be running until Christmas Eve this year, and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will conclude it’s annual run in Philadelphia on January 1st, 2018.

For more information on these events visit and

TUJ Students Animated by Studio Visit

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Japanese animation, or anime, is a large part of the country’s culture and a significant influence for many American students looking to study abroad.
Studio Ghibli is one of the most famous and popular Japanese animation studios around the world. The studio, which created popular movies like Howl’s Moving Castle
and Spirited Away, even has its own museum in Mitaka, a city in western Tokyo.
To celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, some TUJ students visited the museum to learn more about Japanese animation.
Jade Davis, a junior journalism major told Temple Update she’s been watching Ghibli moves since middle school.
“They’re just really heartwarming and they have something that I feel American animated moves lack, and they’ve just been so amazing, and I’m really happy to be here,” says Davis.
Junior film major, Chineme Aniagba, says she is another huge animation fan.
“That’s one of the reasons why I came to Japan,” says Aniagba. “And I haven’t seen a lot of animation places, but this is like the place, and I really love that.”
Eight of Studio Ghibli’s films are among the 15 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, and five of the films have received Academy Award nominations.

Temple’s Contemporary Symphony of Broken Instruments

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Local musicians performed on Sunday with broken instruments to shed light on funding for musical education.

Funding for musical education in the Philadelphia school district has decreased since 2007.

Over $1 million were given to the district for musical education, since then the budget has declined to $50,000 for the entire District. Schools do not have the funds to buy or even repair broken instruments. When an instrument is damaged, the school district cannot afford its repair, putting the instruments away in storage. This problem lead Robert Blackson, Temple’s contemporary director and Sarah Beimiller, the assistant director to come up with Temple’s Symphony For A Broken Orchestra. Which are artists from the community collaborating together to play damaged instruments.

“We collected over a thousand broken instruments from the school district and went and recorded all of the sounds that the sounds those broken instruments made. David Lang composed a piece based on those broken instruments,” Beilmiller shared.

The piece that David Lang composed gave the instruments life and new ways to use them. The piece was very profound, emphasizing that although the instruments are damaged, they are still valuable. With the help of Found Sound Nation, a nonprofit that helps bring music to inner city schools, over 350 volunteers and students played the broken instruments to help raise money to repair these instruments, and donate them back to the school district.

Ginger Smith says, “We thought it was a perfect opportunity to give back to the institutions that have also grown us.”

Temple contemporary will continue to collaborate with professionals to fix these instruments for the students of the Philadelphia school district.

Diamond Marching Band Holds Annual Indoor Concert

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Diamond Marching Band had their annual indoor concert Sunday afternoon.

The band played 39 songs, including T for Temple U and the Temple Fight song.

Throughout the concert, some members went up to the front of the stage to dance.

The band calls themselves “The Pride of the Cherry and White.” The band includes opportunities for color guard, instrumentalists, and twirlers from every school and college at Temple University.

More information about the band and upcoming performances can be found here.

Behind the Notes: Student Music Recital

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Thirteen students were given the opportunity to show off their piano skills at a recital called Beyond the Note. They have been preparing since the beginning of the semester.

Charles Abramovic, Chair of the Keyboard Department at the College of Music and Dance, has been teaching at Temple since 1990. He chose music pieces composed by Antonin Dvorak, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Frances Poulenc, Alfred Schnittke, Gioachino Rossini, Benjamin Lees, Mortiz Moszkowski, and Aleksandr Scriabin to challenge students’ musicianship.

Charles Abramovic speaking before the performances start.

Abramovic stated, “I was trying to find short, attractive pieces, and things that would match the students’ abilities. That’s why I chose Dvoark and Korsakov.”

Abramovic made sure that incoming students in the program were able to hone and enhance their skills by being partnered with a veteran of the program. He believes that both students can learn from each other, no matter how much experience a person may have.

Circus at Fairmount Park: UniverSoul Circus

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UniverSoul Circus is celebrating its 24th year of family entertainment.

The interactive circus will have people out of their seats dancing and laughing. Just like all circuses, it has a variety of animals and mouth-dropping acts. But what makes this circus so unique is its traditional soul line.

Temple Update met up with the ringleader sidekick, Zeke, who said that, “We have new acts that are out of this world. But then we also have our traditional things.”

The UniverSoul Circus consists of many different acts, but also tries to get the community of Philadelphia involved.

For its opening act, the circus had youth dancers from all over Philadelphia dance for the opening shows. This circus does not just cater to kids, it caters to adults as well.

Michael Martin of Burlington, New Jersey told Temple Update that he relives his childhood through the circus.

“I’m actually reliving my childhood through my grandchildren and the circus. So, I’m a big kid at the circus,” said Martin.

UniverSoul Circus is also home of Fresh the Clown. He told us, “Because of the clown stuff that has been happening, it kind of helped our image. Kids now look at us as superheroes or super clowns.”  

People can head down to Fairmount Park to watch the circus in person Tuesday through Sunday. Show times and tickets can be found at

Day of the Dead

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Last week was a celebration of Mexican culture with Day of the Dead, which started Tuesday October 31st and lasted to Thursday November 2nd.  Day of the Dead is a special Mexican tradition to honor their ancestors.

Cesar Viveros, an artist affiliated with the Mexican Cultural Center talked about why different aspects of the holiday are important. He shared a few words about the festive holiday:

“So the big tradition is Day of the Day is a special day where we can always live with the departed ones.”

Saturday October 28th, the Mexican Culture Center partnered with the Penn Museum where they coordinated a Day of the Dead event filled with a variety of activities.

People from the community had the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and the way they celebrate their ancestors through music, dance, jewelry and art.

Cesar Viveros said, “This year was dedicated to the victims of the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico and the earthquake that devastated part of Mexico City and other cities around,” sharing the importance of the alter and what it represents.

Children were dressed up to be part of the day of the dead to commemorate their ancestors. They also made gifts such as flowers, sugar skulls and jewelry to present at the altar.

Temple students took the initiative to engage with the community, volunteering for the Mexican cultural center, assisting at the face-painting table.

Meztli Cardoso, the President of Asociacion de Estudiantes Latinos (AdEL) was face-painting while describing its significance. “The living dress up as the dead to connect with the spiritual after-world life.”

This event was a combination of fun and knowledge. Happy day of the dead.

Screening of Temple Graduate Joe Mederios’ New Documentary

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On Monday, October, 23rd at 3 PM there will be a free screening of a new documentary called Processions of Faith in Annenberg Hall room 201.

This is a smart documentary about a church that is still the center of the Los Angeles Italian community, even though the Little Italy neighborhoods in Los Angeles are diminishing.

The filmmaker of this documentary is Joe Mederios, who is a Temple graduate and the former head writer of NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Mederios at the screening.