Naturally, the endpoint to learning songs and playing an instrument is performing for an audience. I remember my journey with all of its fits and starts…and stops. To help students along their own journey, this class will group students of similar age, genre and interests and give them an opportunity to learn how to play together and get prepared for the stage. The class will consist of 10 60-minute weekly sessions, a dress rehearsal and finally a performance. Repertoire will be selected from what the members already know or what can be agreed upon to learn. All learning materials will provided. Students will bring their instruments to weekly rehearsals (amplification, microphones drum kit and PA provided). The class is open to: guitarists, bassists, vocalists, keyboardists and drummers.
On November 8, 1-3pm, Highland Guitar Studio, in collaboration with the CT Guitar Society, will host a masterclass with 2014 Guitar Foundation of America Competition winner, Ekachai Jearakul. The event is free for CT Guitar Society members to audit the class, and $10 for those not currently CGS members. Participation fee for CGS members is $15 and $30 for non-members.
So a lot has happen since my last post. Clearly, my resolution to blog more often has failed. But that’s half the fun of each new year: trying to keep those resolutions. With a new location for my studio, I’m inspired to begin anew. Besides, can’t you say you’ve kept your resolution if you meet it before year’s end?
Without out a doubt, moving the studio has been a chore. Nobody I know likes to move. Sure, there’s the inspiration of a new start, new opportunity. But lifting those boxes up and down the stairs tempers even the most exciting new venture. Normally, there’s a purge of unused items to lighten the load. Not so in this case. Believe me, I tried to throw stuff out. But box after box contained things that I use at some point or another. Luckily, there’s an elevator in the new building so there was only one set of stairs to lug things up. And though it’s only a service elevator, I can now say my studio will be handicap-accessible.
The new site is something I’m really excited about beyond the ‘brand new start’ business. It’s in an old mill that’s in the process of being repurposed. The temporary space the owners have put me in is the second floor of an old wool mill. 7,000 sq. ft. with big factory windows for walls. The huge sliding doors are weighted and take a little push to get them open. The neat thing is that they have a little clasp that has a low melting point should there be a fire. Once that breaks the weight would fall off and the can door close to limit the spread of flames. The stairs leading to my studio space are one of my favorite features. The treads are smoothly worn from the daily trod of workers. You might be able to shape that with a few minutes of a hand sander but it took decades of employees trying to earn their daily bread to create something authentic. Clients really dig that about the place. It may be that the building made blankets for soldiers fighting the War of 1812 and the Civil War. But I think it has to do with the fact that everything is so sturdy and built to last. You can’t say that about a Walgreens store. My guess is that you won’t find any historical societies try to save any of those buildings like they’ve done with this one.
To get things into gear, I’m planning a grand re-opening for September 19. It will feature an opportunity for folks to come by and see the new location and to hear some the studio’s products. Since it’s large enough for a small audience, my students will get to play the music they’ve worked on. The old place had ‘Downstairs @ Dynamic’, a community music performance. Many of my students took advantage and took to the stage to play their hearts out. They’ll share the stage with me and the other kinds of music I play. I’ll be playing some of music I play solo and with others. Hope you can make it.
Well, maybe, maybe not… Anyway, here’s our take on Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ ‘Home’. Enjoy!
It’s been a great year for me. Sure, it’s had its ups and downs but that’s reality. You won’t tame the sea but you can steer your own ship and ride it out. Here’s to hoping you find the following sea. For a little inspiration, here’s a video we did recently. Go ahead, sing along you know the words.
Here’s another video from the last flute/guitar session. This is my transcription/arrangement of Israel K’s rendition/arrangement of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World’.
December for me is usually a time when things have slowed down. New students wait until after Christmas to start and the wedding season has been over for a while. Like I said, ‘usually’. This year has seen the wedding season continue well into December (the last one is next weekend…maybe). A few more new students have come on board not content to wait until the new year. In the midst of this, I managed to do another A/V recording session this time with flutist, Melanie Chirignan. I’ll roll these out in the weeks to come. For now, enjoy my arrangement of ‘All You Need Is Love’.
Here is a video of an arrangement I did a couple of years ago for a wedding. It features the lovely and talented Celeste Cumming on cello. Enjoy!
I’ve recently finished editing a series of videos featuring music I’ve arranged for weddings played in the past year. They feature the wonderfully talented Celeste Cumming on cello and myself on guitar. I’ll be rolling them out for the next few weeks. Enjoy!
I’ve switched roles a bit and moved behind the camera. Here we have Bill Johnson performing his song ‘Older Now’. A Vietnam veteran of the USMC, Bill and I have worked together for several years on his songwriting. His experience and perspective provide him with an insight that few of us will ever know but need to hear.