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Musical Resources
June Master Sale - Featured Violin - Francois Breton

Francois Breton - France - 1778-1830

Francois Breton was a violin maker who did most of his work between 1778-1830 in Mirecourt, France.  He was the personal luthier to the Duchesse d’Angouleme.  He was a very prolific make and was imitated by many others.  His style was quite refined, generally a little over-sized, with flat arch and clear yellow varnish.  Thousands of factory made instruments were produced in his style after his death.  Breton also made good cellos and bows.  He would often put a brand on the back button and occasionally inscribe on the pegbox “F. Breton.”  His printed label would read F Breton, Musicarius, Mitecurti, anno 1805, F Breton brevete Luthier de S.A.R., Mme, la Duchesse d’Angouleme.  Breton died in 1830.  Link to  web page:  Breton

 

 

 

 

Here's a link to the sound bite:  Breton Sound

June Master Sale - Featured Violin - Ernest Mumby

Ernest Mumby - British Maker - 1888-1929

This is the Ernest Mumby Violin.  He was born in 1888.  He worked in Tottenham, North London, United Kingdom.  He was a pupil of Whitmarsh.  His work is considered Classic English Violin making and displays good workmanship and good materials.  Golden Music's Mumby violin has a beuatiful mellow, expressive and warm tone.  Mumby died in London in 1929.  Here is a link to our web page for this violin:  Mumby

Gregory Walker Guest Conductor works with our Chamber Orchestra

Since his 2009 Philadelphia Orchestra debut, praised by the American Record Guide as a performance of “precision and rapturous immediacy,” Gregory Walker has gained international recognition for his "beautifully calibrated phrasing," “ravishingly beautiful” tone, and the “sheer virtuoso force”of his delivery. While developing unique collaborations with the Poland's SinfoniaVarsovia, Filharmonia Sudecka and the Encuentro Musical de los Americas in Havana, Cuba, as well as the Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Breckenridge Festival Orchestra, the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra, Ft. Collins Symphony, Yaquina Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and the Bavarian Youth Orchestra in Germany, he has been engaged at Norway's Tromsø Cathedral Series, the Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York, the Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras, Cork Orchestral Society Concert Series in Ireland, and at the U.S. Library of Congress.


Profiled in the internationally-distributed 2012 Chuck Fryberger documentary, Song of the Untouchable, Walker's discography includes critically-acclaimed releases from the Newport Classic, CRI, Orion, Centaur, and Leonarda record labels. He has performed with pop star Lyle Lovett and, as past concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared with Mstislav Rostropovich and Itzhak Perlman, as well as Doc Severinsen and the Marcus Roberts Trio. Walker has been featured on National Public Radio, in Strings magazine, and on the cover of the April 2007 International Musician. He can be heard on Albany Records' 2014 recording of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker’s Violin Sonata No. 2.

Announcing our new Guitar Teacher - AMAZING!!! Open House 11/17 6-6:30

Pete Pigeon - Guitar Songwriting Didgeridoo

Pete recently moved here from the East coast where he taught private lessons for 19 years.  He has developed a customized approach to help each student achieve their potential.  Pete excels at developing an accessible personable report and adapts his curriculum to suit each student’s independent needs and desires.  He has extreme patience and a good-humored nature.  This has yielded powerful results with students from age 5 to adult.  His personal endeavors include spiritual growth and travel.  He holds a degree in Jazz Guitar from the State University of New York.  He is versatile in Jazz, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop, Alternative Country, Groove, Fusion, Experimental, Acoustic, World Music and more.

We will have an open house at the Lakewood location on Monday 11/17 from 6-6:30.  You can meet Pete, hear him play, and learn about his teaching style.  Refreshments will be served.

Pete has shared the stage with some of the best musicians across the country from Oregon to New York City.  He has been a working musicians since before he was old enough to drive to his own gigs.  He worked in the bands as guitars and singer.  He has had press describe him as:  plays guitar like a roadhouse Pat Metheny and has the easy touch of George Benson...has a knack for digging into the soul of a song...and more...  He was nominated for a Grammy for his music in 2012...  

 

Here's a Vimeo video of a Grammy interview:  http://vimeo.com/68186101

Should Your Beginning School Band Student Take Private Lessons?

The quick answer is YES! Private instruction is when a student is able to work one-on-one with a professional musician, the private teacher is able to work more in depth with the student on their instrument. Students will get help with developing a more professional tone on the instrument, fundamentals of playing their instrument correctly with better technique and help with a set of goals that will help your student excel on their instrument. Of course, the student must do their part and practice the lessons and assignments that the private teacher assigns to the student. Over the years, we know that when a student studies privately, they will improve as a musician. We have never witnessed a student become a worse musician when studying privately. What could be easier to help your student improve on their instrument by taking lessons?

Gregory Walker - An Inspiration to Musicians

Five questions for Gregory Walker

From a family of scholars and musicians, he grew to become an ‘interpretive artist in the classroom from CU

Four generations of Gregory Walker’s family have been scholars and musicians. So perhaps it was destiny – but probably more so an abundance of talent – that he has become a critically acclaimed violinist and award-winning composer as well as a professor at the University of Colorado Denver.

“I don’t think I really got to choose a career … I didn’t really think in terms of having a choice,” Walker says. His father, George T. Walker, is a composer and pianist and the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. George Walker also taught at CU-Boulder. Gregory’s mother, Helen Walker-Hill, is a pianist and music historian, holds a degree from CU and also was a faculty member. Gregory’s grandfather, George Siemens, taught genetics at CU Denver.

Even before he finished his doctoral work at CU in 1992, a family friend – Associate Professor Emeritus Donna Bogard – encouraged Gregory to apply for a teaching position at the university: “Way back in 1991, the music faculty here knew they wanted somebody comfortable with rock music, but really didn’t know where to start. Lucky me.”

Walker has been a soloist with orchestras and symphonies around the world and composed numerous pieces, including those for electric instruments. He has produced CDs for several record labels and performed with a diverse group of artists, from pop star Lyle Lovett to violinist Itzhak Perlman to pop and jazz trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

He says music (to the occasional impatience of his wife, Lori, and sons Grayson and Dashiel) doesn’t go away when he gets home from “work,” but he finds time to participate in the traditional Chinese martial arts and to write. His novel, “Trigram Cluster Funk,” will be published by Double Dragon Press in October.

1. Your CD, “Electric Vivaldi: Global Solstice,” will be released in September. How did this collection come about and why is it special to you?

One of the reasons I enjoy working with my College of Arts and Media colleagues is that their mission of creating an intersection of art, technology and commerce resembles my own passion. That maybe doesn’t have so much to do with commerce as it does with extending new artistic expression to a wider audience, which just happens to include that commercial population. I think I’d be happy pursuing any number of creative directions, but about 10 years ago, I was listening to an obscure European orchestra’s colorful approach to the popular Vivaldi Four Seasons violin concerti. Suddenly realizing that it might be possible to not only take the orchestra’s ideas even further, but also create an accessible version of the music for contemporary audiences with electronic sounds, I launched into a yearlong process of pulling together financial and artistic support for a first “Newport Classic Electric Vivaldi Four Seasons” compact disc. When it was released, I knew there were possibilities that still hadn’t been fully explored, but my creative attention span is much too short to continue mining the same vein for very long. Consequently, this latest Centaur Records “Electric Vivaldi: Global Solstice” adds elements of world music and a new instrument that was a big part of my youth, the electric guitar.

2. Tell me about the instruments you play and your compositions. 

At one time or another, as an orchestral soloist I’ve been engaged to play a variety of different kinds of violins, guitars and electronic paraphernalia. For other types of engagements, I may resort to other instruments, usually ones with strings. Even the instruments I love the most don’t necessarily come easy, but I’ve always been motivated by untapped potential, theirs and mine. And I do admire anyone who can play the piano.

I’ve written dozens of songs for local progressive rock bands and electronic dance music producers, as well as a similar number of large-scale symphonic, chamber and electronic works that have been premiered around the United States and abroad. Then there are the recordings and music videos that I contribute to as engineer, director, editor, art director, you name it. This summer, there’s even been an invitation to show off mellow stylings I did not know I had with Swing Je T’aime, an up-and-coming gypsy jazz band.

3. Why did you choose to compose for and perform with orchestras? What are the actions you take when you compose?

I grew up in a family of classical musicians. Music wasn’t entertainment, wasn’t a job, just a way of life.  The symphony orchestra was considered the ultimate medium. In some ways, the orchestra is the closest music can get to the diversity of the natural universe. On the other hand, it also embodies culture’s regimented, domesticated mass obedience. The soloist is a defiant point of light.

When the time comes to actually write for the thing, I go to the instrument for which I have no aptitude, the piano. Every little idea emerges clumsily over weeks because my fingers can’t move any faster. So slowly, many ideas are just lost mid-stream, but we can hope that if they were forgotten, they were forgettable. Eventually, imagination and the wonders of computer software allow me to add additional dimensions. And when the world premiere finally arrives, it’s over in minutes … maybe leaving an impression there was something behind the notes.

4. What are some of your favorite stage performances? What made them special?

There are two aspects of musical performance that are especially poignant for me, but they’re easy to miss.

The first is the sensation of audience connection, real or perceived. Some years ago, I was hired as a violin concertmaster for a small orchestra performing Handel’s “Messiah” at a church in Boulder. At one point, a profoundly bitter and inebriated homeless man walked in the door and loudly proceeded to the front of the audience. We all just tried to concentrate and ignore him. When we got to the famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” the audience joined in singing along with the orchestra’s choir. After the last chord and before the next aria, the homeless man stood up and walked toward me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, reached over the edge of the stage, and we shook hands.

The second aspect is personal challenge and visceral risk. In 2009, the Philadelphia Orchestra engaged me to premiere a violin concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker, my father, with a $4.5 million dollar Stradivarius in a performance that was broadcast nationwide on National Public Radio. This would seem like an enviable, dossier-enhancing activity for anyone who has not suffered from lifelong stage fright.

My father’s music carries a unique meaning for me not only because it’s cool to play your dad’s music, but because I believe he’s an unsung musical genius for the ages.

5. What is your teaching philosophy and what do you hope students take away from your classes?

Compared to my diverse and accomplished colleagues at the College of Arts and Media, I’m not much of a teacher, per se. I try to be a kind of interpretive artist in the classroom. The value of a music curriculum, of all things, can be just like the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it – unless I can interpret the curriculum’s significance and bring them around. Going to where those who share this world – the students – are, and coming to a mutual understanding so they can actually be inspired to accompany me. Because the only thing they’ll ever bother to take away is what became significant.

Arvada Center Picks the Colorado Chamber Orchestra to be the Orchestra in Residence - First Concert This Weekend

Many of you know the thoughtful and fascinating programming at the Arvada Center.  After careful deliberation, they've picked the Colorado Chamber Orchestra to be their orchestra in residence!   Their first concert there is this Saturday and Sunday.  

 

Golden Music Chamber Orchestra First Week... A Resounding Success!!!

 

Our first meeting...  anticipating...  not sure which room, which door...  It all came together in a great way!  We have a YouTube video that sounds pretty good for a first rehearsal and lots of smiles.  We have an orchestra room set-up now on the second floor of the new building.  You come into the North door and go up the back stairs.

We played for about an hour and a half, tried out many selections. We had a lot of fun.  Word is that ten students from Mountain Phoenix will be joining us next Monday!

 

We welcome all who are interested.  You can just show up or give us an email or call at 303-888-6690.

 

5 Intrinsic Perks of Music

From Psychology Today online

There is mounting evidence that music training benefits skills and areas that are non-musical in nature. Musicians tend to score higher on verbal and math tests. There are differences in the motor and sensory processing areas of a musician's brain. Musicians also have greater aural acuity, meaning they can more accurately process pitch. Plus the earlier you start in your music training, the greater the benefits.

Intuitively none of this is surprising given the overlapping skills involved in certain musical and non-musical tasks (e.g. you use your fine motor skills when learning the piano and when typing on a computer), and the concept of use-dependent development. This concept refers to the role experiences have in helping to sculpt the developing brain. The areas and networks that activated more frequently (i.e., those that are used more often) are larger and more robust than those not activated as frequently.

These, though, are the extrinsic benefits of being an active learner of music. Extrinsic referring to, of course, those non-musical perks of being a musician. And although there is value to the extrinsic benefits—including some important enrichment-based opportunities for children with access to fewer resources—it begs the question…what about the intrinsic benefits?

The intrinsic benefits are a little harder to define (at least for this musician). But they are there. These are the benefits that are more self-gratifying. They are generally emotionally- or psychologically-based. And although there may be some commonalities among musicians in the intrinsic benefits they feel, it’s generally a more personal, individualized experience. The intrinsic benefits felt by one musician may not be the same as those felt by another.

As for this musician, here are 5 intrinsic benefits I have gained:

#1: Immense Emotional Pleasure

As with most people, listening to music elicits a variety of emotions—happiness, tenderness, sadness, nostalgia. Know what’s better than listening to beautiful music? Playing it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s felt while playing piano alone in my house or from performing in front of a crowd, the happiness—elation even—that follows playing a beautiful piece of music is almost addictive.

#2: An Insta-Social Network

I’ve often felt that being a music major in college helped ease any anxiety I may have felt during this major life change. It didn’t matter that I now lived 1500 miles away from home, being in the marching band gave me an instant social network that began before school even started. And I’ve carried that benefit to multiple schools and internships in multiple states—a connection to a group of people with similar interests and experiences as me.

#3: Laughter

There are times that the music I am listening to causes me to laugh. It’s generally not the words that elicits this reaction, but some a little less tangible—it’s how the composer structured the music or the musical nuance a performer added that causes the chuckle. Better yet, I've found that this happens more frequently the more experienced I become as a musician. I laugh more at—and with—the music.

#4: Challenging Growth

Being a musician makes you work. You work your fine and gross motor skills, you work your analytical skills, you work to be emotional and to connect with an audience. You persist and practice over and over again. You perform and make mistakes, then go back to the practice room. It challenges multiple intellectual and emotional areas, but if you love learning like me—that challenge is priceless.

#5: Gratifying Accomplishment

The other side of the challenge coin is the gratifying feeling you get when you finally make it. When you have a great music therapy session. When you nail a particular piece of music. That feeling may not last long—you may be back at that practice room the next morning—but it’s yours to carry and hold.

 

 

Why Teaching Music Matters - The Harmony Project Los Angeles

NPR's Cory Turner writes:

I went to Los Angeles to report a story on brain science. A new study had just been released, exploring how music instruction helps kids process language. The children the researchers studied were all participants in a community music program run by the nonprofit Harmony Project.

But after an hour talking with passionate staffers at the group's office in Hollywood — and then recording an hour of music lessons there — I knew I had a compelling second story, that of Harmony Project and the woman who created it.

“You teach music because the lessons that you learn serve you in your life and make you live a better, more functional life the same way the lessons you learn in math help you live a better, more functional life."

The group provides instruments (trombones, trumpets, oboes, flutes, strings, drums, you name it) and free lessons to kids in many of LA's toughest neighborhoods. It also sends teachers into the schools for onsite after-school lessons twice a week. Throw in a rehearsal each Saturday, and you have a program that gives much and asks much in return — which is one reason its students keep signing up.

And then there's Margaret Martin, who founded Harmony Project in 2001 after a tumultuous early life. At 17, she gave birth to her first child; she later spent a year homeless on the streets of Los Angeles while parenting two kids. A survivor of domestic violence, Martin eventually earned a doctorate in public health from UCLA.

Here are selected excerpts from our conversation, on the beginnings of Harmony Project and why it matters.

Why did you found Harmony Project?

I was inspired. A group of hardcore Los Angeles gang members walked through a farmers market on a Sunday morning: teardrop tattoos, oversized clothing, attitude. They stopped to listen to a little kid playing Brahms on a tiny violin. After five or six minutes without saying a word to one another, I watched those gang members pull out their own money and lay it gently in the child's case. [Turns out that "little kid" was Martin's son Max.]

Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech.  I was at UCLA at the time finishing a doctorate in public health focused on what it takes to make a healthy community, and those gang members taught me that they would rather be doing what that child was doing than what they were doing. But they never had the chance. So I dove into the research literature and discovered that music learning was linked to improvements in language, cognition, music, brain development and behavior.

How would you describe the neighborhoods where Harmony Project is working?

They are the highest crime neighborhoods in Los Angeles. [The city] designate[s] gang-reduction zones for rates of violent gang crime that are at least 400 percent greater than anywhere else in the city. Something you don't always hear about: These are also the neighborhoods with the highest fertility rates, so they have also got the highest number of little kids and really nothing much for the kids to do after school hours. ...

With public schools across the country cutting music instruction to save money, the Harmony Project in Los Angeles is trying to make up the difference.

So I founded Harmony Project to help keep disadvantaged kids safe, in school and out of trouble. It was basically a public health approach. If they were in music classes or rehearsals or practicing their instruments at home, it would reduce their exposure to negative influences in their environment and it would increase their exposure to the positive influences of music teachers and conductors.

One thing we know for sure, and that is that if we want to get serious about closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged kids, we should provide five days a week of music instruction in every Title 1 inner-city school in the country, from K through grade five. If you do that, you could save a whole lot of money on remediation, and you'd save a whole lot more money on juvenile incarceration because ... we don't have behavior problems with our students. They learn how to work together from an early age, and those are lessons that they never lose.

And yet you and I both know that music programs are the first thing on the chopping block in district after district these days.

It's been going on for decades like that. You know, we talk about, "Oh, music programs are getting chopped," but it's been a death by a thousand cuts, because you used to have five-day-a-week programs. Kids could really thrive that way. And then you said, "Well, you know, why don't we just give them one lesson a week?" So then you had the music specialist go around to three or four schools.

When my son was in public elementary school there was a music teacher trying to teach six instruments to 40 kids one hour a week. And kids think that they couldn't learn; what they don't realize is that they were in a program where nobody could learn. It was sort of designed to fail, so it's just not fair.

“We need these things. We need to learn how to be precise, how to listen carefully, how to collaborate closely, how to express ourselves whether we're in the depths of despair or whether we feel joyful.

I was speaking to one curriculum specialist at a school district. She said, "Oh, all of our kids get music. The second-graders get music for eight weeks. The third-graders get music for eight weeks. The fourth-graders get music for eight weeks. The fifth-graders and so forth."

I mean, that would be like saying, "Oh, everyone gets math. The second-graders get math for eight weeks. The third-graders get math for eight weeks. The fourth-graders get math for eight weeks." And, like math, you don't teach music in order to make musicians, and you don't teach math in order to make mathematicians.

You teach music because the lessons that you learn serve you in your life and make you live a better, more functional life the same way the lessons you learn in math help you live a better, more functional life.

I mean, we need these things. We need to learn how to be precise, how to listen carefully, how to collaborate closely, how to express ourselves whether we're in the depths of despair or whether we feel joyful. ...

It's ... music, it's an authentic good. So, for all of those policy wonks out there who think music is just some enrichment tool, I'm sorry. Music is now permanently off the shelf with the warm fuzzies, and it's on the shelf with the rigorous, scientifically proven, evidence-based interventions that close the achievement gap for poor kids.

What do you see among the kids who either seek you out or that Harmony Project finds: Are these overachievers, or are they truly a cross-section of every neighborhood in which you work?

Let me tell you this. So, a dad walks up to me after a recital. And he says, "I didn't know what to do. I was losing my son. He was going with the wrong crowd. And then Harmony Project showed up. For the last three years he's been playing with a Harmony Project orchestra. He's a smiling, responsible kid." Tears filled that dad's eyes, and he said, "Thank you for my son."

Over and over, I'll have a student say, "You know, Harmony Project has really helped me. I have friends that are into a lot of bad stuff, and they say, 'Come with us.' And I say, 'I have to go to rehearsal.' " And then they say, "So it really helps me."

It gives them something else to do, something else that they're about. Something that's about achievement. They set different goals. They actually say, "I'm thinking about possibilities I never would have imagined."

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