Bring Your Music to Life

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I had the privilege of conducting the Arizona All-State Band last month. The experience was extraordinary. One hundred students from schools throughout the state participated after going through several steps to qualify.

Language of Unity

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I recently attended the final concert performed by the 2015 Arizona Musicfest Orchestra in Scottsdale, Arizona. One of the works on the concert—the Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janáček—was of particular interest to me. Janáček’s music is deeply influenced and inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music.

For the Love of Music

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As I moved from room to room among the hundreds of music teachers at a recent Music Educators Conference in Arizona, I thought about the tremendous passion and commitment that brought all of these people to this profession—teaching music for a living.

Musical Theater Magic

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The holidays tend to bring out the kid in all of us, and what better way to recount and experience that spirit and joy than a performance of Mary Poppins.

Just Do It

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Musicians, painters, dancers, sculptors, and actors know that the artistic process requires you to keep at it—to constantly create and maintain momentum.

A Matter of Interpretation

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An artist’s interpretation—representation of a thought, a scene, an event, or an object—might be in the form of sound, video, painting, drama, dance, or sculpture.

The Beauty of Contrast

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As I listened to a recent performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, I realized the significance of what the composer accomplished and the awareness that allowed him to create such a work.

Creating Emphasis

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A recent performance of Gustav Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 2, Resurrection reminded me of the deeply expressive content of the work, but it also showcased both the remarkable genius of the composer and the expertise of the conductor and musicians.

Singing the Blues

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Color is an essential part of how we experience the physical, aesthetic, and cultural aspects of our world. So it’s not a coincidence that artists use visual or aural color to evoke certain emotions or responses in their works.

Creating a Masterpiece

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Listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, gazing at Michelangelo’s Pietá or da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, hearing Leonard Bernstein’s music in a production of West Side Story, or reading the works of William Shakespeare may well leave you in a state of wonder and amazement. How long does it take for artists to create such masterpieces?

A World of Wonder

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An orchestra concert that includes Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is especially appealing, and the recent pre-concert rehearsal I observed brought me back to the symphony’s enjoyable, tuneful nature.

Openness

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Artists spend hours in openness. They free their minds from being in complete control. While it can feel risky, openness gives them a chance to experience change and break down the barriers that can build up from everyday living.

Silence between the Notes

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I attended a semi-staged production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute last week. What a delight! It’s no wonder that this opera has captivated audiences for more than 200 years.

A Beautiful Ruined Moment

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Everything was beautiful. The performance was exhilarating. At the final chord, the conductor motioned for everyone to end what was to be a resounding and reverberating conclusion to the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, but wait—something was wrong.

Duck!

Arts Awareness

I was recently sitting in the audience watching a wind quintet concert on stage. As the music began, I found my mind wandering back through my own experiences and there I was back in college playing bassoon in the honors wind quintet. We were enjoying our performance, communicating expertly with a nod here and there,… Read more »