October 3rd, 2015

The Inspiring Solo Recital

Giving a solo recital takes an enormous amount of dedication, preparation, focus, and courage! When taken seriously and given its proper attention to detail, it can be a fantastic vehicle for learning, growth, and sharing. Two of my students will be giving recitals this week, and I encourage you to attend and offer your support and love. You may be inspired to consider preparing one yourself! However, attending the first recital may be a bit unrealistic…

Eliah (2)Eliah Lafleur will be giving his first solo recital tomorrow, October 4th, 2015, in Kazakhstan (Central Asia). He has put in many hours of practice (with the kind and generous assistance of his talented mother) to become wonderfully prepared and is looking forward to sharing his work with his friends and family! If you are able to drop in to watch, do say “hello” from me!

Meanwhile, here in Utah, Ruth Ferguson has also been working tirelessly (along with her mother Hilary (vocals), and her sister Emma on the recitalharp) to prepare a beautiful recital to share at the St. George Tabernacle (18 S. Main Street) on October 10th at noon. All are invited, it is free to attend, and it is much closer to many of you than Kazakhstan!

We wish you both good luck and a fun recital experience!

June 16th, 2015

Empyrean Quartet in Zion

My quartet (The Empyrean String Quartet) will be performing at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale next friday, June 26, 2015, at 7:00 pm as part of the Z-Arts Concert Series held at the edge of Zion National Park.

The program will consist of Mozart Quartet #3, Shostakovich Quartet #8, and Brahms Quartet #3. Tickets are $10 for Z-Arts members and $15 for non-members, and can be purchased by calling 435.772.3434 ext. 313 or by emailing zarts@springdaletown.com.

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May 4th, 2015

Master Class with Jenny Oaks Baker

JennyGrammy nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker will be in St. George this friday, May 8th, to perform with the Southwest Symphony in Concert “Etchings in Tone.” The performance begins at 7:30pm in the Cox Performing Arts Center (325 South 700 East). Click here for more information or to buy tickets.

She will be giving a free master class that afternoon (May 8th) at 3:30 at the same location (Abby Clark & Sariah Saltzman will be performing soloists in the class). Come and learn!

April 9th, 2015

Regional Music Sterling Scholar: Abby Wuehler

regional music sterling scholar abby wuehlerI am delighted to announce that Abby Wuehler has been chosen as the Regional Music Sterling Scholar.

She performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, 1st Mvt.

This award represents an enormous amount of dedication and devotion and is a well-deserved honor.

As Regional Music Sterling Scholar, Abby will automatically receive scholarship offers to universities throughout Utah, including BYU, the University of Utah, and Utah State University.

Congratulations Abby! I’m very proud of you and so pleased for you!

April 9th, 2015

Regional Music Sterling Scholar: Runner-up

regional music sterling scholar runner up kaelie gillespieI am also delighted to announce that Kaelie Gillespie has been chosen as the Regional Music Sterling Scholar Runner-up.

She performed Carmen Fantasy, 1st Mvt., by Sarasate.

As with Abby, this distinction was earned by a laudable amount of hard work and discipline over many months and years.

As runner-up, Kaelie will automatically receive scholarship offers to universities throughout Utah, including BYU, the University of Utah, and Utah State University.

Congratulations Kaelie! I am so proud of you, and am thrilled for your success!

April 5th, 2015

A Community of Love

furtwangler community of loveMy favorite conductor is Wilhelm Furtwängler, whom I consider to be the greatest conductor of Beethoven who has ever lived.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the great German baritone, who died in 2012, related to an interviewer a conversation he’d once had with Furtwängler, whom he himself admired deeply.

“He (Furtwängler) once said to me that the most important thing for a performing artist was to build up a community of love for the music with the audience, so as to create one fellow feeling among so many people who have come from so many different places and feelings. I have lived with that ideal all my life as a performer.”

This ideal, so beautiful in purpose and expression, was one of the reasons Furtwängler conducted so purely and beautifully and is something I would ask each of you to consider when you perform. It is an ideal to grow into over your the course of your life as a musician.

In fact, it is my aspiration to create this same community of love in my studio with my students and their parents. Real meaning and beauty is found in the love we share together, as teacher and student/parent, not just performer and audience.

Restating Furtwängler words more personally:

“The most important thing for a (violin teacher) is to build up a community of love for the music with (my students and their parents), so as to create one fellow feeling among so many people who have come from so many different places and feelings. I have lived with that ideal all my life as a (teacher).”

It is this community of love, this one fellow feeling, that is the most important aspect of everything we do together. It is the real music we make—the music behind the music. Without it, our notes—no matter how perfectly performed—are empty and without true meaning. It is only within a shared experience of fellowship and love that we are able to hear, feel, experience, and share the music that joins us all within the melody of its sweet embrace.

April 3rd, 2015

Utah Performing Arts Festivals: Award Recipients

susf gold cup winnersI’d like to congratulate all of my students who participated in SUPAF and SUSF this year. Your preparation and musicality was exemplary, and you all demonstrated significant growth as violinists and musicians!

For SUPAF, the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival, adjudicators select the top performers from each session to receive a small scholarship to encourage further participation in the arts. Here are the 2015 SUPAF Award Recipients from our studio:

Abby Clark (Solo)
Alex Heizer (Solo)
Audrey Godfrey & Aly Candland (Duet)
Elly Winder (Solo)
Fiona Fackrell (Solo)
Genesis Gonzales (Solo)
Genesis & Matthew Gonzales (Duet)
Ian Fackrell (Solo)
Jill Gibson (Solo)
McKenzie Sampson (Solo)
Rylee Dalton (Solo)

For SUSF, the Southern Utah Strings Festival, a student who earns a “Superior” rating in three separate years is awarded a Gold Cup and asked to play in the Gold Cup Recital. Here are the 2015 SUSF Gold Cup Recipients from our studio:

Abby Clark (Solo)
Aly Candland (Duet, with Audrey Godfrey)
Audrey Godfrey (Solo)
Fiona Fackrell (Solo)
Sailor & West Mylroie (Duet)
Sandy Pulsipher (Duet, with Elly Winder)
Sariah Saltzman (Solo, Duet & Quartet—duet with McKenzie Sampson)

These awards represent hours and years of hard work; I admire your dedication and practice, and your love for the violin!

Reminder: Please come to support Rylee Dalton and Sariah Saltzman as they solo with the Southwest Symphony tonight in the Youth Concerto Classic Concert held at 7:30pm in the Cox Auditorium.

February 15th, 2015

Spirit of Hope Gala

spirit of hope gala

My quartet, The Empyrean String Quartet, will be performing at the Spirit of Hope Gala at the Dixie Convention Center Garden Room on the evening of March 28th in support of the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic in Saint George, Utah.

The gala will feature performances by Emmy-award-winning composer, Kurt Bestor, and gifted vocalist and actor, Southern Utah’s Brodie Perry, and will include a chef-designed dinner by Heritage Catering.

Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online or by contacting Melissa at (435) 632-8645.

All proceeds benefit the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic of Saint George, Utah.

The Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic, founded in 1999, is “a non-profit, non-government healthcare organization that provides access to affordable healthcare services for the uninsured, underinsured and low-income in Southern Utah by acting as a safety net of services that include primary medical care, mental health services, and dental care” and operates solely on donations and grants. Their motto is: Healthcare With Heart.

You can support the Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic through volunteering or by making a donation through their website.

February 12th, 2015

Kayenta Arts Foundation: String Soirée

kayenta-arts-foundationMy quartet, The Empyrean String Quartet, featuring violist Linda Ghidossi-DeLuca, violinist Urs Rutishauser, and cellist Jessika Soli, will be performing the works of Beethoven and Mozart at two concerts in beautiful Kayenta, on February 26th and 27th at 7:30pm to benefit the Kayenta Arts Foundation.

While both concerts are already sold out, you can support the Kayenta Arts Foundation, and the building of a Kayenta Center for the Arts, by visiting their website.

Their vision is “to build the premier venue in the greater southern Utah area for awareness, appreciation, education, and enjoyment of diverse artistic endeavors.”

The Kayenta Arts Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization.


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