Springtime is talent show season! Many of my students participate in their school talent shows this time of year. This is a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents for their peers, teachers, and student families. The guitar is a versatile instrument, giving performers the option of performing solo or ensemble works. This past spring, one of my students performed classical fingerstyle arrangements of traditional folk songs during his school talent show. I enjoyed the opportunity to accompany him. As the venerable Romantic composer Frédéric Chopin once said, “There is nothing more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.”
It is a joy as a guitar teacher to watch my students take their musical interests in different directions. One fascinating aspect of the guitar is the intricate process of building the instrument. Francois Vadeboncoeur recently moved back to Colorado and opened a guitar workshop in his home where he custom builds guitars out of various woods.
On the other end of the spectrum, one of my Kindergarten students builds guitars out of a very different medium–legos!
Wedding season started off with a bang on Memorial weekend. I performed a wedding ceremony and reception at Wellshire Event Center in Denver, playing “Here Comes the Sun” as the bride walked down the aisle. Her choice of music was especially fitting because the sun came out for the wedding following heavy rain storms about an hour before the ceremony. The couple’s special requests for the ceremony also included an instrumental rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” a piece that works very well as a classical guitar arrangement.
On Saturday, August 26th at 10 AM, a Foothills Music Association student/teacher performance will take place at Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market in Wheat Ridge. I am currently serving as Community Chair for the Foothills Music Teacher Association and am organizing the event. The venue is a beautiful indoor setting where many local vendors and community members gather. This is the second time I have organized this event and I look forward to performing a set of Stephen Foster songs with my flutist duo partner, listening to my students perform, and listening to other students and teachers from the Foothills Music Association.
It was a joy to perform for the Denver Public Library’s Fresh City Life 2015 performance series this weekend. Included in the program were classical guitar arrangements of traditional carols as well as Renaissance and Baroque music. I performed in Schlessman hall in the main library branch. Here is a bird’s eye perspective of the performance from the second floor of the library:
Today, I performed a set of Christmas, holiday, and Hanukkah pieces at Clear Creek Care Center. Included in the set were traditional German carols and several Christmas instrumental arrangements by my high school guitar teacher, Ed Vollmer. I look forward to performing at Denver Public Library, several senior communities, and Jefferson Unitarian Church for Christmas Eve service later in the month!
Jennifer Pauley and I recorded music in June for our Colorado Lark Flute & Guitar Duo. Included in the selections are Spanish, contemporary, traditional, and Baroque sound samples. The samples are posted on the “Audio” page of the website. Enjoy!
Last Thursday, I performed in the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission’s “Meet the Artist” series at Fran’s Cafe. For the first set, I performed as part of the Colorado Lark Flute & Guitar duo with flutist Jennifer Pauley. After talking to the audience about my life in Wheat Ridge as a performing artist, I then performed a solo set comprised of acoustic and classical music. The 2014/15 “Meet the Artist” series is focused on Wheat Ridge performance artists. Upcoming events include saxophonist Andrew Salas on April 16th at Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant, belly dancer Carrie Lynn Arata at Ornamental Beads on May 21st, and the T.E.V. Edelweiss Volkstanzgruppe at Colorado ACTS on June 18th.
I recently formed a duo, the Colorado Lark Flute & Guitar Duo, with flutist Jennifer Pauley. I am excited about upcoming musical adventures through this collaboration. I met Jennifer at a Denver Musician’s Association workshop taught by Chris Loffelmacher and Marta Burton. We have rehearsed a couple of times and look forward to performing a demo set at the Applewood Business Association February luncheon.
I have just finished recording Billy Holiday’s expressive jazz tune “Darn That Dream” and the serene spiritual “Amazing Grace.” Billy Holiday is best known for her song “God Bless the Child,” but I feel in love with “Darn That Dream” after hearing it performed by The Ever Hopefuls at a JUC First Friday Open Mic. “Amazing Grace” has been interpreted and re-interpreted in countless performances over the span of many generations. I have enjoyed coming up with my own rendition of this classic spiritual. Sound samples are posted on the audio page of my website. Happy listening!