ASTA

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About This Event

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ASTA/NJ President's Letter by Erika Boras Tesi

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There is a common thread that runs through the student articles below reflecting how ASTA/NJ has impacted the author.  It is so gratifying to know the extent to which we have been able to facilitate for our student chapter members.  Please take a moment to reflect on ASTA/NJ’s place in your life.  Each student that submitted an article took time to first reach out and become involved.  As you will read, the rewards for their efforts to be more active had great rewards.  Come to the symposium, attend the reading sessions, send your students to CMI and the solo competition or attend a meeting and start to get to know us!  At the very least, lean back, put your feet up, scroll down and get your summer reading list from our Historian Ed Black or read the article “Getting Under The Hood Of a Violin” by Clayton Haslop – Enjoy!

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Reading session articles written by students of Montclair State University

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As a sophomore in Montclair State University, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the ASTA reading session.  To be honest, I was a little nervous knowing that I would be playing among experienced string teachers while all I had under my belt was the ambition to be one.  However, the moment I was greeted by friendly faces and warm bagels I knew I was going to have a good time.  After a brief debate over who was lucky enough to “hide” in the back row, we started playing through a wide variety of pieces, mostly aimed for beginner and intermediate orchestras.  After each piece, we discussed its pros and cons, taking note of entertaining melodies, challenging rhythms, and boring parts.  Even though I didn’t have any input in these discussions, I was able to learn a lot about handling a young orchestra just by listening.  I left that afternoon with an idea on what type of music certain orchestra levels can play, along with free technique books and my very first score! (Is it normal to feel that excited?)  I recommend every string teacher to attend the next reading session.  If you’re just in college burying your nose in a theory book, I still recommend you to go, because there are so many great teachers to meet, and so much to learn from them.  Brownie points go to Erika Tesi for running and conducting this ASTA reading session!
-Chryselle Angderson


    When Fran Rowell told me I should come to the ASTA reading session I thought, “Free bagels, prizes and I get to play music with other string teachers? I’m in!” But I definitely got more than I bargained for that day. First, I was greeted at the sign-in table by Erika Tesi, who immediately made me feel welcome and gave me a bag full of free goodies. (Prizes…check!) As I entered the rehearsal room the smell of coffee, bagels and doughnuts wafted through the air and I thought, “Free breakfast, another check! ”.  We had some time to eat and chat with other participants and then began the mad dash to get through the piles of music donated by publishers. We began with some well-known publishers such as Alfred Publishing and later moved to upcoming publishers such as Reynard Burns Publishing Inc. As we went through the pieces everyone started to give their own suggestions like, “This viola part is way too hard for level 2” or “If you have a great bass section, this will show them off!” Eventually, we started giving some pieces a rating in between those given by the publishers like 1.5 or 3.5 and I felt like a part of the group, another string teacher. (Playing with string teachers…check!) It was great to hear the perspective of music teachers working in the public school systems; to get a sense of what elementary orchestra students are actually capable of performing. As a junior at Montclair State University, I have not had any experience teaching in a public school system, just courses on the theories of teaching in the school system. After the playing portion, as our day was ending, each of us got to pick our favorite score (which had been provided to ASTA/NJ by some very generous publishers) to take home.  I was ecstatic to own my first score and I know years from now, when I play Lion City by Soon Hee Newbold with my orchestra, I will think back to that ASTA reading session, which gave me even more inspiration to become a music educator. I thank Erika Tesi for putting the reading session together, Fran Rowell for inviting me to come, and for everyone who participated and made it such a great experience. I can’t wait for the next ASTA reading session and hope that more music educators can join in to give us their perspectives!
Elaine Wisniewski

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Reflections of The Sharon Holmes ASTA/NJ Scholarship Recipients - Rebecca Dreyman

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    I was first attracted to The University of Maryland’s Music Education program because it was one of the few colleges I researched and visited that allowed its students to begin regular observations of public school music classes in the first semester of freshman year. After all of my experiences this past year, I am certain that it was the right choice for me. I’ve enjoyed the benefits this year of a small, conservatory-like music school within a large liberal arts university just a short metro ride away from Washington D.C. and all of its opportunities and entertainment.

    There are ten other students in my freshman Music Education course that I will continue to share classes and teaching experiences with for my next three years at UMD. Since the class is so small, we’ve all become very close; the music education professors like to joke that each class of “MU-ED” students that come through the program start out as strangers and graduate as a family. During the first semester of the course, class met twice a week where we learned some of the basics of what being a music educator means. We read about famous scholars in education and their views on child development and learning, we created lesson plans and taught our peers as practice, and we discussed our biggest fears and worries about teaching and how to best overcome them. Four times throughout the semester we observed music classes of different age groups in nearby public schools. For the first time, I was able to observe a classroom while thinking in the teacher’s perspective, paying close attention to the class objectives, what kind of activities the teacher led to achieve the objectives, and how the teacher adapted to unexpected situations that arose. This helped me to recognize the basic organizational framework that goes into creating a lesson plan and how each teacher uses his or her creativity to give the lesson more intrigue and meaning than would be possible to learn from a book.
    My second semester Music Education course did not meet formally in class as we had in the first semester. Instead, we observed an elementary band at a nearby arts focus school once a week for an hour. Although we were only required by the Music Education department to be there to observe the students, the band teacher at the school encouraged us to teach sectionals for part of the class time. Even though I am a violinist and haven’t taken a single brass or woodwinds methods class yet (which start sophomore year), I was able to teach trumpet sectionals for part of class every week. This was definitely out of my comfort zone at first, but my professor and the school band teacher were always there to help the students and me when necessary. By the end of the semester, I had helped the students to improve, but I think I learned even more from them. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I definitely feel as though I conquered one of my first major teaching obstacles with success.

    My advice to any student who might be contemplating becoming a music teacher is to volunteer in community music programs and get to know music faculty in the area. Through the years, I have found that faculty are very supportive of fellow musicians and teachers, and are always willing to answer questions about teaching music. The only way to truly know if Music Education is the right vocation for you is to experience it first hand. I have learned more this way than any textbook could ever teach me.

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Reflections of The Sharon Holmes ASTA/NJ Scholarship Recipients - Victoria Rogers

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    My first year as a music education major at the Crane School of Music has passed by at an incredible speed. It’s almost hard for me to believe that I am already a second year college student, and before I know it, will have my very own classroom full of students to teach. Before going to Crane, I knew that it was a place which would not only teach me to become a better instrumentalist, but also instill in me the abilities to become a great music teacher. Through this entire first year, each course has made an impression on not only my mind, but my musical skills as well. I have already learned many new things about music in general and also its application to the violin and the other new instruments I learned to play. Through classes, weekly concerts, and interactions with professors, I have easily begun to settle into the life of a music major, and look forward to enjoying the rest of my years at Crane. 

    If I had to give advice to anybody considering pursuing a career in Music education, my number one caution would be to make sure there is nothing you enjoy more, or have more of a passion for than music and teaching.  I have witnessed a handful of first year students give up halfway through the semester because of the pressures that music ed courses puts on every student. Make sure to look at the big picture beforehand, and know what exactly you are getting yourself into. Be willing to learn how to play and teach other instruments in addition to your primary, and also be willing to work in all areas of music anywhere and any chance you get. One person who has been a big inspiration to me at Crane is Professor Kenneth Andrews, the orchestral and chamber music director. At each rehearsal and concert, Professor Andrews motivates us by reminding us all to think about what we would say to our own students in certain situations, and to remember that the key to being a successful music teacher is having the passion for it. Without passion, you are not expecting all you can from your students and pushing them to their best, and you are not being fair to those who want to learn from you.
 
    Getting the chance to interact with people who share the same musical interests as you is one of the greatest things about majoring in music. Having the majority of your classes based on music every day is also exciting, and makes it much easier to push through the difficult and stressful times during the semester. With all the stress’s and hard work put on every music student, I have already learned to appreciate each class and to look at what I can gain in experience and knowledge from every course I take. I eagerly look forward to my future at my school and I know that no matter the statistics of Crane being an outstanding school for music education, the results of how it affects and builds me into a great teacher are in my hands and all in my control. 

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Reflections of The Sharon Holmes ASTA/NJ Scholarship Recipients - EuGene Park

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    I have recently completed my freshman year of college as a music education major at New York University. College life was nothing like I had expected, but overall it was a pleasant experience. One of the best parts of my freshman year was living in the world’s biggest city. I got to watch performances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall for less than twenty dollars per ticket as well as see street performers at Washington Square Park. I also had the joy of visiting Museum of Modern Arts and a couple of small exhibitions in Brooklyn. It is important as a musician to support the arts and New York City was a fabulous place to experience and support all forms of arts.

    I had chosen to attend a university rather than a conservatory to receive a well-rounded education, but I did not expect the mandatory writing class to take up most of my time. For a literature class I took first semester, the professor expected each student to do about twelve hours of reading each week, and these hours do not include hours spent writing papers. It felt like a nightmare at times, but in the end I could see improvement in my reading and writing skills.
However, I found it difficult to find time to practice despite being a music major. To top off the time issue, I lived in a dorm with two roommates and the practice room in the dorm was not easily accessible. I often had to use a practice room in another building ten minutes away, and sometimes had to come back to my room late at night. I cannot stress enough for the future college students how important time management is. We have all heard it numerous times from parents and guidance counselors and the man at the bagel shop, but they are wickedly right. What you get out of a college education is what you make of it, and no one will push you to do your best except yourself.

Learning to teach was very different from what I have seen or practiced. Many of my previous assumptions were challenged; I learned that a lesson plan is a must, yet it will almost never contain everything that may happen in a classroom. I also had to learn the basics of various instruments and how to teach them to students.
If there is one thing that has been engraved in my brain from my freshman year as a music educator, it is advocacy. I have been repeatedly told that music class is not mandatory in many public schools and music educators always need to fight for our right to include music in the core curriculum. Often on Wednesdays, during program meeting, a guest speaker from various organizations, such as NYSSMA and VH1 Save the Music, or alumni from the school’s program visited to talk about various opportunities and their personal experiences as music educators. Most people, if not all, stressed being an active member in the music and non-music communities by befriending non-musician colleagues, collaborate on projects, etc.

Speakers also stressed the importance of outside funding other than the school. Unfortunately, when a school is low on funds, the art programs are one of the first to get cut. Teachers spoke of applying for outside grants at organizations such as VH1 Save the Music. On that note, I cannot thank Sharon Holmes Scholarship program enough for supporting my education to becoming a music teacher.
   

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Reflections of an All-Wayne Orchestra Student by Paul Han

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PaulHan  is the son of Jeong and Myung Han and lives in Wayne, NJ.  He is a new graduate of Wayne High School and will be attending Yale University in the fall.  He was a member of ASTA/NJ Board member Sheila Mendel’s All Wayne Orchestra for six years.  This orchestra, founded by Ms. Mendel, has served the entire Wayne community and helped plant a deep appreciation of music in the many hundreds of students who have participated in the program.

The Best is Yet To Come

    I was supposed to be Yo-Yo Ma. At least, that’s what my parents were hoping all those years ago in that music shop when I sat there in an awkward pose, staring quizzically at the oversized violin resting in my arms. Even during my middle school years, when one’s dreams are still intact and unadulterated, I recognized the unlikelihood of my becoming a cello virtuoso like Mr. Ma. This does not mean that I abandoned my love for music at all, as I continued to practice individually and participated in the All-Wayne Orchestra in New Jersey as the principal cellist for several years. Some children are not as fortunate as I had been, for their parents, who also recognize the unlikelihood of their offspring becoming a Yo-Yo Ma or a Joshua Bell, find the pursuit of music to be entirely meaningless and futile.  No-No Ma (and Pa); you cannot be any more mistaken.

    My six years as a part of the All-Wayne Orchestra have been most rewarding to me, and I will really miss being a part of this wonderful organization. In addition to the aspect of performing with fellow students and producing harmonious music, I truly enjoyed the bond that I was able to form with them over the years. Various parts of orchestra that I would not have ever expected, such as participating in the Trills and Thrills Competition as a part of our trip to Six Flags Great Adventure and achieving a Superior Rating in the competition, proved to be pleasant surprises in my overall experience. For this very reason, music meant much more than merely hitting the right notes. It not only served as an excellent means for me to temporarily escape from the stress of school and lose myself in the music, but also managed to gather diverse individuals who share the common thread of a love for music. With orchestra essentially ignored in public schools and overtaken by the band, it was a privilege to have the All-Wayne Orchestra in my life.

    As I approached my senior year of high school, the orchestra continued to serve me in ways I would never have imagined, namely in college admissions. I have no doubt in my mind that my status as a member of the All-Wayne Orchestra on my resume had caught the eyes of admissions officers from my dream schools. While no official stated this directly, I can indeed attest to it after contemplating my college interviews. Nearly every single interviewer had noticed this single line on my resume, and subsequently asked me to further delve into my experience as a cellist. Skipping over most of the other seemingly impressive activities, such as student government or sports, these interviewers had chosen to focus on my music. My guess? Too many applicants walk into an interview stressing the same parts of their resumes repeatedly; music serves as a brilliant way for one to genuinely stand out.  Diversification of a college campus always remains a priority, and the music department is often trusted with this responsibility. And yet, public schools keep the arts and music departments at the bottom of their priority lists, both frustrating and foolish. I will be attending Yale University in the fall, and I plan to continue to foster my interests in music by joining different chamber orchestras that feature all ranges of skill levels.

    I cannot thank my conductor, Sheila Mendel, enough for all of the success that I have achieved. At the beginning, she encouraged me to further pursue my budding love for the cello; throughout my experience, she has worked tirelessly to push both me and my fellow students to continue showing up to rehearsals and performing our best at concerts. Without her, without this unifying force, this musical thrill ride would have never even begun. To her, I credit my ability to remain an avid musician, which has led to so many successes in other areas. Oftentimes in lengthy pieces of music, a few measures will feature a build-up from the quiet pianissimo sound to a grand fortissimo reverberation. My years as a musician are not so different; from humble beginnings, the best has truly saved itself for last.
    

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Noteworthy for reading by Edwin Black, ASTA/NJ Historian

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Noteworthy for Reading
By Edwin Black, Historian

Stradivari’s Genius by Tony Faber Published by Random House This book is filled with
stories of Stradivari’s instruments and the people who owned them. Tony Faber is a good story teller.  This book is non- fiction.

The Kreutzer Sonata
by Margriet de Moor Published by Arcade Publishing Translated from the Dutch by Susan Massotty This book is fiction by one of the master storytellers and one of Europe’s foremost novelists. The unnamed narrator of this subtly constructed novel, a young musicologist, befriends well-known music critic Marius van Vlooten, who is blind. The two meet on an airplane en route to a master class in Bordeaux, where the narrator introduces Marius to Suzanna, the pretty first violinist of a string quartet there to perform Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata.

The Violiin Maker by John Marchese Published by Harper Collins The author is a musician and an award winning journalist. This book is the story of Sam Zygmuntowicz, “a man in his mid forties who practices a craft that goes back centuries”.  This is a man who created instruments for Isaac Stern and the Emerson String Quartet. The history of Sam is lovingly told with all the flair of a master storyteller.

Devil’s Trill is a novel by Gerald  Elias Published by Minotaur Books.  Gerald Elias was a violinist with the Boston Symphony and is now Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony. “Daniel Jacobus is a blind, reclusive, crotchety violin teacher living in self-imposed exile in rural New England. He spends his time chain-smoking, listening to old LPs, and occasionally taking on new students, whom he berates in the hope that they will flee.” He decides to attend a competition in Carnegie Hall. The winner is to perform on a ¾ size Stradivarius violin that brings misfortune to all who possessed it. The violin is found missing and Jacobus is the prime suspect. (This is not a mystery to recommend to students! For us more mature teachers it is fine.) Those who know the BSO will recognize some of the characters as well as the Carnegie Hall personalities.

The Countess of Stanlein Restored  by Nicholas Delbanco Published by Verso. This is a non fiction book by the author who also wrote The Beaux Arts Trio: A Portrait.  It is an interesting story of the restoration of a famous cello with many interesting pictures. This author has written over 10 fiction books.

Indivisible by Four by Arnold Steinhardt Published by Farrar Straus Giroux;  “A string quartet in pursuit of harmony”.  Who would have thought that Arnold Steinhardt would be such a good writer?  “Steinhardt, a superb raconteur, is wonderfully entertaining about the Guarneri’s constant travel, money woes, exasperating recording sessions, audiences new and old, mishaps and triumphs.  Best of all, he conveys the heady excitement of live performance and the communal effort it requires.  As he says, “with passion, sweat, skill and dogged persistence, four string players can join with composer and audience to [take us out of time and place, and into the presence of angels.]”

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Getting Under The Hood Of a Violin” by Clayton Haslop

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Getting Under The Hood Of A Violin
By Clayton Haslop
www.violinmastery.com
Edited by Ed Black, Historian of NJ ASTA

By way of introduction, Clayton Haslop made his professional solo debut at age 20 under Sir Neville Marriner and the Los Angeles chamber Orchestra touring six major cities of the western United States. These critically acclaimed performances not only lead to numerous engagements with orchestras, they also resulted in his being appointed founding violinist of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet at Marriner’s recommendation. Haslop is active in the motion picture industry as solo violinist and concertmaster on such films as Avatar, Up, The Matrix films, Titanic, Ratatouille, the curious Case of Benjamin Button, Star Trek, The Incredibles, Jurassic Park, Apollo 13, and The Perfect Storm. His web site is: wwwviolinmastery.com.
As a student Clayton Haslop was coached extensively by the legendary Nathan Milstein.
The following communiqué occurred when Clayton mentioned that he was forced to play a scheduled recital on a “student” violin. He writes:


“One [person] asked whether it was necessary to have a fine violin at all, if an accomplished player can make any violin sound good.
Another asked if I would comment on the variables that go into establishing the value of an instrument, aside from the rarity of being an antique.
Well, here are some thoughts.
First of all I’d like to point out that though I was able to make a “student” violin pass muster that night, it was anything but easy to do so.  There wasn’t a moment I could relax and just let the instrument speak for itself. I had to work both my left and right hands like the dickens all night. With a violin ‘of quality’ there is a certain base-line tone that is pleasing in and of itself. And with a particularly fine instrument this quality of tone extends from the G string right up into the top register of the E.
Now of course, the exact meaning of ‘quality’ can vary according to the listener and player.
Some folks prefer a more dark, chocolaty tone in a violin. Others are drawn toward ‘timbral brightness’, as one of my former instruments, a Josef-filius Andre-Guarnerius, was characterized.
As for violins that ‘have it all’ I’d have to say the ‘golden period’ Strads, the instruments he produced between 1710 and 1725, have arrived at perfection. Unfortunately the multi-million dollar price tags on these have prevented one from residing in my studio.
Nonetheless, there are modern instruments that come VERY close.  Michael Fischer, in Los Angeles, makes very fine sounding violins, now in the $15,000-$20,000 range.  And Greg Alf, of Ann Arbor Michigan, has made astoundingly accurate copies of Strads- down to the exact dimensions of grain width and wood density- that sound remarkably close to the original. I think he asks somewhere in the area of $70,000 for these ‘exotics’.
And there are instruments coming out of China these days in the below $5,000 price range. They can also sound terrific.
So, you might ask, if one can pick up and instrument that sounds terrific for under $5,000, why would you ever want to spend more?
Well, for some, having an instrument with a history, one that is a one-of-a-kind truly irreplaceable antique, carries with it a special kind of allure.
Yet there is something else. Though I said the above made instruments are CLOSE to a Strad in sound, they do fall short in one subtle yet important respect.
You see, as a violin is played the moisture in the wood will migrate through the wood which takes much longer-I don’t think a few days or even a year of high-frequency exposure near adequate- and which contributes even more to that elusive quality I’m talking about. These are the resins in the wood.
As this material aligns to the resonance patterns of the wood certain additional overtones manifest in the sound. And all other factors being equal, as in the case of master Alf’s Strad copies, this subtle distribution of resin is what makes the last critical difference between the original and the wanna-be.
Is it worth the $2 million and change it takes to get it, in a Strad?
Obviously yes, to a small minority of connoisseurs.
All the best, Clayton Haslop (edited by Ed Black, historian ASTA /NJ)
 

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ASTA (NJ) - CMI 2010 Composition Program Update by Paul Mack Somers

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Thirteen new student works received their premiers at the ASTA (NJ)-Chamber Music Institute (CMI) during the summer of 2010. Our two composition majors, Kathy Meyer, a cellist, and Dan Konstantinovsky, a pianist, in one week produced imaginative works. Meyer’s Introspection Spring, a duo for two celli, was a lyric piece of beauty and Konstantinovsky’s Argument, a trio for violin, viola, and ‘cello lived up to its title with a strongly conceived narrative shape. Both works were motivically well structured.

The two young composers met every morning for an hour with instructor Paul Mack Somers to talk over how their projects were coming along and to keep them thinking practically and structurally. Then, while the performing students were in chamber music coaching sessions, the composers went to their dorm rooms or into the practice rooms at Wilkins to work on their pieces alone.

Throughout the process the students were encouraged to bring up technical issues in conversation with the students attending CMI as performers. This was to get the performers used to thinking about what works for them and what doesn’t and to try to keep the composers “real”, writing playable music.

In one week, having begun their new pieces on Monday, they each produced substantial works three to four minutes in length for the Friday evening composition concert. Both pieces were well received.

CMI also offered an elective composition program for students who attended as performers. For one hour in the late afternoon those students, many of whom had never before composed one note of music, met with Somers. On Monday they had the most basic lesson in how to manipulate motives. Then they were challenged to compose a solo or duo in which every note was drawn from their original motivic idea. They learned that this is “the game” that all composers set for themselves. They learned to work “in the dome” where nothing but their composing dared intrude. Composing at an instrument was discouraged, so that the students could strengthen their ability to hear the sound in their heads and get the notes down on paper directly.

The results in the first session were five pieces in addition to those of the composition majors’ works, and in the second session six pieces. And these, though composed by students busy preparing chamber works, were mostly several minutes in length. Students who had taken the composition elective in past years, were encouraged to write for trio, while in the second week students who had composed solos during the first week were asked to compose for at least a duo.

Both Fridays’ composition concerts were attended not only by the full student body, but by various parents and faculty.

The assistance of counselors Lisa Miller (violin), Neil Aaronson (violin, viola), and Terrence Thornhill (cello) was most appreciated. Not only did they play most of the pieces produced (though various students also played some), but they were supportive in answering student composers’ technical questions, helping with the set up of the performance space, and in having the Friday concerts recorded.

The two programs are appended. Aoma Caldwell’s Pas de nom was repeated the second week because it was completed very close to performance time the first week and really needed more rehearsal:



ASTA—CMI
New Music Forum

July 30, 2010  7:30 pm

Wilkins Hall, Room 143
Kean University, Union, NJ


1. Introspection Spring                                                         Kathryn Meyer
Terrence Thornhill and Aoma Caldwell, violoncelli

2. Argument                                                           Daniel Konstantinovsky
Lisa Miller, violin; Terrence Thornhill, violoncello

3. Mouse Chase                                                                           Philip Dai
Philip Dai, violin

4. Night Time                                                                          Deborah Lee
Deborah Lee, violin

5. Song Quasi Sonata                                                                   Larry Qin
Larry Qin, violin

6. The Royal Allegro in D                                                            Matt Holt
Terrence Thornhill, violoncello

7. Pas avec de nom                                                             Aoma Caldwell
Kelsey Mulgrew, viola; Terrence Thornhill, violoncello


Paul Mack Somers, instructor/coach









ASTA—CMI
New Music Forum II

Friday, August 6, 2010  8:00 pm

Wilkins Hall, Room 143
Kean University, Union, NJ


1. Pas de nom                                                                     Aoma Caldwell
Kelsey Mulgrew, viola; Terrence Thornhill, violoncello

2. Shifting Down                                                                      Evan Pittson
Evan Pittson, viola

3. In My Dreams                                                                    Kara Delonas
Lisa Miller, violin; Neil Aaronson, viola;
Terrence Thornhill, violoncello

4. Spinning                                                                        Kelsey Mulgrew
Lisa Miller, violin; Neil Aaronson, viola

5. Caged B (a melodrama)                                                            Sheli Frank
    1. Freedom Bound
    2. Bound to Return
    3. Return Free
Lisa Miller, violin 1; Neil Aaronson, violin 2
Terrence Thornhill, speaker

6.  Duo in F minor                                                                  Matthew Holt
Neil Aaronson, violin; Terrence Thornhill, violoncello

7. Summer Gu Zheng Memory                                           Aoma Caldwell
Lisa Miller,  violin; Neil Aaronson, viola;
Terrence Thornhill, violoncello


   


Paul Mack Somers, instructor/coach

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The Italian Christmas Concerti by Ed Black, ASTA/NJ Historian

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Many of us are familiar with the Corelli “Christmas Concerto.” However, there is a “Bolognese School of Composition” that produced Giuseppe Torelli, Francesco Manfredini, and Pietro Locatelli as well. (The music, not the cheese.) These Concerti Grossi are beautiful gems that should be heard more often. All are published. When I taught in Belleville we did a different one on each Christmas (or winter) concert. I also did one on the Lakeland Symphony concerts. Students looked forward to which one I would select for our winter concert.
Often these Concerti were performed as separate pieces and not in entirety. For High School teachers it is a great way to train students to “play out” if they have one of the solo parts. (And they will practice like crazy to get one of those solo parts!) They are all scored for Violin one and two, Viola, Cello- Bass and Continuo. The only exception is the Locatelli which has two Viola parts. The concertino has Violin one and two, and a solo Cello part.  Three  have specific sections labeled “Pastorale” referring to the shepherds in the Nativity.
Recordings of these exist by I Musici, and I Solisti Italiani.  
Ed Black ASTA Historian

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