Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome to the 2011-2012 School Year!

To the 2011-2012 NCSSM Orchestra:

Welcome to Orchestra at NCSSM. This is a fantastic community of musicians and scholars and I know that you will have a great time as part of this performing ensemble.

Here are all of the performance dates that you may need for the upcoming school year.
Please share this URL with you family and friends back home. I use my blog for sharing a variety of ideas and concepts that may not make it into our regular class time. I hope that you will get in the habit of checking it regularly.

Best wishes for a magnificent academic year!!

S Laird

NCSSM Orchestra Dates to Remember:

• Family Day Musical Performances September 10, 2011

• Alienor Harpsichord Event (Fine Arts Series) October 2, 2011 (End of Extended Weekend)

• Gwyneth Walker Residency – Mallarme Chamber Players

o Masterclass with NCSSM Strings, October 20-23

• Fall Orchestra and Chorale Pops Concert, October 30, 2011 2:00 PM

NC Honors Orchestra, Nov. 11-14

• Concerto Concert Auditions, November 28-29, after school ETC 140

• Nutcracker Dance Performance (Dance ensemble and Orchestra) Friday, December 9, 2011, 7:00

• Masterworks Concert, featuring NCSSM Orchestra and Chorale with Blacknall Church Choir
Feb 3, 4
o February 3, NCSSM, 7:00 PM
o February 4, 7:00 PM, Blacknall Church

• Student Art Exhibit, Opening: February 3, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
o Exhibit runs Feb 4-March 4
o Potential collaboration with Student Life (New World?)

• Winter Musical February 10-12, 2012
o 7:00 Show on Friday and Saturday
o 3:00 Show on Sunday

• Eastern Regional Orchestra, Feb 24-26, Concert: Feb 26, 3:00, NCSSM Host

• NCSSM Annual Concerto Concert, May 11, 2012, 7:00 pm

• NCSSM Chamber Music Recital – May 25, 2012, 9:00PM

Feb 20-28: Mini-term
April 6-15 Spring Break/Easter
April 21: Prom
May 19-21 Extended Weekend
May 26-28 Exams and Memorial Day weekend (everywhere but NCSSM…)
June 2: Commencement

Monday, August 8, 2011

Billie Jean - Electric Violin

Hey All -
Check this one out.
It is Julliard Student, Charles Yang on violin and vocals.
Really good stuff!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Top Ten (Top 20?)


Tom Ten Things I Will Miss About Interlochen

10. My Orchestra – in 3 short weeks, we have built a fine ensemble and community of young musicians. We have made some marvelous music and had a good time doing it. It is fun to be work hard and to be good!

9. My new community of musical colleagues – David, Lalene, Len, Rodney, Jim, Betty Ann, Liza, Jung Ho, Jarod, Jacey, Kelcey, and others. You have all made my time at Interlochen so rich. I have so much respect for each of you and look forward to continuing our relationship!

8. Sharing a one room cabin with my family - We have grown closer as a result of the proximity, without a doubt.

7. Coffee in the morning outside on the bench with Barbra – It is really nice to sit outside in the quiet of the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee!

6. Biking the roads of Northern Michigan every morning – I have really enjoyed the terrain, the wide berms, and the beautiful country-side every morning. What a great way to start a day.

5. A different lake at every turn- They are everywhere and they are all beautiful.

4. Picnics and "Nukem" Ball with my family in the evenings - Sunsets, games with the kids, picnic dinners, laughter, boats…

3. Ping Pong – Great fun with my boys and it doesn't cost a cent! Totally beats $40.00 for miniature golf.

2. Working in an environment where everyone is there for the arts first (ie: orchestra rules!) – I love teaching at NCSSM, but it is really a pleasure and nice change of pace to be in this all arts environment.

1.5 Concerts every night – It is so cool to go to exceptional music performances literally every day. And, such a broad spectrum: Jazz, classical, band, large ensembles, chamber music, solo performances, professionals, high school students, middle school students

1. My Interlochen routine – Wake up, 25 mile bike ride, check e-mail, lunch, rehearsal, dinner, attend a concert, home. Simple. Wonderful.


Top Ten Things I Can't Wait to Get Back To in North Carolina

10. Comfortable chairs in my living room – I just want a comfortable place to sit at the end of the day.

9. My own bed – A good night sleep is definitely not overrated!

8. My community of musicians and artists – (Phillip, Dave, Adam, Kathy, Evan, Willie, Craig, Betsy, Debbie, and others) I am so blessed to be around musicians and music educators that I respect so very much on a daily basis.

7. Places to go in my home to be alone – My wife calls my music studio my "spousal avoidance center." But, you know, sometimes a little space is a good thing.

6. Biking the roads and trails of Carolina – I love the terrain, the single tracks, my choice of bikes, clean biking gear, my bike shop, Duke Forest, the hills. You get the picture.

5. Fresh ground coffee in the morning with Barbra – That Cuisinart self-grinding coffee pot is always a highlight of getting home.

4. ESPN on the TV - Sorry. I am that shallow.

3. A quiet air conditioner (temperature controlled rooms) – I have really grown to appreciate quiet central air conditioning, having lived with fans and a super noisy in-window unit for the past three weeks.

2. My students at NCSSM - Best in the world: focused, smart, motivated, character and achievement oriented people.

1. My regular routine – I just have a great life. It has been fun to be away. I can't wait to be home.





Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thom Sharp's Nanigo with Solo Electric Violin

Hey all -

For you string teachers out there: How about trying the tune based on West African rhythms called Nanigo, by Thom Sharp (Latham Music) with percussion section and electric violin? I did this piece at Interlochen last week and it was a huge success! This week, I will be doing his “Samba Me This” along with an improvised solo on soprano sax by my friend, David Kaye. Thom’s charts are really well done and can be performed with or without improvised solos. They almost all can can effectively incorporate electric violin. I encourage you all to take a minute and check out Thom’s stuff!

All the best.