gwie

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About gwie

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  1. Sadly, no. All in-person events were cancelled on the campuses for this summer.
  2. Dear colleagues, I am directing a two-week summer festival in San Juan Capistrano, California, USA for K-12 and college students which features chamber music as well as a solo performance program for string and piano students. The solo performance aspect of our program is really quite special, as all student soloists have a daily rehearsal with the conducting team and principal players of the festival orchestra-in-residence, the California Solisti Chamber Orchestra (http://www.solisti.ca), and performance with the ensemble at the end of the week. It is open to players of all levels, from Vivaldi A Minor and Bach Double to Tchaikovsky and Sibelius! More details can be found at our web site: www.summermusicfestival.us
  3. The basic Tonalization exercise that starts on G natural on the D string from Book 2 onwards can be played in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions. It's useful to do that to work on the shape of the hand frame, and ensure that one can consistently hit the ringing tones in tune regardless of which finger is playing which note. For the left hand exercises, I would look at the finger pattern exercises of Schradiek as well as the 1-finger scales of Yost ahead of delving into etude books. Those exercises really reduce the individual technical problems of interval spacing in the fingers and movement of the left arm system down to their smallest components. For bow strokes, especially working on the sautille, I like using Perpetual Motion and Etude from book 1. While they are simple pieces, one can ramp up the challenges significantly by applying various bowing patterns. One of my students who was working on the written bowing for Paganini 5 recently discovered that playing Etude using that same bowing (three down, one up) was a real exercise.
  4. The St. Margaret's Summer Music Festival (est. 2012) offers week-long summer programs in Chamber Music (String Quartets) and Solo Performance with Orchestra (Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano). Running from June 24 through June 29, 2019, our artist faculty offer a superb program for K-12 and college students at very affordable tuition rates starting at $325/week. We are a small summer music festival with a tight-knit faculty and student cohort, and are delighted to present our intensive yet enriching program at the beautiful St. Margaret's Performing Arts Center, a gorgeous 49,000 sq. ft. facility centered on the stellar acoustics of the 450-seat Marcus D. Hurlbut Theater, one of finest venues for live ensemble music in Southern California. As an All-Steinway School, we feature an impressive collection of concert pianos, headed by a world-class Steinway Model D concert grand. Best of all, every single concert we present is free to the public! For more information and the online application, please visit our newly-relaunched website at: http://www.summermusicfestival.us
  5. Dear colleagues, I am once again for the fifth season directing a Summer Music Festival presented by The Arts at St. Margaret's, located in historic San Juan Capistrano, California, USA, from Monday, June 26 through Saturday, July 1. We have programs for Preschool-Grade 12/College students of all ages and ability levels, including Suzuki Strings, Solo Strings, Piano Performance, and Classical Voice. In addition to private lessons, group classes, performance classes, recitals, and collaborative piano rehearsals, all solo performers have the opportunity to play their repertoire with our Festival Orchestra! We close the week with concerts on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Tuition starts at $325 for half-day programs, and there are numerous excellent summer school classes offered concurrently through St. Margaret's Episcopal School, an elite private institution with offerings ranging from STEM (Coding, Robotics, 3D Printing) and Athletics of all kinds to Character Development and Academic Preparation (Math, Language). Please visit our website at www.smesarts.org for more information and the online application!
  6. You might want to look at the collections by Barbara Barber. She has published a number of volumes of complementary works of similar difficulty level for teachers and students looking to augment their repertoire beyond the Suzuki books.
  7. Their new budget set works great on inexpensive instruments. Alphayue is $20 or less for a set, available in sizes from 1/16 to 4/4, is lower tension and feels nice and soft under the fingers. The tone tends to be on the brighter side, but for its purposes that is just fine. Really, there were no strings of this quality on the market in this price range, and it is a game changer for school programs and fractional-sized instruments.
  8. Shar Music recently went on a counter-offensive on these counterfeit products, especially those marked as coming from Thomastik-Infeld. They had a massive sale on their products which discounted their popular sets like Dominant, Alphayue, and PI between 30%-50%. I ended up taking a chunk of my ensemble budget for my school and acquiring many sets of strings, which we were holding back on because of cost (and our refusal to buy cheap knockoffs).
  9. Dear colleagues, I am directing a Summer Music Festival presented by The Arts at St. Margaret's in partnership with Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California from June 20-July 1 in San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA. We have programs in Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music, Solo Strings, Suzuki Strings, Piano Performance, and a Professional Development Workshop for Music Educators. Joining me is my wife Chika who is coordinating the Solo and Suzuki String programs, my friend Jenny Visick who is coordinating the teacher workshop which features Alice Kay Kanack, the innovator behind "Creative Ability Development," and Dr. Andrea Garreffa, who is heading up our piano program. Our chamber music program features guest artists Yoko Matsuda (Sequoia Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music from Marlboro) and Eric Chin (Telegraph Quartet, 2014 Fischoff Grand Prize), and our Symphony Orchestra program includes professional musicians from ensembles throughout the US who coach play side-by-side with students; our past seasons have included players who have appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Seattle Opera. We have very reasonable tuition, wonderful facilities, and are in our fourth year of offering an intensive yet enjoyable experience for students of all ages and ability levels from preschool and K-12 through college. Please visit www.smesarts.org for more information, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
  10. Interestingly enough, I teach selected movements of both the Violin Sonatas/Partitas and the Cello Suites to my *clarinet* students because of their musical value.
  11. Especially for youth groups, I like section coaches that can focus on: 1. Bowings. 2. Bowings. 3. Bowings. ...then everything else. So many issues in youth orchestras and K-12 ensembles can be avoided entirely if consistent, practical, bowings are given and taught to the string sections. Surprisingly, even rhythmic problems can be addressed with intelligent bowings! As a youth orchestra director, I collaborate directly with my section coaches to come up with bowings that work for the level of students that we have in our ensembles, that serve the shape and direction of the music.
  12. Hey, these are really handy in a pinch! I tried a whole bunch of them and had no problem playing along, and I think if I did not know the accompaniment parts to pieces these would be helpful. Something to share with my more advanced students, to be sure! Have you tried the Cadenza App, btw?
  13. It's the pinkie. That fourth finger on the bow...it just hurts.
  14. We're a little over week out from the chamber music festival and still have a few spots left for violin and cello! There is still scholarship money available and it's not too late to sign up if you are interested.