Those were the words given to us by our “high school” orchestra conductor, Thor Johnson, when we were playing a difficult new work by a Japanese composer in the mid-1960s. If you say each word on four beats, fitting the syllables equally in each beat, it helps create a rhythm of 2 + 3 + … Continue reading Peanut Butterfly Interlochen Boom
The Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra recently performed Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto (“The Emperor”) and his 6th Symphony (“The Pastoral”). I feel very fortunate to play timpani with this orchestra in that, unless you hold one of the few timpani positions with a full-time symphony orchestra, there are not a lot of opportunities to play timpani. … Continue reading Roll (on the timpani) Over Beethoven
A Production of the Woodstock Chimes Fund Since 2009, I’ve been the Executive Producer and driving force behind the Drum Boogie Festival, a free, fun, daylong music festival. The fifth biennial Drum Boogie Festival was held in Woodstock, NY on Saturday, Sept. 9th, 2017. Several thousand people enjoyed a great day of music as eleven … Continue reading Drum Boogie Festival® was a Booming Success!
Diane and I were putting up posters in Woodstock last night for the 2017 Drum Boogie Festival and ran into Juma Sultan on the street. Juma played conga drums with Jimi Hendrix at the famous ’69 Woodstock festival and has lived in the area since 1968. A little while later we ran into Joey Alexander, … Continue reading By the time we got to Woodstock…
I have been working with Russell since 1979 as a member of Steve Reich and Musicians and since 2002 as a member of NEXUS. Anyone who has had the honor of working with Russell knows the joy of music making with someone with such insight and musicality. I doubt the music of Steve Reich would be quite … Continue reading Colleague Russell Hartenberger wins big time!
In 1974, I performed with the Blackearth Percussion Group at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The young percussion teacher at that time was Jim Petercsak. Last week, 43 years later, history repeated itself, but this time it was with the percussion group NEXUS. The instructor in charge was, yes, Jim Petercsak. Professor … Continue reading NEXUS in Potsdam
People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation) Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation) Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation) I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation) This is my generation This is my generation, baby Those are some of the … Continue reading My Generation and the Next
How many companies can boast they held full opera orchestra rehearsals in their factory? Well, we can! The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice [phoeniciavoicefest.org] is in its 7th season and going strong. Phoenicia is a rustic town with some cultural flair nestled in the Catskill Mountains not far from our headquarters. The festival was founded … Continue reading Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Orchestra Rehearsal at Woodstock Chimes
NEXUS has always been a groundbreaking ensemble and Saturday night, June 4th was no exception. We had the honor of being the first percussion group to play at the 35-year-old Rockport Chamber Music Festival in the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. One feels like a 3-D component of a Norman Rockwell painting … Continue reading “On the Road Again” with NEXUS