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
I must brag a little and say we get a lot of fan mail from people who love Woodstock Chimes. I cherish every letter but recently got one that made all the blood, sweat and tears through the years worthwhile. It was beautifully handwritten by an 8-year-old boy living on the West Coast. Here is … Continue reading An 8-Year-Old with Good Taste!
For the past several years, I have given presentations to classes of future leaders here in the Hudson Valley at the invitation of the Ulster Leadership Development Institute. This twenty-five-year-old program is sponsored by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation. It is coordinated by the foundation’s Executive Director, Ingrid Kulick. Through the nine months of the program, … Continue reading Future Leaders are Facilitators
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!
Wooden boxes with carved tongues are musical instruments found all over the world. They go by lots of names such as Log Drums, Slit Drums, Kulkul and Teponaztli, to name a few. In this video, I demonstrate some of these instruments from my collection which have a range of sizes and styles. They are universally … Continue reading Unusual Instruments – Log Drum
On Friday night Jack DeJohnette played a spectacular piano concert at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild to an overflowing audience. He called it the Concert for Inner Peace. Jack is known as one of the very finest jazz drummers on the scene today, but his first instrument was piano and his range of styles and his … Continue reading Woodstock, the Most Famous Small Town in the World
The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971, formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1979. It was inspired in part by Jan Williams’ New Percussion Quartet of Buffalo and named after a small farm town in central Wisconsin. I was one of the original group members at age 22, along with my brother Rick Kvistad … Continue reading Blackearth Percussion Group Retrospective at PASIC 16 in Indianapolis
They say there are three types of people: those who are good at math and those who aren’t. But seriously, we have somehow lost our cultural connection between the sciences and the arts. There are only a few higher education institutions that have forums to create a nexus between these disciplines. One of these institutions … Continue reading Music and Math
We designed the Chimalong® to help children develop creativity at an early age. When our two daughters were young, I found little on the market that would inspire them to learn music, so I decided to create a metallophone from musically tuned Woodstock Chime tubes, and the Chimalong was born. Little did we know that … Continue reading Chimalong
The Blackearth Percussion Group was conceived in 1971 and formed in 1972. Original members included my brother, Rick Kvistad, Allen Otte, Michael Udow, Chris Braun and, of course, me. James Baird, David Johnson and Stacey Bowers joined later. The group has been invited to perform at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) this fall, the … Continue reading The Blackearth Percussion Group Reunites at a major Percussion Convention in Indianapolis