Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Joe Queenan's A-Z of classical music

These fabulous articles written by Joe Queenan for the Guardian were recommended by my Dad. Enjoy. You'll be glad you did. I have put two of them below. The rest can be accessed by clicking here.

A is for... Amadeus (Mozart)
Most of what the public knows about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart it knows from watching Milos Forman's bouncy, irreverent, factually absurd 1984 biopic. This is the Academy Award winner that briefly made Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham famous, before the public came to its senses. Forman, reworking Peter Shaffer's ingenious play, depicts Mozart as God's cruelest joke: a vulgar simpleton obsessed with bodily functions who has inexplicably been blessed with the ability to write a catchy tune.

The truth is more nuanced. Mozart was absolutely brilliant, the most talented artist in human history, doing more things well in a shorter lifetime than Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Picasso, Bono. He was a fabulous pianist, an amazing conductor, a superb violinist. He wrote the most sophisticated operas the world has ever known - cerebral compositions in an art form dominated by sappy cornballs - at least a dozen gorgeous symphonies (his early work does not count; he wrote his first symphony at age seven), truckloads of concertos for piano and violin, and haunting chamber music that will be performed up to and including Armageddon.

His Requiem, unfinished, surpasses any Requiem that is. There is no one alive today who is even vaguely in the same weight class as Mozart, nor has there been since Wagner died. And Wagner was only vaguely in the same weight class.

Arguably bringing more sheer beauty into the world than anyone who ever lived, Mozart was rewarded by the fates with a preposterously unhappy life. His childhood was sabotaged by his musician father, who pimped him out as a juvenile circus act; his aristocratic employers showered their wealth and praise on butchers and charlatans; he married badly; he was constantly in debt; he had bum kidneys. He was short, his hands were stubby, and, oh yes, his face was marred by smallpox. He died at age 35, and no one knows where he is buried. Anyone who believes that life is fair should try being born in Afghanistan or study the life of Mozart or just go straight to hell.

B is for... (Ludwig van) Beethoven
Every musician who thinks he is god's gift to the world can thank Ludwig van Beethoven - who actually was God's gift to the world. Before Beethoven, the rich and the stupid, who were usually one and the same, decided what got written and when it got performed - usually at the king's brunch; after Beethoven, musicians stopped being flunkies and got to call the tune. Beethoven was the first composer to write first and ask questions later; the whole notion of the tormented artist shaking his fist at a cruel and very possibly idiotic universe originates with him. Rock stars, with their pre-fab, off-the-rack personas, may not owe all that much to Beethoven's art. But they owe everything to his attitude.

Like Mozart, Beethoven wrote an enormous number of pieces that no one has come close to equalling. Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Shostakovich and Strauss all wrote majestic symphonies, but none of them equal the power and drama of Beethoven's Third, Fifth, Seventh or Ninth. Beethoven's sonatas are still the gold standard by which all pianists are measured; and his string quartets, written almost 200 years ago, still sound harsh and demanding, even to modern ears. Unlike most of his predecessors, whose music was sweet but harmless; Beethoven's music is generally dark and daring; unlike many of his descendants, whose music is intellectually challenging but unlistenable, Beethoven's music is haunting, sublime. As for minimalists like Philip Glass and John Adams, were Beethoven alive today, he would smack them.

Like Mozart, Beethoven was rewarded for his innumerable gifts to mankind by enduring a thoroughly miserable existence. Unlike the self-monauralizing Van Gogh, who could always fall back on that spare ear, Beethoven lost his hearing while he was still young, resulting in some rather wild conducting performances after he went deaf. Coarse, maladroit, hard to get along with, unsuccessful in love, Beethoven was still evolving as a composer when he died in his fifty-seventh year. None of us will ever live to see a 57-year-old composer who is not washed up. And yes, that includes Dylan.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Legal Structures for Businesses

There are four different legal structures businesses can take. They are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and Limited Liability Company. Most new businesses start out as sole proprietorships like QUADRE did in 1998. Each of these types have benefits and disadvantages. However, they can best be broken down in terms of ownership and liability.

In the eyes of the law, an individual and their sole proprietorship are one and the same. The individual has total ownership and total liability. Should they or their business go into debt or be sued, they could lose everything. In contrast, a partnership divides the ownership between 2 or more people. Again, business debts and lawsuits brought against the business become the obligation of the partners. A Limited Liability Company is similar to the partnership but has the limited liability of a corporation. Finally, a corporation is a legal entity unto itself meaning that the business is legally separate from its owners.

In QUADRE's case-as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation-our owners are the general public. Our board of directors serves the interests of the general public by making sure the corporation is financially responsible and by hiring/replacing the executive director when necessary. That would be me. Don't get any crazy ideas, though.

Disadvantages and Advantages of the Nonprofit Corporation

As most people know, contributions to non-profits are tax deductible, but the organization also benefits from a variety of other factors. Simply put they are: tax exemptions, limited liability, perpetual legal existence, employee benefits, and formality. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. Having a perpetual legal existence kind of makes QUADRE immortal. As the Nolo Press book, How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation states, "[the organization] may, of course, be dissolved but its inherent perpetuity adds an element of certainty regarding the continuance of the group's activities, an attractive feature to the private and public grantor."

While a nonprofit corporation can't share profits amongst employees (and yes, nonprofits can make a profit), salaries can and should be commensurate with for-profit organizations. Given the mission driven nature of QUADRE's work-performing concerts for all ages across the country in formal ticketed situations as well as for students in schools-I hope to see the day when all of the artists can look at QUADRE as a model for how an artist should be compensated and treated. Every season the organization makes great strides in this regard which I'm very proud of. Recent accomplishments include administrative compensation, rehearsal pay for musicians, residuals for recordings, union pension, and documented personnel policies.

Finally, the formality of the organization in regards to its documents (Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Minutes of Meetings, Board Resolutions, etc.) creates a "built-in set of ground rules...that is an important advantage...where the composition of the board includes diverse members of the community with correspondingly divergent interests." (Nolo Press, see above) Without these guidelines, reaching collective decisions would be difficult if not completely futile.

Things are not completely rosy however. Nonprofit corporations have a great deal of paperwork to deal with, the high cost of incorporation costs and fees, and lots of time & energy to maintain. The last one is certainly the most noticeable from my end. However, the amount of good that we have been able to do for the community since we became a non-profit is overwhelming. I do feel that the effort to keep things not only going, but going as well as possible, creates a strong incentive to tackle each hurdle with great aplomb.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Books on the Arts & Community

In the QUADRE office, we have a modest collection of books about the music business. This week I wanted to highlight two excellent books that grace our shelves. They both make great holiday gifts for the neighbor, friend, colleague with everything already.

Written by Donna Walker-Kuhne, this delightful text speaks to building bridges to the arts, culture and community. Gregory Mosher of Columbia University and former artistic director of the Lincoln Center Theater writes "it takes more than wonderful artists to make art–it takes wonderful audiences–and Donna Walker-Kuhne knows how to find them. Her strategy isn't 'one free play,' because to her, audience members are more than consumers. They are collaborators in a creative adventure. Her approach–tapping people's spirits and not just their pocketbooks–is genuinely inspiring and long overdue. Use it and you'll never again play for people who are there only because it's the night they have tickets. You deserve better." This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend.


Written by Abram Loft who spent 25 years performing with the Fine Arts Quartet, this book "gives a no-holds-barred account of what life is really like in a chamber music ensemble. This volume provokes thought as much as it entertains, and my copy promises to be the most worn book on my shelf," comments Phillip Ying, violist of the Ying Quartet and vice president of Chamber Music America. I will bring both books to the next board meeting for all of you to take a gander at.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Holiday Musical Link; Inspirational Quote

Got this from my parents who got this from someone who got this from somebody else... A fun little ditty to get us all in the holiday spirit. Click Here.

A quote that sits in the office (also from my parents). "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars..." (Unknown)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Higher Ground: Community Arts as Spiritual Practice

Inspiring link Eric Booth (man behind the Teaching Artist movement in
the US, professor at Julliard, genius, etc., etc.) sent from a
conference keynote by Arlene Goldbard: In the middle of a busy week, pause and


Music and the New Musicians

Eric's report from the Scottish conference:

Notes from the Music and the New Musicians Conference in Scotland
By Eric Booth

The conference was called Music and the New Musicians, funded by the Scottish Arts Council November 8-10 at the City Halls in Glasgow. The attendees were leaders in Scottish orchestra education and “outreach” efforts as well as well as those in similar situations in England and about ten other countries. The conference design put demonstrations at the center, with most of the talking head panels speaking mostly in response to the work we had seen. And we saw very significant work.

The work rates among the best I have ever seen. The role of the Animateur has never been so brilliantly demonstrated. The quality of the music learning in schools appeared repeatedly, providing a foundation and platform so high that the demonstrations achieved levels almost beyond imagining in the U.S. Indeed, upon reflection, that is what kept me so excited for my three days—I was witnessing work I had only imagined possible. Although I always voice and teach the possibility of high quality student composing, and prioritization of students’ intrinsic-motivation in the arts, I had never seen them as working norms, with special projects flying higher from there. The work expanded my sense of the possible, and the innate modesty of the Scots made it seem all the more glorious because they didn’t think what they shared was any big deal.

Following are the highlights of what had impact and lasting significance for me. It is a mishmash. My role was to give an opening keynote to spark the right energy for the gathering of 150 people, and a closing keynote that mirrored back what had been of significance. The attendees were mostly those involved in music outreach from Scottish and English orchestras, but there were colleagues in those positions from around Europe and some from Asia, and a few random additional attendees. One panel spoke of a revolution in the 1980s, when orchestras in the UK dramatically reconsidered their purpose and functioning. Many spoke of the time being ripe for a new revolution. I was deeply impressed by the accomplishments of their ‘80s revolution, and I did recognize and report a rare combination of forces lining up to advance Scotland’s orchestral outreach to new heights.

Three overall observations struck me repeatedly.
1) Everyone, player, administrators, educators, public advocates,
referred to the purpose, the very identity of their orchestras, as a community resource. It wasn’t just blather, it is the basis for their making choices about what the orchestra will do. Certainly this largely results from the fact that they receive much funding from the government. And it does not mean every musician is actively involved in outreach work, but it does mean that every musician believes in the fundamental importance and centrality of that work.
2) The musicians clearly loved the work with young people. There was
wholehearted participation in every moment, spontaneously applauding children who came up with good answers, playing passionately, clearly having great fun. They went out and talked with the kids on their own, before and after the performance. Players told me that unofficially players routinely bend union rules around outreach work, because they want to, and because its importance is understood and embraced.
3) The role of Animateur is well developed, widely respected and
appreciated. The three Animateurs I met were all musicians, working as freelancers, and were given wide creative latitude to design and lead the series they were assigned to. They think like American teaching artists; they lead workshops that are extremely like our professional development workshops, and they are really really good.

The Soundtown broadcast combined two projects. BBC Scotland places a radio studio in a different small town high school each year—Soundtown. They use it for a variety of purposes—from focus groups for political response to young people creating programming and getting excited about the technology. This day, from Kelso High School, Soundtown presented a live presentation of ten Kelso students with players from the BBC Scottish Symphony. The students and performers were live with us in a Glasgow performance hall, while a small group of students and faculty were back at the radio studio in Kelso to listen and respond live. The presentation was broadcast live to the nation, and It all worked very smoothly, including a surprise rap performance by one of the responding students about Soundtown in his school—it was beautiful to see how the teachers immediately warmed to the idea of a surprise rap performance, and how delighted they were with his gift.

The ten 13-15 year old students in Glasgow had worked with composer Alasdair Nicolson for three days, during which time with a quartet of BBC musicians was present the whole time to help the students try out their ideas. They used Nicolson’s approach to composing (see references at the end), which is well tried and effective. The resulting 2-4 minute compositions were stunningly successful. Ranging from a musical essay on procrastination to a haunting evocation of a childhood location, these were mature compositions, created in three days. The musicians were clearly thrilled to be part of it, and twice asked to perform a piece a second time because they hadn’t done it justice the first time. These were average music students, not prodigies nor those on a musical fast track—this work is within the three-day reach of a large percentage of Scottish high schoolers, and every piece was more sophisticated than any composition I had ever seen from American high school composition students.

That night we saw the world premier of Thrie Heids (three heads, three short pieces based on famous heads in history) composed and conducted by Animateur Stephen Deasley—it is musically thrilling half hour. Composed for an ensemble of eleven instruments and four electronic instruments that manipulated the instrument sounds, with Martin Parker doing a remarkable job designing the elegant electronic component. The sheer force of the sound and the beauty of the electronic elements was thrilling enough. However, the four electronic instruments were designed for and performed by four severely disabled young people with the ensemble—I must say in the ensemble because they were so fully participating. I had never witnessed the like of it—fine musicians from The Brewhouse, an new music ensemble, working as full equals with these four students and their school support team—fully embraced as well-rehearsed and relaxed partners. The instruments allowed them to make informed musical choices, to improvise within the structure, and to make excellent music. It was breathtaking to see them work so well within the ensemble and to be able to express themselves musically; to see the nods of recognition and collegiality move across the group and the students. And no one thought it was that big a deal. They were more excited about the beauty of the piece than the amazing inclusion of the young players. And interestingly, Deasley told me he purposely did not compose evident solos for the electronic instruments that would have enabled audiences to spot the young people in the lead and aesthetically isolate them from the fabric of the piece—he kept them as a part of the ensemble, which was the nature of the entire piece.

We also heard from Professor Nigel Hawthorne of Edinburgh Univ., who dedicates himself to creating new instruments for severely disabled people, including instruments that can be played by eye movements. That evening we saw a performance called The Four Seasons. This was a concert of 100 kids (to an audience of families, supporters and the public as well as our conference), 9 and 10 year olds, from two schools who put on a 30 minute piece of their response to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons in Buenos Aires. This was the culmination of work with 12 musicians from the Scottish Ensemble several of whom worked closely with the students, and the ensemble played parts of the focal works on the program. The kids had choreographed dances to some of their own compositions and to Vivaldi and Piazzolla. The movement work was clearly their choreography, led by dance teaching artist Rosina Bonsu, and was highly expressive and wonderfully chaotic, but rich with their own ideas, filled with their metaphors of response to the music and movement ideas. They brought their individual styles to the dance—one girl who clearly takes ballet class managed to put splits, arabesques and posing into her moves as kids all around her were sliding into base, doing kid friendly smashing into one another in the spring section. There was so much buy in from the schools—the hall filled with family, and loud cheering for every teacher and every musician at the end. The students’ compositions and performances were far more controlled than the dance, and for general music students, rather than music-focused students (no traditional orchestral instruments among the students, just instruments anyone could play), they became effective as performers as well as composers. They even included some choreographed flair playing some of the percussion. The support from the schools was extraordinary. Two days before the performance a teaching artist told the principal her students weren’t going to be ready, asked and was given an entire day off from school with all the kids to rehearse. They believe in art making as serious learning.

The next morning, we saw a Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra concert for 5 year olds that worked beautifully. It was cleverly shaped (by a freelance Animateur who had also been Animateur for The Four Seasons Project) Paul Rissman to keep them focused throughout Monster Music and to engage them where they were at. He also included a composition of his own, and the selections were fun, short, engaging and very alive. In the morning we experienced a 45 minute workshop for teachers that prepares them as partners for the Masterworks series of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which we attended that afternoon. The teacher workshop was very like one in the U.S., but more sophisticated because this was designed for music teachers—but was active the entire time. Workshop leader (Animateur) Stephen Deasley had us composing and performing for one another in ensemble, solving complex challenges for the one hour concert we saw afternoon for 500 teenage music students. The two pieces that were the focus of the concert—James MacMillan’s The Exorcism of Rio Sumpul and John Adams The Chairman Dances—for those who don’t know these contemporary composers, the work is subtle and complex, not really melodic, and deals with political themes. Animateur Paul Rissmann created a speedy and interesting cool lecture format, very music-analytic, occasionally participatory, filled with useful visual elements that he had designed—and it worked, at least it did for me, opening the pieces for me to grasp them more fully. This concert was a kickoff for the students who were about to start a composing project using those two works as inspiration. The musical performances were first rate, by the way.

Late that night we listened to the music of the Fusion Project of the Glasgow City Halls, which is a performance and music study venue, but has an active education program. This is a small program for the most economically struggling kids in town, what Americans call “at-risk” youth. They have taken great care to create an environment that is youth friendly, driven entirely by the interests of the students, and putting technology at the center. Some students work on mixing, others on DJ-ing, some create electronic music, with Pete Dowling guiding but not teaching, and with peer mentors basically running the work with the students which is all peer-inquiry driven creating a tight group that becomes committed to their projects and the process. The results of the music at the evening party was a musically fun and proud mix that made for a great social event, that the kids basically shaped with their creations. Picture 150 adults drinking a lot of wine at a party the teenagers were delighted to musically guide, appropriately and with real flair. On the closing day, students greeted us in the hall with music—it was a statewide launch of a national music strategy. Even though the current state of music in Scottish schools is very high by international standards, a series of initiatives have come into play that may well launch the music learning of Scotland to international leadership. The first opportunity is a national dialogue led by the government around “cultural entitlement.” The nation is trying to determine what every Scottish resident can expect in terms of arts and culture. This debate is not received cynically, but rather is prompting government officials and members of the public to agree about long term spending and goals for the cultural life of the nation, institutionalizing universal access and greater equity.
Concurrently there is a national Creativity Agenda underway, to find ways the governmental, corporate, social and educational institutions can boost the presence and priority of creativity.

There is also a new national educational curriculum being designed, call the Curriculum for Excellence. Remarkably, it does not emphasize quantifiable measures of success as its goals, but rather prides itself on being learner-centric, with these four essential capacities as the goals of the curriculum: confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens, and effective contributors. Arts education supporters are only beginning to realize that these goals place them in a central position of schooling, more than they have ever been, with an emerging mandate for creativity across the curriculum. They are only just now beginning to come to grips with the possibilities this opens for them. Finally, the last day of our conference was the launch of their new National Youth Music Strategy which was presented with appropriate flair (the modest Scottish version of hoopla). Remarkably, it aspires to provide every Scottish student with: music-making experience, instructions that respects and supports their individual musical preferences (electric guitar is as respected as violin), access to high quality (physical and human) musical resources, instruction to develop their music-making to whatever level they aspire to go. It aspires to make both music-making and music-composing as essential learning components for every students.

The ceremony included performances by young people, including a brass band, a jazz band, a bagpipe ensemble, an all-white gospel choir, and one more group. This final group was introduced by the Culture Minister herself at the culminating moment. She is a rather prim, soft spoken older lady, and after her speech she cheerfully called forth the final musical offering, which was a punk rock band of four boys, who went full out with screaming and shouting, gyrating, well-grunged in outfit. The Minister tapped her toes happily through the loud raucous six minutes, and everyone was quite thrilled with them. All musics are equal. All music making is honored. All musicians and music teachers wish to contribute to the national goal.
The modest Scots were at pains to point out the ways in which they are less than ideal, the ways in which they have much to accomplish. Their partnering between orchestras and schools is not strong. Their education training for musicians is no stronger than in the U.S. Their pre-service training in the arts for emerging school teachers does not include much use of the arts, and their understanding of arts-integration is not advanced. Nonetheless, they are doing world-leadership quality work in many areas, and are committed to significant new achievement in the years immediately at hand.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Think Test Marketing

Derek Sivers - http://www.cdbaby.net/derek

In this indie music world, the best thing you can do is think in terms of “Test Marketing.”

This is what food companies do before they release a new product. They release it just in Denver (for example), and see what people think of it there. They get feedback. They try a different name. They try an improved flavor, based on complaints or compliments. They try a different ad campaign. They see what works. Constantly improving.

When it’s a huge success in Denver, they know they’re on to something good. They can now release it in Portland, Dallas, and Pittsburgh. Do the same thing.

When everyone seems to like it, they get the financial backing to “roll it out” and confidently spend a ton of money to distribute it around the whole country, or the whole world. The people investing money into it are confident, because it was a huge success in all the test markets.

Think of what you’re doing with your music as test marketing.

When you’re a huge success on a lower level, or in a small area, THEN you can go to the big companies and ask for financial or resource help to “roll it out” to the country or world.

Then they’ll feel confident that their big money is being well invested.


In doing this test marketing you should make a plan that will make you a success even if nobody comes along with their magic wand.

Start now. Don’t wait for a “deal”.

Don’t just record a “demo” that is meant only for record companies.

You have all the resources you need to make a finished CD that thousands of people would want to buy. If you need more money, get it from anyone except a record company.

And if, as you’re following your great business plan, selling hundreds, then thousands of CDs, selling out small, then larger venues, getting on the cover of magazines... you’ll be doing so well that you won’t need a record deal.

And if a record deal IS offered to you, you’ll be in the fine position of taking it or leaving it. There’s nothing more attractive to an investor than someone who doesn’t need their money. Someone who’s going to be successful whether they’re involved or not.

Make the kind of business plan that will get you to a good sustainable level of success, even without a big record deal. That way you’ll win no matter what happens.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

EAM Music Quote; Life Quote

Taken from the European American Distributors email newsletter ...

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music –Aldous Huxley

An old-ee, but a good-ee that hangs in the QUADRE office.

Cherish your Yesterdays; Dream your Tomorrows; but Live your Todays.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Winning Drawing from Las Vegas; Body Mapping

QUADRE is back from Las Vegas. It was a smashing success. The concerts went very well. The lectures were informative. And we got to try out a lot of different horns and mutes in the exhibit hall. Our booth in the exhibit hall had a chance for one lucky individual to win a CD by signing up for our mailing list.

After returning to Mountain View I put all the mailing list names in a basket (about 20). Wen-Liang Chung, our Tuesday volunteer, drew the winning name. And the winner is Brian O'Connor, the horn professor for UCLA. Now the fact that I went to UCLA may seem fishy, but I'll say that it was a very fair process. Congratulations to Brian. Maybe we'll get a chance to play at UCLA very soon. Hmmm.

One of those informative lectures at the US Western Horn Symposium in Las Vegas was on body mapping led by Dr. Stephen Caplan, the oboe professor at UNLV and a certified Andover Educator.

A BODY MAP is the brain's map of the body including structure, function and size. When our physical self-representation is adequate and accurate, then our movement is effective and safe. BODY MAPPING is the conscious correcting and refining of one's body map to produce efficient, graceful, coordinated, and effective movement. He goes on to say that "as musicians recover the integrity of their body maps, the quality of their musical performance significantly improves."

I found that my sound got even better when I applied his principles. To learn more visit www.bodymap.org.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

American Music Center; Teaching Artist Fellowship

They are advocates for new music in the United States. One of their coolest grant programs is called “The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program.” More information is here: www.amc.net This program supports organizations that record contemporary American music. Definitely a good organization to know for our next and successive CD projects.

From Shannon McDonnell with Montalvo Arts

Montalvo announces Teaching Artist Fellowship winners
SARATOGA, Calif. - Montalvo Arts Center today announced that Daniel A. Kelin II (Honolulu, HI); Carol Ponder (Nashville, TN); Nilea Rohrer-Parvin (Austin, TX); and Sophia L. Torres (Houston, TX) have been named as recipients of the new Teaching Artist Fellowship, an initiative combining the strengths of Montalvo’s education program and the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Programs.

The first national award of its kind dedicated to professional teaching artists, the Teaching Artist Fellowship provides a three-month residency at Montalvo’s Lucas Artists Programs and partnership with a local school for curriculum development. Fellowship winners were selected from more than 100 applicants by a panel of some of the most distinguished leaders in the arts education world. Teaching artists are professional artists who concurrently dedicate themselves to arts education, with both artistic and educational skills, teaching within and beyond their artistic discipline.

“For decades, thousands of teaching artists have served under the radar as quiet resources, extending and deepening arts education in schools across the country,” said Juilliard faculty member Eric Booth, prominent teaching artist and leader of the Teaching Artist Fellowship team at Montalvo Arts Center. “This fellowship is a new high-water mark as the field of teaching artistry emerges as a distinct profession.”

Daniel A. Kelin II is the Director of Drama Education with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Kelin has taught in Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands and Samoa, and developed specialty programs for Pacific Island English as a Second Language Learners throughout Hawaii. The American Alliance for Theatre and Education awarded him the 1995 Youth Theatre Director of the Year award and in 2002 he was honored with the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Barbara Karlin grant. His published works include Marshall Islands Legends and Stories and To Feel As Our Ancestors Did, Collecting and Performing Oral Histories.

Carol Ponder, a professional singer, actress, and musician of almost 40 years, has more than 18 years of experience in education through the arts. In her capacities as Teaching Artist and consultant, Ponder has taught in the classroom and worked with many configurations of teachers, from one-on-one intensives to workshops of over 100 participants, leading professional development seminars for Teaching Artists throughout the North and Southeast. Ponder has also worked both individually and with teachers in numerous organizations to design and execute assessment strategies and program evaluations for arts education curricula. In 2000, Ponder received the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Fellowship in Music, an annual award recognizing artistic excellence.

Nilea Rohrer-Parvin is a leader and activist in the field of arts education whose work emphasizes inquiry-based, integrated curricula within schools and classrooms. She has conducted professional development programs and facilitated numerous art programs for people with disabilities and ESL students. Rohrer-Parvin designed and implemented the A.E.I.O.U. Program (Arts Education Increases Our Understanding), establishing an interdisciplinary arts curriculum for an International Baccalaureate program in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council and VSAarts, Texas, she is the recipient of the Arkansas Art Educators Award and continues her own education studying metallurgy and engineering design graphics.
Sophia L. Torres is a Founding Member and Co-Artistic Director of Psophonia Dance Company in Houston, Texas. She has choreographed 20 original works under Psophonia and has been recognized by American College Dance Festival, DiverseWorks Artspace, JCC’s Choreographer’s X6, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre for her innovative choreography. She received the Artist Fellowship Award in Choreography and three Artist Project Awards for arts in education programming from Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County, Texas. Torres is on the faculty at the University of Houston and is actively involved in creating quality arts in education programs for Houston students.

“We were happily surprised by the number of submissions we received from passionate and committed candidates from across the country, and are thrilled with the fellows that have been selected,” said Katie Haggerty, director of education at Montalvo Arts Center. “The four Teaching Artist Fellows share a special, creative approach to their lives, and their ideas of what can happen when the community of artists at Montalvo and the students at Downtown College Prep come together are truly inspiring.”

The fellows will first meet together at Montalvo in June 2007 for an intensive planning week and will return for individual three-month residencies over the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years. While in residence, the fellows will divide their time between the Lucas Artists Programs, Montalvo’s education program and their partnership with Downtown College Preparatory School in San Jose.

“This is a great opportunity for our students,” said Jennifer Andaluz, principal at Downtown College Prep. “At a time when the arts are being cut in schools across the nation, we have the opportunity to have incredible teaching artists in the classroom, developing new curriculum that will inspire creativity across the disciplines.”

“The Teaching Fellows program is such a rich opportunity for everyone involved - the artists, the students and the community,” said Robert Sain, executive director at Montalvo. “We see this as an amazing opportunity to provide the fellows with time to dedicate to their work, as well as the chance to share this work and their breadth of experience with the youth and community members of Silicon Valley.”

For additional information about the Teaching Artist Fellowship program and selected fellows, visit www.montalvoarts.org or call (408) 961-5812 or (408) 777-2119.

About Montalvo Arts Center
Montalvo Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to forging meaningful connections between art, artists and the communities it serves through creation, presentation and education in extraordinary ways and settings. Located in the Saratoga hills, Montalvo Arts Center occupies a Mediterranean-style villa on 175 stunning acres, which Senator James Phelan left to the people of California for the encouragement of art, music, literature and architecture. In January 2005, the organization changed its name from “Montalvo” to “Montalvo Arts Center” to commemorate its 75th year as an arts center and to better communicate its mission to expanding local, national and international audiences. For more information about Montalvo Arts Center, call (408) 961-5800 or visit www.montalvoarts.org.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

KQED Spark!

This is a great community television show broadcast on PBS KQED 9. It focuses on the arts community in the greater SF Bay Area. More below:

Catch SPARK every Wed. at 7:30pm and Fri. at 11pm on KQED 9 -- check listings for airings on KQED’s digital channels...

This Week on SPARK

Musical Instruments
SPARK, KQED’s weekly series on the Bay Area’s art scene, continues this Wednesday as we go on a creative journey with musicians and their chosen instruments.

Master Class: Take a master class with the world famous soprano Barbara Bonney.

Nicholas McGegan’s Harpsichords: See how all things Baroque has filled Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra conductor’s life with music.

The B3 Legacy: Jam with Wil Blades, the hippest organ player in the Bay Area.

Composer: Accompany Stephen Kent, a didgeridoo player from the UK, through the park.

Next Week on SPARK
The Influence of Memory (repeat)
• Painter Christopher Brown
• Photographer Binh Danh
• Flo Oy Wong
• Deborah Slater

Think of What They Want


Another nugget of knowledge from Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby.

Want to know the basic rule or marketing and promoting your music?

Constantly ask, “What do they really want?” (with “they” being anyone you are trying to reach)

Think hard, and don’t take this one lightly.

Thinking of everything from the other person’s point of view is a seeeerious Jedi mind trick. If done right, it will elevate you into the clouds along with a few select immortal beings.

Every time you lift up the phone. Every time you write an Email. Every time you send out a presskit.

Think why people in the music industry are REALLY working this job. Try to imagine them as just a well-meaning human being who is probably overworked, looking for a little happiness in the world, and likes music (or the music world itself) enough to do what they do, even though they could be doing something else.

Think what their Email “IN” box must look like, and how it would be unwise for you to send them an email with the subject of “hey” followed by a 7-page Email detailing your wishes for success.

Think what people are REALLY looking for when they go out to a club to hear music. For some people, it’s just a way to be seem to increase their popularity. For some, they’re searching for some music that does something completely original and mind-blowing. Some are looking for total visual entertainment.

Nobody owes you their attention. Not your audience. Not a person you happened to call or Email. Not even the music industry.

Let go of your ego entirely. Think of everything from their point of view. Be their dream come true. Do what they really want.
(This even goes down to the smallest levels: what kind of phone message you leave, what kind of cover letter you write in a package, what kind of subject header you put in your email.)

And maybe, just maybe, they’ll be or do exactly what you want.

Derek Sivers - http://www.cdbaby.net/derek

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chamber Music America; Humorous Lesson Policies

OK. You're on the board for a chamber music group OR you play in one. Someone comes up to you and asks you what's the definition of chamber music after you tell them how fabulous QUADRE is. (Sound familiar?)

Well, who do you go to for the answer? Chamber Music America, of course!! They are the national service organization for the chamber music profession. Their website is www.chamber-music.org/events/. They are the ones that send you that Chamber Music magazine every other month. We received our Rural Residency grant from them (that year in Alabama in 1999-2000) & they have been strong advocates for us since the beginning.

So check out their website. If you're interested, come to New York with me in January for the conference. We can share a room and have a ton of fun. And by the way, they have defined chamber music to be "an ensemble of 2-10 players with one person on a part without a conductor."

From John Lampkin; Click here to view the PDF.
Don't play a wrong note. It might cost you something in John's private studio.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

New Orchestra Types; Venture Capitalists

Another forward for you folks. This one talks about the new types of orchestras you are starting to see on the scene.

All of the artists in QUADRE are entitled to Costco memberships. Since that is the case, we all get the Coctco magazine that comes around each month. This month's issue had an article about "taking the vulture out of venture capitalists." After reading the article, I saw a great many similarities between the entrepreneur/venture capitalist and the artist/grant organization.

Quoting from the article below, I've just substituted a word here and there.

"There are three major 'lacks' in artist plan proposals that influence perceived granting organizations risk. These are: lack of management team experience, lack of an established track record for the artists' work or the artists' work lacking a marketing plan/way to disseminate their work."

Other points that jumped out:
TIMING - approach a granting organization when you can show demonstrated success
CORE AREAS - approach granting organizations that support your core area
EXPERIENCE - seek out granting organizations with a solid track record & plan
BE PATIENT - apply year after year; your persistance will pay off
BE HONEST - unethical behavior spreads quickly; all granting orgs know each other
PRE-APPROACH - Seek out connections within their organization before applying
RECOMMENDATIONS - Ask for recommendations from other artists

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

October is "Funding for Arts" Month

Released by Foundation Center, September 18, 2006

Back by popular demand, the Foundation Center's Funding for Arts Month returns this October!

Join us throughout October for opportunities to find up-to-date information on foundation funding in the arts field, meet key grantmakers active in this area, and network with colleagues. You'll find more details on the events, educational programs, and resources relating to Funding for Arts Month at all five of our locations and at our web site at Focus on Arts Funding.

You can also subscribe to our free monthly newsletter Arts Funding Watch, delivered weekly in October,and/or the newsletter for the regional center in your area.

To register for events or educational programs, please refer to the October calendar for our New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, regional centers.

Feel free to forward this message to anyone you believe would be interested in Funding for Arts Month.

We hope to see you in October!

Reactions to Sept. 13 QUADRE Concert

As you all know, we received a lot of very positive and wonderful feedback at our September 13 concert at the Community School of Music and Arts, Finn Center. We had a very diverse audience that came due to the marketing efforts of CSMA and ourselves. Just a great way to Kick-Off the season.

I wanted to share a couple letters we received the following week:

"Your Wednesday night 'QUADRE' concert was a treat to hear. As I become more familiar with French horn music, I find your mellow tones even more enjoyable. Enclosing an extra donation. May time in Nevada be productive for your group."

"I have attended a number of your concerts but none have captured my heart like your Kick-Off concert last Wednesday. The intimate setting of Tateuchi Hall lent itself well to your warm humor and your music. Your four horns were truly one voice that drew pictures in each piece and, for me, especially in light hearted Nimble & Quick; in toe tapping Rolling Home; in deeply moving Moments and playful Landler; and in beautiful Shepherd's Call. Thank you for that evening! All the best in the coming season!"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Maxims for Young Musicians; Music Software

In addition to being a fabulous composer, Robert Schumann was quite the writer. His journal, 'Neue Zeitschrift der Musik,' played advocate to many of the great composers of his day including Chopin and Brahms. A growing mental instability throughout his life finally turned into insanity, and Schumann had to be institutionalized. He died in 1856 at the age of 46. What follows are a couple of the many thoughts he had for the aspiring young musician.

"Play in time! the playing of some virtuosos resembles the walk of a drunken man. Do not make these your models."
"Always play as though a master were present."
"You must reach the point where you can hear the music from the printed page."
"Try to play easy pieces well; it is better than to play difficult ones poorly."
"To play overmuch in society is more injurious than advantageous. Study your audience; yet never play anything of which in your own heart you feel ashamed."

For more of Schumann's thoughts check out his book, 'On Music and Musicians,' by Robert Schumann. Edited by Konrad Wolff. Translated by Paul Rosenfeld. Published by McGraw-Hill Book Company.

As a modern-day composer, I have the advantage of the computer to help me turn out music very quickly that is quite legible. There are several computer software programs that allow you to do this: Encore, Finale, and Notion. One of the programs that I've found really useful is Sibelius. Created by twin brothers that live in Europe, Sibelius has been used by composers everywhere to make our lives less traumatic. I used this program to write 'Reason to Rhyme' and I've taught all-day classes on it at the Community School of Music and Arts. For more information on this piece of software go to: http://www.sibelius.com.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

International Musician; Cornucopia

It is the official journal of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. (Interesting it is called the "International" musician don't you think?!) Anyway, it is a monthly magazine that lists - with the musician in mind - the latest gadgets, health issues, reports, and job listings from around the country. This last one is the most important since this is how we find out about music jobs that pay a living (and non-living) wage in North America. In 2003, QUADRE listed openings in the job section. It may be something that we'll consider again given our current situation. I'll bring a couple copies of the magazine to the next meeting. If you're interested, they also have a companion website at http://www.internationalmusician.org.

On a much smaller scale, Marilyn Bone Kloss - an amateur horn enthusiast - publishes a periodical of news and articles for anyone interested in the horn. It is a publication of the New England Horn Society. It tends to be focused on East coast activities and the larger horn symposiums which she always attends. The latest publication that is sitting on my desk talks about the 2006 IHS (International Horn Symposium) in Cape Town, South Africa. It had about 100 people in attendance and was - by far - the most intimate horn conference in recent memory. She has an interesting perspective on life in the horn community and helps us all to see different angles. Their web site is http://www.hornnewengland.org.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Other Horn Quartets

Believe it or not, we're not the only horn quartet in the world!! There are a lot of other great groups out there. I thought you'd like to see what some of them look like. I've broken them down by geographic location. This is by no means a complete list - just a few of the ones I know about. Two of the other hottest groups on the circuit are based in Europe - the American Horn Quartet & the Budapest Festival Horn Quartet.

Baltimore Horn Quartet
Four Hornsmen
NFB Horn Quartet (no web site)
Transatlantic Horn Quartet (2 members live in UK)
US Army Field Band Horn Quartet

American Horn Quartet
Budapest Festival Horn Quartet
Cornissimo Horn Quartet
Cyprium Horn Quartet
Leipzig Horn Quartet
Liege Horn Quartet (no web site)
Potsdam Horn Quartet
Zurich Horn Quartet

Moscow Horn Quartet
Tokyo Horn Quartet

Fans on our Website

(Thanks to Derek Sivers - CD Baby founder for another nugget)

Secret trick to get people in the audience to sign your mailing list AND be part of your inside club.

1. At every show you do, from now on, bring a camera and a notebook.
2. About halfway through your show, when everyone is having fun, take pictures of the audience, from the stage. Tell them to smile, make a face, hold up their beer, whatever.
3. Afterwards, pass around the notebook and say, "Please write down your email address in this notebook, and in a few days, I'll email you, telling you where you can see YOUR goofy picture on my website."
4. At the end of the night, before bed, write up a journal/diary/memoir of that show. Scan and upload all their pictures onto a page of your website. Dedicate a page of your site about that show, with the diary, photos, and a little link on that page that says, "If you were at this show, please introduce yourself!" - so people can contact you.
5. Email everyone that was there that night. Of course EVERYone will go look at your site. How could they not? People are infinitely more interested in themselves than they are in you.
6. Stay in touch with them all!

(p.s. The other hidden idea in this is to make every show a Real Event. A Big Deal. Something worth documenting. This will get you out of the habit of thinking of it as "just another gig." Because for many of your fans, it's not. It's the most fun they've had all month.)

Here's an example. One of my old outdated tour diaries:
(After starting CD Baby in 1998 I stopped touring. But since I had been on the road for 10 years straight, I'm not complaining.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reviews at CD Baby

Last week I talked about CD Baby and its online and digital distribution network. Well, this week I'm happy to report that we are now selling "Citrus" live on the web. Click here to see our page: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/quadre

At the bottom you'll notice that you can add a review. Please do this and get anyone you know to add their thoughts as well. No musical experience necessary - just need ears. Just say what you thought of the album. Also send the above link to a friend that you think would really like to buy our CD. They can hear a lot of the CD just by clicking on the songs. (And if they buy multiple CDs, they are all at half price!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

CD Baby; Call the Destination, and Ask for Directions

Cd Baby is an online distributor for CD recordings. They have been around since 1998. I've wanted to get QUADRE up on their site and this week I finally had the time to take care of it. We're not up yet, but we will be soon. They sell our CDs online and take a cut of $4 per CD. We get the profit automatically when they have received $20 or more. (It goes straight to our bank account.) They take care of all the shipping and accept VISA, Mastercard, & Discover. We'll also be able to sell our CDs with credit cards at our live shows in December and March through them. In addition, they digitally distribute our CD so we will be on iTunes & all the other sites out there within the next few months or so. Here is a link to their website:


The best part is the cost. Since it is run by an 'indie' musician, the fees are very reasonable: $4/CD for hard copy sales; only 9% for digital sales; and a one-time $35 set-up fee. No monthly or annual fees. The credit card swiper at our live shows was only a $30 deposit. No monthly fees for that either. Good company with lots of good advice. The next segment is some of that advice from the owner of CD BABY, Derek Sivers.

by Derek Sivers

Work backwards.

Define your goal (your final destination) - then contact someone who's there, and ask how to get there.

Know a magazine you think you should be in? Call their main number, ask for the editorial department, and ask someone in editorial if they could recommend their three favorite publicists. Write down the publicists' names, and thank the nice editorial person for their time. (Don't waste their time asking for the publicists' contact info. You can find that on the web.) Then call each publicist, and try to get their attention.

Know a radio station you should be on? Call them and ask for the music director. Ask if they could recommend a few good radio promoters. Call the radio promoters they recommend, and try to get their attention.

Know a venue you should be playing? Bring a nice box of fancy German cookies to the club booker, and ask for just 5 minutes of their advice. Ask them what criteria must be met in order for them to take a chance on an act. Ask what booking agents they recommend, or if they recommend using one at all. Again, keep your meeting as short as possible. Get the crucial info, then leave them alone. (Until you're back, headlining their club one day!)

I know an artist manager of a small unsigned act, who over the course of a year, met with the managers of U2, REM, and other top acts. She asked them for their advice, coming from the top, and got great suggestions that she's used with big results.

In other words: Call the destination, and ask for directions.

You'll get there much faster than just blindly walking out your front door, hoping you arrive someday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Music in the Schools; Blogging About the Arts

The following article was recommended by Angela Beeching at the New England Conservatory of Music. I thought it was an interesting take on bringing music into the schools.

Click here to access the story:

Barry C. Hessenius was the former director of the California Arts Council before its funding was greatly diminished in 2001. He is now the executive director of San Francisco's LINES Ballet. He leads a blog about concerns that affect the arts and specifically, the arts administrator. Click below to access his latest blog:


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Earplay; Fireworks New Music Ensemble

(Taken from their web site)
For more than two decades in San Francisco, Earplay's passionate group of performers and composers has been dedicated to creating new chamber music, nurturing both emerging and well-known composers, and seeking out exciting new works.

Earplay's music is lyrical and ferocious, modern and Romantic, finely honed and accessible. Subscribe to Earplay's 21st season to hear all new music. Every piece on every concert is a World, U.S., West Coast, or Bay Area premiere. For each season subscription you purchase, receive a complimentary ticket to our post-concert receptions. For more information go to http://www.earplay.org.

(Taken from their web site)
Hailed as “the hottest new classical band in New York,” Fireworks – Jennifer Grim (flute), Michael Ibrahim (saxophone), Oren Fader (guitar), Jennifer Choi (violin), Leigh Stuart (cello), James Johnston (keyboards), Brian Coughlin (bass), and Eric Poland (percussion) – combines the subtlety and depth of classical chamber music with the freedom of jazz and the power and energy of rock.

Rooted in the classical tradition, Fireworks embraces great music from all cultures, periods, and styles as dialects of a single musical language, and as vital, living art. Fireworks' mission is to help masterworks from across the musical spectrum find new and larger audiences, and to create and nurture a canon of great new music by today's composers.

Cultivating the most diverse repertoire of any contemporary music ensemble, Fireworks is at home with any audience in any musical setting. The ensemble's remarkable arrangements and interpretations of music by composers from around the world, ranging from Bach to Ellington to Aphex Twin to Piazolla, provide a contemporary and unbiased entrée into these masterpieces for new listeners, and a fresh perspective on time-honored classics for established audiences.

A strong voice for today's composers, Fireworks actively commissions and fearlessly champions new works. Since its inception in 2000, the ensemble has premiered over 50 pieces by both established and emerging composers including Glenn Branca, Robert Carl, and Nick Didkovsky. Fireworks' flexible instrumentation, openness to music in all of its diverse forms, and dedication to presenting contemporary works at the highest level provides today's composers with the greatest freedom of expression for their ideas.

They are represented by MCM Artists. For more information go to http://www.fireworks-ensemble.org/main.htm

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

KMVT Community TV; Compasspoint

As many of you are aware, Mountain View has its own community television station, cable 15. They are a non-profit organization and have programming everyday that runs the gamut: local sports games to HealthTalk to Indian Vegetarian Gourmet. (See www.kmvt15.org for additional programming information.) They also offer nonprofit media solutions at - they like to say - "twice the quality at half the cost." I'm talking to them about possibly filming our concert in December as well as capturing our organization's heart & soul for promotional purposes. Please take a moment to get to know this wonderful asset in the Mountain View community.

This is the organization that sponsored the 'Nonprofit Day' that I attended a week ago. They have tons of resources at their website to look at: www.compasspoint.org. In particular, I recommend you check out the funders directory for the Silicon Valley at the following link: http://www.compasspoint.org/funders/index.php?pid=126. Lots of useful information here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Booking Conferences; Horn Workshops

The term 'booking conference' refers to 5 or so major conferences in our industry. While there are a lot more, these 5 cover most of the places where chamber music groups like ourselves can get noticed. They are the Western Arts Alliance, Midwest Arts, Performing Arts Federation, Arts Presenters, and Chamber Music America. Groups showcase at them (see Tuesday@2; 4/11/06) and sell themselves and their products on exhibit floors. Not a lot of business takes place, but a lot of contacts are made in a short period of time. At the next board meeting, we'll be deciding whether QUADRE should have a booth at the upcoming Western Arts Alliance conference in September at Long Beach's convention center.

Since our group is made up of entirely horn players (duh), horn workshops are another great place for us to gain exposure. Typically 50-400 people gather for these workshops. There are recitals, masterclasses, vendors, and lots of chances to connect with your colleagues and peers. QUADRE was a featured artist at the 2000 Southeast Horn Workshop in Alabama. I also gave a lecture on our industry at the 2003 International Horn Symposium in Indiana. Just a few minutes ago, QUADRE was invited to perform at the next Western US Horn Symposium in Las Vegas at the end of October, 2006. This is truly exciting news. They heard our latest CD and would be thrilled to have us come out. While the details still need to be worked out, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to perform for our peers.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Commissioning; Foundation Center

This heralded tradition in classical music has created some of the great masterpieces throughout history. Despite the misconception that composers generally write for their muse, most times they are paid and commissioned to compose works. Many of Franz Joseph Haydn’s works came about due to the generosity of Prince Nicholas of the Esterhazy court. Richard Wagner's celebrated benefactor was King Ludwig II.

Very often modern day commissions can range from $10,000 to $25,000 (and more) for one work. While QUADRE lacks the support of a king or queen (so far), we – as a nonprofit organization – have been responsible for commissioning composers to write for the horn quartet. David Garner’s work, Cuadro Cuadrangulos, was at a bargain price of $1000. Mark Adam Watkins has written over twelve works for us through the years and has received roughly $9000 for his efforts.

Supporting new music is critical to the development of our medium. As an art form that has had very little music written for it alone over the last 500 hundred years in comparison to the string quartet, it falls on the shoulders of today's horn quartets and composers - in tandem - to explore the possibilities of the genre.

The Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy. To do this, they do the following:

* Collect, organize, and communicate information on U.S. philanthropy
* Conduct and facilitate research on trends in the field
* Provide education and training on the grantseeking process
* Ensure public access to information and services through their Web site, print and electronic publications, five library/learning centers - INCLUDING SAN FRANCISCO, and a national network of Cooperating Collections.

Founded in 1956, the Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy and is dedicated to serving grantseekers, grantmakers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public. At the QUADRE office, we receive an email update from the foundation center every week.

For more information, visit them at http://foundationcenter.org

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CA Lawyers for the Arts; Volunteers

I think I mentioned this organization briefly before. QUADRE has been a member since 2000. California Lawyers for the Arts is a non-profit service organization which provides lawyer referrals, dispute resolution services, educational programs, publications and a resource library to people in the creative arts and arts organizations. Founded in 1974 by lawyers and artists, C.L.A.'s programs and services are designed to help artists understand and apply legal concepts. In addition, they regularly schedule workshops on issues with nominal fees. More information about them is at: http://www.calawyersforthearts.org/

This week I'm attending a workshop called **Demo Tapes to Recording Contracts** with William Murray, Esq. on Thursday, June 22, 6:00-7:30 pm in downtown Oakland. This workshop will address the steps involved in shopping a demo tape. I'll also learn about negotiating a recording contract and the role of agents and representatives. While this workshop is likely to be geared towards pop, rap, & R&B music, I think it might prove useful to us as we look for agents/managers to represent us and our recordings.

Volunteers often serve as the lifeblood of a non-profit organization. Admittedly, non-profits often lack the financial resources to pay staff salaries at a rate comparable to the corporate sector. However, volunteerism is much more than that. People feel good working with non-profits and their missions.

Whether it is helping out at the Red Cross or being a tutor at the local library, volunteers can make a huge impact. For example, many boards at non-profits volunteer their time to the benefit of the organization just like ours. This week I wanted to acknowledge the volunteer efforts of two folks in our office in Mountain View. Kelley Ott, Karen Ott's daughter, has helped out by organizing our music library. She'll be here this Friday to help out in the afternoon. Wen-Liang Chung is a new office volunteer that is coming in once a week for 2 hours to help out in the office with our mailing list, press kits, and filing.

If you know of someone that you think would be interested in volunteering with QUADRE, put them in touch with me. Volunteer opportunities include office tasks, our music library, board membership, and concert help (ushering, backstage, tickets, etc.)

Many thanks to all of you for your volunteering this year on behalf of QUADRE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wise Proverb; Rule #6

"I know that you believe you understand what I think I said, but, I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

I just graduated from the Leadership Mountain View (LMV) class of 2006. Starting in October and ending in June, LMV is an intensive community leadership development program tailored specifically for Mountain View to develop effective community leaders. As your humble executive director, I felt it might help forge some connections in the community for QUADRE. It did that and much more.

The May gathering revolved around the leadership theme of 'Creativity' with the community theme of 'Recreation, Arts, and Entertainment.' As part of that day we saw a video of the Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander in a film he produced titled, "The Art of Possibility." There were a lot of wonderful nuggets from the movie, but the one that got all of us talking was Rule #6.

First rule of leadership..... remember rule #6!
(Don't take yourself or your life too seriously. Speaking of which, there are no rules #1, 2, 3, 4 or 5!)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

NY Times Article; All About Music (Jokes)

ARTS / MUSIC | May 28, 2006
Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong
For all the hand-wringing, there is immensely more classical music on offer now than there was in what nostalgists think of as the golden era of classics in America.
Click here for the full article:

The following definitions (?!) come from Sonny Ausman, recording engineer extradonairre for both of QUADRE's albums. Check out the listings under the letter 'G'. Enjoy.

When you're 16 measures into the piece and realize you took too fast a tempo

To play with a divinely beefy tone

Accompanied by knee-slapping

A composition that you regret playing

A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an "I meant to do that" attitude

A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch

A composition incorporating many people with chest colds

A large, multi-movement work from Beethoven's Caribbean Period

An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes

A note held over and over and over and over and . . .

A note of dubious value held for indefinite length

Grumpy string players

Those tiny mosquitoes that bother musicians on outdoor gigs

A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument

A French horn player

The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest

Someone who takes control of the repeated bassline and won't let anyone else play it

A faux tenor

A sudden burst of music from the Guy Lombardo band

Manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Violists

An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound

What an elementary school orchestra is having when it's not following the conductor (also common in municipal bands and community orchestras)

Any clef one can't read: e.g., alto clef for pianists

An indication to build up to a fiery conclusion

Child prodigy son of the concertmaster

And here are the latest and most up-to-date definitions of traditional musical terms:

A tempo that's infernally slow

Referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall

What musicians form after the concert

When musicians are still fishing long after the legal season has ended

First cousin of the second trombonist

Something that happens when you forget what the composer wrote

To achieve a complaining sound, as if you have a sour stomach

An indication to cellists to hold on tight with their lower extremities

An indication to string players to bow in a slashing, rapier motion

Used to indicate permission to take a coffee break

An indication to play listlessly; e.g., as if you don't care

A person who, standing in front of the orchestra and/or chorus, is able to follow them precisely

A musical stage production performed by nudists

The beverage to drink in the country when listening to Beethoven with a member of the clergy

An effect distinctly non-upper-class

Too much coffee -- time to take a break

A cross between a rhubarb and a tomato

An unpleasant effect produced by the violin section when it doesn't use vibrato

A device to assist female performers who have trouble when the music is marked "con espressivo."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Artsopolis.com; Teaching Artist Journal

Artsopolis is the "Silicon Valley's ultimate guide to arts & culture - theatre, music, dance, art and more." That quote is how the Arts Council of Silicon Valley describes their web-based initiative. I personally believe they do a fantastic job of showcasing what is happening around here. QUADRE is a registered ensemble on the web site. Our page is here.
Check out the web site and all it has to offer.

In 2003, Eric Booth, Julliard professor & thespian, began this quarterly periodical. It is a professional journal for Teaching Artists. The field of teaching artists is an emerging one. Simple put a TA is an artist that teaches - someone who bridges the gap between the everyday and the work of art. QUADRE very actively immersed itself in this field while in residence in Selma, AL. In particular, the work done with Civics, Math, and History classes in Selma Middle School stretched the definition for what connections we thought we could make. We essentially started to think and express ourselves outside of the boxes we had built around us during our training. Currently, the journal comes out of Columbia College Chicago. We have received every issue since its launch. If you're interested in reading the latest issue, let me know. I'm happy to send it on or bring it to a meeting/rehearsal. One caveat - just want to get it back.

On a related note, The Montalvo Arts Center (the umbrella organization for Villa Montalvo and their other projects) recently announced that it is accepting competitive applications for their first ever Teaching Artist Fellowship. Lasting from 3-6 months, the 2 accepted teaching artists in residence will work with local schools, universities and the community to increase awareness for the arts, expand creative posibilities in individuals, and encourage a life centered around creativity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Global Musicians for Peace; Horn Call Review of "Citrus"

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thirty young musicians from 18 countries including Iran, Mexico, Denmark and South Korea are fanning out across the United States this month to perform in the hope of teaching cross-cultural understanding.

To view the entire article, click here.

By John Dressler
What could possibly be new for horn quartet? We've got the American Horn Quartet and the Transatlantic Horn Quartet. Doesn't that just about sum it up? Not on your life! Here are four amazingly talented young hornists with some very hip music for audiences of all ages, not just the musically-trained hornist! These are peppy, jazz-based pieces with some sort of dance element in nearly all of them. As the variety of titles suggests, one will encouter Latin/Spanish rhythms, American idioms, and other contrasts of setting. There are movements of slow tempi with some beautiful cantabile melodies as well. The quartet's blend, intonation, and musical interpretation are excellent. In many spots, they almost sound like one person doing a multi-track recording. There are moments of inspiration, sorrow, silliness, love, virtuosic display, but above all: just plain fun. I wish the group had chosen to open their disc with Wiggins' Fanfare rather than close it since it is the only more "academically-sounding" work and showcases each of the players well. It is idiomatic writing at its finest. It was commissioned in 2000 as "something brilliant" for the opening of QUADRE's concerts - they certainly go it! QUADRE feels passionately about arts education. Their interactive programs for children and adults combine music, choreography, and drama in a wonderfully positive musical experience. Check out this disc for some fresh sounds from this up-and-coming professional quartet.

(Appeared in 'The Horn Call' May 2006 issue. The magazine included musician names and listed the contents of the disc. This periodical is a journal for the International Horn Society. QUADRE has been posting news items and advertisements in the journal since 2001.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Northwest on Tour; Define: Self-Produced Concerts & Curating Presenters

Congratulations to us! QUADRE has been accepted into Northwest on Tour - the acclaimed juried roster book of touring and performing artists, that Arts Northwest produces bi-annually. NW on Tour is used extensively by presenters west coast wide. Publication is targeted for summer 2006. In addition to attending booking conferences & advertising in trade magazines like the Horn Call, being part of Northwest on Tour is another great way to get our name out there to presenters.

Both of the above terms are bandied about a lot in our industry. And they can be confusing because sometimes they are used together. Self-produced concerts refers to any event that an organization puts on themselves. In the case of a performing music group like QUADRE, the events that we have done at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts count as self-produced concerts since we rent the hall, raise the grant money to help pay for it, advertise the event to sell tickets, and produce the artistic product. Curating presenters are people hired by a university, community or concert hall itself, to create a season for a venue. Often they have a budget - that they help raise - to pay to bring in particular artists for their season. A curating presenter helps produce concerts for a venue. From QUADRE's perspective, we want to get as many curating presenters to notice us and hire aka 'book' us on their season.

Simply put, QUADRE is always performing a form of self-produced concerts. When we produce them, we do all the work. When we get a curating presenter to produce them, they do most of the work.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

New Element Found; CA Arts Council Funding

Investigators at a major research institution recently discovered the heaviest element known to science and have tentatively named it 'Administratium'. Administratium has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It has, however, 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force/farce that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons. They are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically, as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium caused one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occured in less than a second.

Received from the California Lawyers for the Arts on April 26
Knowing about everyone's concern for the future vitality of California in the wake of the California Arts Council's funding demise, we are writing to ask you to take immediate action to help at this significant juncture.

It's time to contact members of the California Assembly to encourage them to support restoration of funding for the California Arts Council. The Board of California Lawyers for the Arts has passed a resolution calling for funding the Council at the level of at least $32 million, which was the General Fund appropriate for the CAC in 2000-01, and the Community Services Committee of the League of California Cities has recommended that the League's board take a position calling for full restoration of funding. The California Sheriffs Association is also in support.

At full tilt, the non-profit arts community has generated as much as $5.4 billion annually in economic impact for the State, while delivering programs which prevent juvenile delinquency, bridge ethnic differences and spark innovation in all sectors. The arts also celebrate diversity, promote lifelong learning, promote cultural tourism, revitalize our cities, and preserve historical legacies.

New York spends $2.20 per person for the arts. Why can't California do better than three cents per person from the State's General Fund?

Please ask your elected representatives in the Assembly to support restoration of California State Arts Council funding.

You can get a complete list of Assembly members' profiles and contact information here.

Feel free to pass this on to your e-networks and others. Please let us know about your results by e-mail to advocacy@calawyersforthearts.org or call California Lawyers for the Arts at (415) 775-7200 x 333. Thanks for your help,

Alma Robinson, Executive Director

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Horn Range; Board Perks

An old joke - A composer asks a music teacher what the range of the horn is. The music teacher replies, About 60 feet if you have a good arm. Seriously, the horn has a four octave range and then some. Some professionals even have a five octave range. That is 61 notes!! This is one of the reasons the horn quartet genre works so well. We are capable of playing in the range of a soprano and a bass.

The primary duty of a board of directors is to maintain fiduciary responsibility for the organization. Being focused on long term goals for the most part (while staff focus on short term duties), board members are keenly aware and in tune with the resources of an organization. They help prevent an organization from getting in trouble financially and create a plan for long-term growth and security. The next board meeting on May 11 in Foster City will focus on next years budget with this in mind.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Music Publishing; Quotes About Citrus

Every piece on Citrus is going to be published by Emerson Horn Editions based in Colorado over the next two years. To get a work published you have to proofread the heck out of it. Not only are you looking for spelling mistakes, but every single dot, line, and letter have to be in the right place. Often the music that QUADRE plays in performance is readable by us, but it is not in state where it can be published yet. We often make all sort of corrections and because we know or are the composer, there is always someone listening for mistakes. Once you get something published, you have to leave that decision up to whomever purchases your music.

I like your (Nathan's) music. QUADRE sounds fabulous. The group is just really, really great.
Thomas Bacon, SUMMIT BRASS, Professional Hornist - Yamaha Artist

Thank you so much for the copy of your newest CD, Citrus. It is an excellent disc, and clearly shows how much your ensemble has grown over the past decade. I was so impressed by the playing throughout the group, and I think your (Daniel's) composition was great, too.
Michael Thornton, COLORADO SYMPHONY, Principal Horn

I just wanted to write to tell you that I've been listening to the QUADRE CD with great pleasure. What a beautiful program, and fantastic playing. Well-recorded, too. I'm really impressed, and I'm very pleased that ACF could play a small part in bringing this to the world.

Your CD is great. The level of virtuosity caught me offguard. You guys are playing your asses off. Holy cow. Nice writing too Daniel!! I heard echoes of all kinds of things I like, plus a lot that
I didn't expect in a score for four horns. Nimble is right.
Todd Sickafoose, TODD SICKAFOOSE GROUP, Jazz Composer & Bass Player

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Attending Symphony Concerts; Showcases

From: John Steinmetz (bassoon player in LA; past mentor for QUADRE)
A wonderful essay by Alex Shapiro (composer in Los Angeles) about bringing newcomers to symphony concerts. Scroll down after hitting the link.

Did you know that QUADRE applies for four showcases every year. It is a competitive process to see whether you can get a chance to perform at a booking conference. If you're one of the lucky ones selected, you still have to pay for the privilege. It usually costs between $500-650. You also have to have a booth at the conference - another $500-650. Not to mention the cost for flying all the artists to the conference as well as paying for hotel, ground transportation, and food. The opportunity to perform for presenters can be great, but you better have some disposable income ready.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

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