May 1, 2009
Tangos for Tots
Our wonderful local community music school, founded 8 years ago by a cool jazz guitar guy named Dillon Schneider, offers group music instruction to several hundred students ranging in age from pre-kindergarten through 70-plus, each term. They sign up for such classes such as: Bluegrass Fiddling, House of Rock, Songwriting, and the Desert Sage Orchestra, and are instructed by a faculty of 25.
The Cascade Community School of Music has always run with only modest funding, partly because class fees are kept purposely low so that more students can participate -- last year $10,000 in tuition assistance was awarded. So far it is able to continues its class offerings through the generosity of both private donors and the shared classroom space of the Cascades Academy on Studio Road.
But that has meant that pianists in popular classes such as the summer chamber music class, which I help coach, have been dependent on whatever pianos are already present on campus. Up to now, that has meant one somewhat battered but serviceable Yamaha upright, some donated electronic keyboards of various sizes, and an ancient behemoth of a Piano-Shaped Object lurking in a back classroom.
No longer! Thanks to a recent grant and the generous gifts of local music-lovers, the school is now the proud owner of a beautiful, almost-new Yamaha U8 upright piano of its very own, which made its debut last night at a chamber music recital/fund-raiser given by faculty members.
Fellow chamber music coach, violinist Diane Allen, put this program together, and all of us had fun rehearsing and -- what else -- playing chamber music with friends. The program:
Brahms Sonatensatz (Scherzo from FAE Sonata)for vn, pf
Beethoven Trio for vn, va, vc
Four Tangos by various composers, arranged for vn, vc, pf
DeFalla Danse Espagnole arranged for vn, pf