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Author: Kirk Naylor

Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

Quiz: Which Beethoven Symphony is Your Favorite?

His compositions are some of the most famous works in the classical canon. All nine of Beethoven’s symphonies have stood the test of time, and continue to receive regular performances. Some are more well-known than others, but each musician has their personal favorite — which is yours?

How Perfect Pitch Works

How Perfect Pitch Works

Perfect pitch is the ability to identify or produce a given pitch without a prompt from an instrument. For a musician, the benefits of perfect pitch are clear: it can help with intonation, memorization, and in a number of other ways which can augment your musical ability. Although many people have met someone with perfect pitch, it is extremely rare — affecting only one in 10,000 people. Finding out if a person has perfect pitch is as easy as playing…

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5 Tips for Memorizing Music

5 Tips for Memorizing Music

It has long been a practice for soloists and singers to perform their music from memory. Today, some orchestras are going so far as to have the ensemble perform their concerts entirely from memory. Musicologists and performers often have debated whether or not memorization enhances performance, but the fact remains that as musicians, we are often called upon to memorize our music. Here are five tips from the pros to help you memorize your parts faster and better: #1. Memorize…

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The Music of Spring

The Music of Spring

The changing of the seasons is a constant in our lives, it is a common human experience marked by celebrations or rituals which date back thousands of years. Generations of composers and musicians have looked to the start of spring for inspiration, and have commemorated the onset of new life in songs, sonatas, and symphonies. One of the most well-known springtime works is Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Paris’ Pagan Ballet In 1913, Paris’ Ballet Russes performed Stravinsky’s seminal work…

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Modern Classics: The Next Generation of Classical Composers

Modern Classics: The Next Generation of Classical Composers

In the classical music world, we often neglect the modern in favor of the past, not because of any inherent prejudice, it’s just human nature. For example, most people can recognize Beethoven or Mozart, but the nearer to the present, the lesser known the composer. In order for the art form to survive it’s in the best interests of the classical music community to listen to and support contemporary composers. That’s why we’re showcasing two major new works which have…

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Holy Week in Firenze

Holy Week in Firenze

Florence, Italy, boasts a number of beautiful churches and basilicas, but none more magnificent than the Great Basilica di Santa Croce. We have been fortunate enough to arrange a special sacred music program in this ancient church in the middle of Holy Week this April. Led by conductor Peter Tiboris, the Vintage High School Choir from Napa, California, and the Coro del Liceo will perform a selection of sacred music including Mozart’s Ergo Interest, K.143/73a and Fauré’s Requiem. The choirs…

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Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Requiem

Modern Classics: John Rutter’s Requiem

John Rutter’s Requiem, composed in 1985, has become a fixture of choral repertoire all over the world. Often compared to Fauré’s Requiem, it subtly walks the line between modern style and a romantic affinity for melody that is characteristic of Rutter’s music. Like Faure’s, Rutter’s Requiem is more poignant than morose, yet still profoundly moving. Although there are many similarities between the two works, Rutter drew on his personal heritage to make the Requiem his own. John Rutter was born…

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Ron Jones on Performing in Carnegie Hall

Ron Jones on Performing in Carnegie Hall

Being able to perform in Carnegie Hall is the dream of many young musicians all over the world, but actually taking the stage can be a nerve-wracking experience no matter your age. This feeling is well known to conductor Ron Jones of Port Angeles, Washington. On April 6, 2017, Jones conducted in Carnegie Hall as part of MidAmerica Production’s 34th concert season; this concert is just the latest of several previous appearances with MidAmerica Productions dating back to 1989. We…

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10 Facts about Academy Award Winning Music

10 Facts about Academy Award Winning Music

1. Dmitri Shostakovich and Duke Ellington were both nominated the same year but lost to the arrangers of West Side Story. Both musicians were nominated for Best Score of a Musical Picture in 1961, at the height of their careers, but their scores were beaten out by the enormously popular hit musical West Side Story.   2. John Williams has more Oscar nominations than just about anyone. So far Williams has won five Oscars, but, more impressively, he’s been nominated…

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Music and the Presidents

Music and the Presidents

On Presidents Day, we celebrate the birthdays of two of the most significant American presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. What many people don’t know is that music, especially the music of their day, was a central passion of their lives. General Washington’s Army Band   Before serving our nation as its first president, George Washington, one of the great revolutionary generals, had already developed a keen interest in music. During the Revolution, he sent orders to his troops…

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