As you’ll hear in our conversation, Herb’s enthusiasm for music bubbles over into literally EVERYTHING he says. Listening to Herb, you’ll definitely have an extra spring in your step when you head into the practice room! I would totally have been a trumpet player had Herb been my teacher. Come to think of it, maybe it’s not too late!
Dr. Kathleen Baynes’ warmth and her emphasis on helping families develop self-esteem and soft skills in young musicians made we want to reach across the table to give her a high-five every time she spoke. Y’all, I learned so much and just KNOW I’ll be quoting Dr. Baynes going forward! PS — She has two young musicians (ages 8 and 10) at home!
Many thanks to Dean Mary Ann Mavrinac (Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries), Ashlee Huff, and Matt Cook at the UR, to Evan Dawson and Megan Mack at WXXI, and to Hebert Smith and Dr. Kathleen Baynes. Photo credit: Robert J. Braden
This masterclass and workshop is generously sponsored by Kawai Pianos and will be free and open to musical families (and teachers!) of all ages and instruments.
We are especially excited to welcome young musicians from Virtuosi of Houston to the masterclass for a special performance in collaboration with Baya Kakouberi! Many thanks to Karen Needham for facilitating Virtuosi’s performance.
Congratulations to LHS young musicians on last week’s stunning Solo & Ensemble performances! It’s thrilling to see everyone reach new levels of confidence and skill.
Special congratulations to players who performed Grade 1 pieces by memory. We look forward to their upcoming performances at State! We’re extra proud of everyone who competed in the ensemble category and earned an additional 1 there as well.
Congratulations to Ananya B. (Clements HS), who has won a concertmaster solo for her Clements HS orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall on Monday, March 11th! We’re thrilled for Ananya and wish her the best for a fabulous performance.
Congratulations to Lauren H. for winning the J.S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship (a merit-based award) at Patrick Henry College in Washington, DC! Join us in celebrating Lauren at her upcoming senior recital on Saturday, April 13th.
We’ll see everyone soon at the LHS Winter Showcase Concert at Virtuosi of Houston on Sunday, February 24th at 6:00 pm! We’re thrilled to welcome back pianist Evelyn Lam to collaborate with LHS young musicians. Performances will feature works by Bruch, Walton, Lalo, Schumann, Kabalevsky, and others, and will be followed by a special performance by Ms. Lam. All are invited to join us for a reception following the recital.
We’re excited to let everyone know that Kids Aren’t Lazy: Developing Motivation & Talent Through Music will be available from all four Lisle Violin Shop locations! Lisle has stores in Houston, Pasadena, the Northwest, and Katy. Mobile users, please click through to view the details.
This week we’re speaking with Molly H. on what it took for her to make the top HS Region Orchestra (Symphony) just one year (!) after starting viola. Molly began playing the violin at age 6 and often leads The Sugar Strings in their performances around Sugar Land. In addition to playing violin and viola, Molly runs her own piano studio for young musicians.
You study three instruments in addition to your academic subjects! What’s your best piece of advice for other young musicians who want to pursue multiple areas of expertise?
Enjoy it! Don’t let your music just become a grade or a requirement. I feel the most accomplished when I can share my skills and bring joy to others!
How do you balance nerves and confidence in auditions and performances?
Before the region audition, I put positive affirmation statements on notecards, to tell myself I was prepared and would do well! At the audition, tried to block out all the other players and focus on being mentally prepared. At performances, I try to enjoy the music as much as I can and trust my muscle memory and all the hard work I put in!
Leading up to your audition, what was your practice schedule like?
When the music first came out, I made goals to have much of the music memorized fairly quickly. About a month from the audition, I increased my practicing to at least two hours a day. It was definitely challenging, but I found a drive within me. I had worked so hard, I couldn’t just give up! I knew that every minute I worked could be the difference of getting in or not.
Does your viola have a special story behind it? Tell us your favorite things about your instrument and why you chose it.
I really like my viola’s rich tone and, since it is only 14 inches I can switch between violin and viola. It’s an antique made in 1893 and I enjoy thinking of all the people who have heard it played!
What new pieces are you looking forward to adding to your repertoire this year?
I am looking forward to adding both viola and violin peices this year! I am currently preparing Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata on my viola.