Dear Friends and Supporters,
Our greetings and we hope that everyone is healthy and staying safe. Our newest set of chamber music videos is now posted alongside our first batch on our website at https://www.mnsinfonia.org/concerts/virtual-concerts
This is the second of four projects that we will be sharing over the upcoming few of months. What is unusual about this new set is that, with the exception of the Mozart Divertimento, which was recorded last fall, all of these new recordings were made in our musicians’ homes using the Acapella app. Using an iPad or an iPhone, each musician recorded his/her part in Acapella, and then emailed the file to the next person, who then recorded his/her part, sent it to the next person, etc. Using a click track of a steady beat (a very common aide in studio recording), the players had to fit their parts together and at the same time ensure that the phrasing, rhythm, pitch, and ensemble playing were all on the money. It is sort of like creating a sandwich with lots of ingredients, and making sure the end product is eatable, and more importantly, enjoyable!
As you can imagine, making music like this is only a substitute for live performances, and our hopes are that as the virus situation improves (wear your masks, social distance, and when your turn comes, get the vaccine!), we can start in late June with live outdoor performances. Jay has already put together some really fun classical and family pops programs, and if we can raise enough money, to offer a couple of children’s concerts. And he has already put together programs for the entire winter/fall/spring season as well as the new Music in the Schools curriculum.
Two other important bits of news. We have now posted 47 instructional videos for middle and high school instrumentalists. These are short, five-ten-minute segments that cover the basics of instrumental learning including caring for the instruments, creating proper embouchures, tone quality, attacks, use of the metronome, phrasing, and for string players shifting, vibrato, bow, and left-hand positions and techniques. Included with these instructional videos are links to 27 introductions to our musicians as they talk about their instruments and tell musical stories that are entertaining and great fun, especially for elementary school-aged students. We are not able to publish this information to the general public, however, if you or your neighbors and friends have children who play or are teachers or who know teachers or have young children who might enjoy the videos, please email the Sinfonia office and we can pass along the link for educational use.
And finally, if you know of any young composers (nineteen and under), please ask them to check out our Young Composers’ Contest. It has a cash prize, a performance opportunity by the Sinfonia for the winner, and its deadline is June 1. And for the adult composers, the entry deadline is August 15, with four winners receiving cash prizes and have their works premiered by the Sinfonia! For complete details on the contest the web link is:
We are truly excited about the possibility of getting back to playing and performing for you and our community’s children this summer. Please watch your emails and our website (www.mnsinfonia) for updates and new information. In the meantime, check out the videos. They are great fun!
We wish you well. Again, please stay healthy and safe. Until the next newsletter, and hopefully, live concerts coming soon, Stay tuned!
Jay, Tina, the Sinfonia Musicians and Board of Directors