It was a rainy Autumn day in Missoula and so I thought a Sarabande might be the right fit. I hope you can find enjoyment in it, whatever your weather!
From MCPS "String-o-rama 2017" - thanks for having us, Ryan Belski!!
Anna and her crew of Tiny Fiddlers just finished up their last class of the session.
Best job ever?? Just look at these kiddos! Gah!
What is one thing Missoula has got going for it, you ask? A LOT OF YOUNG STRING PLAYERS!!
String-o-rama is a celebration of and first performance by all the 5th graders in Missoula public schools who have chosen a bowed string instrument to begin their (hopefully, lifelong) musical journeys!
This was the third year that the Cello Mafia was invited to be the opening "special act" for all three performances.
For this concert, the CM featured a whopping 23 cellists (and special guest, Mr. Belski on guitar)!
We played two new arrangements, Something Just Like This (Chainsmokers/Coldplay) and Hand Clap (Fitz & the Tantrums) to three packed gymnasiums full of supportive parents and families of all the featured young musicians.
How far can one go in a year, you ask? Well, this installment of the CM included 4 cellists who just started LAST YEAR as 5th graders and who saw us play last year at String-o-rama AND one CURRENT 5th grader! Fantastic!
The rest of the group is comprised of 6-9th graders. And some super duper support and expertise from local professionals Britta Thomas, Matt Wellert, Janet Haarvig, and Erika Hoaby. All parts are arranged for each level involved - from simple bass or lead tones to some of the more advanced students trying out thumb position for the first time!
Check em out:
I've got to admit, I have be sorely lagging on updating this blog. But it's definitely NOT because there isn't anything going on!! To the contrary...
We are BUSY and BUSTLING over here at Grow Music with all sorts of fun sounds and songs!!
THIS SATURDAY - Cello Mafia plays River City Roots Fest on the Caras Park Family Stage at noon!
We've got great new arrangements and over 20 CELLISTS!! WHOA!!
Come check us out. Free. Fun. 12-12:45pm this Sat, Aug 26th.
Lydia is in 6th grade and has only been playing the cello for 3 years. She was just featured as a soloist playing "The Swan" with the Meadow Hill 8th Grade Orchestra, led by Mike Johns. She did a great job!...see it here>>>
Eight wonderful young cellists - Noah, Tait, Mayana, Lillian, Lydia, Myah, Lars, and Liam - will grace us with their music on Tuesday, June 6th. The recital is free and open to the public. Missoula Manor (909 W Central Ave, Missoula, MT 59801) at 7pm. The program will also feature students from the studios of Pam Hillygus and Amelia Thornton. Join us!
"Dance Josie" sung by this wonderful Tiny Fiddler! This is why I love my job. : )
Thanks to Winona for the video!
THIS is the latest incarnation of the Cello Mafia! We are a multi-age, multi-level, multi-school cello ensemble in Missoula. For our latest performance, we were 18 strong and played Michael Jackson, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael. Many thanks to the wonderful musicians and teachers at C.S. Porter, Meadow Hill, and the South Side Symphony for inviting us to join in the fun! And extra special thanks to Britta Thomas for her cello expertise and Ryan Belski for sitting in on guitar.
What a great night of music! BRAVO!
Thanks, Angel Hughes, for the video!
We are thrilled to have been invited to join Mr. Kirk Easter's 7th & 8th Grade Holiday Orchestra Concert this Thursday, Dec 8 at 7pm (free show!). These 10 cellists have been practicing hard to put together three tunes for this show - a Pixies song, a Leonard Cohen premiere, and another premiere of this little holiday favorite >>> but this is just a little teaser >>> TO HEAR ALL THREE, YOU HAVE TO COME CHECK US OUT THIS THURSDAY!!
With all the crazy in the world right now, I feel extra thankful for my family, my friends, my students, and for the music that continues to make my world turn. To you and yours, I wish you a peaceful and cozy Thanksgiving!
Jessica was joined this year by two of her fantabulous students, Lillian and Lydia. They could be seen walking down Higgins Avenue with celli in tow while sound mastermind, Jeremy, pushed a coffin holding an amp, generator, and effects pedals to create the dark soundscapes that echoed through downtown Missoula on Wednesday, Nov 2nd. This performance was to honor the loss of Jessica's good friend and fellow cellist, Jennifer Collins.
Say hello to Maria, Lilly, Kincaid, Josey, Tait, Jessica, Lydia, and Lillian (not pictured are Kaydn and Iggy)! This is a multi-age, multi-level student cello ensemble that has been meeting once per week over the summer to work up some very challenging arrangements of some great tunes. We are gearing up to have our performance debut at Home Resource's Spontaneous Construction on Sat, Sept 17th! 1-1:30pm! Hope to see you there.
Check out a clip from our rehearsal today - in honor of "International Play Music On Your Porch Day"
: - )
Curious about all the things the homeschool community has to offer? Then this is the place to be! Grow Music - Missoula will be offering a string instrument "petting zoo" and giving performance demos all day long! *Click the flyer for more info!
Meet James. He requested that June be his time to shine in the spotlight - so here he is!!
James is 8, going on 34. He's a mellow dude who's got grit, ambition, and seems perfectly comfortable in his skin. He likes to fiddle, especially when we play stuff in harmony or try chord changes. He doesn't like to spend too much time repeating one tune, so I've got to keep it moving along while being stealth about aiming for good technique! But those chord changes keep him focused and excited!
The favorite tune he's learned so far is "Boil em Cabbage Down" and he is most excited to get to the end of Book 2 so he can learn "Wimowhea - The Lion Sleeps Tonight." He can play a mean "Old Joe Clark" and a beautiful "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
When not hanging out with his fiddle, he likes to swim and ski. He is part of a wonderfully supportive and musical family - check out his sister Lillian's spotlight! - and he loves to collect bugs, especially butterflies. Keep up the good work, James!!
Ah!!! These four little fiddlers just about make my heart explode! We meet before class once a week at Clark Fork School and they are such a beam of sunshine to begin my day.
These four young gals are working very hard on "Eek Eek Eek" and "I'm a Little Monkey" for their end-of-the-year debut performance!
We also like to sing folk songs, play with rhythm sticks, and take on the challenging feat of bean bag balancing.
Go, Little Fiddlers!!
This is Laurel! She has been taking cello lessons for about 15 months after a 14-year hiatus. She played as a kid into high school but in her words..."became too cool for cello and music classes" so she stopped. She held onto her cello and to a desire to get back into it ever since.
And here she is - nearly 15 years later - preparing for her solo cello debut! She is playing her first recital in mid-May and I couldn't feel more proud for her. I admire her courage not only to work hard on the music she selected for this performance (which she is ROCKING, btw) but also then to share it with her friends, family, and community. That is what it's all about!!
She told me today that this recital is special for another reason, too. It will mark her 1st anniversary of sobriety. Awesome.
I am in awe of her major courage, major strength, and major commitment to taking better care of herself! And of her major love for playing the cello. (There are def minor moments, too - It is the cello, after all. We cellists love us some minor modes.)
Grow Music has partnered up with Imagine Nation Brewery to offer a BEGINNING FIDDLE CLASS FOR ADULTS!! Have you always wanted to learn how to play? - well, now's your chance!
This is going to be a super fun, low pressure class to get you started off right in the world of string playing. The beer is optional, of course, but we do find it serves as an effective lubricant for all the squeaky sounds. Join us - sign up here today!
Give the gift of music and it will last a lifetime! Order yours here today!
These two tiny fiddlers came to class early today and just couldn't wait to get started! They warmed my heart with their singing, tapping, and bowing on their brand new fiddles. So much fun!