New Year ’20 Update

Happy New Year, West County Strings families!  Kirby and I are looking forward to seeing you all again, and to everything that we will be able to learn and accomplish together as this new decade unfolds!  Here’s a few highlights from the end of 2019 and things to add to your 2020 calendar:

Holiday Play-Along Party

Thank you once again to the Garcias for hosting our Holiday Play-Along Party again this year.  After solo recitals, and orchestra concerts, and auditions, and everything else that goes into wrapping up the semester, it was perfect for the very last thing that we did as a studio in 2019 to just be for fun.  And fun it was!  It was so gratifying to see students sight-reading together – and with facility and very nice technique, might I add! – and students and parents alike playing, chatting, and just generally having a good time.  Many thanks also to Jenina Kenessey and Dan Mieloch for bringing their cello and viola along and adding to our ensemble, and we look forward to this event again at the end of 2020!


Lessons & Group Classes Resume

Private lessons resume on Monday, January 6 and group classes on Tuesday, January 7.  If you’ve used your long car trips or plane flights as an opportunity to listen to your Suzuki CD for hours on end, and your days off of school to practice daily and for longer than usual, good for you!  If, more likely, travel and the lack of routine have been rough on your listening and practicing, then take this encouragement as your incentive to dust off your CD and your violin or viola and get the juices flowing again!

As for group classes, we look forward to seeing everyone who joined us in the fall, and more!  I can’t stress enough how valuable the review, repetition, ensemble environment, and varieties of teaching and learning methods that happen in group class are, and how much progress they lead to.  So, if you weren’t able to join us in the fall, jump in and join us now!  We’d love to have you there, and I know it will be well worth your time.


MFMC “Virtuoso Club” Events

Throughout the year, the Missouri Federation of Music Clubs, and specifically a St. Louis Chapter the “Virtuoso Club,” offers a wide variety of events that enrich students learning experience.  Many of them are coming up this spring, including:

  • District IV Competition:  Held on Wednesday, March 25 at Steinway Piano Gallery, the District Competition provides an opportunity for students Grade 10 and above to perform one required piece and one piece of their choice for the chance to win district honors and the opportunity to continue on to compete at the state level.  This is a great resume-builder, held in a warm and supportive environment, which makes it a great way to build experience for further auditions and competitions.
  • Music Camp Scholarship Competition: Held on Saturday, March 28 at DaySpring Arts, the Music Camp Scholarship Competition gives students Grades 7-9 and 10-12 to perform one required piece and one piece of their choice for the chance to win one of multiple $500 scholarships that can be applied to any summer music camp of their choice.  What a great way to help cover the costs of those wonderful strings camps and Suzuki Institutes that so many of you already participate in every year!
  • Festival: Held on Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26 at St. Charles Community College the Festival is the Virtuoso Club’s main event of the year – a weekend full of music in which students of any age can perform one required piece and one piece of their choice for a judge in order to receive feedback and earn points towards ribbons and trophies that can be accumulated over the years.  I know the idea of a “judge” can be scary, but by and large they are other teachers that Kirby and I know personally, and who are very warm and supportive in their feedback.  The intent is to be positive and educational.


There will be more to come, but that should get us off to a good start.  As a parting note, I meant to share the Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 8 “Fatto per la notte de Natale” (Made for the night of Christmas), with you all earlier in December.  But, as we’re still in the holiday season, I suppose it’s still appropriate.  Here’s a nice rendition, not with a full ensemble of Baroque instruments, but in what we could call a faithful attempt at Baroque style.  Enjoy!