Category Archives: Group Class

Halloween Party ’19 Recap!

Many thanks to all our students and their families who were able to join us for our annual Halloween Party this year!  From bringing your children to group class week after week, to helping set up for the performance, coming up with such creative costumes, bringing such delicious treats, helping clean up afterwards, and just generally being such wonderful parents who are so invested in your children’s growth and development, events like these always serve to remind us just what a special community we have here at West County Strings and what an opportunity we have to teach children in this wonderful environment!  An extra special thanks to Lisa Gottfried who volunteered to take the lead on setting up the reception – we truly couldn’t have put such a nice evening together without her.

It was so encouraging to see how much each group of students – and each individual student in them – had developed in the short time since groups started meeting at the beginning of September, and how much each piece that they performed had progressed!  Group classes really are vital to long-term success in musical study.  Students who attend group learn new pieces faster (because they’re seeing and hearing them played), remember everything they’ve learned in the past better (because they’re playing it frequently), and stay motivated longer (because they’re having fun and forming friendships).  So, If you’ve been coming to group classes on evenings thus far this semester, don’t forget – groups will still be meeting in November.  And if you haven’t been able to join us for groups yet this school year,   it’s not too late to start – ask your teacher how to plug in this month!

Spring Festival ’19 Repertoire List

As you all hopefully know, our Spring Festival group performance is just around the corner, on Sunday, March 31.  For details about the day and location, please see our March studio update.  But, for the repertoire that you need to know for that day by heart, and should be able to play at 2 a.m. if a bucket of cold water got splashed in your face, read below!  If you have any questions at all about whether you are responsible for a particular piece, ask your teacher as soon as possible.

A Majors
Chicken on a Fencepost Variations
Paw Paw Patch
Hoedown
Old Brass Wagon Variations
Happy Fiddling
Take a Turn Twinkle

G Majors
Twinkles
Lightly Row
Song of the Wind
Allegro
Long, Long Ago
Happy Farmer
Minuet (Bk. 3)
Gavotte in G minor
Humoresque

Viola Choir
Minuet 1
Chorus from Judas Maccabeaus

Circle of 5ths
All G Majors repertoire +
Vivaldi A minor, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd mvmts

Ensemble
Seitz No. 5, 1st mvmt (w/ orchestra)
Serenade
Millionaire’s Hoedown (pull out group)
Mystery Waltz (Karen, Jemuel, Tarini)

Happy practicing!

Halloween Recap & Parent Night Info

Hello Everyone!

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for our Halloween Group Performance & Party.  What a fun evening it was!  Students, you played beautifully.  Getting so many of you together playing as one is really something special.  Thank you for your hard work and preparation this semester thus far!

Don’t forget, next Tuesday, November 6 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. is our final “group” event of the semester – our Parent Night, which will be held at Local Chef Kitchen, 15247 Manchester Rd.  We look forward to seeing you all there to discuss what “progress”  looks like and concrete ways that we can measure it.

Here are some photos from the Halloween gathering.  Thanks again for making it such a memorable evening!

 

Halloween ’18 Group Performance & Party

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Halloween is just a week away, and with it comes one of our favorite events of the year – the Halloween Group Performance & Party.  Here’s what you need to know in order to come and enjoy this event with us this year:

Who: All West County Strings students who have been regularly attending group classes (or have been routinely checking their review repertoire in private lessons in the case of Tuesday evening schedule conflicts).  Please invite friends and family to join you.  The more the merrier!

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What: An informal performance highlighting this semester’s work in group classes, followed by Halloween-themed musical games and treats for all to share!

When: Tuesday, October 30 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Where: The Parish Hall of Good Shepherd Church, 1166 S Mason Rd.

Why: We’re capping off our group class meetings for this semester and getting ready to move into our focus on solo material for the solo recitals in early December.  The past few months of rehearsals have been an incredibly special time, which we want to celebrate.  Plus, who needs an excuse for music, games, and treats?!

How: Polish your review repertoire (see the list below), find your favorite costume (COSTUMES HIGHLY ENCOURAGED!), and sign up to help set up, to bring your favorite treat or drinks, and/or to help clean up.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Pre-Twinkle
Old Brass Wagon
Paw Paw Patch
Chicken Variations
POP Goes the Weasel
“Body” Lucy Locket
“Body” Hot Cross Buns

Violas
Hunter’s Chorus
Andantino / Rocky Mountain
Perpetual Motion (Wipe-Out)

Ensemble
Oh How Lovely
Above the Plain
Ashoken Farewell
Vive Le Compagnie
Coleraine

Circle of Fifths – G Majors – A Majors
Seitz 2 III
Becker Gavotte
Martini Gavotte
Minuet in G
Witches Dance
Minuet 1
Allegro
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
Song of the Wind
Lightly Row
Twinkles (D and A Strings)

Fall ’18 Group Class Updates & Information

Many thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for our annual Play-In & Ice Cream social to help kick off the school year.  It was a lot of fun to see and hear you all back in one place again after summer.  There’s something really special about a large group of stringed instruments playing together, as you can hear at Suzuki Institutes, Workshops, and group performances – I really recommend experiencing it as often as you can!  To those who weren’t able to make it this time, we missed you and we hope you’ll be able to join us for the next one!

Starting next Tuesday, August 28, fall group classes will begin in earnest at Good Shepherd Church (1166 S Mason).  The schedule is the same as in past years:

  • 5:30-6:00 p.m. – A Majors (Pre-Twinkle – Andantino)
  • 6:10-6:40 p.m. – G Majors (Etude – Bach Bourree)
  • 6:50-7:20 p.m. – Viola Choir (layered violas of all levels)
  • 7:20-8:05 p.m. – Circle of 5ths (Book 4+)
  • 8:05-8:50 p.m. – Performance Ensemble (supplemental/non-Suzuki Book 4+)

HOWEVER, many of you have graduated to new class levels!  If you have moved into the second half of Book 1, we would love to have you join us in G Majors.  If you’ve completed Book 3 and are making your way into Book 4, we would love to have you get your feet wet in Circle of 5ths AND keep coming to G Majors.  If you’re solidly in Book 4, 5, 6 or above, we’d love to have you in Performance Ensemble, as well.  Please refer to the sheet below to find your assigned group(s) for this semester, and let your teacher know if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evenings!

FA19 Group Class Rosters

Spring Festival ’18 Recap

There have only been a few times in my life that I’ve performed something and lifted my bow at the end of the last note thinking, “Wow!  I totally nailed every last little detail of that.”  I think the feeling is actually more memorable and meaningful because it’s so rare.

Leaving the Spring Festival on Sunday, I had a feeling that everything had gone very well, but it wasn’t until I had a chance to sit down and listen to the recording of the concert that I literally said to myself, “Wow!”  You guys really nailed it!

Parents, I will be telling everyone during their lessons this week, but please convey to your kids that they did an exceptional job of preparing this semester, both in group classes and in private lessons, and they put on a truly wonderful performance.  They should be very proud of themselves, and I hope that you’re very proud of them, too.  I know I am!

It’s at times like these that I’m particularly reminded how fortunate we are to know and have the opportunity to work with such wonderful families.  We truly appreciate you all!

We’ve had a chance to go over a few of the photos from the afternoon, and we’d like to share them with you.  If you have any great moments that you captured and would like to share with us, please do!  We’d love to have them to commemorate the day.

Spring Festival ’18

West County Strings’ 2018 Spring Festival is set for the afternoon of Sunday, April 29.  Dress rehearsals will run from 1:00-3:00 p.m., and the concert will begin at 3:30 p.m.  Reception to follow.  All events will be held at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, 15037 Clayton Rd.  Read on for everything you need to know about the day!

 

Who Have You Invited?

For the past few years, we have been grateful to be welcomed to hold our Spring Festival at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church.  The space is awesome.  It is also large!  Your children have all worked so hard this semester to prepare for this concert, and we want them to have an audience as wonderful as their playing! So,

***We’re asking every student, every sibling, and every parent to invite at least one friend, classmate, colleague, or neighbor to come***

It will be a great afternoon of music, and there’s food and drinks to follow!

Now, I know you might be thinking, “Other families will invite people, I don’t need to do it.”  If that’s you, then this message is specifically for you!  Bring someone along.  It’s always a wonderful time.

Dress Rehearsal Schedule

– 1:00 p.m: Vivaldi 4 Seasons
– 1:20 p.m: Bach Double
– 1:40 p.m: Violas (Lully Gavotte, Musette, Etude, Swanee River)
– 2:00 p.m: Humoresque, Boccherini Minuet, Hunter’s Chorus
– 2:30 p.m: Gossec Gavotte, Minuet 2, Perpetual Motion, Allegro
– 2:45 p.m: Song of the Wind, Lightly Row, Twinkles, Chicken on a Fencepost, Old Brass Wagon, Paw Paw Patch

***Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled rehearsal start time in order to allow time to unpack, tune, and be prepared to begin right on time!***

Performance Attire

We ask that all students and their families wear their “Sunday best” for all performances.  This means no jeans, no tennis shoes or sandals, and no t-shirts.  Ball gowns and tuxedos are certainly not required, either!  Dress slacks, button-down shirts, and dress shoes are suitable for boys, and tasteful dresses or skirts/dress pants and blouses are appropriate for girls.

***All students whose performance requires sheet music must have their music in a black, 1/2-inch, 3-ring binder, preferably in plastic sheet protectors.***

Parent Volunteers

Do you have a favorite treat that is your specialty?  A punch recipe that is to die for?  Are you able to pick up a box of cookies or crackers or a bag of fruit on your way?  If so, we would love to have your contributions to this year’s reception.

***You can sign up online, or in the studio during your lesson.***

We are extremely grateful for your help!

Still Wondering… ?

Not sure if you know all the pieces you’ll be playing?  Check out the Spring Festival ’18 Repertoire List.  If you have any other questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher in your lesson or Mr. Brad at group class.  Speaking of group class, we only have classes the evenings of 4/17 and 4/24 left to prepare!  So we hope to see you there!

Spring Festival ’18 Repertoire List

Wondering what pieces you’re responsible for the Spring Festival this year?  Well, wonder no longer.  Please note that members of the Ensemble and Circle of 5ths should also bring a black 1/2-inch binder and music stand with them to rehearsals and the concert!

Ensemble
Vivaldi Four Seasons: Spring, 1st Movement

Circle of 5ths
Bach Double
Old Joe Clarke
Everything from G Majors

Viola Choir
Way Down Upon the Swanee River
Lully Gavotte (duet)
Musette (duet)
Etude (duet)

G Majors
Humoresque
Boccherini Minuet
Hunter’s Chorus
Gossec Gavotte
Old Joe Clarke
Minuet 2
Perpetual Motion

A Majors
Allegro
Song of the Wind
Lightly Row
Old Brass Wagon Variations
Chicken on a Fencepost Variations

Vivaldi Four Seasons Auditions

Every spring, we look forward to our Spring Festival group performance, which always highlights our students’ work both as individuals and in their group classes throughout the school year.  This year, one of the supplemental pieces we will be preparing for the Spring Festival on April 21 is “Spring” (Concerto No. 1 in E Major, Op. 8, RV 269, “La primavera”) from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Like all concertos, the four concertos that make up Vivaldi’s Four Seasons were composed for a solo instrument – in this case violin – and orchestra.  The arrangement we are using allows for us to play this piece with a group of 1st violins, a group of 2nd violins, a group of violas, and a cello.  However, certain parts still require a soloist.  Would you be interested in auditioning for a solo?

Well, if you’re a Book 4+ student, we invite you to audition for the two solos in the 2nd violin part.  And if you’re a Book 5+ student, you’re invited to audition for the four solos in the 1st violin part (you may also audition for the two solos from the 2nd violin part).  The audition winners will only be assigned one of the solos for the performance, so six different students will have the opportunity to play solos.  However, in order to be considered your audition submission must contain both solo excerpts if you are auditioning for 2nd violin, and all four solo excerpts if you are auditioning for 1st violin.  Audition winners must also be able to regularly attend Ensemble rehearsals from 8:00-8:50 on Tuesday evenings throughout the semester.

In order to help you prepare, we are providing marked parts, as well as time stamps for a recording for you to listen to.

Violin 1, pg. 1, Violin 1, pg. 2, Violin 1, pg. 3.

Violin 2, pg. 1, Violin 2, pg. 2.

Violin 1 solo #1 / Violin 2 solo #1 (m. 13-27) @ 0:29
Violin 1 solo #2 (m. 47-55) @ 1:42
Violin 1 solo #3 / Violin 2 solo #2 (m. 59-65) @ 2:08
Violin 1 solo #4 (m. 71-75) @ 2:33

Performances will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Intonation
  • Tone
  • Adherence to the marked bowings and fingerings
  • Technique (posture, bow hold, shifting, vibrato as appropriate, etc.)
  • Musicality (dynamics, phrasing, musical sensitivity)

Please submit your video recording of your audition to bradleytkay@gmail.com no later than 9:00 p.m on Saturday, February 24.  This gives you one month to prepare!  Please ask your teacher if you have any questions.  Happy practicing!

Halloween Performance & Party

Every fall, we look forward to our Halloween Group Class Performance and the Party that follows.  Here’s what you need to know for this year’s installment:

Who: Any and all of Mr. Brad and Ms. Kirby’s students.
What: An informal performance of selected Suzuki repertoire and other supplemental pieces, followed by snacks and games.
Where: the Parish Hall at Good Shepherd Church, 1166 S. Mason Rd., Town & Country, MO 63131.
When: Tuesday, October 24, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
How: Wear a costume, invite your friends and family, and sign up to help set up, tear down, or bring treats.

Here is the repertoire list that we will be focusing on in group classes for the next few weeks to prepare for the performance:

Ensemble
Sadness, B. Tours
Fugue in Two Parts, C. Dancla
Coleraine (Irish Jig)

Pre-Twinklers
Chicken on a Fencepost Variations (A, C, E)
Paw Paw Patch
Old Brass Wagon

Violins
Seitz 2:III
Gavotte in g minor (w/ violas)
Old Joe Clark
Witches’ Dance

Violas
Handel Bourree (w/ duet)
Chorus from
Judas Maccabaeus (w/ duet)
French Folk Song (w/ duet)

Violins & Violas
Etude (w/ viola duet)
Rhody Variations
Song of the Wind
Twinkle Theme & Variations (A, C, Theme)