Tag Archives: music

Anna Han, performing in the Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition Winners Concert at the Musical Instrument Museum. Photo by Vickilyn Hussey.

Arizona Musicfest announces scholarship winner

The newest recipient of The Arizona Musicfest Scholarship is Anna Han, pianist, from Chandler, Arizona. Han will attend The Juilliard School (at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City).

“Over the past number of years, I have been lucky to experience firsthand Arizona Musicfest’s strong commitment to encouraging aspiring musicians to pursue their dreams and grow as artists,” said Han.

“I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Arizona Musicfest scholarship award, and by extension, their continued support as I venture into what will likely be a pivotal period of development.”

Anna_HanA frequent participant in Arizona Musicfest Competitions, Han is the recent First Place winner of the 2014 Arizona Musicfest Young Musician’s Competition (Division Three, Grades 11 & 12). She has previously performed as a soloist with the Chandler Symphony, West Valley Symphony, Verde Valley Sinfonietta, MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra, as well as twice with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. Performances outside Arizona include appearances at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., SubCulture New York, New World Center in Miami and the Lied Center of Kansas. She has given solo performances at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago and for PianoWorks in New London, Connecticut. An alumnus of the National Public Radio show, From the Top, she was also awarded a 2013 Silver Award by the National YoungArts Foundation.

Han joins bassoonist Dana Brink (2013/2014 Scholarship recipient), violinist Jeanelle Brierley (2012/2013 Scholarship recipient), pianist Evan Pensis (2012/2013 Scholarship recipient), and pianist Karen Nguyen (2011/2012 Scholarship recipient), all of whom were awarded renewal scholarships this year (2014/2015).

“It was my honor to be the coordinator of the very discerning group of decision makers who reviewed applications, performance demonstration materials, and the letters of recommendation,” commented Ann Wallenmeyer-Krahman, Arizona Musicfest Scholarship Committee Coordinator. “While all the applicants were highly qualified, after careful deliberation, the judges were unanimous in their selection of Ms. Han.”

Described by The Washington Post as “prodigiously gifted… a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower far beyond her years,” eighteen-year-old Han of Chandler, Arizona, started taking piano lessons with her current teacher, Fei Xu, at New Century Conservatory at age five. When she was eleven, she became the national first place winner of the 2007 Music Teachers National Association Junior Piano Competition. Since then she has won a number of prestigious international piano competitions, including the first prize of the 2012 New York International Piano Competition, the first prize of the 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, and the first prizes of both the 2011 and 2008 IIYM (International Institute for Young Musicians) International Piano Competitions.

Han made her orchestral debut with the Chandler Symphony at age 11, performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. She has also performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the West Valley Symphony, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta, and Saint- Saëns’ Africa Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra with the MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra. She has soloed twice with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1 and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3.

Han has performed in such venues as the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., SubCulture New York, New World Center in Miami, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Theatre Lawrence, Mesa Center for the Arts, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Temple Emanu-El in New York City, and the Lied Center of Kansas. She has given solo performances at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago and for PianoWorks in New London, Connecticut. An alumnus of the National Public Radio show, From the Top, she was also awarded a 2013 Silver Award by the National YoungArts Foundation.

The Arizona Musicfest Scholarship is awarded annually in May to highly qualified young musicians who excel at their instrument and are pursuing a college-level education with the goal of establishing a full or part-time career in classical music performance.

Get ready for the Sedona Bluegrass Festival

Now in its eight season, the June 4-8 Sedona Bluegrass Festival is making serious inroads in the Arizona Bluegrass world. Led by Festival Artistic Director Darol Anger, the Festival will include many friends invited personally by Anger including the legendary Peter Rowan, one of the bluegrass worlds multiple award winners and leading ladies Laurie Lewis with husband Tom Rozum, and one of America’s most exciting artists of this generation, cellist Ben Sollee.

Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee

“Darol’s connections and insights add a tremendous amount to our efforts,” said Festival director Bert Harclerode. “One is often judged by the company we keep, and Darol’s shared vision promises to make this festival our best yet! Ben Sollee is one of the college scene’s hottest tickets and we’re delighted to bring him to Sedona.”

Sollee, according to his web page, first gained major notice with his 2008 debut album, Learning to Bend, which led NPR’s Morning Edition to call him one of the “Top Ten Great Unknown Artists” of the year. Later, All Things Considered called his debut “an inspired collection of acoustic, folk and jazz-flavored songs, filled with hope and the earnest belief that the world is good.” Around the same time, Sollee was touring the world with Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet alongside Grammy nominee Casey Driessen and multi-Grammy winner Bela Fleck. Sollee’s music drew the attention of My Morning Jacket frontman Yim Yames, who produced his second full-length album, a collaboration with Daniel Martin Moore. In 2010 they released Dear Companion, a stunning collection of songs meant to inspire environmental stewardship. The next year Sollee contributed his cello stylings to My Morning Jacket’s hit album Circuital and released Inclusions, a sonically awe-inspiring album about relationships that was called “structurally brilliant” by Slant and “stunning” by No Depression.
Through it all, Sollee has garnered a rabid following of listeners devoted to his music. They will be greatly pleased with this, his most personal and adventurous album yet. His voice is grittier here, and the instruments—fiddles, lovely in their sawing, and electric guitars grinding out love and disappointment and every emotion in between—mimic the urgency and passion so evident in his vocals. “The vocals are more off the cuff and freer,” he says, stressing that the production strives more for rawness than perfection. “We steered our ears toward getting the right energy for each song. The takes took on their own life and led us along. The machines and mics had a weighty sound that we could use to drive the story through the lyrics and arrangements.”
The songs give us the many facets of a human being who is acutely aware of the world around him and his own faults. The album is novelistic in its scope and theme as we travel with the narrator who reveals everything about himself as a father, a spouse, a musician, and more. We are along for the ride as the narrator sings of selfishness, joy, impatience, romance…being human. With Half-Made Man, a record of raw power, grace, and wisdom, Sollee is sure to be measured alongside the best artists of his generation.

Sollee’s fourth album, Half-Made Man, a revealing, deeply moving album that explores a man trying to figure himself out, just as we all are. Known for his thrilling cello-playing that incorporates new techniques to create a unique mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz and R&B, Sollee possesses rough-smooth-smoky vocal stylings and a knack for intricate arrangements that has brought about comparisons to Sufjan Stevens. Sollee shares himself completely with his audience, whether it be by personal lyrics, or his commitment to the environment. Sollee can often be found riding a bicycle to his concerts (cello strapped to the back), which have become legendary for their intimacy.

The album, produced by Sollee himself, boasts a sublime cast of musicians, including Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) on electric/acoustic guitar and pedal steel, Alana Rocklin on bass, Jordon Ellis on percussion, Jeremy Kittel (formerly of the Turtle Island String Quartet) on violin, and guest vocals by Abigail Washburn. Sollee contributes octave mandolin, guitar, and of course, his signature cello.

“I wanted it to have a raw, real-time performance quality,” Sollee says. “This is kinetic expression. I dug deep into myself and asked the musicians to go there with me. To my ear, it sounds like musical search party; we often find what we’re looking for in between defined styles and genres. It won’t be easy to place this in one category, but I, and my generation, are measured by a little bit of everything these days.”

Sollee will perform Saturday and Sunday at the Festival taking place at Los Abrigados Resort in the heart of Sedona. Complete Festival information can be found at www.SedonaBluegrassFestival.org or by calling 928.204.2415.

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First-Ever Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival Starts…Now

Yesterday began what will be an historic event in already-historic Jerome, Arizona. Jerome, formerly famous as the “Wicked-est Town in The West” and currently known as AZ’s trendiest ghost-town, is hosting their first-ever Jerome Indie Film and Musical Festival until Sunday, June 16 at various venues around town. Sponsored by local individuals and businesses to Macayo’s Mexican Restaurant and the town of Jerome itself, the festival features over forty films, from documentaries to shorts to music videos. Some of the films we’re looking forward to include Romans Road, Speak No Evil (featuring AZ Big Media’s own Cindy Johnson!) and comedy short Questions.

119357663Bands like Tryst, Threefold Fate and Two in the Chest will perform from 1 to 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Starlit Mine Theatre. Panels and Q&A’s will be hosted throughout the weekend, including Behind the Screens:  What do Film Festivals Want From Filmmakers? from 1:10 – 2:10 p.m. tomorrow at the New State Motor Co. Building.

The Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival was founded by Toni Ross, an Arizona native with a passion for Arizona and Jerome (which has “had [her] heart since she was 6″) and a love for people, adventure, the arts, the Arizona filmmaking community, VW bugs and her children. She states that she “founded this film and music festival on the wings of [her] son, Trey.”

For more information, visit http://jeromefilmfestival.com/

 

library

Overdue Items Receive Special Attention at Library

The Chandler Public Library is working hard to make sure that all of the books, music and movies that are borrowed by the public get returned. There is a series of steps involved in the return process in order to recover items that have been checked out and are overdue.

The number of books, CDs and DVDs that go unreturned every year is anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500. Chandler Public Library Services Coordinator Peter Perreault said that the number was “quite small” considering the fact that there are about 80,000 active users and a total circulation of about 2 million items per year. “Approximately one tenth of one percent of checked out items per year are not returned,” Perreault said.

The first step in the return process is to e-mail a library user (if their e-mail was provided) with a reminder about the due date two days prior to it. If the items have not been returned two days after the due date, then an e-mail is sent out with an overdue notice.

Ten days after the due date, the customer receives a phone call and another overdue e-mail. After 21 days the process changes a bit, and customers are contacted through the mail, and with another overdue e-mail. These notifications inform library members that the items are now considered lost and that the customer may be responsible for paying the replacement costs along with a processing fee.

Thirty-five days after an item is not returned, the customer receives another letter and e-mail telling them again that they could be responsible for overdue fees and that if the fees are not paid or the item is not returned, then the account might be referred to a collection agency. At this point, the customer has been notified up to eight times.

All of the library staff is trained to handle customer questions regarding overdue materials on their account. E-mails are automatically generated and sent out, giving the employees more time to specialize in direct customer service.

After 45 days, any items and material not returned are considered to be lost and the library member is now fully responsible for paying the replacement cost of every overdue item checked out plus a processing fee. Depending on how much the items cost, the account may be turned over to a collection agency for further action.

Perreault said that library members with overdue materials who do not clear their account in full after it goes to collections will have a debt reported to the credit bureaus.“We use a collection agency as a last resort,” he said, “but we have a responsibility to the citizens and taxpayers of Chandler to protect their investment.”

family entertainment uptown alley

Family Entertainment, Restaurant Venue Brings Unique Experience To The Valley

A unique family entertainment experience. Get your game on at Uptown Alley, a 60,000 square foot entertainment and restaurant venue that is perfect for the whole family. The venue features Red Embers Bar & Grill, 40 lanes of bowling, over 75 video and prize games, two-story laser tag attraction, live entertainment and more.

Strike-up the fun for all ages, with high-tech bowling lanes that will complement all skill levels, from beginners to league bowlers. Uptown Alley will open in May at The Boulevard at Surprise Pointe at 13525 N. Litchfield Road.

The main attraction will be 40 high-tech bowling lanes. Catering to beginners, social bowlers or competitive league bowlers, there are opportunities for everyone to have fun.

“We are thrilled to bring Uptown Alley to the families and community of Surprise,” says Rebecca Bowers, General Manager. “This is a place the city can call its own and is perfect for a fun night together with friends and families.”

The chef-created menu at the venue’s full-service casual dining restaurant, Red Embers Bar & Grill, includes house specialty BBQ, gourmet pizzas and pasta, mouth-watering burgers, sandwiches and other Americana favorites. An open exhibition kitchen will create a distinct dining experience, seating 140 guests indoors and 60 on the outdoor patio.

Guests can let loose with two full bars and a large sports theater inside Uptown Alley. Signature libations and over 24 draft beers will be available for our guests. The enveloping sports theater rotunda will have six 55” flat screen HDTVs and a 15’ X 20’ projection screen for “front-row seats” to the big game.

Uptown Alley’s two-story, state-of-the-art laser tag arena will accommodate up to 24 players at a time for the ultimate laser tag experience. Specialty lighting and lively music makes this innovative laser tag course one of the highlights of the venue.

In the gaming area, individuals will discover a plethora of video and prize games, offering opportunities for everyone to find ways to challenge their skills and redeem points for great prizes.

Uptown Alley will also feature a 10-lane boutique ultra lounge called The Approach for guests 21 and over. In addition to “rock n’ bowling” with a contemporary sound system, The Approach will include a bar, entertainment and comfortable lounge areas with private party rooms and billiards for the ultimate social gathering experience.

Uptown Alley will host bowling leagues including programs for kids, teens and seniors. Private party packages for corporate events and individual functions are also available, accommodating up to 1,500 people.

Follow Uptown Alley on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uptownalleysurprise and on Twitter at @UptownAlleyAZ. For more information, visit the website at www.uptownalleysurprise.com. Uptown Alley will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Call Uptown Alley at 623-975-PLAY (7529).