Hard Work….But Ohhhhh So Much Fun Too!

“It’s good to be back home.  I’ve just completed a two-week tour of Florida where I had bookings for a variety of event types that kept me on my toes.  However, all the trauma was offset by the fact that I enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends who reside in the state.  Some twenty folks with whom I am acquainted managed to link up with me.  This was truly terrific and a welcome release for me in the midst of preparing for some serious performances.

 

First off was two “command performances” at the Kirk of Dunedin near Clearwater, FL.  I’ve played there several times before but only every other year.  The reason for this is the alternation of artists who are asked to be part of the Fall/Spring concert series.  If you get a chance, log onto www.kirkchurch.com to take a look at this magnificent pipe organ installation which is expertly maintained by Mr. Terry Charles.  I had a ball!  Fortunately, all ground rules are off when it comes to song selection.  I included everything from Hungarian Rhapsody #2 to “One” from A Chorus Line.  Fortunately, the audiences were very accepting and appreciative of my diverse program.  I look forward to the 2013 season when I have already been asked to return.

 

Then it was off to Fort Myers for another Volare seminar which I presented for two days.  The attendees were very satisfied with the materials and suggestions I gave them.  If you recall, Volare is my way of passing on playing tips and performance secrets that enhance anyone’s playing skills.  But be forewarned, this course isn’t for sissies!  Let’s face it, certain criteria are consistent with a successful result.  For example, scales are a must…no getting around it….gotta do it.  Once one begins to believe in this necessity, I find the participants are willing to follow my lead.  Some of them actually began the regiment after the first day of instruction despite my specific request they “lie low” and get plenty of rest in preparation for day two of the seminar.  Oh well, I guess if they feel compelled to immediately put into practice what has been given to them during Volare, there’s no stopp’in em!  Go!

 

Afterwards, I drove over Alligator Alley to the east coast of the state ending up in the Merritt Island area, very near Cape Canaveral.  This was a repeat of the previous scenario.  It seems wherever I go throughout the country presenting this “how to” mini music course, the people I work with are all on the same page.  They have been taught how to play the notes.  But what they are looking for now is to improve their ability to create interesting arrangements, register the organ more dramatically, develop technical skills, etc., etc.  These concepts are the universal theme of the Volare program.  It’s apparent to me that geographical and demographical factors are non-existent when it comes to learning music.  Actually, age isn’t even an issue.  All of my Volare family members are on the same page.  Frankly, these men and women are looking for ways to sound more like professional musicians.  My job is to convince them that although their aspirations may not always be totally realistic, the notion that they will play better utilizing more complex harmonies and melody lines along with corresponding dynamics, is.

 

If you haven’t noticed, I love what I’m doing these days.”

Visit my website at http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com

 

Rosemary

 

posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via  http://MaxMorganDesign.com

 

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Getting Ready for the Holiday Eating Marathon:

“Okay, I love the season as much as the next person.  However, the logistics of organizing mega meals…plus the social hassle of putting them all together are increasingly more complicated.  After all, one has to determine who would be likely candidates for the Thanksgiving Day table.  Folks’ lives change!  People move away, get divorced, remarry, pass away….all of which forces a repeat performance of last year’s meal to become sometimes unrealistic.  But I always seem to land on my feet when it comes to hosting holiday celebrations.  At least that’s what my guests tell me.  Mind you, that’s AFTER they’ve enjoyed lots of my food and beverages.

Over the years I’ve attempted to prepare the turkey using a variety of techniques.  Some results were tastier than others.  One was a disaster–that was when I smoked the bird for three days prior to the meal.  I’m still hearing about that day when there was a lack of a turkey-roasting smell in the house.  Even my dog looked at me in disappointment!  Apparently, a thoroughly basted turkey roasted in the oven still seems to come out best for me.  Forget the deep-frying, bar-be-que, steaming, etc.  I’ve reverted to the basics, but with a few new twists.

As long as the bird is moist and cooked throughout, there’s not too many thing that can go wrong.  A cooking thermometer is my life saver.  It’s the stuffing, though, that creates the flavor in my book.  So allow me to share a recipe with you that contains an unusual ingredient…oysters.  Please don’t freak out about this even though you may not be a fan of these crustaceans.  Follow the simple turkey stuffing plan below.  If you do, don’t mention a word about the oysters to your guests.  They’ll never know your secret……and I’ll never tell.

ROSEMARY’S THANKSGIVING TURKEY STUFFING

Ingredients:

1 lb. toasted bread cubes (either homemade or purchased at the grocery store)

1/2 lb. bacon (cut in 1/2-inch pieces)

1 bulb fresh minced garlic

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped roasted chestnuts

1/4 lb. UNSALTED butter (melted in microwave)

3 tbsp. fresh thyme

2 tbsp. fresh sage

1/2 cup chopped parsley

12 diced fresh oysters (strained from the jar–but keep for future use, its wonderful stuff)

Assembly:

Cook the bacon pieces over low/moderate heat; drain, SAVE 1/4 cup of the fat.

Pour bacon fat into a medium-sized skillet over moderate heat.

Add garlic, onion, celery and cook until soft.

Stir in thyme, parsley and sage; stir thoroughly.

Add butter, cooked bacon, oysters, and chestnuts.

Season to taste.

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl; toss thoroughly and let cool.

Combine mixture with toasted bread cubes JUST PRIOR to baking; stuff bird; roast and enjoy!

 

Now while the bird is in the oven and you are waiting visit me at http//rosemarybaileymusic.com and order up some Christmas music.  Enjoy

 

Rosemary

 

posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Back in the saddle again.

It’s travel time again!  I’ll be leaving California for Florida this week in preparation for presenting three major events there.
First stop is Tampa where the Kirk of Dunedan is located.  If you have a minute, take a look at their web site www.kirkchurch.com. and click on “concerts” listed at the bottom of the home page.  Not only is this an impressive place of worship but it also doubles as an artistic center.  Perfect acoustics and a fantastic pipe organ combine to make for a wonderful performance venue.  My commitments are for next Friday and Saturday, October 21st and 22nd.  I submitted my program to the Kirk personnel yesterday for printing purposes.  Having played there prior (more than ten performances over the years), I’m familiar with the instrument and what musical styles work well on it.  This is important for me to know when formulating a written program, although I will need to refresh my memory before the performance date.  As you probably know, all these installations are different.  Consequently, one false move from the organist can be disastrous….like depressing a tab which activates a cymbal when you really were aiming for the one next to it, the flute. Ouch!  The renditions I’ve selected range from a Cole Porter medley to Hungarian Rhapsody to selections from West Side Story.
There’s another special side to this venue.  In addition to the four-manual organ, two grand pianos also appear on either side.  These are operated directly from the pipe organ.  In other words, if I choose to have the pianos play along with me (while I’m seated on the organ bench), they magically begin to produce music.  This is showcased by tiny lights positioned over each key.  For example, when I perform a ragtime piece, I plan on “waking up” the pianos to join in with my rendition.  This will be too much fun!
Next, it will be on to Fort Myers and Jay+Kay’s Music where I will be back on the Roland digital organ conducting a “Volare” seminar.  I’ve written about this before on my blog.  Briefly, I present a two-day master class which provides the intermediate musician with tips, short cuts and incentives enabling them to improve their skills.  A full explanation of the mini-course can be found at www.rosemarybaileymusic.com.  Finally, the same program is scheduled in the Merritt Island area at Laut’s Music.
Rest assured there will be some “off time” on this trip as well.  It seems the whole world has moved to Florida.  Not only do I enjoy visiting with an array of relatives who live there but I also look forward to sharing time with friends I have met through the music industry….some of whom I haven’t seen for a number of years.  I’m sure we’ll have a great time reminiscing about the old days and telling each another how young we look….maybe.
Don’t worry, my friends, I have already prepared the November Song of the Month for you, one of my priorities before leaving town.  It’s quite a different interpretation than the previous ones.  Again, please go to the site if you’re not familiar with this project.  You may become a winner!
Let’s all concentrate on staying well and safe as the year progresses toward holiday times.  My personal plan is to work hard, play hard and give thanks every day for all we have.  I’ll be reporting in again soon.  Bye for now.
Rosemary
Don’t forget to visit http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

October – Fall is here

As you know by now, I always have more than a few balls in the air.  It seems to go in cycles.  But this time of the year is by far the busiest for me.
Why is it that we start to feel the momentum leading up to the holiday season so far in advance of December?  I don’t know, however the impact of supplying interesting and fitting programs with coordinated software is primary on my agenda.  Much of my day is concerned with these issues.
 
October promises to be multi-faceted, exciting and rewarding for me.  My Volare seminars are going full-throttle in southern Calfornia to be followed by two commitments in Florida, Fort Myers and Merritt Island.  The latter will come after a very special double concert package offered by The Kirk of Dunedin church near Clearwater, FL.  Amazing!  The pastor of this congregation not only appreciates liturgical music but also is a jazz buff!  I’ve performed at this venue many times over the years on their tremendous theatre pipe organ.  Everything from Bach to Bacharack is not only permitted but encouraged to be performed.  Because the organ is a combination of several installations married to create this magnificent instrument, almost any  type of music works well on it.  You might want to read more their monthly concert series on-line at www.kirkorgan.com  I will be there on October 21st and 22nd, just before leaving for the Volare seminars part of my trip.
 
Obviously, I will be switching musical gears during the month.  It’s times like this I truly appreciate my pipe organ background we’ve talked about before and the subsequent electronic/digital organs I perform on today.  I realize it’s the same white and black notes on both families of keyboards, but the technique required to create sounds appropriate for the instrument is the key.  Touch response, proper registrations, song selection all play a part in the realism and success of the performance.  I will be on my toes for sure during this tour.  There will be no place for distraction while concertizing and performing.
 
I wish all of you a cozy, secure and beautiful October.  All is good.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the colors of the season.  Stay well and I’ll check in with you soon.
 
In the meantime, visit my website at http://rosemarybaileymusic.com and look out for my monthly newsletter.  If you are not on my mailing list please send me your email address so I can add you.
 
Rosemary 
 
posted by Ric Overton of http://pianosd.com via http://maxmorgandesign.com

By popular demand !!!! Not what you’re expecting

Okay, I have been encouraged to depart from the music stuff to blog a bit about my culinary skills….they’re not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  Being half Italian, it’s only logical I know a little bit about cooking.  The other half is English….that’s the “Bailey” part.  You can guess which side of the family I gravitated to on holidays even as a child.  Let me see….do I want overcooked boiled beef with unseasoned turnips or do I prefer homemade lasagna with grandma’s meatballs and Italian sausage?  
 
I don’t think I’m alone in regarding food from Italy to be the best.  Believe it or not, my second choice is Japanese cuisine!   Love it, cooked or not. 
 
But as the season for decent tomatoes winds down, I am compelled to make the simplest of red pasta sauces combining a mere seven ingredients and more importantly, taking only thirty minutes to prepare.  The secret to its success lies within the tomatoes themselves.  They must be as ripe as possible…somewhat over-ripe is even better.  If you know the vegetable manager at your store, he may even set aside tomatoes having perhaps a small defect or bruising which makes them unsellable.  But for our purposes, the bad parts can be cut off using a paring knife and the rest of the tomato works just fine.
 
As you read through the recipe, please don’t think I forgot to list the onion or meat components.  There aren’t any!  Now, before you decide not to read further, please give this sauce a chance.  Its taste is intense so use it  sparingly on the pasta (rigatoni, penne, farfella, etc., not the fettuccine or linguine type) so that the sauce lightly coats the pasta.  This is what I call a last-minute dish guaranteed to satisfy your family or unexpected guests (who will think you slaved away all day preparing it)! 
 
Make sure to have on hand some fresh Italian bread as well as grated Parmesan cheese in the house as well.  I happen to like the bread plain for this dinner seeing as there will be an abundance of garlic already in the gravy.  As much as I adore garlic bread, I think it’s too much of good thing for this recipe. 
 
If you’d like, serve it with a European salad of some kind…….remember, salad comes AFTER the main course in Europe.  It naturally creates a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish to the meal.  Romaine lettuce mixed with a bit of arugula, endive, dandelions, mustard green or rapine are all good options to create a refreshing complement to this pasta dish loved originally by the common people of Old Italy simply called, Salsa Fresco.” 
 
 
INGREDIENTS: 
 

 
8-10 medium ROMA or BEEFSTEAK tomatoes (very soft to the touch) 
 
10-12 gloves of garlic (sorry, forget the pre-chopped jar variety, it won’t work)
 
a hand full of chopped basil (absolutely must be the fresh stuff, not dried)
 
1/2 tsp. powered chicken bouillon
 
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
 
1/4 tps. dried red pepper (optional)
 
2 tab. olive oil
 
1 lb. dried pasta
 
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Heat a large pasta bowl in the oven set on warm.
 
Prepare garlic by crushing gloves with the side of a large knife; remove the outside; chop gloves into  pieces.
 
Prepare tomatoes by removing unwanted parts and core; cut into quarters LEAVING SKIN ON; place into a blender and liquefy.
 
Pour olive oil into medium size pot or large skillet (it will cook down faster in the latter).
 
Heat oil over LOW flame; put in the prepared garlic; saute making sure not to burn the pieces (or yourself)
 
Make certain heat is set no more than low-medium before adding the following!!!!!!!
 
CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour the blended tomatoes into the pot or skillet
 
Add bouillon, sugar, chopped fresh basil and red pepper; stir from the bottom until the sauce commingles.
 
Boil slowly until the liquid reduces (about 10-15 minutes depending on the water content in the tomatoes) to a loose paste; continue to stir occasionally, detaching and blending in any pulp sticking to the bottom of the pan.
 
Fill a medium-large pot 2/3 the way with water; bring to a boil (cover the pot to expedite this time always monitor the water boiling progress carefully to avoid the lid from popping off from pressure).
 
Pour in one pound of pasta and boil for the time suggested on the box (around 6-8 minutes); strain.
 
Take the large serving bowl from the oven; pour the strained pasta into the bowl; cover with pasta sauce; fold in the sauce to coat the pasta.  Remember, if too much sauce is used, the tomato flavor becomes overwhelming.
 
Sprinkle with grated Italian cheese and serve.  An extra basil leaf or two placed on top just befoe serving completes the presentation……and shows you to be an elegant chef, even if you’re not.  I’ll never tell.
 
Buon Appetito!  
 
Also, dont forget to “like” me on Facebook and visit my website  http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com
 
Rosemary     
 
 Posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com
    

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another update about by plans for this Fall.  The Volare seminar program is really kicking off good.  My next presentation will be in the Seattle area on September 13th and 14th.  Prosser Piano and Organ is hosting this in their Shoreline store.  I can’t wait!  We’ll have the perfect set up there because this location is the primary organ teaching facility of the chain.  My buddy, Ray Harris, has done a fantastic job of recruiting attendees for the event.  I’ll be shipping my audio/visual equipment to him shortly.  I think the days are gone when simply listening to an artist play is enough.  The corresponding video influence is almost a must.  And of course I want those choosing to be at Volare to get the full emotional impact of what I am doing.

 

Bye for now….we’ll talk soon.  In the meantime, remember to “like” me of facebook and also to visit my website at http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com

Rosemary

posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

 

Ready for the fall to kick in….

Usually, my travel performance schedule is quite busy during the months of September, October and November.  I love when the days get a little shorter and the nights a little chillier.  It seems people begin to focus better when the air is clear and the atmosphere is energized.  This year will be the same as usual….yet different.  I have plans to present several Volare seminars (check my web site http://www.rosemarybaileymusic.com for more details about what this is all about.  But the basic concept is a program I have created, promoted and launched for keyboard players who truly want to improve their skills without going to a music college.  We have a lot of fun at these affairs which last two days…..eight hours of learning in all.  Besides the seminars, I offer a playing critique for anyone interested and perform a mini concert at the end.  Everyone is given materials to act as their guideline plus an audio CD demonstrating the ideas presented.  Folks genuinely seem to appreciate the “secrets to playing success” I give them during the course.

So I’ll begin the tour in Seattle, WA where I will be conducting a Volare hosted by Prosser Piano & Organ at the Shoreline store north of downtown.  The event is scheduled to take place on September 13th and 14th.  We will have a group of some 30 participants who have registered to attend. 

Afterwards, there will be two Volares presented for the Roland southern California dealer, Desi’s Music.  We’ve decided to start off in eastern Riverside County to cater to those who reside in that general area.

Their event will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27th and 28th.  The following week, I will personally be hosting a similar event right here at my residence in Poway, California.  That will be on October 4th and 5th.  Desi and I felt it necessary to split his clientele into two groups for the sake of transportation issues. 

It should be a resourceful and enlightening two days in both locations.  My belief is that people will come away from the mini-course with a newfound sense of confidence and excitement.  That is my goal and desire for the Volare attendees.

Don’t forget to “like” me in Facebook.  Drop by http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com when you get a chance.

Rosemary

this post by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com