Meeting Up with Cindy’s group

Last Tuesday was very special for me.  I met with some ten hobbyist organists who were ready for another dose of Volare input.  For those of you not aware of what I’m referring to, Volare is my teaching program designed for amateur organs and keyboard players.  I explain the premise of the course on my web site, http://www.rosemarybaileymusic.com.  One of my biggest proponents in this effort is a woman associated with the music industry by the name of Cindy Soriano.  It is through her efforts and encouragement that this week’s event took place.

It seems that there are some folks out there that consider even elementary bits of information inspiring.  They crave the acquisition of musical skills on an ongoing basis.  This is a good thing!  After all, learning music is a never-ending sport, right?  So we all convened and discussed the importance of building beautiful and logical medleys of tunes.  The first question asked of me by Marjorie had to do with my opinion about the length of an average medley of songs.  I shared this anecdotal story:

A number of years ago, a friend of mine accompanied me to a concert given by an artist whom we both knew.  It was quite enjoyable but lengthy…to say the very least.  I recall the plan for the artist’s musical arrangement.  She announced her medley to be a “musical journey across the great United States of America”.  And it was!  The medley started with a melody reminiscent of San Francisco and was to end in up in New York….a wonderful concept.  The only problem was that after almost one hour, the audience we still in Kansas City!  The moral of the story was that too much of a good thing can turn out to be counterproductive after a while.

So, I guess the moral of my story for you players out there is to keep your songs combinations entertaining, yet succinct.  In my opinion, a maximum of five tunes is sufficient for any medley content.  It can be fun to plan out these things but please pay respect to those who are the listeners.  My analogy is that as wonderful as premium chocolate ice cream is, too much of it can make you feel a bit uncomfortable after awhile.

Look for the March Song of the Month to be posted in a week or so.  Last month’s winner, Lois Phagan from Florida solved the dilemma of identifying the melody.  It turned out to be a tough one to solve…..sorry about that.  But please remember that each song posted on my web site has pertinence to the month itself.  I’ll give you one clue to the correct answer of the upcoming song……it definitely WON’T be a march.

Of course, as always, if you are interested in pipe organ, theatre organ or home organ, please feel free to visit my website at http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com and see whats going on with Volare and Pearl.

Bye-Bye

Rosemary

 

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

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“Longer Days…..Hooray!

“Longer Days…..Hooray!
I’ve never really been a morning person, that is until about five years ago.  I don’t know what happened but I found myself rising earlier and earlier all of a sudden.  I guess the key is to curtail late night television watching.  I finally realized that staying up until 3:00 A.M., fighting sleep (and sometimes caving in to the temptation), was sort of stupid.  Most of the time I didn’t even recall what I had been watching the night before.
So this morning when I first began to wake up about 5:30, I realized the days were becoming longer again!  I like this!  Most of the time, I ly in bed for a few minutes planning my day’s strategy.  Seems like the minute I get up, the real world sets in complete with its obligations and distractions.  Strangely enough, even the animals acclimate to the change.  My golden retriever was up and ready to go when I was as were the birds.  There’s one large crow that noisily pecks at the skylight in our living room every morning.  Hope he doesn’t break it…it’s tough to sue a bird for damages.
So today’s plan is to complete the details of an abbreviated Volare course which I am presenting this Tuesday.  If you recall, Volare is my learning seminar that shows amateur keyboard players some of the secrets to musical success.  You can read more about this on my web site www.rosemarybaileymusic.com.  There’s lots of things that are not really that difficult to incorporate into your playing…if you know how to do it.  I’ve been asked to talk a bit about techniques in creating medleys.  Great subject.  Apparently each one of these musicians have a few tunes they’ve learned to play but have no conduit to connect them into medley form.  A few of the ideas we’ll be discussing have to do with chord transformations, chromatic fill-ins, rhythm introductions, etc.  Some of this type of thing comes naturally to me….or maybe I just listen to a lot to various styles of music throughout the day….jazz, theatre organ, show tunes, whatever.  Once in a while I find myself inserting a musical passage into an arrangement that I know came from somewhere in my subliminal mind.  After all, we know the brain is an incredible storage house of information.  The challenge is to retrieve the file in our head that completes our current demand.  In music, that data could be anything from Sinatra-esque phrasing to a country banjo riff.  If we’ve heard it, it’s up in there somewhere.  The trick is to extract it to use it in one’s own playing.
I’ll be talking to you more soon and thanks for reading my weekly blog.  I certainly enjoy generating it.”
In the meantime please take a look at this newest video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VbezsFSwr4  and also feel free to visit my website at http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com and see whats going on in the world of Pipe Organ, Theatre Organ and Home Organ.    Until Next Time……………
Rosemary
posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.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

Have you thought about this?

Do you realize that the Christmas season is less than six months away?  This is when a few wise people begin thinking ahead to the inevitable….like what to give to their special friends.  I’ve never been one of those types until recent years.  It must be a sign of maturity or perhaps it’s simply due to getting older.

From my perspective, having the opportunity to perform various holiday songs is an endearing endeavor.  The down side is that performing selections appropriate for the season is so short-lived.  Usually, I begin including a few well-known tunes in my programs around December 1st or so.  As the month progresses though, more and more of these tunes seem to work their way into song list.  Strangely enough, almost magically, the mood of the seasonal presentations become a bit more liturgical in nature as the December days roll on.  I may choose to perform “Frosty the Snow Man” during a program on let’s say 12/4…..but by 12/18, I feel compelled to also include “Adeste Fideles” and  “Silent Night”.  One of the reasons for this is due to the phenomenal human voice effects available on the Roland Atelier.  Whether utilized in a solo fashion or combined with instrumental support, the various voice ranges are perfect for this type of registration.

I’ve only made one holiday music CD in my career.  Its title is “Holiday Memories” and frankly, I’m quite proud of the result.  In some ways, this disk is different from any others I have produced.  First of all, of course, the 12 songs I selected are all typical of the Christmas season.  The selections are both secular and religious in nature and range in dynamics from subtle settings suitable for carols to renditions reminiscent of huge European cathedrals.  Yes, there’s “Sleigh Ride” appearing on the recording list, but also “What Child is This?”……quite the opposite.  But there is a unique twist to “Holiday Memories”.  I decided to create it in a medley format.  In other words, there is no stoppage between tracks.  My intent in doing it this way was based on a mental picture I had of a family sitting down for Christmas dinner and playing my CD from start to finish without any breaks in the mood of the gathering.  I feel I’ve accomplished my goal by choosing to provide nonstop organ/instrumental holiday song arrangements that folks recognize and enjoy.  Hopefully, my small part in adding to the emotion of the day completes the holiday picture.

So when you’ve had enough of the summer heat and are ready to think about preparing for the most celebrated event of the year, please consider the importance of completing the scene with appropriate background music.  You also might consider a holiday music CD as a gift to those who appreciate a quality recording.  Just be sure to think ahead should you choose to purchase one….after all, listening to holiday music is only a good thing if it’s on or before 12/25.  Then, unfortunately, it’s an eleven-month wait until we hear it again.

When you have a minute, please go to my web site http://www.rosemarybaileymusic.com and check out the “Holiday Memories” disk.  It truly does make for a thoughtful gift….I’ll even autograph the CD insert for you if you’d like! 

Visit me at Http://RosemaryBaileyMusic.com

Have a blessed day and let’s chat again soon.

Rosemary

 

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

A Welcome Break for Rosemary

A welcome break for Rosemary…..
 
Well, after 23 airline flights during the month of June, I finally find myself back home.  But all activities were unique and successful for me.  I sometime forget all the various ramifications of being a performer/educator in the music industry.  Although I thoroughly enjoy commitments that entail only my playing expertise, applying that knowledge in a separate, different way is refreshing to me.
 
For example, both the Bill Horn Organ Extravaganza http://billhornproductions.com and  the American Theatre Organist Society http://atos.org convention turned out to be…in their own way….tremendously rewarding.  The first scenario provided me with the opportunity to not only be part of the concert team at the evening events but I also showcased the Roland Atelier organ in a more intimate surrounding at the display room.  There, I provided short workshops for the attendees which involved my input for the amateur musician to better their performance skills.  Sometimes this involves knowing the instrument more thoroughly but most of the time, my demonstrations were centered around the necessity of technical impact.  In other words, preparatory work (specifically practicing scales before beginning to learn a song) is essential.  After all, can you name a credible exercise that doesn’t involve prior regimentation before beginning?  Whether referring to ballet dancing, golf, even professional baseball and football……all demand a warm-up practice.  Well, so does playing an instrument.  I guess in a way, that is an athletic endeavor as well!
 
My time at the ATOS convention was spent introducing most of the theatre organ buffs who were attending to the wonders of digital organs.  Technology provides the realism of the tone and the diversity of the instrumentation.  We all know that.  However, some of those listening to my presentations were not aware of the replication of pipe organ sounds available on the Roland Atelier line of organs.  This was a true revelation for most of them.  When they found out there was never any tuning required, unlike all theatre and institutional pipe organs, I practically saw small light bulbs popping up over their heads…along with a slight smile.  Having an organ in their home that genuinely simulates the touch and sound they love to hear is a doable option.
 
My time now will be focused on Volare-related projects including the filming of a short video explaining what it is all about.    As a preview, the Volare seminar package is a touring event presented by me which includes a variety of proven benefits to the enrollment including playing techniques, arrangement ideas, advanced manual dexterity skills, etc.  Volare is promoted through your local music retailer.  If you’re interested, ask about the possibility of Volare paying a visit to your town.  I’d love to meet each and every one of you who follow my professional activities.
 Watch for the upcoming announcement of my new website about Volare.  http://VolareOrgan.com I will keep you informed when it is up and running.
 
Thank you to everyone invovled in the setting up and the production of these two successful events. My hat is off to everyone who made these programs run so smoothly.
 
Stay safe and well…..you’ll be hearing more from me soon.
 
Rosemary     
 
posted by Ric Overton of http://pianosd.com via http://maxmorgandesign.com
 
  

This Week.

Busy, busy, busy!  I’m enjoying these three days at home before my next venture.  I’ll be leaving soon for a professional commitment at the annual A.T.O.S. (American Theatre Organ Society) convention in Providence, R.I.  http://ATOS.org Actually, it’s a beautiful part of the country to visit this time of year.  However, most of my hours will be spent indoors at the Westin Hotel.  That’s the location for the event although folks travel by bus daily to various venues in the general area listening to wonderful organists perform on great theatre organ installations.
 
The people attending are in quite a unique group…completely enthralled with the vintage sound of the theatre pipe organ.  It’s their life!  Needless to say, nostalgia abounds at these shows.  I sometimes feel I’m part of a movie setting from the turn of the last century at these things.  But all participants are respectful to the artists and quite caught up with the magic of the moment.  They are always an exceptionally appreciative audience.
 
I also will be playing on a digital….yes, I said digital….console organ, the Roland Atelier 900.  Now this might sound a bit absurd, but the reality is simple.  The vast majority of theatre organ aficionado’s (most of whom are musicians themselves) can only dream about the prospect of owning the real thing.  Frankly, the best they can hope for is the opportunity to participate in an “open console” session at a local theatre housing a credible instrument.  But an electronic home version of this scenario is doable.  Here is where technology saves the day.  Through digital sampling, Roland is able to capture the typical theatre organ voices and make them a viable option for the organist.  The realism of the sound quality is quite impressive….and of course, tuning is never an issue. 
 
For these reasons, it is appropriate to display an alternative to the fabulous theatre pipe organ.  It strikes me that it is time for the traditionalists to learn about and perhaps accept the fact that they can retrieve their favorite theatre organ effects on a digital organ.  I plan on presenting an informative short program on the Roland which introduces this concept to the participants.  I feel that this revelation will be well-received and appreciated.  My posture with the group will be one of entertainer and instructor.  But most of all, my goal is to establish an atmosphere of product understanding and acceptance from the attendees.  As the saying goes, “information is the key to success”.  Whether a digital organ would suit the musical needs of those attending the convention is not the issue…….being knowledgeable about the subject is.  And that is my goal.
 
Please visit my website at http://rosemarybaileymusic.com and also visit my facebook page at Rosemary Bailey Music and “Like” me.  If you already have, recommend this to a friend.
 
Look forward to seeing you in Providence, RI
 
Rosemary   
 
posted by Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Whats happening, seriously?

“I’m having a wonderfully uplifting time at the Rodgers Instrument offices in Portland, OR. this week.  Rodgers is one of the Roland group of companies that plays multiple roles in the creation and manufacturing of Roland Corp. products.  You may know its pivotal role in the institutional market.  Rodgers organs are featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the world.  But it also assembles the Roland Atelier home organs right here in the good old U.S.A.!  The facility in Hillsboro, OR. is quite modern and impressive not only featuring a proper concert hall but in addition houses a huge manufacturing plant.  Although the intent, sound and cosmetic influence of the two lines of organs is utterly diverse, the technology used to create all the pieces assembled at Rodgers is common to all and quite remarkable.  
 
My role here is one of concert artist performing on several organ models for the annual Rodgers dealer meeting.  Last evening, the entire group of some 160 people were transported to a church in downtown Portland to hear a concert played on the Rodgers installation.  It was impressive and the folks seemed to love listening to the realistic sound samples provoked by electronic pipes.  Quite a different side of the music spectrum from the home organs, you know.
 
Today, a separate presentation will take place featuring the introduction of a brand new Rodgers organ model along with pertinent business conversation.  But tonight will be the grand finale of the three days with a concert showcasing various organs in the Rodgers/Roland family of products.  Myself, Don Lewis and Dan Miller are the performers.  There will also be a team of gospel singers integrated into Don’s appearance.  This should be great seeing as the instrument Don is using, the Atelier 350 C, lends itself to that style of playing.
 
Dan is perhaps the finest classical performer I have ever heard.  He is a part of the managerial team at Rodgers and a very accomplished artist.  I’m positive he will present the Rodgers in a very satisfying and dramatic way. 
 
My role tonight is one of the supplier of contemporary sounds on the Atelier 350 C.  Obviously, it is a multi-faceted instrument that can be registered to reflect an array of orchestral and rhythmic effects.  So it is logical that after hearing wonderful gospel sounds from Don and tremendous classical music from Dan, I will be entertaining the audience with jazz, ballad and dixieland playing on the Roland Atelier. 
 
Then it’s back home tomorrow for a few days.  My next post will reveal my plans for next week when I will be appearing at a major organ festival held annually in Lancaster, PA., the Dutchland Extravaganza.”
 
Remember to visit me online at http://rosemarybaileymusic.com
 
Rosemary
 
posted by Ric Overton of http://pianosd.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com