Every month I sit down to compose this newsletter, I wonder how you are all doing. How you and your families are weathering this pandemic. If you’ve stayed healthy. If you’ve been able to keep working. What your plans for your children’s school are… So many things. But just knowing you’re all out there, playing guitar and enjoying good music, and perhaps even looking forward to our next salon, brings me some comfort. I hope it brings you some comfort as well.
I sincerely hope you are all well. If you have a moment, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing. And if you have an idea for how WCGS can help support you or others during these troubling times, please let me know. We’re all in this together.
For the past few months we’ve been fairly lax in culling expired memberships from our database, but I plan to trim back some of the membership accounts we haven’t heard from in some time. If you know your membership is lapsed, please take a moment to renew. We love to have you in WCGS, and would hate to see you go.
Keep in mind that, although it’s going to be difficult holding traditional concerts in the next year, we have our members covered. We’ll be offering several exciting virtual concerts in the coming months, and only members will retain access to these concerts past their initial premiere. That means you will be able to watch them for an extended time after they first air. That’s a pretty great perk, and only available to our members, so don’t forget to renew!
Virtual Duo Opportunities
The pandemic has brought innumerable challenges to all of us, one of them being playing music in ensemble. While it’s not possible to meet safely to make music together, that doesn’t mean the music has to stop. Let’s figure out how to do this virtually, and make new friends at the same time!
I’ve reached out to some friends of mine who lead other classical guitar societies, and they’re excited to help me put together some virtual ensembles, pairing up members from their societies with ours.
The basic plan is to pair up participants pen pal style, with the goal of producing a final performance video. Partners will organize their own “rehearsal schedule,” send video/audio back and forth of their parts, and discuss musical considerations via whatever means seems most productive (I think some form of video chat with screen/audio sharing would be best). Organizers are available to help pair up participants based on ability level, help select repertoire if necessary, and help with final video production if required.
I suggest a one month turn around time from initial meeting to final performance.
Final performance videos may be shared between societies, posted on our respective YouTube channels, or possibly assembled into a larger project concert, with the permission of the performers, of course.
Who’s with me?!? Please comment in the appropriate post in our Facebook group if you’re interested in taking part and I’ll start matchmaking.
Upcoming Salon: This Sunday July 26
Join me this Sunday the 26th, at 6:00 pm on Zoom, for our July Members Salon. We’ll be conducting things as usual, with the caveat that we’ll all be playing and critiquing from the comfort of our own homes. We’ve been having great turnouts for our online Zoom salons and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again Sunday!
I didn’t get around to posting a challenge piece for this month, but I’ve already got some in the queue for next month. Remember, you can always access past challenge pieces in the “Units” section of our Facebook group.
The following Zoom meeting link will remain the same every month, so feel free to add it to your calendar.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 149 817 292
Our Zoom meetings have been going great thanks to some preparation we all take part in to help things run smoothly. Please follow the instructions below to ensure we all have the best experience possible.
1) Set up your laptop (preferably) or other webcam-enabled device (tablet or phone) in a quiet space in your home.
2) Plug in headphones or earbuds to ensure the sound quality is optimal (conferencing software will otherwise garble your audio as it’s trying to filter voice from background noise).
3) Download the Zoom videoconferencing app and install on your computer or device.
4) Once installed, create an account, and then test your mic and speaker connections in the Zoom app. On the computer app, click on the gear icon (Settings) in the upper right corner under your initials to access the Settings. In settings, click on Video in the menu on the left to preview your video feed. Make sure you have sufficient light on your front for the camera. Click on Audio to test and preview your mic and speakes/headphones.
5) If you plan to perform, while in the Audio settings, click on the advanced box in the bottom right. In the Advanced section, select DISABLE in the “Suppress Persistant Background Noise” and “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise” options. Echo cancellation should be left to “Auto.”Check the box at the top to “Show in meeting option to enable Original Sound from microphone.” Note: not all of these settings are available on other devices. Change what you can.
6) An newsletter will be sent to you the week prior to the meeting. Click the link to join. The link is also available in our Facebook members forum.
7) Once joined, click the “Turn on Original Sound” button in the top left of the screen. This will use the unfiltered feed from your microphone, allowing for your most musical performance. If you’re not performing, this isn’t necessary.
8) Have fun! Any further instructions will be given in the meeting.
Note you can always create your own meeting to try out the system and familiarize yourself with what it can do. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll try to answer them for you.
Oh, and I wouldn’t plan on playing any duos, unless you really want to give it a chance. The latency issues will yield very mixed results.
We will continue to hold our monthly meetings on Zoom until it is deemed safe to meet again in person. Hopefully, that won’t be too long from now, but I still anticipate it will be several months.
**If you are coming to the salon, please arrive between 5:45 and 6:00. Join up and get your settings straight, and have fun chatting with everyone else.
*NOTE: The following salon will take place on August 30th, location TBD. Mark your calendars!
2020 Salon Schedule
July 26th (online)
June Meeting Recap
We had another great turnout at last month’s online meeting, and some great performances! Thanks everyone for showing up and participating. Hope to see you all again this Sunday.
Performers from June in performance order:
Robert Guerrero – Ninna Nanna and Semplice from 24 Präludien, Op.20 by Carlo Domeniconi
Ralph Dominica – Klangbild 13 from 24 Klangbilder by Carlo Dominiconi (June challenge piece) and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (arr. S. Madsen)
Matthew Lavanish – Klangbild 13 from 24 Klangbilder by Carlo Dominiconi (June challenge piece)
Jo Daneman – Klangbild 13 from 24 Klangbilder by Carlo Dominiconi (June challenge piece)
Carlo Domeniconi Klangbild 13 challenge piece
Carl Abramson – Klangbild 13 from 24 Klangbilder by Carlo Dominiconi (June challenge piece) and Double (of Bouree) from Partita No.1 for solo violin, BWV 1002 by Johann Sebastian Bach
John Nguyễn – El sueño de la muñequita by Agustín Barrios
All live events are cancelled or have moved online. Stay home and stay healthy.
Check out our Facebook group for some great insight into what’s happening online with classical guitar. There are all kinds of new things popping up, from festivals, masterclasses, competitions, concerts, and lectures.
To submit an event, please Email our event calendar coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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President & Artistic Director – The Wilmington Classical Guitar Society