Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picture of the Day

Rock Me, Amadeus

Repost: We're Halfway There

A Tom Greeves post that made me smile . . . 

"Tommy used to work on the docks
Union's been on strike
He's down on his luck
It's tough
So tough
Tommy reflects that
Maybe collective bargaining
Isn't all it's cracked up to be
The well-fed bosses
Of his so-called union
Earn white-collar salaries
But thanks to them
Tommy and his mates
Never seem to have any work
Gina works the diner all day
Whilst the basic salary isn't great
A combination of overtime shifts
And generous tips from customers
Who appreciate good service
Amounts to a pretty decent income
Inspired by Gina
Tommy decides he's fed up with
Being a docker
And becomes a cab driver
He enjoys being his own boss
And not being at the mercy of workshy colleagues
And because he can set his own hours
He has plenty of time
To pursue his passion for music
(And his customers provide lots of material for songs!!!)
Tommy and Gina's relationship
Has never been stronger
And each of them feels
Much more fulfilled on
An individual level too"

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Archive

I've assembled an archive page for the entire blog - you can find it on the tab above the blog entries, or you can use this link here:

Archive by Subject

I hope you find this helpful!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Sunday

One and all.  Here's a Natalie Dee for you.

P.S. - Me posting this is a perfect example of what happens when a musician-gone-nocturnal (going to bed @ 5am, getting up at 12pm) has to get up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning.  Its not pretty . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spring Awakening Research, Part II

Spring Awakening Lead Characters:
Wendla – Soprano. Innocent, but with every passing day, she grows more curious about the world around her. Both vulnerable and a willing participant in her evolution.
Melchior - Baritone. A smart, headstrong boy who refuses to bow down to society's rules. An atheist. Struggles with his intense feelings for Wendla.
Moritz - Tenor. A troubled student who desperately tries to please his father, but always seems to disappoint him. Melchior's best friend.

Supporting Characters:
Georg – Tenor (MTI says The bulk of his range is between Ab2 - A4, and he needs to be able to sing up to an D5 in falsetto). A schoolmate of Melchoir's who is overcome with his feelings for his piano teacher.
Otto - Tenor (MTI says 'baritenor'). A schoolmate who dreamt of his mother, as Melchior humorously reveals to Moritz in an effort to help him relax.
Hanschen - Tenor (MTI says 'baritenor'). A schoolmate of Melchior's who is comfortable with being gay and uses his looks and intelligence to manipulate Ernst.
Ernst - Tenor. (MTI says 'baritenor') A naive classmate of the boys who falls deeply for Hanschen's seduction.
Martha - AltoOne of Wendla's friends who is abused sexually by her father.
Ilse – Mezzo. Martha's sister, who shares her dark secret and has run away from home to live in an artists' colony. 
Anna – AltoOne of Wendla's friends, who cannot wrap her head around Martha's trials.
Thea - Mezzo. Wendla's best friend. A schoolgirl who tries to stay innocent and pure.
And several adults (spoken only)

*Middle C = C4
Songlist, Characters and Ranges 
1. Mama Who Bore Me -- Wendla: G3-A4
2. Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise) -- Anna: B3-C5, Martha: A3-E5, Thea: A3-E5, Wendla: E4-E5, Ilse: E4-E5,   
3. All That's Known -- Melchior: C3-E4

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eyecandy and food for thought

I stumbled onto the I Believe in Advertising blog the other day, which features ads from all over the world. Most of them are innovative and pretty funny.    

It made me think how musicians advertise constantly - we display ourselves on DVDs, mp3s, recital posters, piano lesson ads, business cards, etc. But do we always have to use a rather bland picture of our *instrument (ie, piano keys, grand piano, notes hovering on a background)?

Here are some of my favorite ads that call attention to a product or issue in a unique or funny way:

*I have nothing against piano pictures.  I'm just saying there's other things you can do.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spring Awakening Research, Part I

Today has been devoted to Spring Awakening. The Levine School is doing it in the fall, and I've spent several hours researching the show.

Composer: Duncan Sheik

Lyricist and Librettist: Steven Sater

Broadway Premiere
 Theatre: Eugene O'Neill Theatre
Opening Night: Dec 10, 2006

Performance Length: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Performances: 859

Original Cast: Skylar Astin, Gerard Canonico, Lilli Cooper, Jennifer Damiano, Christine Estabrook, John Gallagher Jr., Gideon Glick, Jonathan Groff, Robert Hager, Brian Charles Johnson, Lea Michele, Lauren Pritchard, Krysta Rodriguez, Stephen Spinella, Phoebe Strole, Jonathan B. Wright, Remy Zaken 

Director: Michael Mayer
Choreographer: Bill T. Jones

Producer: Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Atlantic Theater Company, Jeffrey Sine, Freddy DeMann, Max Cooper, Mort Swinsky, Cindy Gutterman, Jay Gutterman, Joe McGinnis, Judith Ann Abrams, ZenDog Productions, CarJac Productions, Aron Bergson Productions, Jennifer Manocherian, Ted Snowdon, Harold Thau, Terry E. Schnuck, Cold Spring Productions, Amanda Dubois, Elizabeth Eynon Wetherell, Jennifer Maloney , Tamara Tunie, Joe Cilibrasi and StyleFour Productions

Musical Director: Kimberly Grigsby

Orchestrations: Duncan Sheik

Scenic Design: Christine Jones
Costume Design: Susan Hilferty

Lighting Design: Kevin Adams

Sound Design: Brian Ronan

Online Information:

The libretto is at
Show info @ MTI  
If you are doing this show with students, check out these:
Study Guide 1, Study Guide 2
Creative Team Articles
Costumer Susan Hilferty's website - link to her Spring Awakening Portfolio
Dance article about Spring Awakening's Choreographer Bill T. Jones, NYT Spring Awakening dance article
Lighting Designer Kevin Adam's Website, Interview with Kevin Adams on Spring Awakening
Director Michael Mayer Playbill Brief Encounter interview

Online Videos:

Entire OBC on Youtube

Another one on Youtube, starting with Part 1 of 9
Spring Awakening Tony Performance

Bass - Acoustic and Electric
Guitar - Acoustic and Electric

Monday, June 6, 2011

Business Cards for Pianist, Summer 2011 has a great collection of business card designs to choose from.  Here is a collection of examples which may appeal to musicians:

This design is called Natural Notes Business Cards.

This design is called Pocket Piano, which folds into a mini-piano.

These are very unique, called Songs in the key of nature.

These are a little more old school, called Hit the Right Note

This design is called Funky Piano:

Wedding pianists may want to consider the Wedding Fever or The Big Day collection - its meant for wedding planners, but the design can easily be altered for a pianists' purposes:

These aren't really related to music, but I also like the Making Change collection, which are based on quotes of Seth Godin: has a design called Piano Lessons that I like, (pics of both front and back) :

Another design is Classical Composition:

Music Directing Resources - New Masters Degree

Penn State's School of Theatre now offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in music directing for musical theatre. The program features practical training in all the skills specifically required to pursue a career as a professional music director. Each candidate will serve as music director for numerous productions, including a fully staged musical in their final year. Additional opportunities include the summer London Program and additional international travel, an internship with a music director of a professional production, and exposure to the Broadway pits in New York. Students will gain experience playing auditions, as well as performing at and arranging music for revues, tours, and our NuMusicals Festival. They will assist and/or perform in all mainstage musicals, learn repertoire and vocal technique while accompanying voice lessons and juries, and work closely with stage directors in our MFA directing program.

Contact Dan Riddle for more information

By The Way

There is now a Good Company Blog Facebook Page, which is a good way to get updates. Press 'Like' on the Facebook page to get hooked up.