Vaughn Ormseth

Stories

Class Notes: Technique, Virtuosity, and Soul

To learn a new work of music takes dedication and practice. Dedication and practice in turn help develop what's known as a musician's technique - not just fluency with the work itself and its composer's ideas, but mastery of various musical effects the composer and performer use to express those ideas. Performers who master the technique of a particularly challenging work while also being able play with sensitivity and poetry - with soul - are said to play with virtuosity.

Class Notes: Song and Dance in 'Asturias'

Spanish composer, pianist, and conductor Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) based his beloved work 'Asturias' on a kind of Spanish dance known as flamenco, which involves intricate footwork, brightly colored costumes, and a wide range of emotion. 'Asturias' also vividly demonstrates the ABA form, in which a work's opening and concluding melodic theme book-ends a distinctly different theme. This video introduces young students to the music through guitarist Milena Petkovic's masterful performance of it, and describes its underlying rhythm, inspiration, and structure.

Highlights from Bring the Sing in Collegeville

In April, Bring the Sing brought its community-choir magic to the birthplace of Classical MPR, Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., capping a two-day celebration there of MPR's 50th anniversary. G. Phillip Shoultz, III led choirs from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, as well as nearly 400 singers drawn from central Minnesota and from around the state. Listen to audio highlights and view a slideshow of photos from the event.