About me

I am an active composer, music teacher, farmer, and organizer of music events. I share a monthly Music as Meditation concert with listeners and fellow musicians and I organize several concerts of new music each year. I use this blog to tell people about my musical endeavors. You can find pages about The Davis Hill Farm and The Davis Hill Studio on this blog. Look for the orange link on the right-hand side of the page.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The woods are full of ferns and bird calls, my garden is offering sweet young greens, and it's time for summer strings. A string orchestra will gather for rehearsals starting next Tuesday to prepare four new compositions for this year's concert. 

Andy Campbell contributes a piece called "Beetles." It's a romp in six eight time with unexpected harmonies and perky rhythms. Julia Howell wrote a piece informed by apples called "Pomology." In it, interesting rhythms and extended techniques will create unworldly sounds. I wrote a piece based on the buzzing of dragonflies and the memory of camp meeting hymns. Julia Howell will play a solo viola part in that piece. Larry Wallach has graced us with a piece called "Restless Hexachords" that explores the richness available from complex counterpoint. 

Bozena O'Brien, leads the orchestra as concert mistress. Andy Campbell lends his expertise as conductor. I am freshly amazed and grateful for freely-offered gifts each of our musicians and composers have offered. We will have another joyous concert. 

Again this year, we are aiming to keep Summer Strings as non-commercial as possible. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes has lent us rehearsal space. Christ Episcopal Church has offered us the use of its facilities for the weekend festival and the performance. We do have a few associated monetary costs so we will again collect donations at the close of the concert. There are also a few volunteer roles for people interested in helping. There are several ways to support this project: please consider  the following
  • Attend the concert. Admission is free of charge. We will collect donations to offset the expenses of the festival at the end of the concert. 
  • Share information about the concert with your friends. 
  • Help usher and collect donations at the close of the concert.
  • Contribute a food item to share with the musicians on Saturday evening. The Orchestra will be rehearsing from 5:00 to 6:15. Then we will have a break for supper from 6:15-7:00. If you'd like to talk with the musicians, helping with supper and sharing a meal with us is a great way. I'll be providing lemonade. We could use a variety of cold salads. 
  • Make a donation. We try to keep the exchange of money to a minimum in this festival, but there are a few monetary costs we incur. All the musicians, composers contribute their time free of charge. Christ Episcopal Church donates the use of the venue for rehearsing and for performing. Volunteers hang posters and collect donations after the concert. The costs we incur are for travel stipends for musicians travelling a long way to participate, supper supplies, and for poster-printing costs. I estimate that the costs of the festival this year will total around $400. Should you wish to contribute, please use the Paypal button on the right-hand side of this page near the top. Alternatively, you can send a donation to Summer Strings c/o Ellen Schwindt, 783 Davis Hill Road, Center Conway, NH 03813. If I collect more funds than we need, these will be offered to the musicians who played. Any excess will be saved for another music endeavor. 
Last year, producing this concert renewed my faith in the power of community to create joy and connection. I expect that this year will be equally refreshing. I hope you can join us and join in the beauty we create.


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