About me

I am an active composer, music teacher, and organizer of music events. I share an occasional 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 and as a home for my virtual busking basket. If you want to support my musical efforts financially, please look for the donate button on the right-hand side of this page. You can find pages about The Davis Hill Studio on this blog. Look for the orange links on the right-hand side of the page.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Autumn Medley: Classical Chamber Music at Fryeburg New Church on November 26--new date


Autumn Medley: Rescheduled

An occasional concert series resumes on Sunday, November 26 at 2 PM at Fryeburg New Church at 12 Oxford Street. Some adults and teens convene to offer performances of music they love.

Saundra Bicknell was given a piano when she graduated from high school. Recently, she needed to sell it. That beautiful piano, well-cared for over many decades, now graces the sanctuary at Fryeburg New Church. Bicknell will be on hand to play a movement from a sonatina for violin and piano that I wrote a few years ago.

Gideon Richard, a senior at Fryeburg Academy who is planning to pursue music studies after high school, will perform two movements from Sibelius's violin concerto. Gideon loves this piece and his performance of it shows his dedication to the study of demanding music. I am pleased to have the privilege of accompanying him; a long time agao I was one of his child-hood violin teachers.

Maisie Brown, a senior at Kennett High School, has been perfecting her interpretations of a Debussy's Reverie. In her years of piano study she has become in independent learner and a leader in the music community. She'll be heading off to school next year, so this concert is a great chance to hear Maisie perform.

To round out the program, Anne Munstedt, a retired piano teacher who now resides in Denmark, will play an andante movement from a Mozart Sonata. I get to play my own fugue in F-sharp minor titled Living Forest Fugue.

A reception will follow the concert. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. These donations go to support Fryeburg New Church's efforts to share its beautiful space with the community. Contact me at ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com for more information.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Bach on a Beautiful Chickering Piano


Bach aficianado and experienced piano teacher Anne Munstedt will perform Bach's E minor partita on Sunday, October 22 at Fryeburg New Church at 2:30 PM. This partita is worthy of a lifetime of study; using the form of a baroque dance suite, Bach writes in every mood with marvelous depth and concinnity. Bach deemed it worthy of inclusion in his first set of published music—the Clavier Ubung I published in 1726.

Performances by seniors in my piano-teaching studio round out the performance. We expect to hear a Schubert Impromptu, a movement from a Mozart Sonata or perhaps a prelude by Gershwin.

This concert is possible because of Fryeburg New Church's generosity with its space-a beautiful sanctuary with a live acoustic character that houses a Chickering piano. Admission to the concert is free, but donations may be made to benefit Fryeburg New Church's stewardship of these musical treasures. For more information please contact Ellen Schwindt at ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Music to Welcome Autumn

 Music to Welcome Autumn

a back-to-school concert for students, teachers, and the rest of us

On Wednesday, September 6th, Eaton's Little White Church will ring with autumn music. Ellen Schwindt, students, and friends present a classical program of mostly piano music to welcome in the new season and begin the school-year with joy. Some of the performers are teachers and former teachers, some are students who've worked hard to prepare music all summer long.

Schwindt will be joined by friends Carren Webber, viola; and Charlotte Gill playing violin to present a movement from Mozart's Kegelstatt trio. Gill will present a piece from Brahm's oevre on piano. Two students from Schwindt's studio will perform. Emma Williams will play a well-rehearsed fast piano dance. Gideon Richard will grace the program with a movement from one of Bach's partitas for solo violin.

Schwindt will perform some variations on a hymn loved by her grandmother. She'll also offer a peek into a new work she's composing called “Forest Scenes.” Other music on the program includes some Bach keyboard works and an etude or two to celebrate the beginning of school.

This concert is a chance for community pianists to play the beautiful Steinway piano at The Little White Church. Contact Ellen for a spot on the program or for more information: ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Six Beautiful Days: Producing a Chamber Music and a Kid's Music and Arts Camp in One Week

 Six Beautiful Days

Producing a Kid's Music and Arts Camp
a World-Class Chamber Music Concert
in 6 Days

    Summers have a way of getting busy, but this one takes the cake. July is quite full of musical activities--to be pursued around the usual July activities of harvesting, planting fall crops, and tending the flax and chickens, not to mention rehabbing a shed into a deep-litter chicken coop for next winter. This post is all about the community music events I'm planning this month.

    First up is Music and Arts Camp in Fryeburg. I and four other teachers, at least two teen helpers, and some willing parents are planning a week-long day camp for kids ages 8-11. Please help us spread the word. It's going to be great fun and no matter what the weather, we will have 5 beautiful days of singing, crafting, playing games, eating lunch together, and generally enjoying the leisure summer has to offer. Please get in touch with me if you know of families who might like to learn about this camp. Read more about it here.

    As if camp wasn't enough fun, I get to produce a concert of chamber music played by world-class musicians in Fryeburg on July 22. You can read more about that concert here

    The impetus is for all this musical and artistic fun is that people asked me to help with these resources, and I said yes. So if there is a community music event YOU wish to have available, please talk to me. I might be able to help you bring it into reality. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

Very old music beautifully performed by teen and adult musicians

 Concerto Concert

performed by Valley Strings

featuring three teen soloists: Isaac Houghton, Jennifer Noh, and Gideon Richard

Teen and adult musicians who play stringed instruments come together each Monday to play music they love. On Monday, May 22, the group performs its final concert of the 2022-2023 school year. The concert features three accomplished teen soloists playing very old music.

On the program are two complete concerti. About 1720, Vivaldi wrote four violin concertos themed on the four seasons, using sonnets describing the seasons as his guide. Gideon Richard, a junior at Fryeburg Academy and Isaac Houghton, a sophomore at the academy play the virtuosic violin solo parts. Valley strings provides the beautiful and descriptive accompaniment. From the comfort of spring, listeners can look back on the rigors and pleasures of the season just behind us.

Jennifer Noh, a fine flute player who attends the academy, is our soloist for a flute concerto written in Mannheim, Germany around the time Mozart was in Mannheim. Carl Philip Stamitz wrote this concerto in G Major in 1780, following in the footsteps of one written by Mozart two years earlier. It's a beautifully crafted piece of very classical repertoire—full of perfect proportions, contrasts, and consonant harmonies.

The orchestra will perform an Overture by Johann Christoph Pez, composed around 1700. The concert will take place at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center on the campus of Fryeburg Academy on Monday, May 22 at 7 PM. It is free and open to the public. Donations to support the future work of the ensemble are welcome. Contact ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com for more information.

Monday, April 10, 2023

 Spring is the Time for Visions

I have a vision these days of a very local life. That life needs to include the basics of human existence--food, warmth, and love. It also must include culture: specifically, music. Out of this vision was born my idea to have open piano concerts. I think of these events as opportunities for the musical among us to share their talents and for all of us to enjoy basking in music that we love. And why stop at music? In my vision, there is certainly room for poetry amid the musical selections. 

Now that there is a piano worth playing in Fryeburg (the village I visit to fulfill many of my other needs), it's even easier to realize this vision. The next open piano concert takes place on Sunday, April 16, at 5 PM at Fryeburg New Church. The church is located at 12 Oxford Street in Fryeburg.

The theme of Sunday's concert is "To Spring." The title is eponymous with a piece Grieg included in Opus 43 that I will perform in the concert. Its music is full of promise, but is not without reference to the dark days when the snow returns. Charlotte Gill will be sharing two movements from one of the Bach French Suites. She and I will play together on a set of pieces called Method Book Miniatures. These are little musical jokes inspired by famous teaching pieces. 

The program’s musical selections will be seasoned with spring poems. Other players and readers are welcome to contribute. To join in the performance, please contact me at ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com a few days before the concert. Admission to the concert is free. Donations will be gratefully accepted to help take care of the piano, and to support my organizing work. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Classical Chamber Music Concert


Classical Chamber Music Performed by Teen Musicians

Rescheduled to Thursday, April 6 at 7 PM

“Deep,” “exciting,” “the most beautiful piece of music in the world;” these were some responses when teen musicians participating in a classical chamber music program described the music they are playing. These teens will perform on Wednesday, April 5, at 7 PM at the Fryeburg New Church.

The term chamber music describes music composed for small groups of players for performance in small settings. This form offers musicians a chance at musical leadership. Each person is responsible for his or her own part so musicians develop a great deal of skill and can explore their own interpretations of the notes and instructions written on the page.

While much of the music in the concert was composed more than 100 years ago, some of it is more modern. On the program is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Waltz arranged for four-hand piano by Sergei Rachmaninoff, part of Jean Sibelius's famous violin concerto, a truly lovely Nocturne for violin and piano by Lili Boulanger, and some modern movie music by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerard from the movie Gladiator. One piece on the program, by Quaker radical Soloman Eccles, was composed in the 1600s. The opportunity to hear this music performed by these dedicated young musicians is a refreshing spring treat.

The teens participating in the program range from 14 to 18 years of age. Many have been studying music since early childhood. They are Maisie Brown, Zachary Yuengling, Gideon Richard, Le Bao Phuoc, Zebudah Davis, Kaitlyn Sakash, Jameson Consentino, and Enzi Moore. The concert is free of charge, but donations are gladly accepted. Fryeburg New Church is located at 12 Oxford Street in Fryeburg. It is the home of a newly-acquired Chickering baby-grand piano that the church is pleased to share with the community. Ellen Schwindt organized this program; contact her for more information at ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com.