Opus / July 2017

July Opus 

In This Issue

News at CCM
Faculty Spotlight - Bobby Britt and Tony Watt
Behind the Scenes - Our Faculty's Thoughts on Music Genres
Why Music Matters - How does music affect our brain?
Upcoming Area Performances

News at CCM

American Roots

American Roots comes to CCM! Immerse yourself in the fun and energetic music of American Roots. CCM is bringing bluegrass and fiddling to our community this fall with many offerings for ages 8 through adult.

Our offerings include: Beginning Bluegrass (Ages 14 - Adult), Beginning Bluegrass Jam (Ages 14 - Adult), Beginning Fiddling (Ages 8 - 18), Beginning Fiddling (Adults)

Also, group classes in banjo and mandolin will be offered along with private lessons for each instrument.  Our kick-off party and open house for the Roots program is on Thursday, September 14th at 7 pm (more details coming soon).  For those who want, bring your instrument and join our jam after the concert. 

Stay tuned into CCM—be sure to Like us on Facebook and browse our posts to learn more about our current news, music news in general, tips for musical students, and much more. Of course, you’ll also find our weekly Tune of the Week on Facebook, which you’ll want to hear. 

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Faculty Spotlight

Meet our new faculty members

Our American Roots team--Bobby Britt and Tony Watt

Bobby BrittTony Watt

We are extremely excited to welcome Bobby Britt and Tony Watt to the CCM community. Both Bobby and Tony’s experience and knowledge of American Roots music are exemplary. CCM is fortunate to have these two musicians join us this fall. Bobby has a wealth of fiddling experience and a deep understanding of this style of music. He’s passionate about sharing this fun, historic music genre with his students. Bobby will lead the Beginning Fiddling classes for youth and adults this fall and promises that in no time at all, he’ll have class participants playing a repertoire of standard fiddle tunes and be well on the way to learning so much more!

Consider joining Tony Watt’s Beginning Bluegrass class if you play the guitar, banjo, fiddle, violin, bass, Dobro or mandolin. The perfect companion to the Beginning Bluegrass class is the Beginning Bluegrass Jam weekly drop in sessions.  The Jam sessions are ideal for anyone who wants experience playing and singing traditional bluegrass and country songs at a moderately slow tempo in a supportive, educational and relaxed setting. 

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Behind the Scenes 









Vocal Jazz



Hip Hop




So many music genres to enjoy—our faculty members weigh in on their favorites.  

Bobby Britt—My favorite genre to play and listen to is old-time and bluegrass music.  It is very pure and melodic and leaves lots of room for improvisation.  It's also a great style to play with others.

Chaim Burstein

A list of some of my favorite musicians from various genres and why I love listening to them - in no particular order...

1. Miles Davis -  Jazz (although actually, he changed the course of music history several times)

2. Jimi Hendrix - (Rock) Machine Gun is what Miles Davis would have done if he had a guitar

3. Michael Jackson - (R&B) Because it's Michael, he wrote the book on modern pop grooves

4. Prince - (Pop? Rock? R&B? Funk? hard to define but I guess he fits in R&B) Greatest Guitarist ever but funky

5. Chopin -  Classical, beautiful sense of harmony

6. Jobim -  Bossa Nova, beautiful sense of harmony & Groove (stole a lot from Chopin)

7. Sonny Rollins -  Jazz, Tenor Madness is like a lesson in melodic rhythm 

8. Tower of Power - Funk/R&B/Soul, Lenny Picket's solo on Knock Yourself Out is a lesson in what someone with serious funk can do with only a few notes, like Sonny but funkier

9. Beatles - (Pop) If you learned the entire Beatles catalog you can probably hear your way through most pop changes

10. Ran Blake - (Jazz) very dark harmony, anything you missed from the Beatles, you'll understand by the time you're done transcribing a Ran Blake record

Kitty Cheung-Evans—I enjoy playing pieces from the romantic and baroque periods. Romanticism is full of rich, adventurous harmonies with expressive melodies that elevate the emotional state of oneself. It is full of beautiful ideas and sentiments. Music can take you where your imagination wants to go. We need to be extra generous to express our thoughts and feelings in the clearest way. Baroque is intriguing because its music is structured with different layers of voices that woven together form of pattern. Each voice embodies a different characteristic that brings something unique to the music. It is super fun to get to know each character or voice, so when they interact, it is like the music has a conversion. Moreover, as a player, you understand the conversation and bring it to the audience.

I love watching Victor Borge because he brings humor into our musical world and squelches our fears—that happens to all musicians during rehearsals or backstage.  He reminds me that music is joyful, fearful, and beautiful all at the same time.  

Yoko Hagino—To play, anything I can do including classical and contemporary music. To listen to—anything exciting! Moreover, why? That's part of my life.

Fabrizio Mazzetta—The nature of my chosen music instrument (the cello) calls for classical music to be my favorite musical genre to play and practice every day.

As for preferred musical genres to listen to, I am all ears for many, especially classical, jazz, world music or chansons, where great rhythms, harmonic and/or melodic lines are at play!

Gabriela Martina—I don’t have any favorite musical genre since I find there can be something that moves me in any genre. You just have to find the right piece, the right part in that piece, and listen with wide-open ears and a clear mind.

Emily Thorner—To sing: Contemporary music written by living composers or early Renaissance music in a small ensemble of approximately 8 singers. So fun! To listen to: Renaissance, Irish music, and jazz! And if I had to choose some music theatre, I would say anything written by Jason Robert Brown. 

Angel ValchinovClassical! It is the most enriching and beautiful. It is also the basic style that all other styles originate. 

Tony WattMy favorite musical genre to play and to listen to is bluegrass music. My Dad plays bluegrass (banjo and mandolin primarily), and I grew up listening to bluegrass even though we lived in Cambridge (MA). For some reason when I was 13 years old, I asked my Dad to teach me some bluegrass music on guitar (an instrument I had started learning a few years before). To this day, I'm not sure why I asked my Dad to teach me bluegrass; I had always listened to it with him, but I don't remember having any desire to learn it before then. However, I am happy that I did decide to ask for his help learning bluegrass because it has provided me with more happiness, focus, community, achievement (and challenge), and ultimately, fulfillment, than nearly anything else in my life.

When I was younger, like in my 20's, I used to worry that I was too focused on bluegrass music only. When my friends would play other styles of music, I would feel totally outside of my comfort zone because I was a specialist in bluegrass. However, now I realize that this focus on a single genre allowed me to achieve a level of proficiency in music that I might not have otherwise gained. While I have an enormous amount of respect for those Jack-of-all-trades out there, I am no longer self-conscious about my lack of proficiency in multiple genres. And it turns out, that by focusing on one style primarily, I eventually developed the skills to "fake" it in many related styles of music.

Björn Wennås—My favorite genre to listen to is classical guitar. It's my instrument, and the music and sound of the guitar just resonate with me. I'm also always on the hunt for new pieces to learn, so it's extra nice when I come across a new piece that gives me the inspiration to learn something new.

Why Music Matters...

How Does Music Affect the Brain?

A great reminder on how music helps us. Interesting summer reading...

Listening to music

How Does Music Affect the Brain? The Answer Will Make Your Jaw Drop

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Upcoming Area Performances

July 6 -16, the musical Showboat at the Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA 02452, 781-891-5600. Free parking.

For dates and tickets>> http://www.reaglemusictheatre.org/upcoming.html

July 15, Open Rehearsal: New Work for Goldberg Variations

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and choreographer Pam Tanowitz wrap up a week in residence at the ICA with a performance by seven dancers set to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. (They plan to return in December with the finished piece.) Free with museum admission. 617-478-3103

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