Thursday, October 23, 2014

CYM's Annual Fall Ensemble Recital November 8...rescheduling reminder!

On Saturday November 8, at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., is our first all school event of the season– the Fall Ensemble Recital, held at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside.

All CYM students and their families and friends are invited to attend. Each recital features most CYM instrumental and vocal students, showcasing the work done in group classes and also independently. Your teacher has already communicated to students and families as to which concert you will be performing. 

ECM families, please bring your Toddler or Twinkler for a chance to hear and see the different instrumentalists and singers in action! 

All performers need to arrive at the First Unitarian Church by 9:30am and 12:00pm in order to have their instruments tuned and to find their assigned seats before concert time. The dress for all performers is black or dark pants or skirts, white tops, or black or dark dresses. All skirts and dresses should be at the knee or below, and no sneakers, crocs, or flip flops on stage please.

We are excited to hear everyone's first ensemble performance of the year!

Attention Families with Saturday Classes and Lessons: 

Since the CYM Ensemble Recital is being held on November 8th at 10:00 and 12:30 p.m., lessons and classes will be canceled and rescheduled so that all CYM students may attend the concerts that day. Please contact us at 724-935-0505, scheduling, or use our online rescheduling form on CYM’s website at to schedule a make up lesson.  Thank you!

CYM's field trip to Newsies! at the Bennedum Center

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Novice attends CYM's Takacs Quartet concert field trip...and reports back.

Confession time: I have never actually attended a classical chamber music concert.

I know, I know.

Working daily for years among our talented string playing staff and students here at CYM, and as a music major and big fan of orchestral music- especially in a live performance setting- it surprised even me that I hadn't yet added a concert exclusively featuring classical chamber repertoire.

Even after reading Takacs's impressive biography and hearing rave reviews from Mr. Ryan and Ms. Rochelle, the moment I secured the tickets, my worrying started...

Uh... wait a second. Oakland on a weeknight- is this even a good idea?

Isn't this going to just be boiled down symphonic works anyway? Kind of stuffy, right? Just for super cosmopolitan people, you know? I mean, I can just go see the PSO any old time! Isn't there some John Williams something-or-other coming up?

Will this whole experience going to just be wasted on my painfully novice understanding of this kind of music anyway? Will I even "get it?" Even worse, will everyone else know I didn't "get it?"   They'll have to know by the dumbfounded look on my face. 

Does everyone get audience anxiety?!  Good grief.

Oakland on a Monday evening is surprisingly bustling but not overcrowded. We arrive at Carnegie Library Concert Hall with time enough to gawk for a few minutes at the gorgeous art deco inspired lobby, then we're swept off to our seats on the first tier- a direct left angle view of the four musicians seated in a semi circle at center stage.

The lights dim, and the Haydn Quartet in Bb major begins. By the middle of the first piece, I find myself relaxing my focus to the performers- their technique and precision, their flowing movements of musical communication. As the fourth movement completes, I'm captivated. It is truly amazing to witness this seemingly effortless (and gorgeous!) aural presentation while at the same time watching Edward Dusinberre, violin, Karoly Schranz, violin, Geraldine Walther, viola, and Andras Fejer, cello, all physically working their instruments together to produce such intricate melodies and syncopation. To be honest- the huge Beethoven finish was incredibly impressive, but the Debussy downright stole my heart. What a GREAT way to spend an evening!

I was very glad to discover that all of my ridiculous worrying could not have been more misplaced. Thinking back, I discovered a few things:

  • Stepping out of my comfort zone opened my eyes to this excellent new (well, new to me) frontier of music. I should do this more often!
  • Chamber music really personally grabbed my imagination and allowed me to disappear from the ebb and flow of daily life for an evening. How refreshing.
  • Its calming after effects are still noticeable! I find myself slowing down, stopping to listen, and appreciating the little lovely moments in my day.
And if you were wondering, the rest of the audience members (and members of the quartet!) could not have been more welcoming, relaxed, and not at all stuffy. I would highly recommend stepping off your usual beaten path to spend an evening immersed in chamber music.

Ready for your turn?

The lovely Takacs quartet was presented in coordination with Chamber Music Pittsburgh. You can learn more about concerts presented by the Chamber Music Pittsburgh here. Have you checked out Ms. Ashley's quartet, Freya? A local favorite, Freya presents traditional chamber offerings along with original and avant-garde works as well. You can learn more about them here.  

Happy listening!

-Ms. Autumn  (no longer a chamber music novice!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

An Autumn Serenade Community Concert Sunday November 2

Join Mr. Ryan and CYM student performers for an afternoon of music in the parlor at Christ Church Fox Chapel. CCFC is located on the campus adjacent to Fox Chapel Country Day School, where CYM is proud to offer School Days instrumental instruction. We especially want to invite families from Fox Chapel Country Day School to join us and see what CYM is all about!

A reception will follow the concert.

Sing! a CYM Community Concert with Ms. Anna Elder

Join us on October 25 at 4:00 pm for a Community Concert with Ms. Anna Elder- the very first CYM Community Concert of the year. Enjoy an afternoon of performances from the piano, cello, violin, guitar, and voice departments.

Instructions for performers:
  • Be sure to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the recital so that you can be tuned and seated. A reminder: kids will sit in their assigned "performer"seats (green blocks to the left of the piano) to facilitate an easy flow of performers during the concert. 
  • Students and parents are expected to stay for the entire length of the recital they are attending. This ensures that all students will have the opportunity to perform for a full audience, and also gives all students the opportunity to hear everyone's hard work. Younger students benefit from hearing the older students perform and from seeing role models they can emulate. Older students benefit from supporting the younger students and appreciating how far they have come in their own musical journeys. Please use this recital as an opportunity to teach children how to support their peers and celebrate the things others have accomplished.
  • This is a formal recital, but you need not wear black and white. Please arrive polished and appropriately dressed (including footwear...comfortable shoes are fine, but please no sneakers or crocs!). Also, girls, please be sure to wear either pants, or skirts that are at or just below your knee. It is inappropriate to wear anything shorter for a classical music performance.
  • We will be having a short reception after the recital, so please bring your favorite treat to share.
See you all there!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Who's Who at the Center for Young Musicians: Shawn Satler

Mr. Shawn Satler
CYM is excited to welcome a new member of our teaching faculty, Mr. Shawn Satler. Mr. Shawn is a native to Pittsburgh and will be joining us as a guitar instructor. Welcome, Mr. Shawn!

Guitarist Shawn Satler studied with Dr. Douglas James to receive his Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Appalachian State University in 2006.  In 2013 he completed his Masters of Music Performance degree from Arizona State University while studying with Mr. Frank Koonce. 

Mr. Shawn has also studied with the following guitarists : Carlos Bonell, Massimo Felici, , Natasa Klasinc,  Dennis Koster, Irina Kulikova, Miroslav Lancar, Jeffrey Mcfadden, Matteo Mela, Lorenzo Micheli, James Piorkowski, Pasquale Rucco, Scott Sawyer, William Stewart, Richard Todd, and Andrew Zohn.  In the summers of the years 2004-2008 Shawn also attended the Guitar on the Mediterranean festivals in Cervo, Italy where he learned to speak Italian and gave a solo performance of music by Italian composers in 2008. 

We sat down with Shawn to get to know a bit more about him...

CYM: What is your favorite piece of music to play and/or favorite composer?  

Mr. Shawn: My favorite piece of music to play is the Rossiniana No.1 op. 119 by Mauro Giuliani.  It is a potpouri of melodies from Rossini's operas and in my opinion shows the best of what classical guitar has to offer in terms of melody, harmony, and virtuosity.  

CYM: What is the most memorable music performance (of your own, or that you saw/heard)?

Mr. Shawn: One of my most memorable guitar concerts that I've attended was seeing the flamenco guitarist Gerardo Núñez at Duke University in 1998.  His music was full of passion and excitement and helped to inspire me to be a professional musician. 

CYM: When/where/how do you listen to music for fun (Ex.: Violent Femmes, while cooking, on my 8-track tape player)?   

Mr. Shawn: For fun I like to listen to 90's rock music from my youth in my car and I try to sing along. 

CYM: What has music given you?  

Mr. Shawn: Music has given me a purpose in life and a career I can pursue that is enjoyable.  Music has also introduced me to many talented and interesting individuals. 

CYM: What is your very favorite treat to eat?  

Mr. Shawn: My favorite treat to eat is chocolate.  It is delicious and makes me happy.