I’m sad to report that on Thursday, Oregon violists lost another wonderful member of our community. Anna Rapp – violist, teacher, former principal violist and my former stand partner at Maryhurst – lost her battle with cancer on Thursday morning and passed away quietly in her sleep. She was 72, as I discovered much to my shock last year – you wouldn’t have known it from looking at her or talking to her, she was so full of life and energy. Anna just exuded joy. She was one of the most positive, glass-half-full people I have ever met. I don’t think I ever saw her have a bad day. She absolutely LOVED the viola, loved playing the viola, and was so happy for every opportunity she got to play. She was a real inspiration to me – every time I think of her, I am challenged to grab hold of my life and live it to the fullest. She will be deeply missed, and will be yet another person I think of each time I open my viola case.
Here are four clips from the masterclass in Salem in February of 2009.
Mara spoke about strategies for shifting accurately, developing great tone, practice strategies, phrasing and bow distribution. Performers here were playing Bach, Seitz, The Swan and a Reger suite.
We had an excellent time last week at the Portland Cello Project’s Demo and Class at Lewis & Clark College.
Sorry we had no real camera that night- here’s what an older semi-crummy cell phone will get you:
After treating the audience (73% of whom were also cellists) to a performance of several of his electronically enhanced pieces, Skip VonKuske moved on to explain how he approaches improvisatory playing. He finished by inviting all to the stage and led us in an impromptu reworking of a basic chord progression accompanied by some beats from his computer. Our groove inspired him to vamp on both Mission Impossible and Also Sprach Zarathustra- something for everyone in the mix.
We have a really great thing coming up on Friday, October 17th at Lewis & Clark College.
We had planned on having the Unbande present a concert for us, but that has been put on hold. You can still check them out on CD Baby, though! Especially recommended is their sweet version of Brandenburg 6.
But we got something really great to take their place: PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT!
These guys have agreed to come play for us, and to give a workshop/demo on various cross-genre topics. They’ll bring some electronic gadgets and are down with a demo-heavy Q&A session. If you’ve ever had an interest in arranging works for your instrument, in playing pop, rock or jazz, in getting a group of your-favorite-instrument together to do something artistically worthwhile, in becoming the number one seller on Amazon classical… well, that last one they may not be able to pass along but we can all congratulate them anyway.
So, as always, bring your viola and your violist friends. In fact this time around, all instruments are welcome!
Check out PCP online and come back here for updates soon.
Just wanted to let you all know we have a composer in our midst. Peggy Swafford, longtime contributor to the Viola Society and to Oregon’s music scene in general, has hooked us up with a means of purchasing her works. If you were at our first play-in this year in Portland, you’ll remember these fun, diverse pieces.
Check our classifieds (the link is over there —> in the right side column) for more info.
Thanks to most excellent Peggy and just a reminder that you can post info to our classifieds for free by simply emailing Miriam.
The OVS website has undergone a radical change to a wordpress-based format – this will enable other users to add/edit content as events occur.Â If you’re interested in contributing content (upcoming viola events, recitals, etc.) just drop a line and I’ll set it up for you.