March Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

First let me apologize for this post coming half way into the month. The preparations for the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto have taken all my attention. We had a wonderful performance last night in Palm Beach Gardens, with Harpist Kay Kemper and the ACO!  There are 3 more performances you can catch. Tonight (March 15th) at the Waxlax Theatre on the campus of St. Edward’s School in Vero Beach at 7:30PM. There are 2 performances tomorrow (March 16th) at 4 and 8 PM at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart. Hope to see you there. I know you will enjoy this all Mozart program. Please stop and say hello.

I have heard from many of you that you enjoyed the BSO earlier this month, with soloist Paul Huang in the Barber Violin Concerto. Christopher Confessore conducted the program which also included Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture and the 6th Symphony of Dvorak.

Also earlier this month the Melbourne Chamber Music Society featured the American Brass Quintet. It was the 40th anniversary celebration concert for the society who commissioned a work that the ABQ  premiered. It was an absolutely terrific piece. The players and the audience loved it. Having the composer, Dan Coleman on hand made the event even more special. Congratulations to MCMS and ABQ!

Students and Parents:  Thank you for being so flexible with the schedule this month. This is one of the disadvantages of lessons with a working musician. I know, however, that for those of you who are able to attend the concerts FREE OF CHARGE, the benefits out way the sometimes challenging schedule. Looking ahead for those interested, there will be a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem on Good Friday at the Community Church in Vero Beach.

This and That: REALLY looking forward to baseball season. Opening day is early this year – March 29th.

February Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

Hope you are all surviving this flu season none the worse for wear. Although I have not really gotten sick, every day it feels as though I am fighting off something.

This month, the Brevard Symphony presents its Pops Concert as well as a series of Children’s Concerts. The Pops Concert is titled “Brodway and Beyond” and feature the terrific vocalist Michelle Amado. The performances are Friday, February 2nd at the Community Church in Vero Beach at 7:30pm and Saturday at the King Center in Melbourne at 2 and 8pm. The Children’s Concerts take place all the following week and are open to 5th grade students of Brevard and Indian River Counties.

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra’s February Concert will feature as the guest soloist, the winner of last year’s Elmar Oliveria International Violin Competition, Serina Huang. She will be playing the stunningly beautiful Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber. Also on the program are Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony” and Schumann’s Symphony No.2. These concerts take place on February 14, 15 and 16 and are in Palm Beach Gardens, Vero Beach and Stuart respectively.

As always, I encourage everyone to take the time to visit the web sites of these orchestras. They do a fabulous job!

Parents and Students:  This month many of my students will be participating in the Solo and Ensemble Festival. For many of them, it will be their fist experience ever playing solos before a judge. The poise and grace they will gain from this will be invaluable and every parent should applaud their efforts.

This and That:  A few words about distraction. There are so many things tugging at us each day for our attention. Decide which ones are worth our time and energy and which ones ARE NOT! This is advice not just for my students, but for all of us. Know who you are and stay focused. It’s as simple as that. And as always:

“Work Hard, Be Nice”

January Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents:

HAPPY 2018!

I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season. The orchestra season is in full swing with both the Brevard Symphony and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra presenting Masterworks Concerts this month!

The Brevard Symphony Orchestra concerts are on Saturday, January 13 with performances at 2 and 8 PM at the King Center in Melbourne. Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto will be the featured works. Christopher Confessore conducts.

The following week the Atlantic Classical Orchestra kicks off its season with four performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, “Ode to Joy”.  Also on the program, Bernstein’s Serenade which will feature the ACO’s Concertmaster Leonid Segal as soloist.

Students and Parents:  This month we will be working on AllSate and AllCounty music for those students who were honored with an invitation to participate in these events. We will also be working on solo and ensemble music for those participating. I want to work with you each individually to make 2018 your best year ever in moving your playing forward to the next level. A goal without a plan is just a wish!

This and That: 


December Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

With the holiday season upon us, there are lots of concerts to get you in the spirit. As in seasons past, I will be part of the Candlelight Orchestra. These concerts take place at the America Gardens Theater at EPCOT. They feature a large chorus, full orchestra, vocal soloists, and a celebrity narrator. Check the Disney web site for a list of narrators. There are no BSO or ACO concerts in December, but both communities are filled with music none the less. The Melbourne Chamber Music Society will be presenting the London Handel Players on Friday, December 1st. The concert is at 7:30PM and takes place at St. Mark’s Church on A1A in Indialantic. If you have not heard a concert in this wonderful space, you are in for a treat. The visiting artists always comment on how great an acoustical environment it is!

Do you know about “Giving Tuesday”? It is a movement that started a few years ago in response to the DREADFUL (in my opinion) dates known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday this year fell on Nov.28th. I hope you will check out the Giving Tuesday information and take the time this month to support the arts (and other worthy causes) in your community. I can wish you nothing better this holiday season than having Black Friday and Cyber Monday become meaning-less to you!

Students and Parents: Congratulations to Kayla Eusebio who made ALL STATE!  And Hannah Hodge, Sally Ross, and Taylor Kruuv, who made ALL COUNTY.  A word about the schedule – The Disney show will affect my teaching schedule – ESPECIALLY my Monday and Tuesday students. Please check the studio calendar for possible make up times.

This and That: Knowing that Stoicism is 10% theory, and 90% practice, as Ryan Holiday says, I have been trying to put to practical use all of my readings in Stoic Philosophy.

November Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

The Brevard Symphony has something very unique in store for its November concert. We will be presenting Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, “City Lights” with a live performance of the film score to go along with it. This concert takes place at the King Center 8PM on Saturday, November 4th.

Also in November, the Miami City Ballet will complete its run of George Balanchine’s “Jewels”. These performances are at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 17-19. Please check my performance calendar for exact times and details.

Disney’s Candlelight Processional returns to Epcot. The show opens on Friday, November 24th. I will be playing on November 24th & 25th and 27th & 28th. I am also playing several dates in December, but that’s for another newsletter. You will find a list of celebrity narrators on the Disney website.

Students and Parents: My performance schedule for November is quite busy and may impact my teaching schedule. I will try to make myself available for alternate days and times for those of you who want to try to schedule make up lessons. YOU MUST text or e mail me to set something up. “Manage Your Calendar, Manage You Life”. That’s what I often tell my students. If you are planning on participating in the solo and ensemble festival this winter, you MUST pick out your piece THIS MONTH! I will be going over this individually with each of you who are interested.

This and That: (an accounting of what I am up to besides teaching and playing). Sadly, here on the Space Coast it still looks very post-Irma like. Recovery has been a slow process. We still have bare cement floors in both the music studio and the bedroom, but at least the spaces are functional. I have been trying to use the Stoic Philosophy technique of looking at this from an ever widening birds eye view. Seeing and imagining how much worse others were affected by this and other storms helps me keep it all in perspective. The hurricane has also made Scott and I take a look a just how much STUFF we have. A major downsizing effort is underway. Some of our efforts have been successful, some not, and some maybe TOO much so. (I now own 3 pairs of shoes. I admittedly went a little overboard there!) Still, there is something liberating in not having so much. It frees up your mind to focus on only that which really matters. I highly recommend it!  On a lighter note, once again my Nats failed to advance in the post season. UGH! ….But pretty soon it will be college hoops time. GO Duke!  Most pre season analysts have them making the Final Four.



October Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

We took it on the chin pretty badly here at the house durning Hurricane Irma. Things however, are slowly beginning to get back to normal. October means the return of orchestra season! The BSO has their season opener on Saturday, October 7th. The concert is at the King Center in Melbourne at 8PM, and is under the direction of Christopher Confessore. Lisa Ferrigno, our concertmaster will be the featured soloist. The program includes many favorites of the orchestral repertoire. Here is the program in full:

Offenbach: Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld                                  Hanson: Love Duet from Merry Mount                                       Beethoven: Romanze for Violin and Orchestra, Lisa Ferrigno, violin Gardel/Williams: Tango por una Cabeza, Lisa Ferrigno, violin  Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Scenes 6-9                                          Ravel: Bolero

Also, later in October I will be subbing in the Miami City Ballet Orchestra. The company is mounting a production of the stunningly beautiful “Jewels” of George Balanchine. The ballet is in three parts. “Emeralds” in set to “Pelleas and Mellisande Suite” by Gabriel Faure. The jazzy “Rubies” is set to “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra” by Igor Stravinsky. Finally, “Diamonds” is set to parts of Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Symphony known as the “Polish”. You can find an excellent version of this on YouTube with the Marinsky Theater.                      The performances in Miami are Friday, October 2oth 8PM, Saturday, October 21st 8PM and Sunday, October 22nd at 2 and 8 PM. All performances are at the Arsht Center. The performances in Ft. Lauderdale are October 28th 8PM, and Sunday, October 29th at 2PM. All performances are at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. There are also performances in November at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

Students and Parents: Please be sure to check your printed schedules carefully, as some of my orchestral commitments will impact our regular lesson schedule. Also, if your are interested in attending the BSO Concert, please let me know, as I can usually arrange for tickets. I strongly encourage students to attend!

This and That: (a general accounting of what I am up to besides teaching and playing). The music studio at the house is being repaired and should be good as new in no time. We are still working through a few web site bugs. Since events are not showing up on the calendar, I am giving you as complete an update as I can in the newsletter. It makes this letter longer than I would like, and for that I apologize.

I have been reading a lot of Stoic Philosophy these days. Mostly “Meditaions” by Marcus Aurelius and from contemporary Stoic thought, “How to be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life”” by Massimo Pigliucci. Excellent ancient AND modern wisdom and not nearly as dreadful as it sounds (LOL)!!! On a lighter note, my NATS are in the post season. Can’t wait for playoff baseball! Thank you to all who sent good wishes before, during and after IRMA.




Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Students and Parents,

Although Irma hit us pretty hard, we are certainly better off than most, and I am grateful for that.

After missing a week of teaching, I will be back on track. For those students at The Horn Section, nothing has changed in your schedule. For the students at the house, for the time being I will be teaching in the main part of the house, as the studio was flooded and is being repaired. This should only be for a few weeks.

Hope you are all safe.




September Newsletter

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

Happy September! Orchestra season is just around the corner. I would like to share with you a few BRIEF  highlights of the upcoming season for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. I encourage you to visit their websites (and subscribe to their newsletters as well). Starting in October, each newsletter will have complete concert information as well as some suggested listening. But for now, here is an overview.

BSO opens their season on October 7th with a concert of classical favorites. In November, music of Charle Chaplin’s “City Lights” WITH the film!  ACO opens in January with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I am so honored to have been asked to be perform the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with the ACO along with harpist Kay Kemper. That will be in March. In addition to these two orchestras, I will be playing the Miami City Ballet’s season opener, George Balanchine’s stunningly beautiful “Jewels” in October and November. Stay tuned for more detailed info as dates approach.

Students and Parents: I strongly encourage all students (and their parents) to attend symphony concerts. A love of the arts truly makes life richer and more rewarding. An important part of being a music teacher is to help students develop that. I can usually get free tickets, with just a nominal box office fee. These are limited, however, so please let me know ASAP if there is a concert you would like to attend.

This and That: (a general accounting of what I am up to besides playing and teaching). Right now, I am reading “Speaking of Duke, Leading the 21st Century University” by Richard Brodhead. Where better to find words to inspire students than this collection of his convocation and commencement addresses? Dr. Brodhead is a strong advocate for a broad liberal arts education, and served on the National Humanities council. Durning his tenure, the arts took on a much more significant role at Duke.

On a lighter note, it looks like I will be treated to some post season baseball! Baring any unforeseen collapse, my Washington Nationals will win the NL East. I am often asked how it is that I am a Nats fan. I am not from DC. Well, for years the Nats had their spring training facility right here in the Melbourne area. Scott always had season tickets and we would go to almost every game! PLUS, after graduating from Duke, my son Tom lived in DC for a few years and HE became a Nats fan as well. Even though they now train in West Palm Beach, they are still my team.

Happy September!  Work Hard. Be Nice.




August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,

This summer was a particularly rich and rewarding one. At the end of the orchestra season, Scott and I made a quick trip to Boston where we took in a game at Fenway and attended a concert at Symphony Hall. We also were lucky enough to see one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have ever seen, “Matisse in the Studio” at the MFA.

The new show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Pixar Live, a Symphony of Characters” has been a joy to be part of. That has kept me quite busy over the summer. If you are interested you can see a show that was live streamed on June 29th by Disney and is now on You Tube. (Be sure to get the June 29th show. There are lots of others but that one was produced by Disney and is of a much higher quality). I happened to be playing that night so some of my family and friends in other parts of the country actually got to see the show live!

I am starting to get pretty excited about the upcoming seasons for both the Brevard Symphony and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. I will go into more detail about that in my September newsletter.

This and That, (a general accounting of what I am doing besides the teaching and playing). Lately I have been thinking a lot about thinking and about how the lack of it, and even the ability to do it is becoming a serious societal problem. I would highly recommend “Into the Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains” by Nicholas Carr. Along these same lines, “Deep Work” by Cal Newport.

On a lighter note, I am desperately trying to keep my herb garden alive through the summer heat. I am hoping to be able to have a few more Caprese Salads before summers end!

Students and Parents,

Even though I have lived in Florida since 1985, I still can’t get my head around August as the “Back to School” month. Growing up on Long Island, the Wednesday after Labor Day was ALWAYS our first day of school. But whether it starts in August or September “Back to School” is a great re-set time for students and parents.

The August Lesson schedule remains challenging. I know a lot of my students have marching band camps, and I am still playing the Pixar show. Please check the Studio Calendar section of my web site to find the most up to date studio teaching times.

As you shop for your school supplies, add one more thing. I strongly encourage my students to get a lesson/practice notebook. I have been playing professionally for almost 40 years and I still keep a practice notebook!  And don’t forget, “WORK HARD, BE NICE!”