Music educators to shake things up during the upcoming concert

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By Kirsten Laskey

The fruits of music teachers’ labors are often revealed when their students take the stage. However, things will be shaken up a bit during a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge.

Members of the Los Alamos Music Teachers Association will step into the spotlight and prove why they are fit to teach.

Ted Vives, president of the association, along with members Frances Meier, Richard Hannemann, Kay Newman and Gina Doorn, will perform in the show.

Vives on trumpet will play “Etude for Unaccompanied Trombone,” by Paul Tanner and “Fantasie in Eb Major” by G.F. Telemann.

Hannemann on guitar and voice will feature three of his original works, “Spring Street Los Angeles: Midnite,” “Lone Spanish Chapel” and “Carla.”

Meier on piano will perform two pieces for solo piano including “Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum,” by Debussy and improvisations on “All the Things You Are,” by Kern and Hammerstein. Also, along with Kay Newman on violin she will perform “Improvisation” by Kabalevsky.

Doorn on piano and double bass will offer the audience “Jazz Pizzicato,” by Leroy Anderson.

Sheila Enemark on piano; will perform “Farewell Waltz” by Alexander Peskanov.

The opportunity to move from behind the scenes to the stage is one thing these teachers are looking forward to experiencing.

“Music teachers are usually showcasing their students,” Vives said. “This will be a chance for the teachers to demonstrate their own skills.”

He added, “Hopefully, we will all play at least as well as our students.”

Although Hannemann has more than 35 years of experience as a performer, he said he is happy to share the stage with fellow teachers. “I generally work as a solo,” he said, “so it is always fun to work with other musicians. I learn a lot from them ... In this case, I’ll be sharing the stage with colleagues and long-time friends, which is truly cool.”

Hannemann added, “Students work very hard to polish the works they will perform and some of those can be fairly challenging pieces.  Teachers simply have more stage experience under their belts and a certain amount of stage presence that comes from that experience.  

“But we still go through the same preparation and are subject to the same interesting moments that comes with live performance. I’m hopeful that current students and people considering taking an instrument get both a bit of inspiration and a bit of comfort seeing and hearing the teachers perform.”

Enemark commented this is the chance to show the community another side of music instructors. The concert proves that they love to play music as well as teach.

“For several years the people who teach music here in Los Alamos have talked at our meetings about letting our community hear what teachers do when they are not teaching,” she said. “I have always felt that teachers could set a good example for their students by playing regularly for people in their community. I have played in the local piano group that meets monthly in members’ homes to play for each other. This is such a limited number of people that our community never realizes that teachers really enjoy playing the music they teach.”

Meier agreed. “The Los Alamos Music Teachers want to showcase our talents and to show the community how many fine musicians teach music here in Los Alamos.”

The teachers may becoming the performers, but that does not been the music education stops.

The participating teachers encourage people to attend the show and learn something new about music.

“Giving students ‘live models’ of good performance techniques is essential to their development as performers and musicians,” Vives said. “As teachers, we know how and what to tell a student in order for them to play well, but we also know that hearing and seeing a good model is equally important. We hope that this recital will demonstrate to the students and the Los Alamos community that we “practice what we preach.”

Hannemann added, “It will give folks the opportunity to meet some of the private teachers of various instruments and to hear what they can do.  It also will introduce the Los Alamos Music Teachers to the community as an organization.”

Enemark commented, “I hope the community will enjoy the music we play and come to see that teachers love music that they take the time to practice.

“I’m hoping that many students will be surprised but encouraged to play in recitals and even for their friends because, ‘If my teacher can play in public and not be so scared, then maybe I can do it, too.’”