Learning and stuff.

There’s a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At the Classical Classroom podcast, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom.
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Black History Month Episode Timeline

Click here to see the timeline we used in our Research Presentation: It's Black History Month! Read and learn about some very cool people.

February 21, 2014

Classical Classroom Research Presentation: It’s Black History Month!

It's Black History Month! Time to learn about all of the amazing contributions that black people have made to classical music. Pay close attention because we had to talk really, really fast to fit this many people into a short. PS, You can check out our timeline of black classical music contributors in the "Raise Your Hand" section of our webpage.

February 21, 2014

Classical Classroom, Episode 38: Stringed Life – on being a quartet, with Enso String Quartet

The Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet puts the "class" in this episode of Classical Classroom. We discuss where string quartets come from, why the instruments in a quartet go together so well, what sets Enso apart from other string quartets, and what it's like to play live (which apparently sometimes includes hitting yourself in the face and dancing to get away from bees).

February 14, 2014

Classical Classroom, Episode 37: George Heathco on Louis Andriessen and Alt-Classical

Louis Andriessen is one of the most important contemporary composers you've (probably) never heard of. His work isn't widely played because he's written many pieces for varieties of ensembles that don't exist. In fact, specially created ensembles have sprung up because of Andriessen's pieces, including the famous British ensemble, Icebreaker. Guitarist, composer, and co-founder of Liminal Space Contemporary Music Ensemble, George Heathco, teaches us all about Andriessen and his contributions to the alt classical movement. Or indie classical. Or whatever you wanna call it.


February 7, 2014

My Classical Music New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2014 everyone! I feel like it's been ages. You all look great. Well rested.

So, I don't know about you, but I have been busy making my New Year's resolutions [see pic above]. One of them is to go to more classical music concerts. But, I can't decide which to go to. So, I need your help!

Want for me to come to your concert? Convince me! Here's how:

– Submit a 1-2 minute recording of your classical music group/org/laptop-based experimental classical music project to this DropBox:
a.soundcloud-dropbox:hover {color: #1896D1 !important; background-color: transparent !important;}*html a.soundcloud-dropbox {background-image: none !important; filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='(http://a1.sndcdn.com/images/dropbox_small_white.png?d53bf9f)’, sizingMethod=’crop’) !important;}/* if you want to have valid HTML, please be so kind and put the style part in the head of your page */

Send me your sounds – Next, drop me a line at dclay@classical917.org. Make sure to include the following in the email:
— Your organization or group's name
— Details about the performance
— How to get in touch with you
— Why you think I should come to your show.

If I'm going to come to your show, I'll be in touch! Looking forward to some good shows in the new year. I will make sure to bring my lighter and glow sticks.

January 10, 2014

Classical Classroom, Episode 34: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Keith Weber

In honor of Beethoven's 240-something birthday, Keith Weber, Grammy-nominated Producer, Director of Music and Organist at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, and Artistic Director of Grace Song, Inc., talks about just who this "Beethoven" guy was, why he was officially excused from having manners at parties, and all about his "Missa Solemnis" mass.

December 20, 2013

Christmas-y Classical-ish Tunes for You!

Silver & Gold by Sufjan Stevens
I'm possibly overly into this album right now, and you guys might dig it, too. I thought I loved Christmas/the holidays a lot until I discovered Sufjan Stevens' Christmas music. Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6–10 is his second collection of Christmas tunes, and it is vast: 58 tracks. (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 weighs in at a meager 42 tracks.) The dude is absolutely nutty about Christmas. Nut. Ty.

While Sufjan is not a classical musician in the strictest sense of the word (he has been called everything from "indie folk" to "baroque pop"), he clearly has an appreciation for it. He plays multiple instruments including the English horn and the oboe, and many of the tunes on Silver & Gold sound like (are?) early music. Stevens has also collaborated with classical musicians like Nico Muhly, which gives him classical music cred in my book.

Anyway, take a listen to the track above, and let me know what you think. Early music, right? I love that this exists in this collection alongside tunes like "Christmas Unicorn". This album gives Christmas fresh, new sounds and reminds us of the lovely sounds of Christmas past. Happy holly jolly, everyone!

December 12, 2013

Hey there! Glad you made it.

There are no dumb questions here – only uninformed ones asked with inexplicable confidence. And panache!


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