Stringalong – Changing the world one weekend at a time

November 2, 2012

Long, long ago back in 1998 my fiddle teacher suggested I go to the “Stringalong” at Camp Edwards where he was teaching a workshop and I could experience another side of music. My life has never been the same. I was new to music in 1998 having just started to learn the fiddle in 1996. I played “Book 1”, held my fiddle in “a war pose” (his words not mine), and couldn’t play anything without the music sitting in front of me. Memorize a piece –  impossible, learn by ear – not even in the realm of possibilities.

Stringalongs, started and maintained by Ann and Will Schmid from the UW Milwaukee Folk Center, were a whole new ballgame. These were family events although most attendees were like me, adult learners, musician wannabees. There was no written music at the workshops, everything was taught by ear. People sat around in the evenings and late into the night “jamming”. If you didn’t know the music, you played quietly in the background hoping to catch a few notes each time they went through the tune. If that wasn’t working you could sing along or sit back and just enjoy the strands wafting in air and hope by osmosis it would all sink in. Believe it or not, it does sink in. The tunes sink deep into your soul and although you don’t know the name or the key, you can hum the melody years later.

I met a whole new set of friends at the Stringalongs at Camp Edwards. When you eatfamily style and sleep in cabins with 12 strangers, and dance with whomever is standing alone, you bond and bond fast. I would be lying if I said I could remember all the names. I can’t. But I remember the faces and the stories and their words of encouragement.

That’s me in the blue shirt and black vest.

Stringalongs were set up in such a way that professional musicians would come in and teach a work shop or two for the weekend each one meeting 3 times between Saturday morning and Sunday at noon. As an attendee you could select up to three different workshops to attend or you could hang out and walk the trails or jam on the porch with your new best friend. Between Friday evening and Sunday at noon you also got to listen to a short concert by each of the presenters. There were people who never attended a workshop, they just came to hear the “professionals” play. I don’t know how Ann did it but she brought in big names – Pat Donohue, Mike Dowling, Joel Mabus, Pigs Eye Landing, Bill Staines, Second Opinion, Crystal Ploughman, Ken Kolodner, Randy Sabien.

A lot has changed since 1998. My life has changed. Music and my experiences at the Stringalongs introduced me to life long friends and gave me the confidence to not only join a band but to start NorthWoods Strings a non-profit organization to provide string instrument instruction to children in Hayward. Stringalongs let me see the world as it ought to be even if only for a weekend. They reminded me that any thing is possible. That although our world may rapidly change somethings stay the same – you can’t make music with someone and argue at the same time, that joy comes from peace deep within, that dreams are not foolish unless you forget to follow them.

Beginning tonight at Camp Edwards, the Stringalongs come to an end. For one last weekend the world will stop turning if only for two days. With any luck the first snow fall will come and the outside world will mirror what’s happening on the inside. I wish that I would be there but the outside world has different plans for me. In my own way,I suppose that I will be there. My heart will be there. Tonight I will think of my friends and the memories we made. On Sunday when the final songs are sung, I will be singing along  and I will imagine the notes floating all the way to East Troy and mingling with the voices there.

To Ann Schmid who dreamed up this wonderful experience and made it happen:

Ann Schmid

There are those in the world who never dream, those who dream but think them foolish, and those who dream and turn those dreams into reality. You, my friend, are obviously in that final group and the world is a better place because of it. Have a wonderful weekend. I will be thinking of you all and wishing with all my heart that I was there.

 

 

Dayle Quigley
Author: Pig and Toad Best Friends Forever
Exec. Director: NorthWoods Strings


Warren Nelson is Back

August 3, 2012

I think that is it. That’s all that needs to be written for this entire blog…..Warren Nelson is back and back in a big way!!!

Okay, perhaps I should explain myself a little more. Last night I ventured again to the Big Top in Bayfield for my volunteer duties. I had my fingers crossed that this was going to be a good show despite the fact that Dairy Queen would not be open in Washburn and my game would therefore be “off”. Oh, I was far from disappointed.

For those of you who do not know of Warren Nelson, you have missed an icon over the years. He is a musician but so much more. He is the man under the big top. He reminds me of the barker at the circus. I’m not exactly sure why – the mustache, the exuberance for all he does, the knowledge he imparts as the weaves a tale and draws you in. No, I’m not sure what it is but that doesn’t really much matter. What matters is how he makes you feel. I know Warren from watching his shows over the past decade or more that I have been in the area – Riding the Wind, Keepers of the Light, Wild River, Take it to the Lake. The list goes on and on. But Warren has been gone the past two years and so has the Lost Nation String Band and Don Pavel. At the same time Warren left, so did the stage manager, Lisa Sandholm, and Chris her sidekick. I don’t know how many shows I watched from back stage with these two as I guarded the back stage door, but the Big Top hasn’t been quite the same without them.

Last night, however the stars aligned. Last night Warren Nelson was back with a new musical called Play Ball. It was Warren at his best. He brought back Lisa and Chris. He filled the band with musical friends and the mixture was magical. The audience was blessed with two hours of story telling, rousing musical numbers, audience participation, and incredible visuals (photographs and news clips). At the end of the night, a standing ovation was palpable before it occurred. It wasn’t a standing ovation out of habit or because “isn’t that what you’re suppose to do” it was a heartfelt showing of appreciation for a job more than well-done.

Bottom line: Warren Nelson is back and at the top of his game. Play Ball is fabulous and well worth traveling to see. Unfortunately it is only at Big Top Chautauqua one more night….tonight. However if you have a PAC (performing arts center) and Warren is willing to bring the show to you….snap it up fast. Don’t miss the opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

Oh, and Warren, congratulations!!!!!!

-Dayle Quigley


Age, Relevance, and the World of Music

February 23, 2012

Ten years ago I went to see two of my idols in concert, Billy Joel and Elton John. It was an amazing concert; live music for four hours straight. I grew up with these guys. Sang my heart out with them in my bedroom as a child and teenager and then forced my own children to endure my renditions in the car during their own childhood and teenage years. The joke in my family being that to join in you don’t have to sing well, just loud. I’m always the first to join in and I’m usually the loudest even when I don’t know all the words. My reason for going to see this duo was simply because I had never heard them in person. You can’t pass up on an opportunity when it crosses your doorstep.

But since that concert in St. Paul a decade ago, I have not waited for my idols from years gone by toImage cross my path. Instead, I find myself actively seeking them out. I managed tickets to Eric Clapton in the cheap seats/nosebleed section. I spent all my birthday money on seeing Cher in Las Vegas. I traveled to Chicago to hear James Taylor and Carole King and would have traveled around the US for their entire tour if I was independently wealthy. This past November I really scored with tickets to Paul Simon at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. Even though I called in one minute prior to the tickets going on sale all that was left was the next to last row in the balcony section. Didn’t matter, I was there. And then last night, I sat truly at the edge of the stage at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis and heard Doc Severinsen.

As I was driving down to the cities last night, I found myself wondering why. Why this obsession over the past several years with “older” musicians? Yes some of them were childhood idols. They got me Imagethrough difficult times. But not all of them were idols, some of them had just sprinkled my younger days. I am almost embarrassed to admit it but I was not a musical junkie in my youth. My sister had crates full of albums. The music played nonstop for what seemed like days on end. I on the other hand had just a few – Sony and Cher, Bobby Sherman, Barry Manilow, Supertramp, Bread and I think Jim Croce – oops I can’t forget Cat Stevens. I know, it’s a very sad list indeed. So I guess the question again is why? Why the time and effort? Easy, because it’s worth it. Because in addition to hearing great music I learn something new every time.

So here is the list of what I’ve learned.

1. From Cher: Cher might not be able to dance in 6 inch heels in her 60s but she can still strut. And she does it so well. Why then do so many of us stop? Stop strutting, stop being a little outrageous. Maturity should not have to equal boring.

2. From James Taylor and Carole King: Songs that brought us to tears three decades ago cause the same reaction now. Why? Because although the years have gone past and our bodies have matured, our souls are still the same. As a patient said to me one day in the ER, “My body is 70 years old but inside I’m 20 or 30. How come no one can see that?” Perhaps we need to spend more time looking at a person’s soul and less time looking at their body.

3. From Paul Simon:  My teacher, Randy Sabien, was right all those years ago when he tried to drum into my head that rhythm is where the magic lies. Paul Simon is the master, a genius when it comes to rhythm. He could have a melody that consisted of one note and the song would still rock. At 70 there isn’t anyone better, not the rappers, not the hip hop artists. If he continued to evolve and improve into his 70s, why do so many of us feel we have peaked in our 40s or 50s? There is so much more to do.

Image

The view from my seat

4. From Doc Severinsen: I grew up hearing Doc Severinsen on Johnny Carson. What a great duo that was. The concert last night was wonderful, Doc and a 15 piece band (5 saxophones, 3 trombones, 4 trumpets, 1 double bass, 1 drummer, and 1 pianist.) As my friend said, “What happened to that music? Why did it ever go away?” I had no answer for it. I would have thought that a brass band that large in a small club would have ruined my hearing for weeks but no the volume was perfect and the jazz sweet. I should also mention that Doc had a vocalist with him, Vanessa Smith, from Kansas and the amazing Ernie Watts on tenor saxophone. Here however are the interesting parts. 1) The concert started a little late. 2) After they finished the number “King Porter”, Doc Severinsen wasn’t happy with it so they played it all again. As he said, “You got to get back on that horse right away boys.” 3) There was no encore after the last number. The audience was hoping for it and working the final applause to insure it. The band stayed on stage expecting it to happen. But, Doc Severinsen wasn’t coming back out. Truth is age does have its privilege and at 84 you get to call the shots, all of them.

I suppose the truth is I go to these concerts to remind myself that despite the fact that the magical age of 50 is coming down the pike, my age should not dictate who I am, what I am capable of doing, or the height of my  newest pair of shoes. I am way too young to limit myself at this point.

Oh, if you are wondering. I still have Glen Campbell at the Big Top Chautauqua in June,  Neil Diamond in St. Paul this July and if Tom Jones ever comes this way, I am so there. I’m definitely not averse to a road trip.

–Dayle Quigley

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One small town, two great women and one weird musical combo

January 27, 2011

The Christmas holidays have come and gone. The children are back at their respective locations and I have once again started to travel the state in search of great small venues and interesting musical endeavors.

This past weekend after returning my son to school in De Pere, (go Green Knights!!) I headed over to the town of Wautoma and the McComb/Bruchs Performing Arts Center. I knew nothing of Wautoma prior to selecting it for a visit, other than the fact that it was just a hop, skip, and a jump from De Pere/Green Bay and therefore “on my way.” Wautoma is actually very similar to Hayward, my own home town. It has a population of just about 2000 with what appears to be a large number of homes on the adjacent lakes. It has a beautiful little downtown and a large number of incredibly friendly individuals. Since I did not want to drive over 4 hours after the concert, I booked a room at Pine Ridge – I’m sure at one point it was a farm with the farmhouse and barn still on the property but now it houses a lodge, restaurant, bar, and bunk house. With no room in the inn, I was in the bunk house. That doesn’t sound overly attractive but it was very very nice. No complaints at all – clean, new, well-appointed. I will have to say that even nicer than my accommodations was the friendliness of the hotel staff. They helped me find the Performing Arts Center, went on a wild goose chase for my lost mittens in the restaurant after hours, talked me through getting my direct t.v. working at almost midnight, and then found an open restaurant for me on Sunday morning since brunch didn’t start until 9AM and I needed to get on the road home. Without a doubt I will always stay here when I’m in the area.

The concert for the night was being held at the McComb/Bruchs Performing Arts Center. I will admit that I wasn’t overly excited about visiting this venue. Most performing art centers are nondescript; they look the same; they feel the same. There is little to write home about. This is not the case with the McComb/Bruchs. I think I will now refer to it as MB as this is shorter and thus faster to type. The MB has been in existence for the past 20 years. This is their 20th Season. The center was built when two women with foresight and presence of mind bequeathed significant funds for the sole purpose of building a performing arts center in a small Wisconsin town. Ms. McComb donated one million dollars and with it specific requirements for the building – everything from its approximation to the school, to the distance of the furthest seat from the stage (57 ft), to the necessity for bathrooms and showers within the dressing rooms. The seating is also very unusual as the rows are long; 38-40 seats with no center aisles. The only way to enter the rows is from the ends. This is not the traditional American model but Ms. McComb wanted it this way so that the performers would look out and see a sea of faces instead of an empty aisle. How brilliant is that? I should mention that Ms. Bruchs donated more than $200,000 to further the cause. The center is utilized not only for monthly concerts by nationally recognized artists but also by the schools, and the community choir, and the community theater guild. The center was to be seen as a resource for the entire area and it is obvious that they are fulfilling their mission beautifully. This is a performing arts center that I would be happy to attend on a regular basis.

Finally, the entertainment for the night was Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues. Okay this is a traditional string quartet (2 violins, 1 viola, and 1 cello) with Frank Donaldson seated on the floor playing percussion and Corky Siegel on harmonica and piano. This is a combination that shouldn’t work. This sounds like a combination where between it and three banjos, one should pick the banjos. But, and here is the big but, it works. It really works. The fusion of musical tones is a whole new and wonderful experience. It’s a marriage between the past and the present. Perhaps producing a new future. On this Saturday evening the ensemble was joined by Randy Sabien, jazz violinist. In a sense Randy plays with this idea of two worlds colliding on a daily basis playing “alternative’ music on the violin. In this case, however, he is involved in bridging an even further distance; bringing the classical world and the world of blues and jazz onto the same musical page. With or without Mr Sabien, this is an act that is worth experiencing. I will admit that I have no idea if the music plays out as well coming through your speakers as it does as when one experiences it in person. It may be one of those acts you need to experience initially up close and personal in order to fully appreciate.

Final Analysis:

1. Pine Ridge at Wautoma – worth every penny

2. McComb/Bruchs Performing Arts Center – my favorite to date

3. Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues – don’t miss them. You may question the sanity of it all but you won’t go home disappointed.

Next week – Door County and Mojo Perry

–Dayle Quigley


A Weekend of Contrasts – Cafe Carpe/Fort Atkinson and The Metropolis/Arlington Heights

December 21, 2010

By Dayle Quigley

A musical venue icon – I do believe that is the only way to view the Cafe Carpe. Perhaps with its long history and popularity, it is the venue from which all others should be compared. You decide.

Let’s first take a trip down memory lane.  Back in the late 50s Joe and JoAnn Moore bought the No Exit establishment in Evanston Illinois.   The No Exit was alcohol free. It served espressos and pastries and was  home to classical music, except when live entertainment made its way through town. It was home to more than a few singer/songwriters. The Moores moved to Wisconsin in the 70s and started the Green Dragon Inn. The Green Dragon was the No Exit done bigger. It was eclectic and smoky and home to Chicago style deep dish pizza and again a long list of visiting singer/songwriters. Interestingly one of the musicians was Bill Camplin, and when Bill moved on it was to the Cafe Carpe. The Cafe Carpe is the baby of Camplin and Kitty Welch. According to their website it started in 1985 although my source thought they had been going strong for 27 years. The Carpe is located on Water Street in Fort Atkinson and backs up to the river. The first floor houses the main bar area, the music/performance room, and a back porch overlooking the river. The upstairs is home to Bill, Kitty, their 2 children, and the dog.  The atmosphere of the Carpe is like your best mid-western friend’s house. It is unpretentious. It is lived in. It feels like it has been there forever and will remain there indefinitely. It is solid and warm. It is not “staged” to look good. It has not been done over by a decorator to coordinate the scene. I’m not sure if anything matched. The walls are covered in a mish mash of wonderful things. My favorite was the stuffed fish, I”m assuming a carp. The requisite mid-western stuffed deer head was missing. There is artwork and certificates and a wooden airplane prop. One wall is covered with a large chalkboard listing the daily specials. The menu is like the rest of the Carpe, unexplainable and yet perfect . The main menu doesn’t change – routine sandwiches, burgers, salads but then there are the specials –   jambalya and curry dishes, thai shrimp and eggs as a combo with their brunch. Oh, and I almost forgot, the deep dish pizza from the Green Dragon moved with Camplin. It doesn’t quite make sense but it’s perfect. I should mention that they keep a complete bar and have wonderful bartenders. (That’s an aside)

Redbird CDThe music for the evening was by Redbird–a foursome of Pete Mulvey, David Goodrich, Jeff Foucault, and Kris Delmhorst. I wish I could give you a long history on this group but finding information is frustratingly difficult. I will give you what I can. I am probably going out on a limb but here goes. Jeff Foucault is a home-grown boy from Whitewater Wisconsin who currently lives with his wife, Kris Delmhorst in Western Massachusetts. Peter Mulvey hails from Milwaukee but spent time in Boston … playing in the subways. Finally David Goodrich, Goody, grew up in Washington, D.C., but went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Thus I’m assuming it would be the Boston connection that brings this foursome together. Whatever the impetus, I see why it has stuck and why their concerts sellout on a regular basis. The group has a wonderful rapport with each other as well as the audience. The banter is as much fun as the music but certainly does not overshadow the wonderful mixing of styles and tones. The real story though has nothing to do with the music. The music was enjoyable but the real story is that the music venue and the performers so perfectly fit with the rest of the Carpe. Hearing music in a small room filled to capacity (72), filled with various sitting pieces (pews, cafe chairs, stools, auditorium rows), and encircling a stage that can’t be more than 5 feet by 5 feet, makes you feel like you are in your own mid-western home spending an evening with your closest friends and making music together. It is in these instances when music is accessible. When you can imagine that if you had an instrument you could join in and you would be welcomed, and it would sound good. Okay maybe only in my imagination it would sound good but it is in this case that music is no longer passive. It is something to be more than enjoyed. It is something to be bathed in, to be heard and felt and if it could be tasted, then tasted. This is what music should be and what the Carpe does so well from the moment you open the front door. This was the start of my musical weekend.

On Sunday, I had a totally different experience. On Sunday, a friend and I headed to Arlington Heights, Illinois. Yes once again I ventured across the state line but this time in a south east direction. We were headed to the the Metropolis Performing Arts Center for a “cocktail holiday party” with Corky Seigel, Megon McDonough, and Randy Sabien. I do think however that I need to set the scene. We started the evening by getting dressed up; sometimes you just need to get dressed up. We had reservations for dinner at Le Titi de Paris prior to the show.  I have to tell you that I may have just found another “favorite” restaurant. I ate recently at the Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee for brunch. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Two hours of gastronomic pleasure and if I hadn’t had a 5 hour drive I would have stayed for another 2 hours. I have never eaten dinner at the Lake Park Bistro but Le Titi de Paris would be what I would imagine it would be. The food and drinks on Sunday night were amazing. I’m sure there are culinary experts out there who would have all the correct words to describe the sensations I experienced but I am not them. So let me just say … if you like to eat food where every bite demands to be singularly experienced, where the thought that you could drop your spouse and simply visit the restaurant a couple of times a week seems more than reasonable, do not drive past this place without stopping. That would be a travesty. So after eating once again for more than 2 hours, we headed off to the Metropolis. The Metropolis is located in downtown Arlington Heights if that is even possible. I am not from the area but the buildings are taller and closer together. There is parking on the street or for free in a garage right around the corner. It looks like a thousand different performing art centers I have been in. It is clean and comfortable. The staff are polite and helpful and enjoyable to deal with. The seating is intimate although the auditorium can seat 350. It didn’t feel nearly that big. I will admit that although it was billed as a “cocktail” party there were no cocktails to be purchased. That was a major bummer from my point of view. A really thought something like a sour apple martini with a cherry (green with a splash of red) would have been so fitting for the holiday theme. The lack of a cocktail however did not blemish the otherwise magnificent performance. Corky Seigel is a genius, a musical genius. There is really no other way to say it. Whether he is blowing on his harmonica or tickling the ivories of the grand piano, the man is in a league all his own. I have to admit I have never seen him in concert before but I have already memorized his next concert dates. The second of the trio for the evening was Megon McDonough, she hails from Chicago as does Seigel and she is best known for being an inaugural member of Four Bitchin’ Babes. As a teenager in the 70s, she opened for such acts as John Denver and Harry Chapin. I am not surprised as she has a tremendous voice. On Sunday she was fabulous whether she was singing solo and accompanying herself on piano or whether she was singing harmony for someone else’s song. She sang old jazz tunes, and carols, and original, very funny songs.  Each one was better than the last. I could have listened to her endlessly. The final member of the trio was Randy Sabien. He is the only one who does not hail from Chicago but he did grow up in Rockford. That’s practically next door. Randy is well known for his jazz fiddle but like all the musicians on the stage that evening he is multi-faceted and multi-talented. The evening started with Summertime, a jazz stable but rocked through such iconic songs as Arthur the Ardvaark’s Boogie Woogie Christmas and my favorite High on Love, a duet with Sabien and McDonough. Sabien played not only his fiddle but pulled out his viola and blasted away on the piano. At one point the audience was regaled with both Randy and Corky on the piano at once. It just doesn’t get much better. The concert was wonderful and a definite holiday treat.

Here would be my bottomline:

1. If you are ever near Fort Atkinson, don’t miss the Cafe Carpe. If you go, take in the whole thing, the food, the drinks and the music. All of your senses will thank you.

2. If someone you want to see is at the Metropolis, it’s a nice spot with good acoustics but you are going for the show not the location.

3. Performers – all worth seeing individually or together.


Music Camp: The stuff dreams are made of….

October 11, 2010

I’ve been going to music camp for an eternity. Actually that’s terribly false. I never went to music camp as a child. Horseback riding camp, church camp, sports camp, girl scout camp…definitely but never music camp. I was first introduced to music camp as an adult about 12 years ago. I’ve never stopped going ever since. I have gone to camp as the “oldest middle schooler”, oh yes I shared a music stand with a 7th grader who was way beyond my level and I have spent time at adult only camps where most of us were struggling to make any pleasurable sound resonate from our instruments. Truth be told I have enjoyed them all. This past summer I attended two camps….Brian Wicklund’s FiddlePal Camp in Marine on St. Croix, a week-long camp filled with students ranging in age from perhaps six to sixty…. and Meadowlark Music Camp in Washington, Maine where the nightly cocktail hour and Friday lobster feast are at least as important as the six hours of folk music instruction each day. Music camp is one of those other world experiences where all lines of hierarchy are not only blurred but completely destroyed. Where the most common utterance is “cool song, can you teach it to me?” And where often times it is a 40-year-old asking that of a 10-year-old. I have met my best friends at music camp. The people I see only once a year and yet know would come to my rescue if ever needed, no questions asked. It is the place where I learned that “professional musicians” have no secret weapons and have walked along the exact same path as every other lifetime learner.

One of the first camps I ever attended was located at Camp Edwards in East Troy, Wisconsin. My fiddle teacher, Randy Sabien, was there as an instructor and suggested I try it out. The camp has gone on for decades in various derivations – week-long summer camps or weekend retreats, hosted at Camp Edwards or at resorts. Despite the changes, the essence of it has never changed. It is a respite from the daily throes of life. A couple of days where you can leave the worries of the world behind and immerse yourself in the simple pleasures of life….singing songs, making music, enjoying a walk through the woods with a friend. Stringalong Weekend is back again this year at Camp Edwards from November 5th-7th. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Dayle Quigley


Owteno Viola Award

August 29, 2009

I have a love/hate relationship with awards. Sometimes I find them silly; simply attend an event and you receive an award. Sometimes I find them totally frustrating; the criteria so subjective you have a greater chance of winning the lotto then bringing home the “prize’. And occasionally, they are so appropriately awarded that you breathe a sigh of complete satisfaction. Some awards are handed out for a body of work already completed; the touted lifetime achievement awards. They leave me wondering if the person is now off the hook. They never need accomplish anything else in life. Some awards are given in out in anticipation of greatness yet to come. It is for everyone to see if the artist can ever achieve enough to live up to the award. And occasionally, the award does both, it sings of what the artist has already accomplished while speaking to the potential which still lays within.rhythm-and-bows

Recently a friend, neighbor,  and colleague of mine, Randy Sabien, was presented with the 2009 Owteno Award from The Viola Foundation, an award that caused me to sigh with great satisfaction and marvel at it’s intent. The Owteno Award is given out to “the applicant most likely to positively impact the viola community at large.” The award is the use of a viola and bow for life, hand selected for the recipient. So why is this award so interesting…It’s because Randy is not a violist. He’s a jazz violinist, a renown jazz violinist and music educator. So why a viola award. In presenting the award, the Viola Foundation stated, ” With your recent appointment as the Chairman of the String Department at McNally Smith College of Music and your long and constantly evolving use of the violin, we believe you are in the best position to advance the viola and its role in alternative music in the years ahead.” How perfect an award is that. It rewards what Randy has already accomplished during a lifetime on the violin and then challenges him to take the potential they see and do it all again with the viola. It’s so beautiful I wish I had thought of it myself.

Just recently Randy picked up his Brian Derber viola and Hartmut Knoll bow from the Claire Givens Violin Shop in Minneapolis. Now I’m waiting for the day when he walks on stage with not one instrument but two. My guess is, I won’t have long to wait.

Dayle Quigley