Columbia Diminuendo

My quartet is participating in an exciting project entitled Columbia Diminuendo created by the Holladay Brothers. Throughout 2017, we are performing in the shadow of the Capitol building on the last Sunday of each month (weather permitting).  Our next performance is scheduled for Sunday, April 30 at 12 pm. Below we are pictured at the first performance on January 29, 2017. A short clip is available here (as you can see, it was quite windy that day and about 40 degrees! Frozen fingers...) The piece we are performing is a re-imagining of "Hail, Columbia!" which was performed at George Washington's inauguration.



My string quartet, (the Cherry Blossom String Quartet) had a super-fun gig a couple weeks ago. Well, all of our gigs are great, but this one was particularly exciting. We play for the National Archives Records of Achievement Awards event every year, which is always lovely. This year, the awards went to Ron Chernow, Thomas Kail, and Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. The Archives' asked that we perform some songs from Hamilton for the occasion. So, we had "My Shot" and "Wait for It" arranged for string quartet and played these tunes several times throughout the evening as well as many other pieces from our pop repertoire. It was lots of fun, and Mr.  Miranda himself gave us a thumb-up and wink of approval during his dinner at the event. We were honored to be a part of it! Here we are on the red carpet.


Welcome to The Guest Room

My band, The Beanstalk Library, has started a fun new concert series in 2015 entitled "The Guest Room." We are collaborating with other area musicians on a monthly basis by organizing a shared show, and performing as a backup band for our featured guests.  January and March's shows featured performances by Derek Evry and Lauren Calve, respectively. Our next installment of The Guest Room will be on Wednesday, April 29 at 8 pm and will showcase  singer/songwriter Carolyn Crysdale. The Guest Room is hosted at The Evening Star, a well-known haunt in Del Ray (Alexandria), VA. They will be serving up their always-tasty eats and drinks. These shows are free and open to the public. Swing by and check it out!

Lauren Calve with The Beanstalk Library

Magnificent Intentions Music Festival

This weekend, one of my favorite Arlington, VA haunts, IOTA Club & Cafe, will host the Magnificent Intentions Music Festival. This 3-day festival features more than 20 DC-based bands, including Vandaveer, Justin Jones, The Cowards Choir, Derek Every & his Band of Misanthropes, and...well, I'll just let you read the rest on the poster below. Advance tickets are available for purchase online via the festival website. You'll save yourself a few bucks if you purchase them there. I guarantee you'll hear some excellent music and discover some artists you may not have heard of before. Check it out!

Playing for Spielberg!

Every year for the past 5 years or so, my string quartet, the Cherry Blossom String Quartet, has been invited to perform at the Annual Gala for the National Archives. This year, they presented their 2013 Records of Achievement Award to the one and only Mr. Steven Spielberg. The quartet was delighted to be a part of the big event! The Archives requested that we feature music from some of Spielberg's most famous movies. So we set about learning and rehearsing the themes from Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T., Schindler's List, and Poltergeist, to name a few. Our performance was even featured on WTOP radio the following morning. Take a listen! Aside from Mr. Spielberg, some other well-known folks were also in attendance at the event, including Ken Burns, Nancy Pelosi, and Cokie Roberts. It was a wonderful and exciting opportunity that I definitely will not forget!


Performing during the cocktail hour

A Busy Spring

It's been a very packed spring here at the violin studio! Some of the highlights included my very first Adult Student Music Hour for my more mature students. Three of my adult students and their spouses came over to the house for a small get-together. Each student performed a solo while I accompanied on piano.  It was a lovely afternoon and a more relaxed way for my adult students to get a taste of performing (and all the excitement and jitters that come with it)! My band, The Beanstalk Library has wrapped up the recording of our newest album, The View From Here. It will be available for purchase in a couple of weeks. We played a show at the very cozy and intimate Galaxy Hut on Memorial Day to celebrate the completion of the record. Here's a pic from that show:

TBL Galaxy Hut


Deck the Halls!

I'm in the midst of a music-filled December. My quartet, the Cherry Blossom String Quartet has had a banner year, and we are finishing it off with our busiest holiday season ever! All kinds of lovely company holiday parties and beautiful holiday weddings are on the horizon for CBSQ. Check us out at our annual performance at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA for their Lessons & Carols Service on December 16, and their Midnight Mass on December 24. In the teaching studio, I have been helping many of my students prepare for my first-ever Holiday Recital next weekend. Twenty-five students ranging in age from 6 to 15 will perform a mix of Christmas tunes and classical pieces. Judging from what I've been hearing in their lessons this past week, parents are in store for some lovely performances!

To round what has been an amazing year for me, I'll again join The Beanstalk Library at their 3rd Annual New Year's Eve Throwdown on December 31, 2012 at IOTA Club & Cafe in Arlington, VA. Sweetening the bill will be bands Ugly Purple Sweater and Alex Vans & The Hide Away. This is guaranteed to be a great night. Tickets are on sale now at IOTA for $18.00.

Lesson Slots: Get'em While They're Hot!

Hope everyone has had a wonderful summer! As Summer 2012 comes to a close and the temperatures are becoming (ever-so-slightly!) cooler, parents are looking ahead to get their kids back into lessons for the fall. Now is the time sign your son or daughter up for music lessons! This is a very busy time of year for private music teachers. Continuing students return from vacation ready to resume lessons and prepare for the upcoming school year.  Brand-spanking-new students, eager to have a head-start on their school strings program, are also signing on for lessons. I currently have just a couple of spaces available for new violin and viola students, so if you are considering it, please do email me asap! A few performances coming up:

The Hills Are Alive...

The hills of Alexandria, that is. With the sounds of sweet violin music. Lots and lots of performances lately! My piano trio recital on March 25 with friends C.J. Capen (pianist) and Emily Greget (cello) was well-received and well-attended. It was a very satisfying performance to cap off many months of rehearsal! The Last Monarchs had the pleasure of performing 4 shows during the month of March, including the one below at the Rock n Roll Hotel, opening for Aunt Martha.

I also had a great time sitting in on violin with my friends The Beanstalk Library at the Black Cat on April 4.  D.C. Music Download featured TBL in a nice little review of that show.

So what's next? I'll be performing with The Maret School's pit orchestra next week for their production of "Legally Blonde" on April 19-21. I've been working with the amazing musicians in the country/folk/jazz/bluegrass group East of Monroe, and we will be scheduling a show very soon. And The Last Monarchs will return to the Velvet Lounge on Friday May 4!

On the classical front, my quartet, the Cherry Blossom String Quartet is keeping busy with many weddings on the horizon for spring, as well as an exciting re-design of our quartet website!

New Shows coming up!

Exciting news: I'll be appearing onstage in the following performances! 1.) Saturday, March 3, 2012, 10:00 pm

IOTA Club and Music Cafe

Guesting on 2 songs with The Beanstalk Library, Arlington, VA

2) Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 9:00 pm

IOTA Club and Music Cafe, Arlington, VA

Violin and backup vocals with The Last Monarchs

3) Sunday, March 25, 2012, 7:00 pm

St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Reston, VA

Chamber recital: Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor & Brahms Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8


Hope to see you there!

A little change of pace

I recently was invited to perform as part of the musical ensemble for a new theatre production at the Arena Stage called "I've Never Been So Happy." The show was part of Arena Stage's New Play Festival. It was presented by a small  (but very talented) theatre company based out of Austin called the Rude Mechs.  Unfortunately the performances (Jan. 28 and 29) are over and the Rude Mechs are back in Texas, but I have great memories of an amazing show. The whole thing was a blast!