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In the VORTEX with Cage and Cunningham

Mar. 1, 2012—Surprises are in store when Blair’s percussion ensemble VORTEX joins with former dancers of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Nashville’s Company Rose on Sunday, April 1.

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Making Music for Each Other

Mar. 1, 2012—Chamber music, with its graceful, intimate character, presents a special set of challenges and pleasures to the musicians who play it.

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The Treble and Bass of a Balanced Life

Mar. 1, 2012—In music, balance is the harmonic poise, the requisite equilibrium given to a chord, a melody or a group of instruments. In life, balance is the constant recalibration of obligations and passions. Quarter Note recently spoke to two Blair alumni to discover how divergent paths can lead to a fulfilling euphony.

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A Talent that Resonates

Sep. 8, 2011—Not many teenagers would attempt to write a two-act chamber opera based on Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale. But that’s exactly what 16-year-old Amy Thompson has been doing for more than a year.

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A Nest for Conductors

Sep. 8, 2011—Within the conducting profession, the word “maestro” is sometimes used to describe the person wielding the baton and coaxing joyous sounds from voice, instrument or both.

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A Commodore in Kabul

Mar. 29, 2011—Boom! The cannon blasts at the end of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The eighth-graders in my music class don’t react, they just listen. To me, it is a great moment of pure genius.

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An American in Cairo

Mar. 29, 2011—The sound of “Allahu Akbar” several times daily and the permeating dust of the desert surrounding the Nile Valley have changed very little since Napoleon’s entourage first described the city of Cairo, Egypt, in the early 19th century.

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In a Musical Labyrinth

Mar. 28, 2011—Josh McGuire, senior lecturer in aural studies, and Stan Link, associate professor of the philosophy and analysis of music, traveled to Mexico City to premiere Link’s Toda la Tierra.

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Fully Costumed and Orchestrated

Aug. 31, 2010—The mischievously dark worlds of filmmaker Tim Burton, illustrator Edward Gorey and the humorously twisted “Fractured Fairy Tales” cartoons are influencing this fall’s Vanderbilt Opera Theatre production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. It’s quite a change from the traditional, straightforward approach taken when the opera was performed a decade ago, and a change in...

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Music That Heals

Aug. 31, 2010—It would be easy, and true, to say Pam Schneller lives and breathes music. It would also be an understatement. Schneller—a longtime fixture within the Blair School of Music—views music as more than lyrics, voices and instruments, as more than even the world-unifying “universal language.” Indeed, Pam Schneller sees music as a spiritual force of...

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