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The West Music Blog
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West Music’s Nancy Cree Keyboard Recitals to Honor Prominent Composer
By Tina Chapman
5/17/2017 12:53:00 PM  

Robert D. VandallCoralville, IA – May 17, 2017 – West Music will honor prominent composer Robert D. Vandall at their Two Grand Spring Recitals this weekend at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts. The recitals feature students of West Music based Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Centers. Students from age 4 to adult will be performing including special recognition for our students graduating from high school.

Prolific composer Robert D. Vandall passed away in February at age 72 following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Vandall published more than 500 works under Alfred Publishing. In addition to operating a private studio in Ohio with his wife Karen, Vandall presented and taught workshops in more than 30 states for many years including many locally at West Music.

Two of this weekend’s series of recitals will feature works by Vandall. Recital times for the Vandall-centered recitals are May 20 at 1:00 p.m. and May 21 at 4:30 p.m. both at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts, 1301 5th Street in Coralville, Iowa. The events are free and open to the public.

“His true passion was composing. He will be missed all over the world for his amazing talent,” said Tina Chapman, Supervisor and Head Teacher of Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Center at West Music. “We will keep his spirit alive by playing and sharing his music. It is our honor to present several of his pieces in this weekend’s recitals.”


     Nancy Cree Keyboard Logo 


About Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Centers

The Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Center Program seeks to open as many musical doors as possible to its students. From traditional acoustic piano to the newest electronic technology, the instruction seeks to introduce and excite the student to a variety of musical possibilities. We take a broad range approach to the varied musical traditions such as classical, jazz, folk and popular music. Music is learned, then performed among family and friends in a variety of social settings. Students develop self-confidence, stage presence and have fun performing together in a cooperative environment. To learn more or sign up for Nancy Cree or any West Music classes visit westmusic.com/lessons.

West Music Logo

About West Music

West Music is a third generation locally owned and family operated business. For over 75 years, West Music has been the area’s leading partner in music education, specializing in pianos, guitars, drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offering music instruction, repair, and music therapy services. With seven retail locations in Iowa and Illinois as well as award-winning ecommerce websites dedicated to servicing music education and percussion communities, West Music strives to encourage people of all ages and abilities to play now and play for life. For more information, visit westmusic.com or call 1-800-373-2000.


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Tags: piano recital, lessons, Coralville, Alfred Publishing
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville, Press Releases, piano
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Coralville April 2017 Musician of the Month: Alyssa Wasmund
By West Music Company
5/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Alyssa Wasmund is in the 7th grade. She studies voice with Jessica Saunders and piano with Tina Chapman. Her voice instructor nominated her to be a featured student because “Alyssa is an excellent all around student and musician. As a singer she has a lovely voice that is mature for her age, without being forced. Alyssa is always willing to try new styles of music and we have worked on everything from pop to Italian art song! Alyssa is wonderfully musical and expressive during performances.” She also plays the flute.  Alyssa earned a 1 rating at the recent IMTA piano festival and has started to work on her second Italian song in her voice studies!

She has always wanted to sing in musicals, and also likes modern rock music. She loves that music is not just about creativity, but also about learning new things and challenging yourself. Her advice to other musicians is “Never give up. Even if you mess up in the middle of a song, don’t stop!” Other hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, ice skating and GLOW club. 

Congratulations, Alyssa!

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Tags: voice, vocal, lesson, teach, piano, Jessica Saunders, Tina Chapman,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville April 2017 Musician of the Month: Lauren Spence
By West Music Company
5/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Lauren Spence is a 4th grader studying violin in the West Music Lessons program with Gayla Drake. She has been in lessons for over a year and has made great progress on her musical path!

When not playing violin, Lauren enjoys dance (aero and tap), spending time in her church group, writing, drawing, cooking and singing. Her favorite music is Irish jigs. “Irish jigs make me feel happy! I love getting new songs to play!” Her favorite musicians are Gayla Drake, Lindsey Stirling and Celtic Woman.

Lauren delights me every week with how dedicated she is, and how quickly she learns tunes! She loves the music of Ireland, and has been acquiring tunes since the very beginning. I have loved Irish music since I was a kid, too, and having someone to share and pass tunes on to has been so much fun. She's always happy, positive, and a joy to work with. Lauren makes me look forward to Mondays! - Gayla Drake

Lauren’s advice to other musicians is “Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get it the first time you play. Keep trying! Make sure you play the kind of music you enjoy.”

She is a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland and America and travels to visit her family in Northern Ireland every summer. Lauren also enjoys time with her hamster, Bert, and her bunny, Ginger. 

Congratulations, Lauren!

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Tags: lessons, lesson, violin, gayla drake,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville February 2017 Musician of the Month: Josie Fullenkamp
By West Music Company
3/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Dog Music Note DrawingJosie Fullenkamp is 10 years old and has been taking violin lessons with Gayla Drake at West Music Coralville for almost three years. She plays in the school orchestra, also plays flute in her school band and loves all music!

Her teacher has this to say about Josie:

Josie is a very inspiring person to work with. She loves the violin so much that she once said, upon entering the String Shop, "Ahh, the smell of my people!" She has really helped to shape my studio into a community through her introduction of Notey the Naughty Dog cartoon and fan club. I feel so lucky to spend time with her every week.

Josie’s musical goal is to play the violin fast and with fluency.  She loves music because of “the vibe and how you react. It is like the wind is music and you are a willow tree.” Her advice to other musicians is to never stop doing what you love most. Her favorite music is from Les Misérables, Hamilton, Lindsey Sterling plus other pop, classics and hip hop hits. 

A busy 5th grader - Josie also enjoys skiing, drawing, dancing, kickball and reading “The Warrior” series. She is a fan of wolves (and huskies), mountains and loves spending time with friends and family (including her dog, Jake). She often draws her cartoon characters and music lessons on the studio white-board at lessons. “I enjoy drawing the musical sensation of West Music, Notey the Dog!”

Great job, Josie!

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Tags: violin, gayla drake, lesson
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville January 2017 Musician of the Month: Geneva Conrad
By West Music Company
1/2/2017 3:02:00 PM  
Geneva has been a vocal student in the West Music Lessons program since she was 14 years old, studying with instructor Alice Feldmann for nearly 7 years!  She frequently shares her talents by participating in community recitals, accompanied by her teacher on the piano. 

Geneva is 20 years old, and her goal is to become a United States Marine.  When she is not making music she is often at work or working out with her squad. 

Her teacher, Alice Feldmann, is very proud of Geneva and has this to say about working with her:

“Geneva possesses the widest range of any voice student I've ever worked with.  She has a whistle register that is very uncommon.  An example of this sort of register would be Maria Carey who happens to hold the World record for the widest register.  Geneva is just about 5 notes from that record. Geneva loves to sing whenever and wherever she can and has been very involved with the West Music's Weekend Warriors."

Congratulations, Geneva!

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Tags: Alice Feldmann, vocal, voice, sing, singing, lesson,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville December 2016 Teacher Feature: Caleb Lambert
By West Music Company
12/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
A native of Olympia, Washington trombonist Caleb Lambert began his studies on baritone in the 5th grade and later took up trombone in the 6th grade on the advice of his band teacher.  After moving to Chicago in 2007 Mr. Lambert earned both a bachelor’s degree in trombone performance and a master of music in orchestral studies from Roosevelt University where he studied with Jay Friedman and Peter Ellefson. In addition to his duties as 2nd trombone for Orchestra Iowa, Mr. Lambert is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa where he teaches undergraduate trombone lessons in addition to coaching various brass ensembles. As an active performer he has worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque symphony, South Bend Symphony, Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New Chicago Brass, Chicago Arts Orchestra, and many others.

Just as comfortable on valves as he is with his slide Mr. Lambert was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Chicago Brass Festival’s Solo Competition on euphonium and can often be seen performing on euphonium and bass trumpet in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. 

As a former member of the Axiom Brass Quintet Mr. Lambert taught classes in chamber music and trombone pedagogue at some of America’s leading music conservatories including the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, New England Conservatory, University of the Pacific, Southern Oregon University, University of Las Vegas, Western Illinois University, California State University, Sacramento, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and many more.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Caleb Lambert through December!


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Tags: trombone, baritone, lessons, teacher, coralville, caleb lambert, brass, low brass
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville December 2016 Musician of the Month: Carly Ephraim
By West Music Company
12/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Carly was nominated by her percussion teacher, Brian Cooper. She’s been in lessons with him for approximately 6 months, playing drums and bells. She also plays bass in her school orchestra and studies piano with Jason Sifford in the West Music lessons program. 

Carly is 11 years old and in the 5th grade. She wants to learn to play many instruments! She likes attending concerts, playing songs she knows, and sharing her music with others. Her favorite musicians are Joan Jett, Train, Tom Petty and other rock music. She is also interested in Art, Pokémon cards, hanging out with sisters and friends.

Her teacher, Brian Cooper, has this to say about working with Carly:

"Carly rocks! She's a multi-instrumentalist, also playing piano and bass. In the short time I've known her as a drum student she has shown great dedication and impressive growth as a percussionist with a very bright future. She is as great of a person as she is a musician!" 

Congratulations, Carly!

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Tags: Jason Sifford, percussion, drums, lesson
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month October 2016: James Fleming
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
We are happy to announce James Fleming as the West Music October 2016 Associate of the Month!

Since James started with West Music, he has helped lead the Mezzanine through a very successful and organized rental season. With the help of a brand new rental program and process, James and his team successfully filled roughly 1,300 rental instruments this past fall.

Always staying on top of store audits and having a non-existing wait list, his attitude and calm personality, and his willlingness and eagerness to learn, makes him an asset to West Music.

James is willing to take on any challenge that is put in front of him, all the while exceeding expectations.

The fall rental season is always busy for everyone. This past season, James made a challenging and stressful time seem easy.

- As told by Alex Beamer,
Director of Regional School Music

Congratulations James! Keep up the good work, and thanks for all you do!

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Tags: warehouse, mezzanine, employee of the month, october
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Coralville November 2016 Musician of the Month: Rana Saba
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Rana Saba is a 4th grade student in Coralville. She has been taking voice lessons with Jessica Saunders at West Music for almost a year. Her teacher, Jessica, has this to say about working with her:

“Rana is an exceptional student. Since starting lessons she has performed on many recitals and completed two theory work books. She has a lovely voice and wants to learn all she can!”

Rana loves to sing because it is fun! She likes to learn about the notes because it is interesting and also helps in her school music class.  She has some great advice to share with other musicians: “Work hard and listen to the teacher, practice until you can sing without the words, and try to pretend there is nobody there when there is a recital (when you're nervous)."

Her favorite musicians are Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry.  She also loves the music from Annie and Disney movies. Her favorite animal is the Red Panda.  In Rana’s free time she enjoys gymnastics, swimming, computers, comics, playing with dogs, and eating ice cream! Rana has lived in three countries and speaks English, Arabic and, some German.

Congratulations, Rana! Great job!

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Tags: voice, vocal, sing, singing, lessons, teacher, conservatory, Jessica Saunders
Categories: West Music Coralville
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Steinway Extravaganza 2016 Featuring Anderson and Roe
By West Music Company
10/8/2016 8:00:00 AM  



Join us for a week of fun and celebration of Steinway & Sons pianos!

Please mark your calendars for October 9th – October 15 and get ready for this year’s Steinway Extravaganza! We are pleased to announce this year that we will back to our roots, and hosting a large portion of events at the University of Iowa School of Music in downtown Iowa City. We are very proud to be able to help introduce the School of Music to our local musical communities.

As always, the Extravaganza will feature a series of concerts and recitals highlighting our wonderful University of Iowa piano faculty and your students. This year, we are honored to host three very special opportunities to hear internationally renowned Steinway artists, Anderson and Roe! They will perform on Friday, October 14 at 7:30pm. Find out more about this dynamic duo at andersonroe.com.

This year’s calendar of events:

Sunday, October 9
  • 3:00pm – The University of Iowa piano faculty in concert presenting Bach’s “8 hands, 4 pianos” at the Music Building Concert Hall.
Thursday, October 13
  • 7:00pm – Anderson and Roe Meet and Greet Opportunity at West Music Coralville. Meet the artists, purchase memorabilia, like signed CDs, and experience an intimate concert from Anderson and Roe incorporating the new Steinway player piano system, Spirio.
Friday, October 14
  • 10:30am – Piano Pedagogy Workshop at the University of Iowa School of Music Building.
  • 7:30pm – Anderson and Roe in Concert at the University of Iowa School Music Building Concert Hall.
Saturday, October 15
  • 10:30am – Master class with Anderson and Roe and University of Iowa piano faculty at the School of Music Building.
  • 1:00pm – Informal student recital at the Senate Chamber in the Old Capitol.
  • 2:30pm – Formal/advanced student recital at the Senate Chamber in the Old Capitol.


We will have a large selection of Steinway and Sons, Boston, and Essex pianos displayed at West Music Coralville all week with special-event pricing!


Tickets for Anderson and Roe in Concert are $15/adults and $5/students and are available through the Hancher Box Office.

Purchase Tickets Here

 


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Categories: Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards, West Music Coralville, Press Releases, piano
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