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Laurie Niles

Celebrate Classical Music: Announcing our Essay Winner!

September 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Our Celebrate Classical Music project inspired 22 blogs from members all over the globe, young and old, student and professional. Choosing a winner from among these blogs proved no easy task; they were all so good! Many thanks to our guest celebrity bloggers, Hilary Hahn, Philippe Quint, and Adam DeGraff, who wrote blogs at my request. (The guest bloggers weren't eligible to win!)

And now, I'd like to name the member with the winning essay…drum roll…it's Sam Rubin. Sam is a senior in high school from Monroe, New York, whose wonderful blog describes his evolution as a young musician, from a resistant child, through periods of experimentation and transformation, to a thoughtful young adult who appreciates many kinds of music, especially classical.

Celebrate Classical Music produced a wealth of beautiful and thoughtful blogs. I have listed them all below, with a a link and my favorite quotes or ideas from each blog. If you ever want to convince a friend, or a student, or a symphony board member, or anyone else, about the merits of classical music, here are many ideas to help you!

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Nairobi Young is from Evanston, Illinois
"I love classical music with a passion that cannot be extinguished…"

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Christian Vachon is from Ottawa, Canada.
"Music is spirit and spirit is music. It is a way for all of us in a moment and space to become one."

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Mendy Smith is from League City, Texas.
"No matter how far apart or infrequently you play with others, it all comes together at the end to make a beautiful thing."

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Rupert Kirby is from Lynton, North Devon, United Kingdom.
Armed with a lifetime of classical music experience, "I will do my best to introduce as many children as I can to experience of the rich heritage from medieval chant, through the baroque, the true classical era of Mozart and Haydn, through the romantics into the modern era. It is unlikely that they will choose to find out about them unprompted."

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James Holmes is from Connecticut.
"Yes, I could be just a listener or bystander and be satisfied with that. But no! My insecurity and passions challenge me, and I have accepted."

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Sam Rubin is from New York.
"What was originally 'boring old rubbish' became this wonderful deep life telling spirit that opened up my own emotional thoughts."

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Bronwyn Edwards is from Williamstown, Australia.
"I love presenting the violin in the Classical tradition and also surprising the students with the new wave of classical mixed with rock and pop music."

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Laurie Niles, Editor and Founder of, is from Pasadena, California.
"I could listen to those pieces by Stravinsky a million more times, and I'm convinced they will never wear out. They are so well-crafted, so intricate, so full of meaning, they will not fall apart at the seams and grow tiresome."

* * *

Emily Hogstad is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin
"Sometimes you can get rich without having any money at all."

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Dave Bazell is from Columbia, Maryland
A poem in praise of classical music, in "double dactyl" meter:

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Kendra Jacque is from Makkovik, Canada
"I believe learning music takes a lifetime"

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John Saunders is from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Classical music: "It's a style of music that set a high standard in performance."

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Joseph Howell is from Conroe, Texas.
"This love affair between me and the classics began fifty years ago, and is still going strong!"

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GUEST BLOG: Adam DeGraff of The Dueling Fiddlers
"Though I have had to put a lot into classical music, I have gotten so much from classical music. So much more than just the music itself."

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Jim Hastings is from Huntsville, Alabama.
"Classical music is what helped me get through the typical ups and downs of childhood, and it continues to be a therapeutic force in my life."

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Karen Allendoerfer is from Belmont, Massachusetts.
"Classical music is so rewarding for me because it is timeless, because it doesn't have to belong to a particular era, because it is not disposable, because it doesn't matter if it's new."

* * *

Azucena Pintado is from Toulouse, France.
"As vegetables, it is a love & hate relationship!"

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GUEST BLOG: Philippe Quint:
"Classical music is not about popularity, and it does not need to be equated to any other music genre. It is simply in a class of its own and requires one important aspect – LISTENING. It's a complex creature, with many layers of colors and structures."

* * *

Karis Crawford is from Ada, Michigan.
Working with the Kenya National Youth Orchestra, "it is a wonderful thing to see these young musicians growing and getting better with each course!"

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Ingrid Popp is from St. Louis, Missouri.
"Classical music often seems to go beyond what we can fully comprehend and I think that is part of the reason it is revered by some and dismissed by others as incomprehensible or boring (I think we often classify as boring things we don’t understand)."

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Mendy Smith is from League City, Texas.
Going to Interlochen made the classical music world both much smaller and much larger.

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GUEST BLOG: Hilary Hahn
"Hilary: If other people tell you about classical music and violins, you will listen?
Cleverbot: Yes, I will."

From Emily Grossman
Posted on September 6, 2012 at 9:03 PM
Don't laugh at me, but I had no clue about this contest. I'm not sure how I managed to miss that. But that explains the running theme and proliferation of blogs lately... I really enjoyed having so many good entries to read lately!

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