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Sydney Menees

Michael McLean's Elements

May 9, 2007 at 3:48 AM

As the end of the year nears, time seems to go by at an exponential rate. With finals approaching, stress rises to a fiery inferno! Well, it isn't that bad, but I am a born procrastinator and that really doesn't help when end of the year deadlines come around. With the end of the year comes club/society inductions. I am happy to report I was inducted into National Honor Society, Modern Music Masters (music honor society for orchestra, band, and choir), and German Honor Society. On top of that, I was elected president of the Modern Music Masters and German Honor Society!

Brian Lewis, one of my most favorite violinists and teachers ever, recently released a CD with the London Symphony Orchestra that can be purchased at Barnes and Noble! On the CD is Bernstein's Serenade and the debut recording of Michael McLean's The Elements. Elements was an instant favorite of mine, especially Fire and Water. Listen to the soundclips and you'll see what I'm talking about! I think Michael McLean is one of the most gifted composers of our time. It's amazing how well he was able to make music sound just like water - from a gurgling brook to a 50 foot waterfall. This summer at camp, I'll be taking a composing class with him and I'm very excited about that. I also auditioned for a classes with Brian and I really hope I get in. That would be awesome... Anyway, I would highly recommend the CD.


So long for now, my favorite website!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 5:34 AM
Sydney, it's so funny, I just met Michael McLean last week; he was working with the kids in my Suzuki group. He's a fellow Northwestern Music School alum! :) He's made so many wonderful arrangements for two or more violins, especially arrangements of tangos. I just got this very CD you are talking about in the mail. Looking forward to hearing it! I want to know where to get the music for playing it, and if there's a piano part....
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 1:10 PM
Wow! What a coincidence! My violin program has played a lot of his works and we even commissioned a song from him. He's such a great composer. I love his tango CD too.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 1:50 PM
Wait a minute, about getting our buddy Barnabas Kelemen on Oprah instead? He would just charm the socks off all the little old ladies who watch that show. :) LOL (I know, it's been like four months after that concert and I'm still fixated on him...)
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 8:04 PM
PS - I have to wait another 2 weeks to get my retainer off. Grrr!
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 8:05 PM
Well, BK would be awesome as well, but JB was born and raised in America and went through the school system, etc. but I should mention Barnabás too! Gosh, I keep daydreaming about that concert.
From Bilbo Prattle
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 10:33 PM
I don't think the L'Enfant experiment says anything about American society.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 9, 2007 at 11:18 PM
Haha, riiiight. ;-)
From Dion Wright
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 4:41 AM
Sydney, has Oprah sent you any responses to your previous letters? You might want to find a publicist to get your pitches considered for her show.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 11:53 AM
What it really says is he's a clueless busker. It might say he's willing to let 250 million citizens of his motherland take the hit for it. So who can he make look good besides himself? Who Mr. Avery Fisher national honor award professor one week a semester be a violin big shot mocking everyone else going to work in the morning, sir? P.S. If a letter to some outfit has to be longer than one page, write on one side and use multiple sheets. Ach!
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 12:24 PM
It's one thing to go slumming. It's another thing to go slumming and drag the working man from the bumper of your shiny car in the process. He'd be lucky to get on Jerry Springer after that stunt. Those people are smarter than people think. Smarter than those Avery Fisher rube politicians. P.S. Don't use lined paper either. Ach!
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 2:10 PM
I don't think I've ever heard the United States described with the word "Motherland" before. ;-)
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 2:11 PM
Oh, and lay off Sydney about letter etiquette, willya?....
From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 5:46 PM
Hey Sydney, thats a great letter - if you keep it up, I'm sure Oprah will get a violinist on her show eventually. :)

And thanks for posting about Brian's CD!!! I totally have to buy that now. I can't remember if you were there that year, but in 2004 we played a couple movements of that with him at Ottawa!! It was amazing . . .

From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 8:57 PM
Yeah, I was there, Ruth! Wow, that was awesome.

Jim, your comments are confusing. What could I improve (besides the lined paper)?

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 10, 2007 at 11:04 PM
I was just giving old-school style letter rules. I don't know if they apply these days really. But it's probably like they say you can't be over-dressed. At least men can't. At least they can't unless you're talking about guys like here who own a tail coat. Didn't mean to give you a hard time - you know you're my pal.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on May 11, 2007 at 4:19 AM
I know, Jim. We're BFFs!

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