Category: Four Winds on Wednesdays

Four Winds on Wednesdays #8

Retail and Zoom Music Today

This Wednesday’s entertaining and informative installment of your LA Winds’ “Four Winds on Wednesdays” features a technology expert, a music retailer, beautiful melodies — and a rocket scientist! It’s called “Retail Music Today,” but it is much more than that. Maestro Piazza shares exciting news about LA Winds upcoming performances at the magnificent Skirball Center.

Then we’ll begin this week’s live stream with a prelude to our upcoming weeklong “Cinco De Mayo” celebration with an LA Winds video performance of Manuel de Falla’s electrifying “Ritual Fire Dance. Next up, Paula Savastano (whom you met when she discussed copyrights, royalties, and licensing) performs excepts from a lovely and poignant work entitled “Earth” by the contemporary Japanese composer Tagatsugu Muramatsu.

Next you’ll explore the world of “Zoom” recordings and the current trends in retail music. Our guests are Michael Armstrong, who has been your LA Winds “Zoom” recording engineer, and Andrew Robinson, a recent arrival to the LA Winds family from Florida (by way of Toronto and Kentucky). Andrew will shed light on current trends in the retail music world, while long- time LA Winds’ stalwart Mike Armstrong will give us a behind-the-scenes look at how he produces such fabulous “Zoom” recordings for the LA Winds and other 1st rate musical ensembles.

Finally, our resident rocket scientist, Winds’ saxophonist Noah Gordon, a graduate of Purdue University’s famed Aerospace program and now a Doctoral candidate at Stanford’s Aeronautics program, performs John Williams’ hauntingly beautiful solo, “Escapades,” from the motion picture “Catch Me If You Can.”

Be sure to also join us on April 28 when our “Cinco de Mayo” celebration begins with a special appearance by LA Winds’ veteran co-principal clarinetist, Daniel Hernandez. We’ll also premiere the Winds’ latest “Zoom” recordings of “Zacatecas” and “La Fiesta Mexicana.” In addition, we’ll reprise the classic recording Col. Arnald Gabriel made of “Fiesta” with the Winds nearly 20 years ago. Don’t miss either of these exciting “Four Winds on Wednesdays” live streams.

Four Winds on Wednesdays #7

A Multi-Dimensional Quintet Of LA Winds — Plus 1!

Episode 7 of your LA Winds’ “4 Winds on Wednesdays” highlights the five instruments of the standard, and much-celebrated, Woodwind Quintet.  We’re calling it “A Multi-Dimensional Quintet of LA Winds — Plus 1!” Our “Quintet” of Alicia Pizzi, Bom An, Stephen Piazza, Chuck Fernandez and Michelle Saddic are featured performing solos, duets, vocals, and original compositions as well as discussing Indian music and recording in Ireland — lots to include, except wind quintets!

We begin by hearing our former co-principal oboe, the “Plus 1!” mentioned above, Jessica Wilkins, in a stirring LA Winds performance of the Bacchanal from the biblical story of “Samson and Delilah” by Camille Saint-Saens.  Current LA Winds co-principal oboe Bom An next shares with us her hauntingly beautiful performance of Ennio Morricone’s main title music from the 1994 motion picture “Love Affair.”   Next, flutist Alicia Pizzi, who was scheduled to perform the passionately reflective “Meditation” from Thais with the Winds before the Pandemic hit, will lead us in a fascinating discussion of Indian music, while LA Winds horn player Michelle Saddic will talk about her work and study in Dublin, Ireland.  She’ll also present a very heart felt (and tongue in cheek!) tribute to the non-biblical contemporary cartoon “hero”— SpongeBob SquarePants.  And finally, bassoonist (and composer, conductor, educator) Chuck Fernandez and I will perform excerpts from the pen of the youthful Beethoven — his duo in Bb for Clarinet and Bassoon.  Without a doubtthis is a multi-dimensional quintet program is an outstanding video to view!

Four Winds on Wednesdays #6

The Wearing of the Green and Other Blarney Stone

Episode 6 of your LA Winds’ “4 Winds on Wednesdays” is a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day titled “The Wearing of the Green and Other Blarney Stones,” featuring 3 outstanding members of our Winds family — Sue Winsberg, Andrea Vancura and Ruth Beaver — as well as the United States Marine Corps Band!

This show opens with a beautiful rendition of the traditional Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision,” as arranged by my colleague Travis Cross (Director of Bands at UCLA) and performed by our very own LA Winds. Next, is featured LA Winds co-principal flutist and Irish and Scottish music aficionado, Sue Winsberg, as she shares with us her expertise and experiences with Irish song and dance.

Before returning to Ireland, we’ll take a detour 900 miles East and 700 years back in time as we feature a work by LA Winds’ trombonist and composer Andrea Vancura. Andrea who talks about her Czech heritage and her powerful and inspiring composition, “Pravda Vitezy,” celebrating the Czech patriot Jan Hus. Excerpts from the LA Winds’ 2017 recording of this profound work is featured.

Next, LA Winds bassoonist Ruth Beaver — who like Sue and Andrea, was featured in our “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds” series — performs an entertaining movement from a unique work inspired by precious stones. In this case, it’s not the Blarney Stone, but rather the purported healing powers and undeniable beauty of the “Tiger’s Eye” stone.

Closing out this live-stream celebration is the US Marine Corps Band (with LA Winds’ alum, Parker Gaims) in a very moving rendition of “Irish Tune from County Derry,” which many of us know as “Danny Boy.”  Sue introduces this work with a very touching reading of the poem. My guess is there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

Finally, be sure to join us on March 31 for our next live stream program — “A Multi-dimensional Quintet of LA Winds — Plus 1!” featuring 6 of your LA Winds’ most versatile instrumentalists, educators, composers, arrangers, publishers, pianists — and, yes, singers!

Our “Virtual Wind Quintet” will consist of Alicia Pizzi (flute), Bom An (oboe), yours truly, Stephen Piazza (clarinet), Chuck Fernandez (bassoon) and Michelle Saddic (horn).  Tune in on March 31 to find out some of the hidden talents of these engaging LA Winds stalwarts!

See you on Wednesday and thanks for your continued support!

Four Winds on Wednesdays #5

A Celebration of the LA (Wood) Winds

This fifth installment of Four Winds on Wednesday features three of our most talented and veteran members, Geoff Nudell, Bob Crosby and Chuck Fernandez. Please enjoy this musical treat!

These three outstanding woodwind specialists make up a core group of musicians who have helped transform the LA Winds into one of the nation’s premiere community ensembles. With a combined history of over 50 years with your LA Winds, they bring a wealth of experience, anecdotes and memories that I’m sure you will want to hear about.

Geoff performs a hauntingly beautiful selection from the 1953 motion picture “The Bad and the Beautiful” with some stunning photos of Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas, the movie’s co-stars.  Bob shares some of his extensive musical past — including a film clip from his appearance on the 1950s Dinah Shore TV show!  And Chuck shares with us a beautiful performance of the well known ballad “Tenderly” with jazz guitarist Massimo Sammi accompanied by Chuck’s “Song of Angels” flute orchestra — a fascinating combination and a real sonic treat!


Four Winds on Wednesdays #4

Two Musical Stars and Two Legal Eagles!

In this fourth installment of Four Winds on Wednesday attorney Mark Markus (clarinet) and administrative manager for intellectual property and royalties Paula Savastano (flute) are the featured guests. And two of your LA Winds “Co-Principals” – Juan Rivera (flute) and Jason Beaumont (horn) – share the sometimes-circuitous journeys that brought them to the Winds. Many of you will recall Juan’s stunning performance of the Mozart Flute Concerto a few seasons ago, as well as Jason’s spectacular presentation about the French horn for our “Summer Sounds” series. Please enjoy this musical treat!

Four Winds on Wednesdays #3

Gershwin, Guitars, Grand Cru … and Poppins too!

This session begins and ends with selections from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. You will also enjoy wine tasting with Steve Woloshin and Scott Mandell. The Pacoima Middle School Singers perform selections from Mary Poppins. Joel Amromin, guitarist and folksinger treats us to some cowboy country music vocals. Enjoy!!

Four Winds on Wednesdays #2

That’s Entertainment!

This session begins with a march “The Purple Carnival” by Harry Alford performed in 2013 by the LA Winds conducted by Maestro Piazza. Next we have featured host and solo clarinetist Stephen Piazza performing “The Terminal” followed by actress/trumpeter Carolyn Mareghi and technical director/saxophonist Claudi Peterson. You will also hear Maestro Piazza interview Caryn Rasmussen, the arranger of “The Terminal” and a beautiful tenor saxophone performance by Caryn.

Four Winds on Wednesdays #1

Featuring host Stephen Piazza and guest co-host Charles Fernandez, oboist Kelly Smith and flutist Susan Craig Winsberg.