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Remembering David Crowder

  
  
  
David Crowder

On a Friday morning at the end of June, everyone at SHAR was saddened to hear that our master bow restorationist David Crowder had passed away after a lengthy battle with emphysema. Aaron Johnson, the Repair Shop Coordinator, shares his memories of David in this brief blog, remembering especially David's intelligence, humor, and eclectic interests. We'll miss you, David! 

The end of June was a surreal time for us in the Repair Shop. Our master bow restorationist, David Crowder, passed away after a lengthy battle with emphysema. David was 75. While it may not have come as a surprise to someone objectively looking at his health condition, it still managed to catch us off guard.

Before his career in bow making began, he was a code breaker in the US Navy, and then a college professor. As I got to know him over the past couple of years, he would occasionally share one of a number of crazy stories from his past life. Over time, I learned that even though David had a rather gruff exterior, he was an incredibly interesting man who held himself to a very high standard of quality in his work. In addition to bow restoration, David also had a great love of languages, logical deduction puzzles and, oddly enough, video games. One of the biggest surprises I’ve had during my time at SHAR was when David visited me on a Saturday and we proceeded to have a lengthy discussion of Zelda, different gaming platforms, and Call of Duty. I drove home and had a genuine “You will not believe what happened today” story for my wife.

David joined our staff in 1996 after working as an independent bow maker in Pittsburgh and Nashville. For 17 years he worked servicing SHAR’s customer, consignment and high end bow work. His attention to detail and excellence in his craft will be missed. I, however, will miss his stories even more.







SHAR Has a New E-Magazine

  
  
  
Pizzicato Spring 2013 cover

Hello to the SHAR faithful out there! Today marks the release of our first issue of Pizzicato, an e-zine (electronic magainze) devoted to all things strings. Click on the cover below to read the issue. Feel free to share the magazine with your friends, students, and teachers!

Making the Case for Retail Stores

  
  
  
andy5

Today's blog is from Andy Monefeldt, the manager of SHAR's Ann Arbor retail store. Andy makes the case for visiting SHAR's retail store in Ann Arbor. Sure, everyone will continue to shop online for a long time to come; that's not going to change. But perhaps there's something to be said for SHAR's retail store – you get the same great prices and wide selection but with unmatched in-person customer service.

Until a few years ago, I was doing the majority of my Christmas shopping online. Like most people, I didn’t find myself with a lot of free time to actually go shopping. I work full-time plus at SHAR Music, I play with three community orchestras in the area, and I have a studio of bass students, so it’s rare for my day to be over by the time I punch out for the evening. This means that there's usually a rehearsal somewhere from 7:30-10 at the end of my day, or a few students coming over for lessons after 6, with serious tennis ball interaction with my dog (an Austrailan Cattle Dog) shoehorned in between everything else. With such a hectic schedule, my free moments are nothing more than sweetly singing sirens luring me into the Rocks of Procrastination. All told, I am a world-class procrastinator when it comes to things like shopping.

For most holiday seasons, I generally knew what I was looking for, and while the stores around Ann Arbor (where I live!) had all of the items I was looking for, it was easier to be able to sit in my living room with a cup of hot chocolate, my feet up, and shop online. I could sit there, cozy and stationary, and search for anything that I could possibly want and have it shipped directly back home in time for Christmas. Then last year I procrastinated worse than usual, and while I could still find everything I needed online, there wasn’t enough time left to have things shipped before Christmas. So I jumped in my car and started driving frantically around Ann Arbor. I hit up Macy’s...Roo’s Roast (a great local coffee shop)...Barnes and Noble...REI. In the end, my feet-dragging didn’t matter: I found what I was looking for and also got a little something extra. I ended up purchasing an additional book, one that my brother hadn’t specifically asked for, but one that a store employee recommended to me. My brother loved it.



SHAR's 50th Anniversary Recital: A Video Diary

  
  
  
SHAR 50th Anniversary


To celebrate SHAR's 50th Anniversary, we held a recital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Employees and friends of SHAR came out to watch their coworkers and community memebers perform their favorite pieces. The applause was hearty, the music was excellent, and everyone was in fine spirits. So that we can relive the night (and share it with you!), we edited videos of the performances and put them up on our YouTube channel. Enjoy!

One sad note: There was a performance of Johannes Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 2 in A-Major but the videographer – me! – got so wrapped up in the music he didn't notice the tape was running out. Apologies to the Brahms fans out there and the performers of that piece... 


PROGRAM

Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major K. 423, Rondo
W. A. Mozart




Three Latin American Miniatures, III
Vinicio Meza




Miniatures for Viola, Clarinet, and Piano
VI. Nocturne, VII. Allegro vivace ma non troppo
Max Bruch






Octet in E-flat Major
Allegro moderato ma con fuoco
Felix Mendelssohn




Blues Etude 
Jeremy Cohen




Andante-Shcherzo
Paul Pierné




Nocturne No. 20
Frederic Chopin




Valse-Scherzo in C Major Op. 34
Tchaikovsky



 

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Winning Performances

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor shares videos of the winning groups from our 2012 String Quartet Competition. Watch below!

Division 2: 
Violinists Sho Harvey and Trevor Herman Hilker, violist Jacob Caldwell, and cellist Angelina Cicchella formed their string ensemble in the fall of 2010 as the Dexter High School String Quartet. During their first year, in May 2011, the quartet performed in the MYAF. Upon entering their senior year of high school, the members renamed their ensemble the A Quartet.” They played the Grieg String Quartet for District S&E and went on to states in March 2012 to be nominated to MYAF for their performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8.

"A Quartet" has enjoyed practicing and playing together over the past two years.  Each member plans to attend college in the fall of 2012. Sho plans to double major in violin performance and biochemistry at either Case Western University or U of M. Trevor will attend U of M where he will study in the honors program of the College of LSA. Jacob is planning to study philosophy at the College of Wooster. Angelina will attend the University of Pugent Sound in Tacoma, Washington to pursue a degree in cello performance.




Division 1:
Although this is their first time playing with each other in the Calliope Quartet, Dana Johnson, Giancarlo Latta, Nathan Carrillo, and Daniel Rothchild have played together for several years in various ensembles. They are all members of the Pioneer Ensemble, a group of Pioneer High School students who play gigs around the community.

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Division 2 Finals

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor shares videos from the second round of our 2012 String Quartet Competition. Watch below!

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Division 1 Finals

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor shares videos from the second round of our 2012 String Quartet Competition. Watch below!

After surviving the first round, these Division 1 Quartets dazzled the judges and audience in the Competition Finals!

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Division 2

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor shares videos from the first round of our 2012 String Quartet Competition. Watch below!

On April 15, 2012, twelve quartets came to SHAR to compete for a chance to prove that they are the best high school string quartet in Michigan. Michael Avsharian, Executive Vice President of SHAR Music; Kathleen Grimes, principal violist in the Ann Arbor Symphony; and Robert Reed, cello professor at Eastern Michigan University, acted as judges to help make this extremely difficult decision.



Divsion 2 Quartets:
 

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Division 1

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor shares videos from the first round of our 2012 String Quartet Competition. Watch below!

On April 15, 2012, twelve quartets came to SHAR to compete for a chance to prove that they are the best high school string quartet in Michigan. Michael Avsharian, Executive Vice President of SHAR Music; Kathleen Grimes, principal violist in the Ann Arbor Symphony; and Robert Reed, cello professor at Eastern Michigan University, acted as judges to help make this extremely difficult decision.

SHAR String Quartet Competition 2012 - Overview

  
  
  
Megan Fedor

SHAR Apprentice Megan Fedor describes our 2012 String Quartet Competition and presents the highlights in a snazzy video. Watch below!

April was an exciting month for us here at SHAR, hosting a Quartet Competition for Michigan high school string quartets! We had applicants from all over the state, representing a dozen high schools and youth orchestras. Quartets were divided into two divisions, depending on the size of their school orchestra program, and we able to choose their own repertoire.  Each quartet was competing for a chance to win a quartet of Presto Impulse Bows (worth approx. $2,500!), medals, and individual gift certificates to SHAR Music.

All quartets competed in front of the judges on April 15th, and were narrowed down into the top three finalists from each division.  These six quartets went on to compete in front of a live audience on April 16th, the winners were crowned, and these quartets performed their entire movement.

Watch below to see a preview of the competition—full videos are coming soon!

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