Garry Kvistad: Blog

Festivals of the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York

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This region, which is the home of Woodstock Chimes, is known for its beautiful environment, its history and its culture. There are almost too many things to choose from, such as the many wonderful festivals of all sorts. I recently played in the orchestra for the Festival of the Voice in Phoenicia, NY. This is… Read more »

Wolfgang and Amy

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived for only 35 years, creating I some of the most incredible music during his short stay on this planet. Amy Winehouse lived for only 27 years, also creating a wealth of music, albeit quite different. In 1984, the movie Amadeus offered the public a fictionalized account of Mozart’s life based on… Read more »

Wilbraham Monson Academy, Wilbraham, Mass.

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Every now and then I have the pleasure of working with young students and it happened recently when I was invited to give workshops and a concert at the Wilbraham Monson Academy in central Massachusetts. The students there were wonderfully receptive to the concepts and ideas that I presented relating to instrument building, tuning, business… Read more »

Awareness of the Autism Spectrum

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April is National Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. I am very proud of the initiative that we took a year ago in developing the Woodstock Chimes for Autism, which was inspired by 8-year-old Tyler Doi, who has high-functioning autism and an extraordinary musical acuity that enables him to identify… Read more »

Woodstock Chimes: Drumming to a Different Beat

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Drum circles in the broadest sense have been around since the first caveman started beating on a log. There is something about drumming that is both primal and cathartic. Unlike most other instruments, it is possible for anyone – including non-musicians – to play rhythms on a drum (or any percussion instrument) immediately and join… Read more »

Freedom or Restriction?

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When I was growing up everything was pretty black and white. You drove a Ford or a Chevy. You drank a Coke or a Pepsi. You had a choice of NBC, CBS, ABC and (eventually) PBS on TV. We now live in an interesting time where you have a zillion choices. We are offered dozens… Read more »

Bells, History, Phillies, Cheese and Drumming

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  I have an affinity with Philadelphia. It’s not because I make bells and they have a cracked bell. It’s not because I am a historian, which I am not. Nor am I a Philadelphia sports fan. I like cream cheese, but it’s not that either. I was reminded that my connection to Philadelphia is… Read more »

Interpreting the Catskills

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The Catskill Mountains of the Hudson Valley are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range and is considered a dissected plateau created by erosion. It is known around the world for its natural beauty, its arts colonies such as Byrdcliffe, the comedy resorts of what was known as the “Borsch Belt”, the 1969 Woodstock Festival and,… Read more »

Steve Reich and Philip Glass Reunion Concerts at BAM in Brooklyn

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As a member of the Steve Reich and Musicians ensemble since 1979, I’ve participated in several premiere performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) through the years. Last week I had the honor of being part of a three-day series of concerts showcasing both Steve Reich’s and Philip Glass’s music at this prestigious concert… Read more »

Living and Eating in the Hudson Valley

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Woodstock Chimes’ headquarters is located in the heart of the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. Our facility is in the watershed of New York City’s pure reservoir system and we are surrounded by the beautiful Catskill Mountains. The Hudson River. which inspired many artists and musicians throughout the years, is also nearby. The area… Read more »

Stressful Boredom

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Opera is considered one of the most refined musical art forms. It combines instrumental music, theater and singing to a very high level. Some of the most profound music is from the opera repertory. Many of the major composers throughout history have written operas beginning with early works of composers such as Monteverdi and continuing… Read more »

Marketing versus Sales

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Early on in the beginning years of Woodstock Chimes, I attended a talk given by a marketing executive of the Stanley Tool Company. I walked away with a very important message. He explained the difference between marketing and sales using a simple drill bit. Basically, he said that they sell drill bits but they market… Read more »

Unusual Instruments – Sound Effects

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Percussionists are often called upon to play instruments that are sometimes not even classified as percussion instruments. A huge category within this subset are sound effects. Sound effects used in movies began with Jack Foley in 1927. Foley Art is used throughout the film industry today and many of Jack’s techniques are still a mainstay… Read more »

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