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Lexington April Calendar of Events

April is going to be a month full of GREAT DEALS at Willis Music Lexington! Click on the calendar below to see all the events this month. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Guitarists: All month long we celebrate International Guitar Month with special savings on all Fender Telecasters on Tuesdays, and Fender Stratocasters on Saturdays. Take home a Tele or Strat over $375 and save money this month!
  • Band and Orchestra Instrumentalists: Current rental customers will receive special savings on a new Step-Up instrument this month!  Also, thanks to Yamaha we have the perfect graduation gift opportunity for the favorite wind player in your life! Get a $100 mail-in rebate April 1-June 30 on a purchase of a several Yamaha instruments, including Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Euphonium, and Trombone.
  • All Musicians: You will want to come visit our store April 20-23 for our Indoor Yard Sale where tables of items that MUST GO will be on sale! This includes sheet music, accessories, and instruments! RAIN OR SHINE!!!!
  • Finally we are excited for our Spring Recital season to kick-off with several recitals during the month.

 

Clarinet & Saxophone Workshop June 4 2016

Willis Music is excited to collaborate with D’Addario to present a Clarinet & Saxophone Workshop on Saturday, June 4, 2017 from 11am-3pm. This workshop will feature Reserve Method Clinician, Krista Weiss, and will take place at our Lexington, KY location (130 West Tiverton Way). This is a great opportunity for educators and students alike.

krista

Krista’s clinics focus on tone production, air support, and reed care. She also enjoys showing the value of focused, efficient practice techniques and encourages an open discussion of all things clarinet between herself and the students she encounters.

Krista Weiss is a freelance clarinetist and teacher in Indiana and Ohio. Through her work with D’Addario, Ms. Weiss has traveled to dozens of schools across the Midwest to give clinics on clarinet fundamentals and equipment. She also currently serves as principal clarinet of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and second clarinet of the Richmond Indiana Symphony. An active freelancers, Ms. Weiss has recently performed with the Cincinnati SYmphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, indianapolis Opera, South Bend Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. Ms. Weiss also enjoys a career as a studio musician and has performed in dozens of recordings for Hal Leonard Corporation.

This is a great way to gain motivation for the summer. We hope all woodwind players will make plans to attend.

 

Summer of Music Education in Lexington

Our Lexington location has a summer full of
Music Education 
opportunities on its’ schedule.

Save these dates!

 

Saturday, June 4 – D’Addario Woodwind Workshop

Clinician, Krista Weiss, will present a workshop from 11am-3pm on clarinet & saxophone
fundamentals & equipment. Plus you can come test out  D’Addario products for yourself!

Tuesday, June 28 – Carolyn Miller Piano Workshop

Composer, performer, and piano teacher, Carolyn Miller, offers a morning full of
piano pedagogy tips and best practices from 9am-Noon. You won’t want to miss this!.

Friday, July 15 – Yamaha Music Educator Experience

Music Educators: Join us from Noon-5pm for a day of musical fireworks, as a team of
Experts from the Yamaha Corporation share their products made to enrich your life!

Friday, August 12 – DCI Semi-Finals Live Streaming Event

For the third straight year we invite you to pull up a chair, bring a friend,  and enjoy Drum
Corps International live on a big screen and in a thrilling surround sound from 2-10:30pm.

Saturday, September 10 – Young Percussionists Workshop

Created for 5-8 graders percussionists, this workshop featuring local percussion educators
will focus on fundamentals & musicianship for concert percussion & drumset from 1-5pm.


All of these events are free of charge and will take place in the John Thompson Recital Hall at Willis Music.
RSVP to lexington@willismusic.com

Time to get your Sax on!

It’s time for Saxophone Day!

saxophone

Willis Music is a Sax fan so this day is awesome for us! We love all types of music so anytime we get to celebrate, we will take advantage of it!

Was it is? Well check out what holiday insights.com says about it:

Date When Celebrated : Always November 6

Saxophone Day is today. The Saxophone is a classical woodwind instrument. It is an essential instrument in jazz bands, symphonic bands, marching bands and more. It’s only fitting that this great instrument has a day of recognition all to its own.

The Saxophone was invented around 1840. It was created by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musical instrument maker.  The sax is made of brass.

Adophe Sax invented 8 types of saxophones: Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Contrabass, and Subcontrabass. The first Saxophone ever created was the Bass Saxophone. A 9th type of Saxophone, the Soprillo Saxophone, was invented in 2004. It is the smallest Saxophone.

Some famous Saxophone Players (Alphabetical order):

  • John Coltrane
  • Stan Getz
  • Coleman Randolph Hawkins “Hawk”
  • James Moody
  • Charlie “The Bird” Parker
  • Lester Prez Young

Happy Saxophone Day!!!


Origin of Saxophone Day:

Adophe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, was born on this day in 1814. So, the reason for celebrating on this day is apparent.

We did not find any information on who created Saxophone Day, or when this special day was first celebrated.

There are numerous references to “Saxophone Day” for schools, bands, or special events. They are scattered across many different dates.

Who is this Adolphe Sax guy?

Ever wonder where the word Saxophone came from?  Me either, but here’s your answer.

From Wikipedia.

Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (6 November 1814 – c. 7 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is well known for having invented the saxophone.

Early life
Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant, Belgium. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was an instrument designer himself, who made several changes to the design of the horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Career
Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to make conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Adolphe’s first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design, which he patented at the age of 24. Sax relocated permanently to Paris in 1841 and began working on a new set of instruments exhibited there in 1844. These were valved bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so much more successful than those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns. They range in approximately seven different sizes, and paved the path to the creation of the flugelhorn. Saxhorns are widely used today in concert bands and sometimes in orchestras. The saxhorn also laid the groundwork for the modern euphonium.

Sax also developed the saxotromba family, valved brass instruments with narrower bore than the saxhorns, in 1845, though they survived only briefly.[2]

Saxhorn instruments spread rapidly throughout the world. The saxhorn valves were accepted as state of the art and are largely unchanged today. The advances made by Adolphe Sax were soon followed by the British brass band movement which exclusively adopted the saxhorn range. The Jedforest Instrumental Band formed in 1854 and The Hawick Saxhorn Band formed in 1855, within the Scottish Borders, a decade after saxhorn models became available.

The period around 1840 saw Sax inventing the clarinette-bourdon, an early unsuccessful design of contrabass clarinet. He developed around this time the instrument for which he is now best known, the saxophone, patented on June 28, 1846. The saxophone was invented for use in both orchestras and concert bands. Composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842. By 1846 Sax had designed, on paper, a full range of saxophones (from sopranino to subcontrabass). Although they never became standard orchestral instruments, the saxophones made his reputation and secured him a job, teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857.[3]

Sax continued to make instruments later in life and presided over a new saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire. Rival instrument makers attacked the legitimacy of his patents and mounted a long campaign of litigation against Sax and his company. He was driven into bankruptcy in 1856 and again in 1873.

Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858 but made a full recovery. He died in 1894 in Paris and was interred in section 5 (Avenue de Montebello) at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.

 

So that’s how the saxophone was invented and where the name came from.  Here at Moeller/Willis Music West Chester we have one of the best selections of saxes I’ve ever seen.  Come in and check them out today!

10 Tips to Improve Your Sax Playing

sax

Musicians play music because we love it, but everyone has a beginning point and all of us work to improve our performances. Below are some easy ideas to make your time on a sax better & more fun!

Number 1: Post your fingering chart where you see it on a daily basis

For me, there are always one or two very high notes that I forget if they aren’t in the music pieces I am working on. I have posted my fingering chart by my bed and see it before I fall asleep at night. If you don’t have a fingering chart, buy one! They are small, inexpensive and readily available at most music stores.

Number 2: Wet your reed before you play

The first thing I do when I pull my case out is pop the reed I want to use in my mouth, and keep it there while I assemble my saxophone and sheet music. This helps your reed vibrate more efficiently right when you start playing.

Number 3: Pick a position and stay with it

Depending on who taught you to play the saxophone, you either hold your instrument between your legs or to the right side of your legs. There are merits to both methods, and it is completely personal preference. Try both methods, and then pick the one that you prefer. But either way, stick with it!

Changing your position constantly will hurt your ability to play. This is because you will be concentrating on how to reach that difficult fingering through a different hand position instead of a perfect vibrato or even tone. When you switch positions, the angles change. This changes everything!

Number 4: Posture

Remember when you first started classes or lessons, one of the first things you learned was to sit up straight? We’re back to basics for this tip. By sitting up straight, your diaphragm has more room to expand. This means the ability for longer and more powerful notes, and stronger vibrato and tone.

Number 5: Tighten your Ligature

Have you ever gotten that awful bubbly noise of water under your reed? It will completely destroy any piece you try to play, and sometimes it isn’t possible to stop in the middle of a piece. Turning your ligature joint an extra half turn can make all the difference in the world.

Number 6: Make sure your reed is the right level of hardness

Have you ever stopped playing for about a month, and you start to play with your favorite old reed, and you’re like “Wow! I don’t remember having to push this hard last time I played”? And that is because you didn’t! Your embouchure (the way you handle the mouthpiece and reed in your mouth or the muscles controlling those motions) has grown weaker over the month you’ve been away. On the flip side, if you’ve been playing more than usual your embouchure will have grown stronger. Make sure you get the strength of reed that corresponds with your strength for optimum tone!

Number 7: Use a neck strap

Using a neck strap, especially when you’re playing standing up, is crucial. Distributing the weight off of your thumbs enables your fingers to move more swiftly and efficiently.

Number 8: Cite-read a piece before you start learning it

There are special competitions for cite-reading, for both individuals and bands. Being able to look at a piece of music and run through it a few times, and then being able to play it fairly well shows musical prowess. Cite-reading sometimes, even if you don’t want to compete in it, is a great way to stretch your music reading muscles. I tend to cite-read a piece of music that I am going to learn to play, before I start breaking it down measure by measure. I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my music reading ability since starting this. To top it off, once you get the hang of cite-reading it is really fun!

Number 9: Play in an area with good lighting

There is nothing worse than playing in an area with subpar lighting. You can’t see the notes right. Playing in the sunshine or in a well light area just improves your mood. I play below a window and have a lamp by the window for playing at night.

Number 10: Invest in high quality reeds

Have you ever had a reed splinter in your mouth? It hurts and tastes really awful. Since then, I have always purchased a higher quality reed. Originally it was to avoid another “Fantastical Exploding Reed” but my tone quality has improved so much. And please, none of those fiberglass reeds. Only reeds made of cane or other natural materials for better tone and control!

The post 10 Tips to Improve Your Sax Playing appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Our Fantastic Teaching Staff

We tend to take them for granted and don’t talk about them enough so just wanted to take a second to introduce our fantastic teaching staff here at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester!

 

Check out their bios here! Or better yet,  just go ahead and sign up for lessons here!

 

We offer guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboard, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, coronet,  bass clarinet, violin, viola, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and voice lessons and perhaps a few I forgot to mention.

Tri County Willis Music MOVING!!!!!!!

Moving Pic

 

That’s right folks!  We are moving to newly acquired Moeller Music store in West Chester!!
But- we have TONS of stuff that we would rather sell than truck over there!
Our last day in Tri County Mall is Jan. 6th, so stop in, and find a GREAT deal on that thing you have been wanting for a long time!

Special discounts throughout the store, print music, drums, keyboards, guitars, amps, straps, sticks, strings, new and used brass and woodwind instruments!

On a side note: I just want to thank everyone who has shopped with us!  Whether you have been with us for several years, or just recently found us in our corner of the mall, I do truly mean it when I say THANK YOU.  I hope I can continue serving and helping you in your musical efforts, and you should never hesitate to ask me for any help or assistance you might need.  It’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks!  I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and I hope we see each other soon!  -Kevin Schwallie, Manager Willis Music Tri County.

 

USED GEAR MONTH AT WILLIS MUSIC TRI COUNTY!!

We will give you an extra 10% off your new instrument when you trade in your old unwanted gear!!

That’s right folks, you read it correctly!  Every Friday & Saturday through September, anytime you trade in your old gear, we will give you another 10% off the already Promised Lowest Price of your new instrument!  Please call Kevin the Manager to set up a time to bring in your gear, but ANY of our staff is happy to help you select your new instrument.  (Must be 18 or over to trade/sell gear to the store)

See you soon!!!

‘Back to Band’ Time Is Here!! And yes, we have what you need!

Willis Music Tri County prides itself in having all the necessary instruments for your student starting and continuing in school band!  Not only do we have the instruments, we also have all 7 possible learning books for the area schools, cleaning kits, reeds, mouthpieces, music stands and SO MUCH MORE!

We are keeping a file the required supplies for each school in the area.  If you have lost your print out from the school or director DON’T WORRY- we can still help you!

Don’t forget!  We have private lessons available for all your favorite instruments.  Want to really have some fun with that new saxophone or clarinet?  Come find out why our teachers are 2nd to no-one!

If you are an area band director, and you want to double check our records for what your students are required to have- please call Kevin Schwallie: 513.671.3288

BIG BAND BONANZA! It’s time to Step Up!

July 18th- Join us at Willis Music Tri County Mall for the absolute BEST time to select your intermediate, advanced, or pro grade instrument!

We will have specialists ON SITE from: Jupiter, Bach, LeBlanc, Selmer, Conn, Buffet Crampon, Keilwerth, King, Gemeinhardt, Besson, B&S, and Courtois.  Yes!  That’s correct, 12 brands on site to choose from!!!

Have an instrument you want to upgrade? TRADE IT IN!  Need time to pay it off?  Financing will be available!  Excited?  Let us know you coming!!

Questions & Interest?  Email: tricounty@willis-music.com or call Stephanie or Kevin: 513.671.3288!