Monthly Archives: November 2015

CAM to Co-Sponsor NPR’s Michele Norris on April 21st

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Thursday, April 21st, 2016 NPR’s Michele Norris will be speaking at CU Denver. The College of Arts & Media will be co-sposnors along with the School of Education & Human Development and School of Public Affairs.

More details to follow.

Norris is the author of The Grace of Silence, a project that grew out of her NPR series about race in the United States–Race Card Project.

An old friend and new friends in Fort Wayne

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In 1972, I was having a private lesson with Dr. Erwin C. Mueller, my percussion teacher at Ball State University. Transferring to Ball State in the Winter semester, I was having my 2nd or 3rd lesson with him–when the phone rang. It seemed that the principal percussionist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic had fallen very ill, the day before a crucial romantic music festival concert at Clowes Hall in Indianapolis. The phone call to Dr. Mueller was to see if he could fill in for the fallen percussionist.

He hung up the phone and told me that I should go to Indianapolis, play the dress rehearsal and performance. Although I was just 19 years old at the time, I came with several years of experience with various community and regional orchestras around Chicago and beyond. Playing orchestral percussion was my focus in life–at that time.

I played the dress rehearsal and concert, and the conductor Thomas Briccetti was impressed–offering me a section position with the orchestra. I played section percussion there from 1972-74 while finishing my undergraduate degree at Ball State.

Thomas Briccetti played a big part in my life. After finding out that I had Hungarian ancestry, he suggested that if I learned the cimbalom part to Kodaly’s Hary Janos Suite he would program it with the Omaha Symphony (he added that orchestra to his directorships). So in 1981 I played the part–and continued to make recordings and do performances to this day. Actually, not as many performances these days as my day job (as Dean of CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media) takes a great deal of time, energy and effort.

Thomas Briccetti always remembered my filling in on a major concert with his Fort Wayne Orchestra. He recommended me to played extra percussion in the Omaha Symphony while I was percussion teacher at Drake University in Des Moines. We had coffee together in the late 80’s while I was doctoral student at the University of Michigan and he was visiting Ann Arbor. He taught me a great deal about music and loyalty.

Old friend, Andre Gaskins. Now principal cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Old friend, Andre Gaskins. Now principal cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
New friends of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Violetta Todorova, guest concertmaster, and Derek Reeves, principal violist (who sounded great on the extended solo in the 3rd moment of Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite.
New friends of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Violetta Todorova, guest concertmaster, and Derek Reeves, principal violist (who sounded great on the extended solo in the 3rd moment of Kodaly’s Hary Janos Suite).

European jazz guitar website ranks CU Denver #9 in the United States

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UCD Guitar 112015

1. Berklee College of Music
2. University of Southern California
3. University of Miami
4. New York University
5. New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music
6. Purchase College (SUNY)
7. University of North Texas
8. Northern Illinois University

9. University of Colorado Denver

10. California Jazz Conservatory
11. New England Conservatory
12. Eastman School of Music
13. UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
14. The Juilliard School
15. Manhattan School of Music
16. The University of Texas at Austin
17. DePaul University
18. Oberlin Conservatory of Music
19. California Institute of the Arts
20. The University of Louisville
21. Bowling Green State University
22. Peabody Conservatory
23. Utah State University
24. Indiana University
25. Rutgers University

Sean McGowan
Sean McGowan
Paul Musso
Paul Musso

CU Denver Professor Chris Daniels to be featured in documentary

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So proud of Music Entertainment & Industry Studies Professor Chris Daniels who continues his stellar performance career while teaching the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs in CU Denver‘s College of Arts & Media.



BOULDER, CO (OCTOBER 12 2015) — Television producer Lee Aronsohn is credited for work on shows such as The Love Boat, Murphy Brown, Cybill, and is best known as one of the creative minds behind television’s beloved hit sitcoms Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. A University of Colorado Alum, Aronsohn is returning to Boulder on November 22, 2015 to film a rare show by the band Magic Music for his upcoming documentary based on the elusive troubadours. The band will be reuniting for the first time in over 40 years for a show which promises to revive the magic of Boulder in the 1970s.

“They were one of those special groups, they were brilliant, and why they didn’t make it? We don’t know. It might have been because they were 10-20 years ahead of their time. Some of the biggest acts in the world right now (Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show) follow a tradition that Magic Music started.”

• Chuck Morris, President & CEO of AEG Live

“Kudos to acclaimed documentarian Lee Aronsohn for keeping the legend of Colorado’s first jam band alive for music fans.”

• G. Brown, Colorado Music Hall of Fame Director

About The Magic Music Movie: Boulder in 1972 was a very different place. The counterculture was in full bloom, a fact particularly evident in the local music scene.

One of the most fondly-remembered bands of the era was Magic Music: hippie troubadours who lived in teepees, cabins, and converted school buses up in the hills surrounding the city, coming to town periodically to play in new-

age restaurants and coffee shops. The group became a very familiar sight on the University of Colorado Boulder campus — playing (and passing the hat) outside the Student Union between classes.

With their original songs, acoustic instruments and tight harmonies, Magic Music was tremendously popular in Boulder and many people expected them to go on to much wider success. Although they came close, the group never made a record deal, and in 1976 they broke up, leaving only memories of their music to endure among locals and students alike. One of those students was Lee Aronsohn, who left Boulder in 1975 for a life in Los Angeles. Even after 40 years, however, the songs of Magic Music remained in his head.

There was no record to listen to. No CD. No MP3s. So he hummed the songs he remembered to himself. He sang them to his children. Every so often he’d go online to see if there was any trace of Magic Music, but aside from a few passing references there was nothing.

Finally, around two years ago, Aronsohn found a connection to one of the original band members — Chris “Spoons” Daniels, who has remained active in the Colorado music scene with his band Chris Daniels and the Kings.

Through his connection with Chris, Aronsohn learned about the post-Magic Music history of the other band members and, most exciting for him, discovered the existence of never-released demo tracks recorded by the band back in the 70’s.

Having retired from television in 2012 after 35 years making sitcoms, Aronsohn was looking for a new project that would be personally meaningful to him — and he found it in the story of Magic Music. He’s now producing and directing a documentary on the band, their music, and their impact on Boulder in the early 1970’s.

As part of this documentary, all the original surviving members of Magic Music will come together for the first time in 40 years on November 22nd, 2015 for one very special evening at the historic Boulder Theater.

Relive a lost moment in Boulder’s musical history through this once in a lifetime concert. Whether you remember Magic Music or if you’re unfamiliar with the band, join us in celebrating the halcyon days of the 70’s through the music that defined an era.

Tickets are being offered at 1972 prices — $9 each — proceeds will go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS). LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.