Category Archives: music

Congratulations to Althea & Naomi!

Introducing Althea and Naomi, my featured musicians for November and December!

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I am delighted to introduce a wonderful family who I have been very lucky to make music with for many, many years now. Althea and Naomi have been with me since I was teaching in our smaller house when my sons were very small, they stayed with me when I taught in the West Music conservatory for several years, and they are my stalwart Friday friends in my current home studio.

I have seen a huge amount of musical development from each of them over the years and I have also had the real privilege of being alongside them as they grew and gathered many other interests and continued to keep music in their lives while they explore ballet, taekwondo, basketball, art and many of the other pleasures of life. I encourage you to read their answers above to see all the wonder they find in the world.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I get a real surge of joy from seeing my students making music with their family members and so I especially love when their dad Ryan joins them on mandolin and guitar and their mom Jen joins them on piano and flute. Our fellow beloved Family Folk Machiners and audience members also know what marvelous singers they all are.

This family of truth seekers and kindness givers weaves their love of music into the splendid landscape of life’s many treasures and I stand in awe of all the beauty they share with us.

Haunted Irish Folk Music at the Sanctuary on Friday, October 26

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Frank, Joe, Keith and I have a show for you that is full of all the best of our most haunted music. Ghosts and monsters abound!

Film Release

Copy of Cinema.jpgOur 11 year old son Atticus has been very busy. He decided some months ago that he wanted to create a live action version of one of his favorite fairy tales. When he decides something, so mote it be.

Atticus is the star of this new film version of Jack & the Beanstalk. He is also the scriptwriter/editor, the director, the cinematographer, the costumer, the prop master, the film editor, and the composer/performer of the musical score. His beloved accordion teacher Jill VanDorpe worked closely with him as a coach on this project and she does a beautiful job of playing Jack’s Mother.

Atticus expertly cast his father as the Giant (don’t miss his impeccable death scene!), his brother Liam as The Creepy Old Man (wearing my favorite costume in the film), and me as the Cow (who looks uncannily like a panda) and also as the Giant’s Wife.

Atticus has created a website that links directly to his YouTube channel to make viewing the film as easy and accessible as possible.

Please consider taking ten minutes from your day to view his film and to leave him some encouragement. You will be glad that you did. We are very grateful for your support of our young artist.

Old Soul

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Photo by Christina Patramanis

Thank you, Kalona Brewing Company! Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. Here’s to many more delicious years.

Kalona Brewing 5th Anniversary (Thurs, Sept 13 from 6 to 8 pm)

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Keith Reins & Tara McGovern
Kalona Brewing 5th Anniversary
Thurs, Sept 13 from 6 to 8 pm

Congratulations to Silas!

Introducing Silas, my featured musician for September and October!Silas

I’ve only had the privilege of working with Silas for one year and it is astounding to look back and see all that we’ve already explored together.

Silas is a natural adventurer, choosing to learn about the world by jumping right into the experiences that spark his curiosity. We had only been working together for a few weeks when he arrived at his lesson with his first composition in hand. Together we played through it and I helped him translate what he had written using finger numbers into standard notation. Oh, the thrill when the computer played back his song to him!

Since then, the compositions have been flowing steadily. I have a file of student compositions that I keep on my computer and Silas’s creations now make up almost 20% of the content in that file. It is fascinating to observe how the musical concepts that we explore in lessons organically manifest themselves in his compositions as we progress.

Silas’s technique continues to strengthen along with his creative victories so he is well placed to soon reach his goal of “playing piano very fast” that he states above. He capably achieves all that he sets out to accomplish by taking on challenges at his own beautiful pace with his eager, openhearted mindset toward learning.

My students inspire me so much.

Introducing Coppers & Brass

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Introducing… Coppers & Brass

Frank Claudy, flute & whistles
Joe Dutcher, bodhrán
Tara McGovern, fiddle & vocals
Keith Reins, guitar & vocals

Come celebrate our newly christened band at one of our favorite places, the Sanctuary Pub in Iowa City, on Saturday, September 15 from 5 to 7 pm!