CORE FACULTY 2017:
violinist/fiddler JULIE LYONN LIEBERMAN, World Styles, Playing Healthy, Technology for Strings, and Creative Musicianship
cellist MATT TURNER, Rock Strings, Jazz, Creative Musicianship
fiddler APRIL VERCH, Canadian and American fiddle styles
violinist RANDY SABIEN, blues, funk, swing, jazz, Western Swing
Dr. Mary Perkinson, DMA
Assistant Professor, Coordinator of String Area
University of Nebraska at Omaha
School of Music, Strauss Performing Arts Center
Omaha Symphony Violinist
Private Studio Director
JULIE LYONN LIEBERMAN, Artistic Director
Julie is the author of eight music books. Her newest book, How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola, and Cello (Hal Leonard) just hit the market. Her other titles include The Creative Band and Orchestra, The Contemporary Violinist, 12 Rock Strings Lesson Plans, Improvising Violin, Rockin’ Out With Blues Fiddle, You Are Your Instrument, Planet Musician, and Alternative Strings: The New Curriculum. She authored the “Creative Musicianship” section of the American String Teacher’s curriculum book, Standards, Goals, and Learning Sequences for Essential Skills and Knowledge in K-12 String Programs.
Her DVD titles include Alternative String Styles in the Classroom (written and produced for ASTA: American String Teachers Association and NAMM: National Association of Music Merchants); Rhythmizing the Bow; Techniques for the Contemporary String Player; The Violin in Motion; Violin and Viola Ergonomics; and Vocal Aerobics. She is also the author of StringsCentral, an app for iPad.
Julie Lyonn Lieberman was one of the first educators invited by Juilliard to teach improvisation to their students in the L&M Department. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world through organizations and institutions like American String Teachers Association, The Starling-Delay Symposium at Juilliard, European String Teachers Association, National Orchestra Festival, Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Suzuki Institute, National String Workshop, International String Workshop, Django in June, The Juilliard MAP Program, National Young Audiences, the Carnegie Hall LinkUp Program and The Academy (a Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard-sponsored program).
Julie has also created seven hours of programming for National Public Radio on jazz violin (The Talking Violin hosted by Dr. Billy Taylor, and Jazz Profiles: Jazz Violin hosted by Nancy Wilson), and over fifty articles for music magazines, including STRAD, STRINGS, Fiddler Magazine, and American String Teacher Journal. In addition, Ms. Lieberman produced four American Jazz String Summits in the eighties and nineties featuring many of the top improvising string players in America, and co-produced three alternative string festivals within American String Teachers 2003, 2004, and 2005 conferences, serving as the chair for the 2004 component.
Julie is a D’Addario Elite Clinician and an NS Design performance artist. She is on the American String Teachers Association’s Wellness Task Force. Her books and DVDs are distributed world-wide by Hal Leonard Publications and currently has a portfolio of over two-dozen string orchestra scores in American and world styles published by Kendor Music, Carl Fischer and Alfred Publications. Her original music is licensed by Cinephonix.
Julie is the recipient of the 2014 ASTA Kudos Award, over two-dozen ASCAP Plus Awards, and three American String Teachers Association’s National Citation for Leadership & Merit awards and was honored to be invited by ASTA’s Board to compose String Dreams for the opening ceremony at the 2015 American String Teachers Association’s Salt Lake City Conference. The score has been published and is now available through Carl Fischer Music.
Julie just finished creating a concert package for schools, Planet Strings Informance. It includes ten scores, video tutorials, and a script.
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MATT TURNER is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading improvising cellists and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Equally skilled as a pianist, Turner teaches in the Jazz & Improvisational Music Department at Lawrence University. He has composed well over two-dozen string orchestra scores that have been published by Alfred, Carl Fischer, and Latham Music.
Turner performs in a myriad of styles and has shared the stage with Cape Breton fiddle sensation Natalie MacMaster, country musician Wanda Vick, singer-songwriter LJ Booth, and jazz musician Bobby McFerrin. He has also played on over 100 recordings.
As a leader, Turner’s recordings appear on Illusions, Stellar, O.O. Discs, Asian Improv, Penumbra, Fever Pitch, Geode, Tautology, and Meniscus Records. Turner is a Yamaha and D’Addario Performing Artist and currently performs and records with Bill Carrothers, Randy Sabien, Hal Rammel, Janet Planet, and Karmadog.
He has also worked with avant-garde musicians Marilyn Crispell, Peter Kowald, Pauline Oliveros, Hal Rammel, Guillermo Gregorio, Scott Fields, and John Butcher, to name a few. Turner has recorded with Sketch/Harmonia Mundi, Nato /Hope Street, Ayler, Clean Feed, Illusions, Music and Arts, Accurate, Polyvinyl, Cadence Jazz and others. He has has also recorded with jazz violinist Randy Sabien, goth vocalist/pianist Jo Gabriel, singer-songwriters Mark Croft and Tret Fure, punk artist Kyle Fischer, Kitty Brazelton’s chamber rockestra Dadadah, alt-country band Heller Mason and with the Pointless Orchestra.
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RANDY SABIEN specializes in a number of styles, including blues, funk, jazz, and Western Swing, to name a few. He has over 35 years of performing experience as a contemporary violinist from appearing on Austin City Limits with Kate Wolf, playing as a guest on Prairie Home Companion, to touring as singer/songwriter Jim Post’s sideman, recording with Greg Brown, doing shows with Corky Siegel, and leading his own band—often featuring triple fiddles.
Sabien founded the string department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1978 and now heads the string department at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He is the author of the groundbreaking jazz method for strings “Jazz Philharmonic” published by Alfred Music. He has five albums to his credit. His latest album, “Soul of a Man,” is available online at randysabien.com.
APRIL VERCH… Fiddler, singer, and stepdancer. April Verch knows how relevant an old tune can be. She was raised surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s country band rehearsing; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions. She thought every little girl learned to stepdance at the age of three and fiddle at the age of six. She knew nothing else and decided early on that she wanted to be a professional musician. She took that leap, and for over two decades has been recording and captivating audiences worldwide, exploring new and nuanced places each step of the way. On February 17, 2017, she will release The April Verch Anthology (Slab Town Records), an 18-track collection celebrating her life’s work. Hand-picked by Verch, the songs on this compilation offer an enchanting mix of regional Canadian, American old-time, bluegrass, country and Americana tracks. The April Verch Anthology is a testament to the many chapters in Verch’s musical journey. Moving from exuberant stepdancer to fiddle wunderkind and silver-voiced singer; from upstart prodigy to mature and reflective songwriter, interpreter, and storyteller. The compilation is an excursion through Verch’s 1998-2015 recordings, featuring tunes and songs dear to Verch as well as a healthy dose of fan favorites and two newly recorded tracks. “Through this anthology, I am reminded of the inspirations with which I began and of the hopes I hold for the future. I take a moment to reflect and to celebrate,” says Verch. While Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and far beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch and her fellow trio members pare down their arrangements, highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar, clawhammer banjo, voices, fiddle, and stepping in intimate conversation. At the heart lies Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing. Sometimes she sings, steps and fiddles all at once, with apparent ease and precision.
Verch is – as they say – a triple threat in performance, her live show a beautiful companion to her music: versatile, robust, and masterfully executed. Verch began her full time touring career in 2000 and has performed around the world, including festival, theatre and performing arts centre appearances in Canada, USA, China, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates. She also presents workshops, master classes, and lectures as part of her tours and at selected music camps. Verch won’t be the one to tell you about her championship titles, nominations, and awards, or the fact that she was one of 6 fiddlers who represented the Canadian fiddle tradition to the world at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, as part of a segment called “Fiddle Nation”. Instead, in speaking with her, you’ll hear about how passionate she is about sharing her music; in small gatherings in remote communities in Iqaluit, to large prestigious concert halls like Mozartsal in Vienna. Even as she plays with the tradition she inherited, Verch keeps the community-fired celebratory side of her music at the forefront, honing a keen awareness of how to engage contemporary listeners.
One of the 12 best things we saw at MerleFest in 2016. – Rolling Stone
Just as contemporary bluegrass has Alison Krauss as an ambassador, the Ottawa Valley has April Verch. – NPR’s Marco Werman on “The World.”
And Verch never forgets the roots of her music, that connection to the people out there in the audience, on the dance floor, to the community sparked by a good song. “It’s about joining together to celebrate everyday life, through music. We’re all in this together.” www.aprilverch.com
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