I was recently chosen as the subject of a photojournalism project by Ohio University student Lucas Reilly. Lucas is a former student and it was great to reconnect with him and have him shadow me for a few days. Not only did he impress mt with his photos, but he was amazingly professional and discrete while capturing these images.
After several months of scheming and planning the first ever Athens Ohio Guitar Flash Mob finally happened on Saturday morning. We met at 10:15am to rehearse and at 11:00am we encircled the farmers market shoppers in the center of the mall with 28 acoustic guitarists and launched into Don McLean’s epic song “American Pie.” Each verse featured a different singer (listed below) and everyone joined in on the choruses. By the final two choruses we had just about everyone in the mall singing along. I felt it was a great success and hope to organize a similar performance again sometime in the future. Scroll down for more information on the mob and for photos. I’ll put more behind-the-scenes information in a different post.
American Pie Flash Mob Singers
Verse 1: John Horne • Verse 2: Tag Hauschild • Verse 3: Lucas Reilly • Verse 4: Dan Wasserman • Verse 5: Charlie Houtz • Chorus Singers: Peter Babrow • Sarah Clary • Jordan Dean • Marcus Fakler • Craig Garrelts • Sydney Hardy • Zach Hitchcock • Brad Huffman • Erin Malone • Carter McCutchan • Brytton McGuire • Emersynn McGuire • Misha Mochanov • Matt Oviatt • Zach Quillen • Kyle Reynolds • Rockin’ Reggie Robinson • Sam Terkel • Madison Vassari • Nick Weckman • Mike Witter • Kevin Xiao • Ben Ziff • (Please let me know if I missed anyone!)
Following the flash mob performance I held a short student recital. The program is below.
Student Recital Program – Saturday January 28 2012
Rock Riff Medley: Sweet Home Alabama • You Really Got Me • Back in Black • Crazy Train • I Love Rock and Roll
Star Wars – John Williams
Volga Boatman – Traditional Russian Folk Song
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Johnny Marks
Readymade – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Jordan & Milena Dean
I Love Rock & Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Crossroads – Eric Clapton
Alchemy – Girls Dead Monster
Home – Jack Johnson
Across the Universe – John Lennon
Layla – Eric Clapton
Blues Jam in A
Sometimes I can’t believe how much music my students haven’t heard. So I made this list to help point them toward some of the best guitarists of all time. With the advent of youtube, grooveshark, spotify and other services checking out new music has never been easier. Or cheaper. So pick an artist, go to YouTube, and start listening!
70 Guitarists You Really Should Know About *
The Edge (U2)
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)
Alex Lifeson (Rush)
Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
Pete Townshend (The Who)
Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
Angus Young (AC/DC)
Stevie Ray Vaughan
*This list reflects my personal tastes. I’m attempting to recognize both musicians that are often overlooked by casual listeners and musicians that young listeners may have not yet been turned on to. Many artists cross genres so don’t get too hung up on the labels. Yes, one could argue that I left so-and-so off the list. Whatever, just listen…
I’ve been enjoying working with the music therapy students at Ohio University for the past couple of years now. One thing we’ve never fully addressed in class is when and how to change their strings. I’ve purposely avoided dealing with this in the past because I felt that no matter how well I explain the process, unless the students receive have hands-on experience they’re not likely to remember it when they change strings down the road. Eventually I realized that many of the students were playing on the strings that came on their guitar when they purchased it. In at least one case this meant the strings were over two years old – yikes!
So last night I gave a presentation to the Ohio University chapter of AMTAS. The good folks at D’Addario Strings sponsored the event and provided strings for everyone in attendance and enough string winders for those who wanted help changing their strings during the workshop. The left over strings were donated to the music therapy department and will be used for student and client guitars as needed.
I was a little chagrined by the students eating pizza while changing strings, but there’s only so much I can control. 🙂