Posts By: Garry Kvistad

Concert Honesty Podcast with Josh Quillen

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Josh Quillen of So Percussion asked me to be on his excellent Concert Honesty podcast recently. Not only did my group NEXUS Percussion recently record with So Percussion, but Josh’s other group, NYU Steel, is a longtime performer at my biennial Drum Boogie Festival in Woodstock, NY. I had a blast talking with Josh about… Read more »

Concerts, Sessions and Grandchildren

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It’s been a busy month in Lake Wobegon – I mean Woodstock. Our group NEXUS performed several times and recorded three pieces of Steve Reich’s music with the members of So Percussion and other amazing musicians. One of the sessions was a four-camera video recording at Princeton University of Reich’s Drumming, which is over an… Read more »

Joyous Noise

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Have you seen the Spielberg movie Lincoln? It brought to light all the backroom deals that were cut to free the slaves and establish the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. While our country is still divided in many ways today, we all experience moments of liberation and unity. One such experience was shared by the 175… Read more »

POPS

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That’s what our 2-year-old grandson, Lucca, calls me. Lucca now has a baby sister, our second grandchild, Siena, who just came into the world. When our daughters were born back in the 1980s, everyone said, “Enjoy it while you can because they grow up so fast.” It is so true and I understand this fully… Read more »

Peanut Butterfly Interlochen Boom

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Those were the words given to us by our “high school” orchestra conductor, Thor Johnson, when we were playing a difficult new work by a Japanese composer in the mid-1960s. If you say each word on four beats, fitting the syllables equally in each beat, it helps create a rhythm of 2 + 3 +… Read more »

BREAKING NEWS:

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Music Is Healing Of course, many of us have known this for a long time, but research is coming out more frequently to tell us how and why it is true. Certain sounds can lower your stress level, increase your creative focus and make you more productive! I’m often told that the music of Woodstock… Read more »

A Very Special Christmas Concert

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Soloists in Haydn's Toy Symphony (Garry is the “Little” Drummer Boy) with Maestra Kathleen Beckmann - Photo by Guy Peifer

My day job is making Woodstock Chimes but at night I come out to play. I recently had the privilege once again to play timpani with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra and the local Mendelssohn Club Men’s Chorus. We were joined by student guest performers from the Anderson Center for Autism. The Anderson Center students… Read more »

An 8-Year-Old with Good Taste!

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I must brag a little and say we get a lot of fan mail from people who love Woodstock Chimes. I cherish every letter but recently got one that made all the blood, sweat and tears through the years worthwhile. It was beautifully handwritten by an 8-year-old boy living on the West Coast. Here is… Read more »

Future Leaders are Facilitators

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For the past several years, I have given presentations to classes of future leaders here in the Hudson Valley at the invitation of the Ulster Leadership Development Institute. This twenty-five-year-old program is sponsored by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation. It is coordinated by the foundation’s Executive Director, Ingrid Kulick. Through the nine months of the program,… Read more »

NEXUS in Potsdam

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In 1974, I performed with the Blackearth Percussion Group at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The young percussion teacher at that time was Jim Petercsak. Last week, 43 years later, history repeated itself, but this time it was with the percussion group NEXUS. The instructor in charge was, yes, Jim Petercsak. Professor… Read more »

Unusual Instruments – Log Drum

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Wooden boxes with carved tongues are musical instruments found all over the world. They go by lots of names such as Log Drums, Slit Drums, Kulkul and Teponaztli, to name a few. In this video, I demonstrate some of these instruments from my collection which have a range of sizes and styles. They are universally… Read more »

Broadway, CIA and Timpani

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  Every so often I have the pleasure of playing timpani with a full orchestra. This was the case recently when I played with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra led by Kathleen Beckmann. This concert featured the Broadway star Craig Schulman. The program included big hits from many different Broadway shows, including Les Misérables and The Phantom of the… Read more »

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