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Dec 23

Holiday Greetings from the mountains of Florida!

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink , violin , voice

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Intrepid Expedition Everest Explorers wish you a Happy Holiday!

We’d like to extend the best of the season to our entire studio family. We’re back from our road trip and looking forward to seeing all of you soon, starting the week of January 7.

Happy Holidays to one and all, and a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

This just in: congratulations to studio student Kathryn McGuire for her successful audition for The Intimate Opera Company’s upcoming productions of La Traviata and The Mikado. Awesome!

Dec 21

New Orleans and News!

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

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Bourbon Street on a recent weeknight

There is, and could only ever be one New Orleans. Our homeward bound trek along Interstate 10 gave us a day to savor the city’s unique flavor. The Red Fish Grill provided a dinner I’ll remember for years to come. Check out their double chocolate bread pudding for dessert. OMG.

The real treat came with a stroll along Bourbon street. It was buzzing with activity, even on a Wednesday night. Music streamed out of practically every doorway. We were awed by a makeshift brass band which took up residence on a street corner. Their robust sound, a funky, updated tribute to traditional dixieland playing was at once honest, vital and virtuostic. Most amazing of all, none of group appeared to be older than a teenager.

Beyond the French Quarter, one doesn’t have to look far to find evidence of Katrina. The local newscasts still feature stories of the many struggles this proud city still faces.

What an embarrassment that such destruction and poverty can continue to persist so long after the hurricane. This is our country, these people our citizens, this music our heritage. Dear Lord!

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Impromptu street concert worthy of Lincoln Center

It’s been a wonderful trip. Still, we’re looking forward to being home, and sharing the holidays with friends and family.

Some special notes of congratulations to Alpert Studio students Gabi Martinez upon her acceptance to Oberlin Conservatory and also to Mackenzie Orr who was selected to perform the lead role of Mary in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center. Kudos to these hard working, talented students.

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Dec 15

Finding Nemo is quite a find

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

Finding Nemo stage show
Finding Nemo Musical Stage Show at Walt Disney World
Image copyright wdwinfo.com

Today’s return trip to Animal Kingdom brought us an unexpected treat. Disney’s Finding Nemo the Musical, a stage version of the popular animated feature is by far the best such live show we’ve ever seen on a Disney Property.

Brilliantly performed, with dazzling puppetry effects (by Michael Curry of Lion King fame), the 30 (or so) minute production does an amazing job of capturing the spirt and storyline of the full length film. There are 19 original songs by Tony award winner Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez (of Avenue Q.) The songs and narrative are expertly intertwined into a compelling story that kept even the large contingent of tiny tots in the audience riveted, and captured imaginations of young and old. The theater is comfortable, with good visibility all around. Sound and lighting were flawless.

The three of us walked out swept away by the emotion of the whole thing. Brandon made us stop to buy the CD before we could leave! I don’t know of this show will ever make it to Disneyland, but if you’re planning a trip to Orlando, be sure to put this one on your list!

Dec 14

Destination Disney

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

Brandon and Melanie at Epcot
A beautiful day at Disney’s Epcot

“I always thought that big sphere was white, but it’s silver,” mused Brandon. There wasn’t much else that surprised him at Epcot, after spending a couple of days in the park. He led us through the attractions and exhibits with an air of familiarity. It was likely the product of years of immersion in all things Disney.

Still, the beauty and sweep of Epcot is striking in person. Though it hasn’t realized Walt’s dream fully, there is much to appreciate. We’ve enjoyed comparing details of Florida’s Magic Kingdom to our own much more familiar park. Animal Kingdom’s recreation of jungle terrain is a natural for a park built on Florida swamp land. Disney’s imagineers gave us a tour de force in it’s attention to detail throughout.

We’ve done a good job scratching the surface in two days, and will hopefully see most of the rest before we depart on Wednesday. My fav of the trip so far: dinner at Epcot’s Rose and Crown. What could be better than a gourmet pot roast dinner, accompanied by a big glass of Bass Ale, all at a table overlooking the fabulous Illuminations fireworks display?

It’s been a great trip, with some beautiful rainbows along the way. Here’s hoping your December is equally spectacular! We’ve added more photos to our online album.

Dec 09

On the road…again!

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

Riverwalk San Antonio
“Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX

I’ve long promised my family a trip to Disney World, and it’s finally a reality. Here’s the proof: a snapshot from day two of our trip, taken on the way to dinner at the famous Riverwalk. It was a balmy night when we arrived in San Antonio, after two days and over 1200 miles on Interstate 10. It’s been a lot of miles, almost as many trucks, and a little rain, but overall quite uneventful and relaxing.

Here’s our online photo journal of the trip, if you’d like to join us.

Wherever this Holiday takes you, my hope is that it finds each of us happy, safe, and grateful for the many gifts and blessings we enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Oct 20

Autumn Studio Recital

By billalpert | Events , violin

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Pictured from top left: Wendy Waggener, Seraphina Oney, Erin Archer, Marie Muratalla, Bill Alpert. Bottom left: Jeremy Oh, Sarah Kuriyama, Edison Adler and Maki Davis. Photo courtesy of Rick Adler.

Kudos to selected violin students of Wendy Waggener and Bill Alpert’s violin studios who spent a beautiful and enjoyable fall afternoon sharing their talents! For many it was a day of firsts; Edison Adler’s very first violin recital, and Libby Salomon’s (not pictured) first opportunity to perform from memory. Also this was the first strings-only recital for the Alpert Studio, joined by students and families from Wendy’s studio and Foothill Suzuki Strings. Many thanks to the families who made it possible and to Janet Noll for her artistry and professionalism at the keyboard.

P.S. Voice students: We have set aside the date of Dec 1 at 4:00 p.m. for our fall recital. Please make a note of it!

Oct 11

Studio Students in Performance

By billalpert | Events , voice

Catch Alpert Studio students Gracie Unger and Mackenzie Orr sharing the role of Maggie in the Grove Theatre production of Lost Spirt. It’s a new show starring broadway headliners Dale Kristien (Phantom of the Opera’s Christine) and Bill Hutton, the original Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

For information and tickets visit the Grove’s website at http://www.grovetheatre.com/ or call (909) 920-4343. The theater is located at 276 E 9th St., Upland.

And on a lighter note, enjoy Brandon Alpert’s performance of Randy Newman’s “When She Loved Me” during AMDA’s recent open mic night, in Hollywood.

Aug 05

Alpert Studio August Schedule

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

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Starting our vacation; a field outside of Flagstaff, AZ.

The closing of Oz marks the official start of our family vacation; the first stop being Flagstaff, AZ. It’s a place that brings back a lot of happy memories. The photo above was taken on a 30 mile bike jaunt to Sedona, where I caught the late afternoon sun warming my spectacular descent into Oak Creek Canyon. Next was a two day visit to explore the ancient ruins of Mesa Verde, Colorado. It’s a unique spot, and we’ll remember the brilliant starry night that became even more dazzling when our isolated hotel experienced a power failure on the first night of our visit!

I’m writing this from Telluride, Colorado. It’s our first visit to this quirky mountain town with a flavor that’s a bit of a throwback to the 60’s. Spectacular scenery is the rule here, as you can see from the waterfall behind me, and the view I earned after a rugged climb on an old mining road.

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Cooling off in the mist of Bridal Veil Falls after a hot and dusty climb

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Spectaular Telluride (in the distant valley) includes everyone from hippies to the celeb jet set

Stay tuned for some more images of our trek to Grand Teton National Park. We hope to leave our reflection in many a Rocky Mountain stream along the way!

Here’s our teaching schedule for August:

Violin Students: Lessons resume on August 21st, according to normal schedule.

Vocal Students: Melanie will be off until after Labor Day. Lessons will resume Tues. Sept. 4th. Students will be contacted the last week of August to set up fall schedules. Please let Melanie know ASAP if you have any specific concerns or requests. Returning students will be kept as close as possible to their previous schedule unless otherwise requested.

Thanks, and enjoy your summer!

Bill Alpert

Jul 21

The Wizard visits Rancho Cucamonga

By billalpert | Events , voice

DorothyDaniella Samuel as Dorothy

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Brandon Alpert, Daniella and Cesar Quintero in rehearsal for Wizard of Oz

Congratulations to Alpert Studio students who participated in the recent sellout run of Wizard of Oz at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center. It was a fabulous, professional level show, and certainly one of the highlights of the Lewis Family Playhouse season.

Studio students participating in this production include Daniella Samuel (Dorothy), Brandon Alpert (Cowardly Lion), Lindsey Rupp (Glinda), Sarah Hinrichsen, Sarah Jackson, Maggie Anderson, Frankie Libutti, Michael Sturgis, Marissa Henkle, Ashley Blackwell, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie Orr, Kathryn McGuire and Kyle Fain. Kudos are due to directors Barbara Hinrichsen and Melanie Alpert, along with choreographer Janet Renslow. Let’s all do it again soon!

Jun 28

Into the Woods

By billalpert | Events , voice

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Congratulations to all our students, their parents and families who participated in the stellar Broadway Experience production of Sonheim’s Into the Woods Jr. We are so proud of you all! Watch this site for more photos to come.

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