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Category Archives for "The Kitchen Sink"

Mar 24

Blast from the Past

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

Choral/Orchestra Concert, Cal Poly University, circa 1976

I recently across this old photo that brought back some happy memories. As I remember, Mrs. Alpert (actually Ms. Chambers at the time) sang a quite impressive solo movement in the Poulenc Gloria. And if you look carefully, you’ll spot yours truly, assuming concertmaster duties in the orchestra.

Amazingly, those were some heady years at the humble Cal Poly Music Department. Several of our friends went on to enjoy great professional success and recognition. A few even reached the very pinnacle of the music world. But we all share some wonderful memories. It’s a perfect testimony of music’s power to bring people together.. for a lifetime.

Jan 22

Whole Lotta Exciting News!

By Melanie Alpert | The Kitchen Sink

First, let me welcome everyone back! It was nice to see your smiling faces and hear your beautiful voices last week. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday; we sure did!

OK, back to studio stuff: We had some really exciting news at the SCVA Competition on Saturday, January 13th (more about that competition in a minute). Kari Kennedy informed us that she was chosen as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Los Angeles County Music Center Spotlight Awards! They usually pick only 10 to 15 semi-finalists out of about 180 competitors. We’ve kept our streak going with four semi-finalists in four years. Way to go Kari! There will be a master class on Sunday, January 28th featuring soorano Carol Neblett, at the Music Center. These are usually very good and I would encourage all of you to attend, especially if you participated or you are in high school. I will post more about this later. I will be attending, so if you wish to attend please let me know so we can carpool.

The SCVA Competition. This is a classical competition for middle school and high school students. SCVA stands for the Southern California Vocal Association. It is a well respected organization of choral and vocal teachers both from public and private schools and teachers from private studios. The competition is?Ǭ†run as a master class and it’s always?Ǭ†a wonderful experience. This year was no different. We had a great adjudicator, Chris Gravis, who is a singer and conductor throughout Southern California. He was kind, enthusiatic, and encouraging. We had a very?Ǭ†full site, but he spent as much time as possible with every student, no matter how advanced. I believe everyone took away something new to think about! At the end of the day, he had to pick two middle school and five high school semi-finalists. We had only seven people of the 25 entered but four people from the studio were chosen as semi-finalists! In the middle school category, Sarah Hinrichsen was chosen and in the high school category, the semi-finalists were Sarah Jackson, Gabi Martinez and Kari Kennedy. All our studio participants also performed beautifully! They were Kaitlyn Orr, Michael Sturgis, and Mercedes Machado. I was so proud of each one! Congratulations to our semi-finalists and good luck in the next round.
I would also like to congratulate Maggie Anderson, Sarah Hinrichsen, Ashley Blackwell, Frankie Libuti, Kaitlyn and Mckensie Orr, Michael Sturgis, and Alex Calentine, who were all selected for the youth ensemble for Citrus College’s production of Beauty and the Beast! It should be a wonderful?Ǭ†show and I encourage all of you to attend.

Sunday night I attended a recital by one of our greatest living dramatic sopranos, Debra Voigt. She presented a program of song from Mozart to Bernstein. She had a very bad cold and after her first song she went off stage and returned with a box of Kleenex. This cracked up the audience and she then expained that she wasn’t feeling too great. This really broke the stuffy formality of a “recital” and her warm personality really shown through. It made for a very special evening of some wonderfully expressive and exquisite singing.

Debra Voigt
Debra Voigt

You could not hear?Ǭ†a cold?Ǭ†in her voice; it was clear, round and well supported. The pieces she chose ran the gamut from sorrowful to joyful; some were timely and poignant. Each was sung flawlessly and showed her dramatic range. What a wonderful treat to see someone so in control of their artistry. I was really watching a master perform.?Ǭ†

Students:?Ǭ†?Ǭ†go see?Ǭ†people like this perform. It is a very different experience seeing a great artist in person as opposed to just listening to them on a cd or even watching them on television or DVD. You can actuallly feel their energy. The passion for what they do invades the room, and invades your soul, as Debra Voigt did mine. Take advantage of the fact that we live near one of the great cities?Ǭ†of the world. We have the world class artists who come to perform, from opera singers to classical musicians to musical theater stars. We have a world class opera company, the LA Opera. On top of that we have a world class symphony orchestra, the LA Philharmonic and many, many opportunities to see first class Musical Theater. I do know that many times these experiences can be expensive. But save your pennies and make sure you get out at least once in a while to see live theater, or a live musical experience. It can be life changing!

Jan 07

Voice Lesson Schedule 2007

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink , voice

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a great holiday.

Just a note to remind you that voice lessons resume this week, the week of Jan. 8.

Your lesson will remain at the same time, unless otherwise discussed. As always, if you have a scheduling problem, please call me at least 24 hours in advance of your lesson time.

Happy New Year and see you soon!

Melanie Alpert

Dec 24

A movie worth seeing

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

I recently completed a two day recording session at Capitol Records. It was a film score for an action movie currently in post production, The Rebel. At the session we were all updated about our another project that we completed more than a year ago. At the time I had only an inkling of what this movie would be; it’s a gripping drama, and an important historical document. It’s been winning prizes at film festivals across the globe, and it drew standing ovations at Sundance.
In 1975, when U.S. forces left South Vietnam, a modern day holocaust ensued. Journey from the Fall tells a story that few Americans remember. The producers of the film had a first hand connection to those events some 30 years ago; they knew this is a story that must be told. And though the session was more than a year ago, I can still feel the warmth and heartfelt appreciation that the film makers had for all of us over those days in Studio A.
I feel honored to have been part of this project. Though I have yet to see Journey from the Fall, (it opens in Spring 2007) I hope everyone will take the time to seek out this movie.
Journey from the Fall Recording Session
Recording session at Capitol Records, Studio A, Christopher Wong, composer and conductor

Dec 03

December Schedule

By Melanie Alpert | Events , The Kitchen Sink

Just a quick reminder; voice lessons for December end on December 7, last day of violin lessons is December 9.

Our studio recital will be held on Monday, Dec. 11, 6:00 p.m. at the performance facility. Seating will be limited; please arrive early, violin students will tune up at 5:45

Rehearsal for the recital is Friday, December 8. Violin students: please arrive by 4:30 p.m. Voice students will be assigned an arrival time at their voice lesson during the week of December 4.

Violin lessons will resume on January 6; voice lessons start on January 8. We wish our studio family a wonderful Holiday season, filled with music.
Bill & Melanie

Nov 13

A Thanksgiving Message (and reminder)

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink

Thankful for it all

Gratitude is like putting money in the bank. Practice it every chance you get.
Every day is filled with opportunities to be thankful. You can be thankful for your blessings, for your problems, for the things you know, for the things you’ve yet to learn, and for everything in between.

When you sincerely enjoy and appreciate life’s small, simple treasures, the big, impressive achievements will soon be headed your way. Demonstrate, with joy and enthusiasm, your appreciation for something, and you’re likely to get much more of it.

Choose to be gloriously thankful simply for the fact that you’re alive and aware. You will notice an immediate and profound improvement in your day.

Every thankful thought you think connects you more solidly to life’s magnificent abundance. The more you appreciate something, the more real value it takes on.

So challenge yourself to be truly thankful for all that is around you, for all that is in you, and for all that happens to you and through you. By so doing, you give richness and value to everything you touch.

— Ralph Marston

Just a quick reminder: there will be no voice or violin lessons Thanksgiving week, Nov. 19-25. Bill and Melanie wish you a wonderful and enjoyable holiday.

Nov 06

By Melanie Alpert | The Kitchen Sink , voice

Well, we did it again!. Lindsey Rupp won 1st place in the Classical category, Maggie Anderson won 1st place in the Musical Theater category and Sarah Jackson won Honorable Mention in the same category.

This just in! Mercedes Machado was selected as a finalist in the Intimate Opera Vocal Competition and Sarah Jackson made the final callback for the LA Spotlight Awards, Non Classical division.

Again, congratulations to all. You have made me soooo proud!!!

Oct 31

Chaffey Joint Union High School District Solofest

By Melanie Alpert | The Kitchen Sink , voice

Congratulations to Lindsey Rupp, Sarah Jackson, and Maggie Anderson! All are finalists in this year’s District Solofest. The event will be held on Thursday, November 2nd.

Lindsey will be competing in the Classical category and Sarah and Maggie in the Musical Theater category. All are representing Los Osos High School. Kari Kennedy, last year’s first place winner in the Classical category and Alta Loma High School student was asked to perform at this year’s competition! Good luck everyone!

Oct 31


By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink , voice


Welcome to our blog site! We are really excited to have this new addition, so we can tell you what?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s going on in and out of the studio. There will be news, important dates for recitals, competitions, auditions, concerts, etc. I’ll start with an overview of 2005/2006 and the accomplishments of you, my wonderful students. Now, I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m doing this from memory, so forgive me if I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ve left something or someone out. Please make sure you let me know what you are up to, and I will try to include it in my quarterly review!

2005/2006 in the Alpert Studio: It was a busy year, in October the Chaffey Joint Union High School District Solofest was held. We were well represented in the winner?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s circle. Nicole Larson took Honorable Mention in the Musical Theater category. Sarah Jackson took third place and Kari Kennedy won first place in the Classical division. Later that month several students participated in the Intimate Opera Vocal Competition. Representing the studio, were Amanda Workman, winner upper division, Brandon Alpert, Third Place middle division and Mercedes Machado, Third Place lower division and Maggie Anderson, finalist lower division. Another competition, the Professional Opera Singers Association was held in early December. You had to submit a recording to qualify and all of my students passed the first qualifying round. Gabi Martinez, Daniella Samuel, Brandon Alpert and Amanda Workman all advanced to the semi-finals. Brandon was unable to attend but Daniella and Amanda were among only four finalists in the upper division. Amanda took second place. Just before the Holidays, we had our winter recital and it went splendidly. I was so proud of every one. Shortly after the Christmas we received a call from the Spotlight competition and were informed that Brandon was one of the fifteen semi-finalists chosen out of a field of 380 students! In early January, the competition sponsored a Master Class with the Broadway star Karen Marrow. Brandon and I really enjoyed her interaction with the students and felt she offered plenty of sage advice. With hardly a breath, the SCVA competition was upon us, also in January. Gabi Martinez and Maggie Anderson advanced to the semi-final round. Maggie was the first one to sing at nine o?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢clock in the morning in SANTA MONICA! Yikes!!! They both said it was a great experience but an extremely long day. Well, that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s SCVA! February brought the final round of the Spotlight competition, and while Brandon was not selected as one of the two finalists, he felt he sang well. His comments from the judges were wonderful and even his competitors complemented him on his performance! He felt the entire experience was a valuable one and encourages everyone who is prepared to participate. Somewhere in February, I think, was the Grove?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Children?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Theater Production of Pinocchio. It featured Kari Kennedy and McKenzie Orr. In March the performing troupe Broadway Experience presented it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s first musical, Once On This Island, at the Candlelight Pavilion. I had the pleasure of being Music Director and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a lot of hard work for several months, but the outcome was FABULOUS!!! Featured from the studio were, Maggie Anderson, Sarah Hinrichsen, Sarah Jackson, Marlow Hooper, Ashley Blackwell, Frankie Libuti, Meagan Watkins, Alex Calentine, Michael Sturgis and Kaitlyn and McKenzie Orr They all sang, danced and acted like pros! I don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t quite remember if it was March or April, but the City of Rancho Cucamonga presented Rodgers and Hammerstein?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Oklahoma. Participating from the studio were Lindsey Rupp, Gabi Martinez and Daniella Samuel who had the lead role of Laurie. In early April, the San Bernardino County Solofest competition was held. In the upper division, Kari Kennedy was selected as a finalist and in the lower division; Sarah Hinrichsen and Mercedes Machado were selected with Mercedes winning1st place! My mind gets a little fuzzy around the end of April and beginning of May. It was a busy and sad time for me. As all of you know, my amazing mother passed away on April 18th. She had not been well for some time, but it is still a shock to your system when you lose someone you love so much. When she was healthy, she was such a vibrant and active human being. I will miss her love, her friendship, and mostly, her wit and humor. Thanks to all of you for the food, the cards, and the thoughts and prayers. You don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know how much I appreciated it. The end of the school year was again hectic with many things going on. I was occupied with my school shows, Broadway Experience, rehearsals for Candlelight Pavilion?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Cinderella and of course private teaching. It was a good time to be busy. At the end of the month, the John Child Walker vocal competition was held and we swept the entire thing. Amanda Workman took first place, Brandon Alpert took second and Sarah Jackson took third. Lindsey Rupp and Kari Kennedy also competed and though they didn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t place, they received wonderful comments from the judges. Though summer was now upon us many didn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t get much of a break. Nicole Larson, Brandon Alpert, Maggie Anderson, Sarah Hinrichsen, Sarah Jackson, Ashley Blackwell, Frankie Libuti, Michael Sturgis, Kaitlyn and McKenzie Orr were all featured in Candlelight Pavilion?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Cinderella. It was a six week run and kept them all hopping! Other productions going on in the summer featured Gabi Martinez in Beauty and the Beast, and Angie Harold in the Karousel Kids You?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I think that about brings us up to date. Congratulations to all of you who graduated and are now off to college. Please email me things that you are doing, I am going to have an alumni section of this newsletter where you can keep me informed of what you are doing! I hope all you keep in touch!

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