Monday, June 28, 2021

Heat WaveWave, In Person Lessons Cancelled


Due to extreme weather, the studio is currently closed for in-person lessons. Online lessons are still available at your regularly scheduled time.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Watch this space for an update as to when lessons will resume in Granby.

Update: some new changes, some new projects

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For those of you who regularly read my posts and follow me here on my blog, you probably haven't heard from me in a while. But if you are a student, and you regularly attend lessons every week, you do know some of what's going on.

Private Lessons
It is exceedingly hot here in Granby Massachusetts and while I am happy to have people here in person again after the shutdown due to the pandemic, it is literally impossible to keep the studio cool when temperatures are in the 90s. That means we will continue to do online lessons until further notice. If you have spoken to me directly about an in-person lesson at a and agreed upon time, we will of course do our best to make that date and time.

I am very sad to announce that my duo with my former colleague and friend James Bunting is no more. Bands come and go, people change, good and bad things happen. That's what it means to be a human. Everybody moves on and continues with their life.  Jim is a full-time professor now teaching in Connecticut. He doesn't have much time for music. As a matter of fact I haven't seen him at any of the sessions lately. So sad to see it go especially considering the amount of work that went into it. I suppose I have myself to blame, for the amount of work, time, money I put into developing the brand. But I think it was worth it.  In the meantime, I am continuing to work as a solo musician for weddings and private events. I am offering solo violin.

The Wedding Violin
At, you can find out more about the strolling violin service I am currently offering.  It's been harder to market myself as a soloist, but I have to realize that I have only been doing it for 1 month, whereas with the Celtic projects, I had multiple years to build it up. It will take time, and I should be happy that I have two weddings from what I've done already.

The Granby Mandolin Quartet
I have finally decided to call the classical mandolin group specifically the Granby mandolin quartet due to the fact that A, we are in Granby and B, there is only four of us now. Our bass player, Joe Blumenthal, has retired from the group. He took his wife Barbara with him. Apparently now he is playing bluegrass in Greenfield with my former band who are now calling themselves ragged blue. Bluegrass certainly is a lot easier than classical music, especially the fact that we have been pushing diligently through the Haydn quartets, which are considered some of Mozart's most difficult works.  Our cello player, Joanna Vaughn, has also resigned from the group. She actually left at the same time that our principal mandolinist resigned. He got married and moved to Northfield which is over an hour away, and she got married and had a kid. Congratulations to them both! Our second mandolin player, Mieko Clark, resigned two years ago prior to Corona virus.  Illness in the family I think. So we are down to four. Keith, Will, Nancy and me.  I am planning tentatively a concert at the UUC Church in Granby. Possibly September or October. But nothing is sure yet. I know we will not have the current Mozart, G major number 14, available yet, but we do have several other Mozart quartets that we could do if we wanted to. I suppose it will depend on the frequency of rehearsals this summer. Lately, though, it doesn't appear that we are going to have very many as people generally go on vacation this time of year.  We had one or two have a large concert with all of Mandolin New England this summer but I don't know if that's going to work out after all considering that the Delta strain of the virus is picking up pace and threatening.

Some thoughts on rebranding myself
For years now, I have been thinking about the fact that I am an eclectic entrepreneur, and not just a musician. There are many things that I am very good at, including sales and marketing, natural products consulting, the natural products industry in general (specialty foods and beverages including cheeses, breads, wine and beer), web design, social network marketing, local advertising, public relations, bookkeeping and customer service...And because I do many things and they don't always connect, I thought maybe what I should do is rebrand myself in a way that I can build on my strengths. So look out for ASOcontact. It will be the way that you will find me and my projects. For now, I am using a service that I like very much called Linktree.  Connect with me, if you like at

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Spring News


The western MA contingent of Mandolin New England has started rehearsing in person again at my studio in Granby.  We rehearse Wednesday nights at 7pm.  We're always looking for people to join us on mandolin, mandola, mandocello or bass!  Use the contact form on the sidebar to let me know if this is something you're interested in.  We are currently working on Mozart's String Quartet No. 14 "Spring" for a 2022 concert, and the Bach Double for 2 mandolins and orchestra for a September 2021 concert.


I am back teaching out of my studio in Granby, in person again! What a relief.  I have lots of openings for mandolin and fiddle lessons.  Visit my lessons page to learn more, or use the contact us form on the sidebar to contact me.  Think about the days and times that work best for you.  I'm currently free the following days:

Mondays 3-4pm
Tuesdays 4-7pm
Wednesdays 3-5pm
Thursdays 3-4pm
Fridays 3-5pm


Unfortunately, my wedding duo band Celticado is no longer available for wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours.  I am, however, still available on fiddle and mandolin for any and all of the tunes we performed together.  You can contact me here, or @asocontact on Instagram to find out more about weddings.  I put together a page with some recordings that you might find interesting relating to wedding music here.



Les Poules huppées

CRESTED HENS, THE (Les Poules huppées). French, Bourrée à 3 temps (3/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). Composed in 1983 by French...