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Bravo, Jory!!!

April weather…the usual for Colorado… winter followed by summer, hot, snowing, hot, hailing, hot, freezing, blowing, turn on the air. But what’s also very unsettling and hectic at this time of the year with the school year and the orchestra concert season coming to an end, are student and my own rehearsals, concerts, auditions, graduation ceremonies, shoveling notes onto the fingerboard like snow on the porch…Wagner, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Orff, Beethoven. While in my teaching studio there are lectures (always!), nerves, ambitions, tears, and I’m mostly employed as a psychologist and shoulder to cry on. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is tired and stressed.

But I want you to know that it’s all WORTH IT! I am writing this to share one of my studio’s amazing success stories about an event that encourages me to keep doing what I do. It’s about a former student, Jory Lane. If you’ve met Jory, you would remember him.

Jory joined the studio in 2011. At first, I didn’t want to accept him because I was so busy: I was driving to Pueblo for rehearsals, I was teaching, playing, taking care of office obligations, working insane hours, never any time left for family and the house. And here comes the kid, who tells me how I’m supposed to run a lesson. Surprise! I found what he had to say interesting, so I swallowed my pride (while biting my tongue) and accepted him.

Left to right: yours truly K.G.; darling, sweet Maya Mijares; destinguished, beloved and missed Larry Smith; star of this presentation Jory Lane; exceptionally talented, promissing young actor Alan Kim. After the concert at a retirement home, 2012

Some believe we come into this world with a personality, in that case Jory sure did come to this world to make music and perform; he’s simply a natural and doing so is as comfortable for him as for me to make a cup of coffee. Jory decided to major in music quite late, when he was sixteen, I believe. Yet, in three short years Jory won Colorado Springs Youth Symphony’s Young Artist Competition, also concerto competitions of the Broomfield Symphony and the Pikes Peak Philharmonic, state Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition, earned an honorable mention in MTNA regionals, then went on tour with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States -- one of only two kids from Colorado. What a ride for a high school student!

In recital rehearsal, Bartok's Duets, spring of 2018

Students, plug your ears: Jory never practices a single etude for me. Yep, it was a drag for both of us, lasting only while I had enough patience. By the way, pitch harassment mixed with jokes worked extremely well with Jory! Pitch harassment is what I am good at. Make students embarrassed to play out of tune! Jory just didn’t like to practice at all, maybe a couple hours before major performances.

Pre-college year was intense, Jory’s prescreens were accepted at nine major schools, and in the fall of 2019, he started at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. His four years there evaporated in a snap. Sure enough, Jory’s amazing Eastman professor Renée Jolles knew which buttons to push in that head, so he spent looooooong hours in the practice room catching up with etudes and some other “little pieces”.

One awesome looking concertmaster, getting ready for a concert.

Now, the best part is coming: all Jory’s and his teachers’ efforts paid off in the most amazing ways.

Check out the message I received from him this week:

“First, I will be performing my degree recital Sunday April 30th at 9pm EST/7pm MST! Last spring, I successfully auditioned for Eastman's Performer's Certificate, an honor awarded to outstanding undergrad and graduate jury performances. I am one of only 5 selected last year, one of 3 undergraduates, and one of just 2 violins. This recital is a culmination of my work these past four years and I'm very excited to share it with you all! I'll be performing the Schubert Grand Duo and Strauss Sonata with my wonderful collaborative pianist, Will Shi, as well as a couple showpieces. The program is attached below, and the livestream link is It would be very cool if you were able to tune in!

Secondly, I'm writing to share that I will be performing this summer as concertmaster of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge. I performed in this orchestra last summer as section violinist, and this year I am fortunate to lead the orchestra and perform as featured soloist on a few shows, including the season finale on Saturday, August 12 at 6pm MST. I will be playing the solo in Strauss' Ein Heldenleben, and doing some other very fun works in the program. If you find yourself free and needing some beautiful Breckenridge air, it would be wonderful to see you there! The event page is

And lastly, I'm very excited to share that next fall I will be beginning my MM [Master of Music?] at Juilliard with Laurie Smukler! I had a very successful grad audition tour this semester and was extremely fortunate to be offered opportunities to study at Yale, Rice, NEC, Juilliard and Michigan, each with full- or very nearly full-tuition scholarships. Profesor Smukler is an incredible (and slightly terrifying) teacher with whom I clicked immediately, and I'm very excited to begin this next step of my career under her guidance.”

BOOM! Drop mic!

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1 comentario

Margaret Galka
Margaret Galka
23 abr 2023

awesome!!! :D

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