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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
February 20
Can You Guess? Below we read of Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1 in g, with a small letter g.  Sometimes we read of a Symphony in G with a capital letter G. Can You Guess why sometimes we use capital letters and sometimes we use small letters?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
What Else
1802 - Charles-Auguste de Beriot,  Belgian violinist and composer, was born.

1897 -
Premiere of V. Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1 in g,

- Henry Martin, US composer, was born.

- Premiere of Henri Lazarof's Viola Concerto, in Monaco.

- Me And Bobby McGee, by Janis Joplin, was released.

2003 -
Premiere of Tan Dun's The Map with Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Boston Symphony.  Click here for an album on which Ma plays a sonata by Dun. Click here for all Dun's works on Amazon.

Cindy McTee
1953 -  
Time Pieces
by Cindy McTee
at Amazon
Learn to Play
Irish Fiddle Video
Learn to Play Irish Fiddle
Orange Blossom
A Shirt for Fiddlers
Orange Blossom Special Shirt
Cindy McTee's Timepieces at Amazon
Fiddler Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil
Cindy McTee was born February 20, 1953 in Tacoma, Washington and raised nearby.  Her parents were both musicians.  Her father played trumpet.  Her mother played clarinet and saxophone.  When she was quite young they took Cindy to band rehearsals.
When she was 6 she began to study piano.  A few years later she took saxophone lessons from her mother.  From the very start of her musical training she was encouraged to improvise . . . make up variations on the music she was playing.  This was her first step to becoming a composer.
In 1974, while a composition student at Pacific Lutheran University, she met Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.  He invited Cindy to teach his children English in return for composition lessons. She accepted the invitation, lived in Poland with his family for a year, and studied orchestration and counterpoint at the Cracow Academy of Music, with Marek Stachowski and Krystyna Moszumanska-Nazar. Her lessons with Penderecki were held at the family's dining room table.

In addition to her work with Penderecki, Cindy studied with David Robbins and Thomas Clark at Pacific Lutheran University, with Jacob Druckman and Bruce MacCombie at  Yale, and with Richard Hervig at the University of Iowa (from which she was awarded her PhD in 1981).

Dr. McTee taught at Pacific Lutheran for three years, and joined the University of North Texas's faculty in 1984.  She became a full professor in 1995, and Regents Professor in 2000. She also chaired the Division of Composition Studies for five years ending in 1998.

Dr. McTee has received many awards for her music.  Two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002 and 1992), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2001),  a Fulbright Fellowship (1990) and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994) are the most notable.  She won the 2001 Louisville Orchestra Composition Competition, and participated with Leonard Slatkin and the  National Symphony Orchestra in "Music Alive", a residency program sponsored by Meet The Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League. In 2003, she was elected to the Board of the American Music Center, a national, nonprofit, service and information organization that advances new American music.

Her work has been commissioned by the Houston Symphony Orchestra (2007) Hans Graf, music director, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra (2006); James Setapen, music director, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Litton, music director, Bands of America; Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor, the National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, music director; the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2000), Andrew Litton, music director and others.

Music critic Charles Ward said that Dr. McTee's works reflect a “charging, churning celebration of the musical and cultural energy of modern-day America.”  Leading orchestras, bands and chamber ensembles in the United States, Japan, Europe and South America have performed her works.  Click here to visit her web site where there are sound clips of her work. I especially recommend the Adagio listed at the top of the page.

Dr. McTee has also written
A Music Calligrapher's Handbook: Tools, Materials and Techniques
Click Picture to Go To
Samples of Cindy McTee's Music
Listen to Her Adagio
for String Orchestra Sample
Henri Lazarof's
Violin Concerto
composer cindy mctee
Click Here to Search for
Violin Sheet Music by
Charles-Auguste de Beriot
St Patrick's Day's Almost Here!  What Will You Be Wearing This Year?
Did You Guess?
We use the letters to tell in what "key" a piece is written.  A capital letter indicates a major key.  A small letter generally indicates a minor key. We'll talk about keys in the tips section in a few weeks.