Recap: News you mighta missed

The world rarely arrives in sonata form… we could all use a good recap.

New releases

With Christmas listening and gift-giving so close at hand, this is the perfect time to pick up some new manifestations of holiday favorites. Don’t depend on radio and Spotify to fill your ears this season. Local entities have put out their own offerings this year, for a very tuneful holiday season:

LA Choral Lab released Sonic Visions in mid-November, and it’s already getting good buzz. The group describes it as “A spectrum of fresh new choral music written by both well-known and up-and-coming classical composers.” It’s not a holiday album, but would still make an excellent gift! LA Choral Lab, led by the multi-talented Michael Alfera, has fast become one of the go-to groups for passionate performance, innovative programming and genuinely engaging concerts. You’ll want to hear their very shareable take on modern choral music, and the download is only $10. Click here to get your copy from CD Baby

The choir at DTLA’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (aka the big stone building next to the 101) has released their first Christmas album, titled, appropriately, Christmas at the Cathedral. The choir worked on this 14-track release over a number of weeks, led by Director of Music Joe Bazyouros and featuring organist Sal Soria and flutist Zachary Valenzuela. The album is available at the Cathedral’s gift shop, and you can also hear it on Spotify: Click here to check it out

Local classical station puts the holidays “on tap”

KUSC has created an easy-to-access channel dedicated to holiday music this year, with the “Holiday Spirit” channel available on their website and in the app. You’ll never need to be without a little cheery feed. The site outlines the works that will be played there, and many can purchased right on the site. There’s even a dedicated newsletter for the channel, so you can get updates by email. Learn more and sign up here


Stephen Karr, newly tapped Interim Minister of Music at SGV’s Church of Our Saviour

Congrats to conductor and keyboard guy Stephen Karr (pictured) are in order, as he’s been invited to serve as Interim Minister of Music at San Gabriel’s Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal). Since the previous MoM, the eminent Phil Smith, has retired, COS has been on the hunt, and it’s a relief to know that their long respected music program is in good hands. Be sure to get on the church’s mailing list, so you can watch out for concerts and holiday services. Read the announcement here

Tech bytes

IDAGIO has been making headlines for months as a streaming music with a focus on classical, and now they’ve released a free version worldwide. Read the press release Want to know how streaming music works from the perspective of the artist and creator? This (older) article can help you get a handle on the industry juggernaut that has changed what we do: Learn about streaming from the musician’s perspective

This bud’s for you

In the age of the AirPod, the popular Bluetooth earbuds made by Apple and copied everywhere, here’s an option that promises better durability. (When you’re paying prices like these, the things had better last!) Read more here about the KHARBON IP67 wireless earbuds, and check out the Indiegogo video, which is a good intro to the new product. They’re available at more than a 50% discount through that article from Entrepreneur, which last shows a price of $79 (instead of $200). Of course, you’ll still be responsible for keeping track of them. As many have already discovered, these entirely wireless little gadgets are easily lost!

Record label BMG has launched a new brand for classical, jazz and electronic music: look for new titles from “Modern Recordings” (see logo pictured), and read more here.

Would you-sized keys make a difference?

As folks were heading out to the various IRL and online sales this weekend, this article from the Orange County Register raises some interesting questions about how technology might make playing the piano more accessible to those with, for instance, hands of an unusual size. Can tech bring us closer to making music? Hope reigns supreme.

More links

From Germany’s featuring Clara Schumann on the 100DM bill to women’s presence in the recent Grammy noms to a controversial “female sound” study out of Northwestern U., Forbes gets to thinking about “The Equivocal Business Of Women In The Music Industry

The well-known of summer practice for young musici may be in Michigan, but the Interlochen Center for the Arts has long been a huge influence on tomorrow’s performers across the country. They’re celebrating the launch of a big new hall, and you can read more at “Interlochen Opens $24 million Music Center

The UN Health Agency has released a new study emphasizing the importance and power of the arts on our general health: “From Prince to Picasso, the arts can be just the tonic, new UN health agency study shows

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