Playing Since: 1977
Experience Level: Purty Good
Luis and Clark Carbon Fiber
"Straduarious", generic mass produced from Czechoslovakia in the mid/early 1900s
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Last Visit 1/5/2011
I'm a software engineer, father and violinist. I have played classical violin since I was four or five and maintained a healthy love/hate relationship with my violin until college, when I finally decided to take it a little more seriously. Four years later and with a minor in music performance in hand, I ran out of time to play as my career in software development took priority. I found time to play occasionally, but nothing structured. I didn't have time for orchestral play or to commit to chamber music. In 1998 I moved from New York to Kansas City to take on an even greater job challenge. This left even less time for music. I tried private lessons again, but my work travel schedule made it very hard to keep up a practice regimen.
In 2002 I started playing with the Olathe Community Orchestra. I reasoned that one rehearsal a week plus a few hours of practice was something that I could fit in and it did. I managed to work my travel schedule to keep me home most Thursday nights for rehearsals during the season. That summer I joined the pit orchestra for Annie Get you Gun at Theatre In the Park and managed to stay in town for four weeks of rehearsals and shows, which was fabulous.
In 2003 I heard about an open jam session in Lawrence, Kansas that was part of the annual Fiddling and Picking championship held there. I'd never played my violin as a fiddle before and had no idea how I would do. I figured if I showed up and was embarrassingly bad that I was unlikely to see any of the other participants again anyway, so it was safe. This was a turning point in my playing. I've been finding and attending jams ever since (and I still play with the community orchestra). I've also picked up a few more instruments in the process, including he mandolin, flute (which I don't play well at all) and tenor banjo, although I decided that I did not have time to learn three new instruments at once, so the tenor banjo is on hold.
The folkjam.org site grew out of an ad-hoc list of jams I started to maintain on my family website, mclewin.com, sometime in early 2005. I hope you find it useful. I do.
'uh-oh...' 2 days
'Fiddle Case Hygrometer' 3 days
'A Hand For The Band' 3 days