Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

ANN MOTOGAWA

Ann Motogawa

Ann Motogawa plays the Bassoon and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2000. She is a volunteer and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? 5th Grade. My dad was a band director and my mom was a music teacher, so it was just assumed that I’d play.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love doing something else, apart from daily life, and sharing that experience with others who enjoy doing the same thing.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  One of my favorite musical memories was on the NCB France trip. That first night we played a concert in the hometown of one of the organizers. We hadn’t played together in a while because of the pre-trips and everyone’s travel plans, we were jet lagged, and we had no idea what we were going to sound like in that town square. We pulled off one of the best performances of the trip, and when we played Carmen Dragon’s America the Beautiful it literally gave everyone goosebumps.

What are your musical influences? My dad. He loved music so much and really dedicated his life and talents to VanderCook College of Music, Northshore Band, the Mid-West Clinic, and the American Bandmasters Association.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Wilbur Simpson. He was such a great teacher, had an uncanny ability to pick literature that you could really feel close to, and we had many fun nights with him smoking his pipe (it was the 80’s!) and boiling reeds on his stove.

Does anyone in your family play music? My dad played Eb clarinet in NCB from the mid-1960’s through the 88-89 season. My mom played bassoon in NCB from 1975 through the 88-89 season (and was also Steve Moline’s stand partner!). My 13 year old daughter plays French Horn and my 11 year old daughter plays clarinet.

What’s on your iPod? A crazy mix of stuff from the Grateful Dead to 80’s, Elton John to Taylor Swift. We actually have all our music set up on our home Mac, and have enough music to continuous play, 24×7, for over 6 months. I’m also a big surfer on a multitude of Sirius channels.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?  Music will not only provide you with a creative outlet and something fun to do, but also many great friendships over the years.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Everyone really wants to be there and is really dedicated to the organization.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Accomplished, improving, inspirational

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I grew up around NCB because both my parents were playing. For years, Susan Hawes (Debbie’s daughter) and I handed out the programs to the audience at the Pick-Staiger concerts. I earned a ton of medals at the Festival. I went with the band to Europe in 1975. I made Christmas ornaments for the annual fundraiser Bazaar and was there as they played three concerts every July 4. As a kid I also won John Paynter’s “Guess the Number of Keys” contest a few times with the prize of directing a march! NCB has always been in my life and I’m glad that I have been able to give back to it through the years by developing programs like Lifetime of Music and the Kickstarter campaign.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

KEVIN BALDWIN

kevin baldwin (w_Jim Cornelison)EDIT

Kevin Baldwin plays the Tuba and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2007. He is a Mechanical Engineer and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? 4th Grade – Why?!  Why not is the real question here. I was already involved with lots of sports so what was one more thing on the to-do list at that point in life.

What do you enjoy most about playing? It’s nice to get out of the normal routine of work and life in general to be able to be with friends once (sometimes twice) a week.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Lots of good memories of trips for music. One at the top of the list is playing at Carnegie Hall while at Purdue University. We were invited to play at the NY Wind Band Festival for World Projects my senior year. It’s amazing how fast life goes as that was 10 years ago!

What are your musical influences? Best way to put this is music was a way to either start the day off in High School or, even better, be a break in the day during College. Especially from all that studying in Engineering – my head was hurting all the time from this! So I looked forward to not studying textbooks and playing some music instead.

Who was your most influential music teacher? I of course have multiple teachers in my path of music. My private teacher Richard Schmitt who played trombone for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra way back in the 40s. Greg Wojcik who is the band director at Glenbrook South High School who also played trombone. Jay Gephart – director of bands at Purdue University and is quite the tuba player. Best way to find a common thread between all 3 teachers is their way of leading by example.

Does anyone in your family play music? Dad played Percussion and Mom played a mean Organ (so I’ve been told!). My brother played Alto and Tenor Saxophone through High School. Lots of other extended family members playing something over the years as I’ve been to a lot of school concerts!

What’s on your iPod? Currently playing: The Soundtrack from “Brassed Off”

Do you have any advice for young musiciansKeep with it … it gets better and better.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The comradery of the low brass sections. We all know our abilities and limits to help each other out in a good way to produce the best sound possible. I’ve learned so much from playing in this group over the years.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Exciting, Precise, & Accomplished

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Looking back at all the trips associated to music, I’ve been to a lot of places! New York, Orlando, Michigan, Indiana, California, England, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands! Lots of great experiences and looking forward to the next one.

 

Kevin is pictured with Jim Cornelison, national anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks, backstage at the Northshore Concert Band’s Fall 2014 concert A Veterans Day Salute.

 

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!