A student is asked to perform a short program, and Dr. Ertl will give a lesson. The work is viewed by a new teacher, which brings a different perspective and sometimes a new interpretation of the music. Any piano students interested in attending the master class may contact Williamson at 410-6144. He also likes to talk to his audience about the music hes playing, Williamson said. Ertls program will include a sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederic Rzewskis Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Following intermission, he will play a composition by Franz Liszt. The program will conclude with a piece Ertl describes as one of the most technically challenging pieces in his repertoire. Its Igor Stravinskys transcription titled The Firebird. I try to change my playing style to adapt to what composer I play, he said. While Beethoven and Mozart are musically challenging, The Firebird is the most technically difficult for me. A winner of numerous national and international competitions, Ertl has given multiple performances at Carnegie Halls Weill Recital Hall and debuted at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, on Chicago Radios Live from WFMT series, Wisconsin Public Radios Live from the Elvehjem series, and performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Fox Valley Symphony. Successful in numerous competitions, Ertl won first prize in the 2009 American Protege International Piano Competition and third prize at the 2008 Young Artists International Piano Competition in Washington, D.C. For the past seven years, Ertl has been the Artist-in-Residence Fellow for PianoArts, where he has performed hundreds of interactive outreach concerts and collaborated with over 20 public schools. Ertl completed his doctorate in musical arts at the Eastman School of Music. He also earned his masters from Eastman and his bachelors from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with Robert Shannon. Ertl finds himself juggling his time between teaching and performing. It sometimes makes for some very long days, because prior to a concert, I like to practice from five to six hours a day, he said. Normally, I practice at least two hours a day. Tickets are available at www.johnstownmusic.org or at the door.
A stiff breeze blew across the Santa Monica Pier on a recent afternoon, kicking up sand and sea spray as visitors munched fried food and watched a man paint names on a grain of rice. But sheltered inside a seafood joint, Mitchell Frank and Martin Fleischmann didn’t seem concerned with the weather perhaps because they were busy describing winds of change. “What we’re trying to do is create a destination for locals on the pier,” said Fleischmann, a veteran Los Angeles concert promoter. “Tourists are here all day long, but otherwise it’s underutilized.” Added Frank, another promoter hired by the nonprofit group that oversees the pier, “The mandate was to bring content here.” PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Content in the form of musical performances isn’t unheard of on the pier, which last month wrapped its 29th annual Twilight Concert series with a free show by the reggae star Jimmy Cliff. The gig drew 30,000 people, according to some estimates. But this year the promoters expanded the menu with a slate of ticketed festivals, including All Bands on Deck! (with indie acts such as Poolside and Yacht) and September’s Beach Ball (featuring Aloe Blacc and Sly & Robbie). This weekend the pier is to host Way Over Yonder, an inaugural two-day roots-music event connected to the venerable Newport Folk Festival with performances Saturday and Sunday by Neko Case, Conor Oberst and Calexico. And Oct. 19 will bring the comedy-based Festival Supreme, assembled by Jack Black and his mock-rock band Tenacious D. The shows are part of what pier official Jay Farrand called “a larger effort to get people to take a second look at the pier to think of it not just as somewhere you take Grandma from Kansas.” But for Frank and Fleischmann whose respective companies, Spaceland and Rum & Humble, put on concerts at the Echo and the Hollywood Bowl, among other spots the activity also reflects their desire to establish a new home for music on the Westside, where a dearth of large and mid-sized venues intensified with the closing this summer of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations “People here need a place where they can gather in large numbers for music,” said Fleischmann, who pointed to high rents and restrictive permitting as reasons the Westside generally lacks such spaces. The century-old Santa Monica Pier, an instantly identifiable but historically significant landmark, makes for a complex solution to that problem. Jay Sweet, who supervises the Newport Folk Festival, said the pier appealed to him for Way Over Yonder because it’s an “iconic place that’s not a traditional music venue” similar to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island, where Newport has taken place since 1959. “There’s an overall vibe there,” said Cliff’s manager, Ernie Gonzalez, who added that the pier attracts an audience more diverse than at other venues.
Drug-related arrests related to the Coliseum event added to the jails population issues, he said. The event impacted us in a negative way in terms of our population. We had nine drug arrests from traffic stops of people going to the concert. There were two drug overdoses reported before 10 a.m., said Emery. A traffic stop by McLean County sheriffs officers netted 2 pounds of marijuana scheduled for delivery to concert patrons, said the sheriff. On Saturday, the jails population peaked at 270, a number that includes those held on new charges along with people serving sentences and awaiting trial. A decision on when the inmates will be returned to McLean County will be made after a review of the population, said Emery. Bloomington police reports indicate that Ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana were found in vehicles of people stopped Friday afternoon. During the concert, a man was removed after he was found naked on the floor. He was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer for allegedly kicking an officer who tried to restrain him. More than two dozen Bloomington police officers were at the concert on hire-back status, meaning the Coliseum, which is owned by the city by privately managed, will reimburse the city for their salary, including overtime. Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling said eight paramedics were stationed at the concert venue, also on hire-back status. Its not uncommon for the fire department to staff events there but the fire chief noted that guests at previous Bassnectar shows have needed medical attention for issues ranging from dehydration to substance abuse. The sold-out concert was attended by about 6,000 people, many of them willing to stand in line for several hours Friday to obtain wristbands that afforded them spots on the floor near the stage. John Butler, president of Central Illinois Arena Management, the firm that manages the Coliseum, did not return a call for comment on the problems generated by the event.
Carnegie Hall concert goes on, after strike canceled performance
The dispute hangs on whether the stagehands – mostly prop-makers, carpenters and electricians – should have a role in a new educational wing that the Carnegie Hall Corp plans to open above the hall next year. The corporation wants to hire cheaper labor at the education wing. Negotiations with the union took an unprecedented turn on Wednesday when Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees decided to go on strike for the first time in the history of Carnegie Hall. However, when James Claffey, president of Local 1, emerged from negotiations on Thursday afternoon, he announced the union had agreed to pull down the picket line for the day, citing progress in the talks. “This is a goodwill gesture towards Carnegie Hall,” said Claffey, whose local has negotiated some of the most lucrative pay in the industry. He later said further progress had been made, and that even though picketing would continue, he hoped to reach a deal by Friday. Carnegie Hall’s five full-time stagehands make an average of $400,000 per year including benefits, The New York Times reported, citing the organization’s tax returns. Claffey said there were many more stagehands represented by the union who work only sporadically. “This dispute is not about those employees,” Claffey said. “This is about everyone else. These are middle class employees.” The strike forced Carnegie Hall to cancel a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell.
Concert boosts demand on jail, hospitals
We had the means for $10 here and $10 there, a lot of kids don’t.” The retired teacher from Freehold, her husband William and son Matt started The Project Matters in memory of her other son, Benjamin, a musician who died at 19. Since its inception, the foundation has bought those strings and done much more, including buying instruments and renting studio time for New Jersey bands with musicians 21 and under. After doing some research, they choose a band to help for a year. The fourth band to benefit from The Project Matters named after Benjamin’s posthumously pressed CD named “Matters” is GNGR (pronounced ginger), who will be playing Wednesday night at the organization’s benefit concert at Mexicali Live in Teaneck . “It’s provided gear and financial support that’s also going into recordings,” said GNGR guitarist Jake Lefkowitz, 17 and a senior at Wayne Hills High School. GNGR is a rock band made up of five guys from North Jersey who got connected through School of Rock. Four of them are seniors in high school, and one graduated last spring. Lefkowitz describes their music as “rock at its simplest terms. Foo Fighters meets Skynyrd, all the way back to The Doors and Pearl Jam.” They play all original songs except for a few covers. Wednesday night one of those cover songs will be Benjamin High’s “Motorway.” “It’s not just they’re helping us, we want to help them because of their cause,” said Lefkowitz of The Project Matters. “We’re trying to spread the music their son wrote.