Sara Swanson

Interview with Alden Rohwer of the Brandenburg Project

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Alden with his violin instructor Carolyn Lukancic in February. Photo courtesy of Aileen Rohwer.

Alden with his violin instructor Carolyn Lukancic in February. Photo courtesy of Aileen Rohwer.

Twelve year-old Manchester resident Alden Rohwer will be playing to a hometown audience on on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm. Although he is only in 8th grade, he and the other members of the Brandenburg Project will be bringing Baroque music to the The Blacksmith Shop, located at 324 E Main St. in concert seven of the Blacksmith Shop series.  Adult tickets are $20 with reduced pricing for seniors and students. Tickets include “Baroque inspired tastings” from Chef Jay of Deliverable Delights. To purchase tickets click HERE.

We interviewed Alden:

“How old were you when you started playing violin?”

“I started when I was 5 years old–the week my youngest brother was born. I was studying with Anna Weller in Ann Arbor. I now study with Carolyn Lukancic, also in Ann Arbor.”

“How did you get involved in the Community Music School of Ann Arbor?”

“A friend told me about The Brandenburg Project which was focused on learning Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. I had played an easy arrangement of one of his concertos a few years back, but this group was going to learn the real thing.”

“How often do you practice?”

“The Brandenburg Project group meets once a week for 2 hours. When I have a deadline or goal, I practice about one hour a day, six days a week.”

“What do you like best about Baroque music?”

“I like the chamber aspect, which means it’s a smaller group of players and everyone must be together.”

“Do you feel Baroque music has influenced or left traces of itself in modern music?”

“Most Baroque music outlines the simple chord progression of I-V-I which means it starts on the first note of a scale, explores versions leading up to the fifth note of the scale and then ends on the first note of a scale. Modern music still explores this chord progression and the listener still wants to hear it.”

“How does playing music impact your life?”

“It takes up a large part of my spare time; it also has allowed me to make connections with people I would have never met. Some of the people I’ve met are now my best friends. The performances I’ve participated in have allowed me to become more comfortable in front of an audience. I’ve also been able to travel quite a bit with groups I play or sing in. In Michigan, I’ve been to Blue Lake up near Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Jonesville, South Haven, Beaver Island, Lake Orion, Pigeon, and Detroit. Other places I’ve traveled to because of music include Maryland and Oregon.”

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Not sure yet, but I’ve thought about becoming an airplane pilot, music teacher, or a hybrid powertrain engineer.”

“What else would you like Manchester to know about The Community Music School of Ann Arbor, The Brandenburg Project, Baroque Music and/or you?”

“The CMA2 group has been a great next step for me. When I first moved to Manchester, there were no other violinists and I wanted to quit. My parents started Cultural Art Strings and I got to play with friends right here in Manchester. Now that I am older and looking for more challenges, The Brandenburg Project has provided me with that challenge to learn more complicated music. I am grateful for the support Manchester has provided for my early musical training, including Mr. Throneberry at the Middle School and Mark and Carol Palms.”

Come hear Alden play in person this weekend!

Photo courtesy of the Brandenburg Project.

Photo courtesy of the Brandenburg Project.

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