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Thomas J. West Music

Live webcam private music lessons, music education articles, compositions, clinician services, reviews

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Play The Star-Spangled Banner This Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2015 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

To celebrate American Independence Day this year, I created this recording of myself playing our National Anthem on piano. This is a straightforward arrangement of this well-known song by Willard A. Palmer for the Alfred Basic Adult Piano Course books. My piano skills are certainly still developing and are going to be a main focus of my professional development in the coming school year.

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Great Performances: Geoff Gallante Performs Cheek To Cheek

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I am surprised that it took me this long to hear about trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante. Close your eyes and listen to the playing of a professional trumpet player who is most likely in his 20's or 30's. Open your eyes and see an 11-year-old boy. This performan...

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Great Performances: Ole Edvard Antonsen Performs Bellstedt's Napoli

Posted on February 16, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (1)

image: www.oleedvardantonsen.com


Ole Edvard Antonsen is a Finnish trumpet virtuoso who has performed with some of the world's most renown orchestras and jazz artists with equal aplomb. His performances g...

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Great Performances: Esperanza Spalding

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)


Photo: Sandrine Lee


Esperanza Spalding is one of my favorite contemporary performers. Her bass playing (especially while delivering equally masterful vocals) is always impressive, effortless, and captivating. Her original music is based in a firm founda...

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Great Performances: Gustavo Dudamel & The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra Play Bernstein's Mambo

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Gustavo Dudamel

This particular recording has been floating around the internet for two years, but it continues to demonstrate Gustavo Dudamel's committment to making classical music more accessible to people of all walks of life. The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra is the top performing ensemble in the Venezuel...

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Great Performances: Hong Kong Pure Strings Happy Birthday Variations

Posted on January 17, 2015 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I often seek out genre-appropriate videos of "Happy Birthday" to post to the Facebook walls of my musician friends. I typically find some very entertaining ones, but this one really stands out because of its skill and artistry as well as its entertainment value. The Hong Kong Pure Strings desecribe themselves as "Possessing the passion towards str...
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Great Performances: Kevin Spacey And Friends Perform With Billy Joel

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Image: Carolyn Kaster / AP

Billy Joel is someone I consider to be a musical idol of mine. He is the only popular music artist that I've seen at a live concert more than once. His music permeated my youth and continues to inspire and entertain in adulthood. He recently was honored as the sixth recipient of the

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Great Performances: University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble Performs A Coffee Break

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Many people in the music education world are familiar with hybrid shows such as Stomp and Blast, combining traditional band, drum corps, and percussion performance with theatrics. Similarly to Stomp, this performance by members of the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble utilizes an array of coffee cups, lids, stirrers, and cardboard sleeves to create an entertianing, yet musically intricate ...
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Great Performances: John Williams Conducts His New Arrangement Of The Star-Spangled Banner

Posted on July 6, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)


I have shared two other versions of The Star-Spangled Banner on my blog before by the combined Academy Choirs from the four branches of the U.S. Armed Services along with the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and the stirring rendition by pop singer
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Great Performances: Simon Fitzpatrick Performs the Yes Classic Roundabout

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.simon-fitzpatrick.com


As a full time musician, I find myself enjoying and appreciating music by artists in all different types of musical genres. There's something to like in every genre (yes, even hip hop) and even if I cannot perform or write for those genres myself, I find myself drawn to the excellence and artistry that many performers put out there.


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