The Hippo

HOME| ADVERTISING| CONTACT US|

 
Sep 22, 2018







NEWS & FEATURES

POLITICAL

FOOD & DRINK

ARTS

MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

POP CULTURE



BEST OF
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISING
CONTACT US
PAST ISSUES
ABOUT US
MOBILE UPDATES
LIST MY CALENDAR ITEM


“Colors Unseen”

Where: Grace Episcopal Church, 106 Lowell St., Manchester
When: Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: 664-4548, mcmusicschool.org




Late bloomer
72-year-old music student composes “Colors Unseen”

06/15/17
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 Manchester native James Tebbetts signed up for his first flute lesson with the Manchester Community Music School in 2005 at age 59. His motivation: retirement. 

“I figured, if I’m going to do something complicated [in retirement], which would be anything with a musical instrument, I’d better start now when I’m still working!” said Tebbetts, now 72, during an interview at the music school.
Tebbetts, who’d been tinkering with the recorder on his own for years, took to music with excitement. After three years of lessons with Aubrie Dionne, he delved into piano and music theory with Justin McCarthy. When he discovered seniors could audit classes for free at Saint Anselm College, he registered for composition courses there and began writing his own music. When he retired from a career in software engineering in 2012, he delved in full-time.
The fruits of his work are on display during a concert, “Colors Unseen,” featuring original compositions by Tebbetts at the Grace Episcopal Church in Manchester, Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. Most performers are MCMS faculty members, including Harel Gietheim (cello), Kyoko Hida-Battaglia (oboe), Jennifer Larson (horn), Debbie Markow (violin), Elliott Markow (viola), Caresse Mailloux (flute), Justin McCarthy (piano) and Greg Newton (bassoon).
It’s the third concert produced with MCMS featuring compositions by Tebbetts. Each event requires a great deal of effort on his part, but the effect is glorious.
“Every dog has his day. That buzz takes a while to generate, but it lasts a while,” Tebbetts said.
Tebbetts had been dreaming about delving into music for ages. As a kid, he remembers feeling awed by the Victory at Sea television series soundtrack, the way the music projected images and told a story through sound. As an adult, he was taken by hearing trumpeter Jay Daly play in downtown Boston in the late ’80s, causing him to purchase a recorder at Ted Herbert’s Music Mart and learn as many songs as he could on his own.
Normally, Tebbetts said, he doesn’t like talking about himself very much, but get him on the topic of music, and he’ll happily chat about music history and theory, and the movements and nuances in his own work. He loves the artistic freedom in composing his own music, and he dreams of someday writing a symphony.
“[As an instrumentalist], you’re adding your own interpretation. Your own expression. How do I think this should be performed? However, you don’t select the notes. You do not define the melody,” Tebbetts said. “If you’re the composer … [you can] portray the image that is exactly in your mind.”
Music School Executive Director Judy Teehan said the school has a growing population of adult students, but not many take composition seriously like Tebbetts. Several dabble in the art, and a few go slightly further than dabbling, but most focus on performance. Staff have told her they’re enjoying practicing Tebbett’s music.
“I’ve heard lots of comments about how pleasant [the music] is … and about what a great opportunity it is for faculty members to be working on such a fresh project,” Teehan said. “I think it’s a really great collaboration. We’re all learners — I think all the faculty would agree with me on this — and as we teach our instruments, we learn from our students. And this collaboration is a great example.” 





®2018 Hippo Press. site by wedu