By Beth Turco

January 5 and 6, 2018 was a weekend of celebration, renewed connections and fabulous performances. The weekend started with a Department Recital on Friday, featuring current Suzuki students and recent Suzuki Alumni.  The performances were certainly honors level, and the audience was filled with current families and alumni.

Saturday morning featured a play-in for violin students led by Mark Bjork. Our current students and faculty were joined by college students and alumni from as far away as Munich, Germany. Mr. Bjork led all levels of students through a play-in, accompanied by Kathy Wood. It was fun to see our students playing with alumni who have kept up their Suzuki review pieces for over 30 years!

The Saturday night Gala Alumni Benefit Concert was a sold-out, festive event. The lobby and stage were transformed by candles, tablecloths and flowers provided by Michelle McIntosh and the MacPhail Suzuki Association. We celebrated the rich history of our Suzuki program, which began 50 years ago with Mark Bjork and just a few violin students. Our Suzuki program now offers Suzuki lessons in 7 different instruments, has 39 teachers on the faculty, 4 orchestras and over 700 students.

The 16 performers, all MacPhail Suzuki program alumni, many of whom are professional musicians, eagerly agreed to donate their time and talents for the concert. Their performances were stunning. It was heartwarming to see the wide variety of performers; some graduated in the early days of the program and some were recent graduates.

The proceeds from the recital will help fund the Bjork/Pederson Suzuki Student Scholarship, which was established in 1994 by the MacPhail Suzuki Association in honor of Mark Bjork and Nancy Pederson for their years of teaching and work in establishing MacPhail’s Suzuki Program. The fund is close to the $25,000 goal needed to permanently endow the scholarship! If you haven’t yet contributed, please consider doing so and contact Lisa Salzl at 612.767.5327 or Salzl.lisa@macphail.org.

There’s no doubt that our MacPhail Suzuki community is wide-reaching, and the impact of the program runs deep. The weekend was a poignant demonstration of Dr. Suzuki’s mantra; “When love is deep, much can be accomplished.” What a proud weekend of events for our wonderful Suzuki community!

Suzuki 50th Anniversary Gala Alumni Benefit Recital

The Gavotte Newsletter

Announcing the MacPhail Suzuki 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Suzuki Stories from the Past, Mark Bjork (Part 1)

Suzuki Stories from the Past, Mark Bjork (Part 2)

Suzuki Stories from the Past, Nancy Pederson

Suzuki Stories from the Past, Rita Docter

Suzuki Stories from the Past, Mary Ann Wark

That Hard Passage by Karen Kubin

Highlights from a Successful Suzuki 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration!

Suzuki Stories from the Past: Alexander Adiarte

Suzuki Stories from the Past:  Timothy Dresselhaus and Elise Martin Bushard

Share Your Suzuki Stories and Stay connected!

We’re collecting Suzuki Stories and photos from the past to publish in our Suzuki Newsletter, The Gavotte and/or to display at the Gala Recital. Send your story about your personal experience with the Suzuki program and photos (JPEG files, please) to SuzukiDept@macphail.org.  Click on the Gavotte Newsletter link in the red box above to read Suzuki Stories from the past, learn about Suzuki Department News and to find Gala Weekend updates.

50TH Anniversary t-shirts available for $20.00!

Email SuzukiDept@macphail.org to order yours today. Comes in Youth and Adult sizes. Limited supply available.