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Kempter, Susan

Susan Kempter of Albuquerque is a Senior Lecturer in String Pedagogy, a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, a specialist in interdisciplinary applications to music teaching and learning, and Founder/Director of the UNM Lab School at the University of New Mexico.

Susan created Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in String Pedagogy at the University of New Mexico. She also has been President of the New Mexico Chapter of The American String Teachers Association and served as Private Teacher’s Forum Editor, Consulting Editor, and Chair of the National Certificate Committee, for The American String Teacher. She also served on the board of the New Mexico Chapter of ASTA for over 17 years, and was editor of the state newsletter for two terms.

In 1998, she was awarded the Citation for Exceptional Leadership and Merit by the American String Teachers Association and was awarded Private Studio Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Chapter of ASTA in 2006. In 2009, Susan was awarded the prestigious Bravos Award for Excellence in Music by the Albuquerque Arts Alliance.

In addition to her work at the University of New Mexico, Susan founded the Albuquerque Suzuki School, as well as the Suzuki violin program at the College of Santa Fe. She ran student retreats at Hummingbird Music Camp for many years, began a series of student performances at the Rio Grande Zoo and founded the student touring group – Mad About Music, which has performed in Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Virginia, Washington DC, Arizona and Texas. Many of her students have won the opportunity to solo with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony. She has also had several younger students solo with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Her former students are teaching and playing professionally throughout the country.

She has two published books: Between Parent and Teacher: A Teacher’s Guide to Parent Education [SHAR]and How Muscles Learn: Teaching the Violin with the Body in Mind [Alfred]. A third book, Folk Melodies of New Mexico and the Southwest will be published in the near future, and she is beginning a fourth book about human cognition and music teaching and learning.

Susan has presented sessions at many national conferences, including The American String Teachers Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, The Music Teachers National Association, National Association of Physical Therapists in 2003, and the Research Symposia at Northern Arizona University, The University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts and SAA Talent Education Research sessions in Minneapolis.

Susan’s education has been eclectic, and has included fields as diverse as nursing, zoology, 17th century literature, cognition, kinesthetics, as well as violin performance and pedagogy. She studied at DePaul University, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico. She has Bachelors and Masters degrees from UNM. Her violin teachers have included Harold Wolf, Victor Aitay, Sally Peck [violin and viola], and Leonard Felberg. She studied pedagogy with John Kendall and interdisciplinary work with William Seymour.

About the UNM Lab School and its beloved matriarch Susan Kempter.
Video created in 2013 by pedagogy student Crystal Boyack.

for more information: Wikipedia

source: University of New Mexico

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Shepherd, Chevel ~ voice ~ La Plata

New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight

Featured Student: Chevel Shepherd ~ La Plata | Farmington

17-year-old Chevel Shepherd stands as living proof that big things sometimes come in small packages. Chevel won America’s hearts, and the title of “Season 15 Winner” during her epic run on NBC’s The Voice, under the guidance of American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Chevel aspires to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Clarkson, working to emerge as a major recording artist and actress in her own right.

She was raised on country music and the outdoors in her hometown of Farmington, New Mexico – often doing crafts, feeding her animals and fixing up cars with her dad. Chevel has been singing for most of her life, well before auditioning for The Voice; every Friday morning her parents would drive her to the radio station before school and she would sing live on air. As Chevel got older she sang everywhere she could, taking every opportunity. 

Chevel loves country music and feels so blessed to be living her dreams and spreading her love of music to all her fans. Recently she partnered with the Professional Bull Riders – recording an exclusive song, a duet with Eddie Montgomery, and performing at the PBR Finals in Las Vegas. Chevel is humbly pursuing her childhood dreams of singing at the Grand Ole Opry, winning Grammys, putting out albums, and touring nationally. She also has an EP with all original music coming out early in 2020.

Chevel was nominated for the Music Commission’s Student Spotlight by her mother Julie.

Above: PBR’s ( official music video for Be Cowboy featuring Chevel Shepherd. All rights remain with PBR and Chevel Shepherd.

For more information about Chevel, visit her:

Chevel’s biographical information, image, and video are used with written permission of her mother Julie Shepherd.

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1978 – ¡Arriba Nuevo México! – Roberto Griego

Songs about New Mexico: ¡Arriba Nuevo México!

written and performed by Roberto Griego (1978)


Soy un Nuevo Méxicano Y un verdadero Chicano Yo nací en un pueblo pequeño Muy humilde, pobre y sincero Y ahora les voy a cantar De mi pueblo natural El pueblo en que yo naci Lleva por nombre La Joya Donde vivian mis parientes, Mis amigos – los Griegos, Romeros y los Moyas Y ahora les quiero cantar de mi estado popular Arriba Nuevo México Arriba mi estado querido Arriba mi Albuquerque Y arriba con toda su gente Arriba Nuevo México Arriba nuestra capital Arriba con Santa Fe Y arriba mi estado popular Y arriba Nuevo México, ¡sí señor! En mi querido Albuquerque Están las montañas Sandías Y más allá hacia el norte Encuentran más maravillas Y en la ciudad de Las Vegas Me enamore de una querida  En el pueblo de Española Hay tantas mujeres preciosas En Belen, Socorro y Las Cruces, También están muy hermosas Y por eso les quiero cantar De mi estado popular Arriba Nuevo México Arriba mi estado querido Arriba mi Albuquerque Y arriba con toda su gente Arriba Nuevo México Arriba nuestra capital Arriba con Santa Fe Y arriba mi estado popular

above: Roberto Griego singing his anthem with Marty Carlucci and Tony Lujan on trumpet, Benito Encinas on keys, Hector Franco on bass, Taralynn Martinez on background vocals, and John Vigil on drums.

All rights remain with the artist as licensed to TuneCore (on behalf of RJG Records); BMI – Broadcast Music Inc.


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Neikrug, Marc

Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts: Marc Neikrug ~ Santa Fe

photo courtesy of Mark Neikrug

Recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Marc Neikrug’s musical career has spanned over 54 years as a globally recognized concert pianist, composer, and artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. As a pianist, he performed as a soloist, a chamber musician, and most notably as a duo partner with the violinist Pinchas Zuckerman for over 35 years. Together they performed in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East in concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. His performances with Mr. Zuckerman have been recorded in over 20 CDs and performances broadcast on German, Swiss, English, and Japanese stations as well as on PBS. As a composer, major pieces were commissioned by the Berlin Opera, London’s South Bank Festival, the Frankfurt Festival, the Polish Radio Symphony, the Library of Congress, Lincoln Center, and the Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Boston, Washington National, and Jerusalem symphonies. He has written five pieces on commission for the New York Philharmonic and G. Schirmer has published over 60 of his works. Since 1998, Neikrug has been the Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Its annual season of 45 concerts features nearly 100 musicians from all over the world and the festival’s three-month series of radio shows is broadcast by over 200 stations. He developed major educational components to the Festival that brings curriculum, teacher training, and performances to 6,000 elementary students as well as pre-K students through the Music in Our Schools program.

Marc Neikrug performing Schumann’s Scenes of Childhood #7 (Dreaming) in 2007 for the “Sunken Cathedral: Classics for Kids” CD. The video is licensed to YouTube by Entertainment One U.S., LP (on behalf of eOne Music).

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Blaskey, Lindy

Notable New Mexican: Lindy Blaskey ~ Albuquerque

lindy blaskeyWhile they never broke big on the national charts, Lindy Blaskey and his band the Lavells were one of the most popular bands in the Southwest during the mid-’60s garage rock explosion. The band’s frantic and dance-friendly rock made them the kings of the Albuquerque, NM, teen scene, and their popularity extended across the state. Blaskey sang and played rhythm guitar with the group, while Steve Maase played lead guitar, Art Flore handled keyboards, Carl Silva was on harmonica, Danny Valdez held down the bass, and Chuck Buckley was the drummer. Blaskey also released the band’s recordings through his own record label, and their 1966 single “You Ain’t Tuff” has surfaced on a number of anthologies of rare and classic garage rock sides. The band’s other big hits include “Let It Be” and “Out Here in Viet-Nam”. After Lindy & the Lavells broke up, Blaskey stayed in the music business, working as a booking agent in New Mexico and a major-label A&R man in Los Angeles. Blaskey returned to his hometown of Albuquerque in retirement. In 2006, the British Big Beat label released a collection of rare material from Blaskey and his crew, Albuquerque’s Finest! The Best of Lindy & the Lavells.

Above: Lindy & the Lavells single Let it Be released in 1967 featuring Lindy Blaskey – Vocals and rhythm guitar, Steve Maase – Lead guitar, Art Flores – Keyboards, Carl Silva – Harmonica, Danny Valdez – Bass, Chuck Buckley – Drums. The recording is from the compilation Mindrocker Vol.5 and the video is from the movie Capriccio All’Italiana: La Gelosia (1968) directed by Mauro Bolognini, with protagonists Walter Chiari and Ira von Fürstenberg.

source: review by Mark Deming

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Candyman Strings & Things

The Candyman Strings & Things ~ Santa Fe & Los Alamos

The NM Music Commission Foundation is pleased to present the 2019 Lee Berk Foundation Award to Rand and Cindy Cook, owners of the Candyman Strings and Things, celebrating 50 years of serving New Mexico’s musicians and music students.

The Candyman Strings & Things is New Mexico’s premier full-line music store that serves families to professional musicians, and everyone in between. Winning the prestigious NAMM Dealer of the Year Award in 2014, The Candyman also offers an instrument rental program as well as repair and commercial sound installation services in their Santa Fe and Los Alamos stores.

In 1969 the store’s founder Matthew Schwartzman opened a small acoustic guitar shop in downtown Santa Fe. The store expanded to include large home theater equipment, electronics, recorded music and musical instruments. The original store had a major fire in the 1990’s, which then led to the store’s current location on St. Michael’s Drive.

Beyond selling musical instruments, Candyman has several innovative programs that promote the benefits of playing music. Their annual “Wanna Play” initiative invites non-musicians to the store to have hands-on experiences with musical instruments, to unlock their inner talents. Their “Summer Rock Camp” puts kids age 8-18 into real-life band situations. During this 2-week program, the participants learn to play in a band, record at a studio, visit radio stations and perform in a live concert. It is a truly life-changing experience for many of these kids.

above: video biopic short about Candyman and owners Cindy and Rand Cook – premiered August 23, 2019 at the Platinum Music Awards show – created by Bunee Tomlinson of Windswept Media.

No copyright is claimed in the above creative examples and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, the New Mexico Music Commission asserts that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe these materials have been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact us.