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Violin making has been in Rockville resident Rich Maxham's family for five generations.
"My great-great-grandfather had a shop in Erie, PA," he says, "and I was inspired by my grandfather and inherited his tools and books."
Maxham began playing the violin at age 3, and was first chair in the orchestra at St. John's College in Annapolis. After graduation, he apprenticed with a violin maker in Lynchburg, VA, for a year before landing the position at The Potter Violin Company in Bethesda.
"I'd heard a lot of serious players talking about Potter's, so I knew it was very well regarded," Maxham says. "Violin making is something I want to do, and working here, with the exposure to all the instruments that come in, is an education in itself."
A Tribute to Whisper
by Emily Wright
As musicians, we are familiar with certain themes common to the repertoire: love, loss, jealousy, tragedy. We play these storylines out in opera and oratorio, symphonic epic and lonely solo suite, tapping into our own similar experiences and mining them to propel our expression.
Anyone who has loved an animal and has navigated their passing instantly has a lifetime supply of inspiration for such occasions. There is something so wonderful about the way pets add to our lives, only asking for simple nourishment and company yet offering one of the only sources of unconditional love and reliability known to man. Whisper, the coal-eyed Samoyed who has graced our Shop for the better part of 5 years, was a prime example of these qualities. It is with a heavy heart that we announce his passing in March.
Whisper belonged to David Basch’s brother. Although his presence in the store was ostensibly to supervise his well-being as he transitioned from boisterous adolescent to elder statesman, it is fair to say that he took care of us, and reminded us of the simple pleasure a happy dog brings to any room. He loved listening to music, and was known to have a discerning ear. Rumor has it he had a soft spot for old French fiddles, though anything mellow suited him well, especially violas and cellos.
He was also a gourmand, enjoying take-out from the local restaurants, who were continually puzzled by the order of chicken and rice, no spice, day after day.
As we move on without this noble beast, his absence is palpable. We keep expecting to find him nestled on his rug or encircled by children (of all ages), who loved to bury their fingers in his thick fur. But we acknowledge the nature of owning a pet, and console ourselves that the feeling of loss is an appropriate tribute to a meaningful relationship.
Though we miss him terribly, it is easy to smile when we reflect on the long and happy life Whisper had. We would like to thank all of the friends he made over the years for the love and companionship you provided him. It’s another reason we consider The Potter Violin Co. a family, and are so grateful for your support.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” - Roger Caras
Greater Washington Suzuki Institute – Falls Church, VA (Jun. 24-28)
North Carolina Suzuki Institute – Greenville, NC (Jul. 7-12)
PhoenixPhest! Grande, Suzuki Institute – Ypsilante, MI (Aug. 5-9)
40th Annual International Viola Congress - Krakow, POL (Sep. 12-15)
SAGWA Fall Celebration at Bullis School – Potomac, MD (Oct. TBA)
Prelude to Peace Fundraiser
[We] are pleased to announce that, resulting from our January 11 "Prelude to Peace: Our Musical Response to Gun Violence," we received a total of $913.00 in donations! Considering that we only had two weeks to promote this event, we are excited to have such a great turnout! Most important, it is a testament to your spirit! We thank each of you for pouring your hearts into every note, spreading the word, and being devoted to serving our community!
We are especially grateful to The Potter Violin Company for a very generous donation of sponsorship!
As we announced during the concert, we will donate a portion of the proceeds to the family of visual artist Alex Polimeni to help offset the cost of his medical assistance following his severe car accident.
Once again, we thank YOU for your beautiful performances! Our next MOM event will take place in early May! Details will come soon!
Sunday, April 28 at 4:00
Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D.C.
1317 G Street, NW, (between 13th St and 14th St )
Washington, DC 20005 – http://www.epiphanydc.org/epiphanybasics
Metro Center Station, 13th St Exit - 3 blocks east of The White House
Le Gratie d’Amore: Music of the Italian Renaissance
Mark Cudek, Director
Robert Aubry Davis (WETA), narrator
Guest alumnus William Simms (Apollo’s Fire, Baltimore Consort, et al.), colascione
The Peabody Consort will also perform Sephardic Romances: A preview from the Peabody Consort’s upcoming Boston Early Music Festival performance featuring Daniel Moody, countertenor and Julie Bosworth, soprano; Brian Kay, lute and oud
Post concert wine & cheese reception
Tickets available at the door $20 general / $15 Seniors / $5 Students firstname.lastname@example.org
CCE Musical Arts & Dance (MAD) Week (Jul. 8-13)
Our Strings Magazine Give-Away Winner Announced!
Amber Cheung of Cambridge, MA, is the winner of our Strings Magazine violin give-away. As soon as we have a little more information (and hopefully, a photo of Amber with her new instrument), we will post it here.
Rita's Place Video
We just received this note (along with a link to the video) from Rebecca Loprinzi at Rita's Place:
Hey, Beautiful Violin Donors,
Here is an example of what your kindness has done. This violin was donated by Potter's. We are [now] looking for a 1/2 size, since she is growing and glowing due to your kindness and love!
Thank you from the depths of our hearts at Rita's Place!
World on a String Workshops & Concert A Huge Success!
The Potter Violin Co. was a proud sponsor of this year's World On A String workshops & concert. Visit ASTA's website for more details about WOAS 2012.
Washington Conservatory Student Receives A New Violin
Khalil, a Washington Conservatory violin student, recently received a new violin from The Potter Violin Company through the One Simple Wish foundation. Our Jim Kelly met Khalil and Liza Bush, of CASA, to present the instrument. NBC was there to film the presentation (see update above).
Alonso Tirado receives Potter's Violins Instrument Award