NEXT MEETING: January 23, 2015
Giving Back: The Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
Jose Gordon, Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation, will share an overview of his work to establish the Warriors Community Foundation under the new Lacob-Guber ownership group, and will highlight recent community engagement efforts in Richmond. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Golden State Warriors. As Executive Director, Jose is responsible for fundraising and charitable investments, including grants, basketball court refurbishments, and ticket donations. Previously, Jose served as Senior Director of Development Communications for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and American Studies from Stanford University.
MEETING OF January 16, 2015
President Stoney Stonework called the meeting to order at the Richmond Country Club and Tom Waller led the pledge of allegiance. Stoney asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Alan Blavins offered this thought for the day: A smile is a curve that can set most things straight.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Stoney introduced for the first time from Rotary International headquarters in Evanston a special new pin/button to be presented to an existing member who brings a new member into the Club. The first Richmond Rotary recipient for 2015 is Josh Genser for bringing forward James Richardson for Club membership.
Happy and Sad Dollars
Tambourines, Triangles and Trout!
Stacey Street introduced professional musician, Victor Avdienko, a percussionist who offered us a fun and informative session about tambourines, triangles, and trout. There were lots of “gee-I-didn’t-know-that” moments.
Victor regularly performs with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with a variety of well-known artists like Johnny Mathis, Paul Simon, and Sheryl Crow. Besides being active with music-in-schools programs, he also has served for nine years as Music Director for the California Shakespeare Festival.
The tambourine is one of the oldest percussion instruments and is mentioned in the Bible. The triangle (a classic “idiophone”, which creates sound by vibrating without the use of strings or membranes) is believed to have originated with the Turks. Its sound was associated with terror and military activities. Beethoven broke the triangle’s stereotype and introduced it as an instrument to also convey merriment.
With over 30 tambourines and 12 triangles in his personal collection (each of them unique), Victor showed several of his favorites to demonstrate the wide variety of sounds that can be created from different device materials and construction as well as musician technique.
As Victor told us, the diverse sounds enable appropriate rhythms, interpretations, and moods in the “story-telling” of a musical composition, not unlike what a painter does with color variation on a canvas. The tambourine and triangle contribute to and punctuate the often emotional roller-coaster ride of a musical score, helping to take the listener alternatively through waves of highs and lows, from the joyful to the menacing.
It’s interesting to contemplate the sometimes terrifying nature of playing the tambourine or triangle with a symphony. While the violinist during a concert may play thousands of notes that blend with others, the tambourine or triangle percussionist can very much stand out with that one shot to get it right (or not), to “play” the instrument in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.
As for trout, Victor pointed out that “scales” are a common connection between fishing and music. But there’s more to it than that. He long ago developed a strong desire to improve his fly casting skills in order to achieve the magic of catching fish, not unlike his motivation for increasing his skills at playing the right notes in order to achieve the magic of making music. Now that’s a keeper!
Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe