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Hello, My name is George Chavez!
I grew up in Sacramento, CA. and started the cello in 1962 while I was in the 5th grade. I originally wanted to play the Bass Violin but was physically not large enough to handle such an instrument(I thought people who played it looked cool). The music teacher at the elementary school I attended (A very Fine cellist by the name of Judith Waegell) suggested I take up the cello. I agreed. She spent several weeks at first frustrated by my lack of committment and my fooling around which I did quite a bit of in those days. To get through this, I guess she felt I had potential, she offered to give me private lessons. She was a single parent and unable she found to to take care of the yard at the house she lived in. I came from a economically challenged hispanic household. It was a good fit. I mowed her lawns for her and she gave me my first private lessons. A barter agreeement.The school district I belonged to had large rooms and closets full of any instrument a kid might want to play and they were free for the taking. This was very "instrumental"(ooooh sorry, couldn't resist) in my becoming a musician. I played the cello in Elementary,Junior and Senior High school. I participated in All-City orchestras, The golden Empire Music festival, and All-Northern California orchestra's over the course of these years. In orchestra's I was in the beginning, a regular section guy. I began studying with a great cellist by the name of August Heilbron.
He was the principal cellist of the Sacramento Symphony for about 15 years. He was from Germany originally, fought in WWII, and played with the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscannini for a few years. August was a man whose compassionate nature as a teacher, and absolutely master technique produced cellists who have attained international soloist stature and many other fine players who I have lost contact with, but who I know are contributing in a major way to the vitality of classical music and the cello cause around the globe. "Augies" students are easily identified by their big sound and musicality.
I studied with August for three years. He was a major influence on me as a cellist and as an emerging man. I studied briefly with another fine cellist by the name of Ira Lehn at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. His style and approach to the cello were much more clinical than were August's. I learned much from him during our short time together.
I won some Superior grades for solo performances at the Golden Empire Musica Festival held yearly at Sacramento State College. After high school I played in various community orchestras and chamber groups, and in summer stock productions of musicals. I secured work in the Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe casino and professional orchestra arena during the years of 1974-1976. During these years I performed in casino orchestras and with the Reno Phillharmonic, both fully professional groups. August told me upon graduating from High School, and at the ending of my study with him that I had to make a decision about music as career or as something else in my life. He arranged for my work in Lake Tahoe and Reno and gave me exposure to that world. I was also associated with the Sacramento City College orchestra(principal), the Butte Symphony, the Camellia Symphony.
Playing with conservatory level musician's made me understand where I fit in the pecking order so to speak. I did not have a degree in music. and was certainly not from a place like New York or Chicago. I was however, a very good player. My choice for music became an avocation rather than profession as I just didn't think I was good enough to compete with the "big boys and girls". There was a period of about 3 years where I didn't play at all. Then interestingly enough, my journey as a Christian would brought me back to GOD, and to the latent musicality that had been dormant but that was still there.
My contribution to the world since 1986 has been as a player of Christian music in a number of settings. One of the most spiritually powerful ways I have done this is through a musical syle known as TAIZE. It is a form of worship that incorporates chanting and simple musical themes that are beautiful and moving to play. TAIZE was developed by a group of Monks in the town of TAIZE, France. I recommend this highly to my fellow cellists as a wonderful experience.
I have also very recently been doing free-lance work with small professional groups in the San Francisco, CA. area, and in areas located north of the Golden Gate bridge. I have also been participating in an outstanding chamber music program in the town of Santa Rosa, CA., which draws talent from the local professional and amatuer music community. I had the good fortune to play as a substitute hire for the Santa Rosa Symphony during the 1994-95 season. I have also been hired and served as principal cellist for the West Marin Orchestra, and the Sonoma and Santa Rosa concert Chorale groups. I have also been affiliated with the Petaluma Summer Music Festival and the Cinnabar Theater/Opera company. I am currently involved with a group that is preparing to tour and play music that is similar to that played by groups such as John Tesh and Yanni.
I am employed as a PC LAN Specialist with the largest worker's compensation insurer in the world, in San Francisco. I have recent working experience in many facets of LAN technology. At present I am serving as LAN/BeyondWare administrator in a Banyan Vines/BeyondMail, CaLANdar and Collabra Share environment.
I have been playing with PC's since 1984. I am very interested in the Internet and have been using Netcom Netcruiser quite a bit lately. I am coordinating a mobile computing pilot project for my company. Because of this I'm using a Hewlett-Packard Omnibook 5000 CT, which is a pentium 90Mhz based laptop pc with 16mgb RAM, 1.2 Gb hard drive, 28.8 PCMCIA modem. Boy, I just send and receive stuff like you wouldn't believe on this machine. I like to read, surf the internet, I'm an avid fan of the big screen. I love particpating in sports and am an active, involved father to three kids of my own, and four that belong to my girl friend. Fortunately, we rarely have all seven at once!
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This page was created on 3/10/96, as a free service of the Internet Cello Society SITE.