By January 31, 2016 Read More →

Unplugged View – Celebrating Community Music

Unplugged View
By Marie Maxfield

Since moving to California just over a year ago, my husband Evan and I have discovered some wonderful local music organizations to become part of. One of those groups is the Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band (GMCCB) conducted by Matt Cover and Ulices Chavez. In this group, Evan plays trumpet and I play bass clarinet.

The GMCCB has an upcoming concert on Sunday, February 28th at Ripon High School’s Multipurpose Room in Ripon. The concert will start at 2pm and will feature piano soloist John Hildebrandt performing ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ by George Gershwin.

In a nutshell, the Ripon Arts League undertook the goal of purchasing a baby grand piano for their community and were successful. It will be housed at the Ripon High School multipurpose room and used for the Ripon Arts League annual concert series. This GMCCB concert is in dedication of the successful purchase of the baby grand piano. For more info on the Ripon Arts League:

I also happen to be the Assistant Conductor of a unique and amazing orchestra in Oakland, California. The Community Women’s Orchestra (CWO) was founded as a community adjunct to the professional Women’s Philharmonic. Although the Women’s Philharmonic disbanded in 2004, the CWO continues to grow and flourish as an independent organization. In the past 31 years it has grown from the original six-member ensemble to more than sixty female members.

The Community Women’s Orchestra is preparing a concert in celebration of International Women’s Day. Join us for our concert on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4pm at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church in Oakland. The performance will feature music by composer-in-residence, and local favorite, June Bonacich, Symphony No. 6 by Beethoven and the Lieutenant Kije Suite by Prokofiev. For more info, visit their website:

I wanted to take a moment and feature a fellow, local musician. When I think of all the amazing musicians we have had the privilege to meet and work with, there is one that stands out in my mind.

Matthew Cover, conductor of the Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band for this Rhapsody in Blue concert in Ripon, grew up in Modesto and has degrees in Performance, Music Education, and Conducting from Modesto Junior College, California State University East Bay, and the University of Michigan. In addition to now teaching at Modesto High, and has taught at Davis High School, Hickman School Middle and Charter Schools, and the Modesto Junior College.

At Modesto High School, Mr. Cover teaches Band, Orchestra, Guitar, and a Musical Theatre class. He also has Marching Band, Pep Band, Color Guard, and Winter Percussion programs running year-round. During the summer he is the Assistant Conductor and Manager for the Modesto Band of Stanislaus County – or MoBand. He has also been co-directing the Gottschalk Music Center Concert Band, with Ulices Chavez, for several years now. They have performed all over California and even at Carnegie Hall. When not conducting, Mr. Cover is a woodwind specialist. His primary instrument is the clarinet but is proficient in performing on all woodwinds. His involvement in the music community is exemplary and if you have not had a chance to work with him in a community production, or have a student in one of his music classes, you are missing out!

February event calendar:

Saturday 5/13 – fifth annual Johnny Cash Birthday Bash at Prospect Theater, 1214 K St. Numerous local songwriters will perform covers of the Man In Black. 8 PM, $15.

Sunday 2 /14 – Grace Lieberman and friends at the Sunday Afternoons At CBS annual valentine concert. 3 PM at 1705 Sherwood Ave. $25/$20/$7.

Saturday 2/20 – Music At The GMC with Alzara & Brother Spellbinder and Eliza Rickman. Cabaret-folk music. 7 PM in the Gottschalk Music Center recital room, 1502 E. St. $15.




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