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OPEN MIC CLASSICAL
Woods, who had to wheel herself onstage with a scooter because of a broken ankle, ignored the distraction like a pro, and played with exquisite musicianship. Her soft passages sounded like whispers, and when she played with force, it was with complete confidence.
Woods had clearly distinguished herself with her tender and insightful playing of the unusual Concertino. (Cape Cod Times -By Keith Powers, May 05, 2013)
“The Soloist” semifinalist competition sponsored by the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra was a hit with the competitors as well as the audience even before the three finalists are announced.
Despite the obvious difficulty in twisting her body around to play the clarinet, Woods tackled the Concertino for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major by Carl Maria von Weber with enthusiasm and skill.
“I was so happy I could be here,” clarinetist Monika Woods of Brewster said, beaming with family and friends surrounding her and children asking for her autograph. Woods had three generations of fans in the audience and the family of her accompanist Loretta Slovak, a piano teacher at the Cape Cod Conservatory. (THE REGISTER, Susan Vaughn, March 06, 2013)
"Young Hungarian-born clarinetist Monika Veress (Woods) and pianist (Donald) Enos provided a concert highlight with their high-spirited rendition of a sprightly Romanian dance arranged as a virtuoso clarinet piece by Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas." (Cape Cod Times - Anna Crebo, April 02 2007)
“I'm the only hoity-toity one in my family, having gotten a Master’s degree in clarinet performance at Gheorghe Dima Music Academy,” she says. “Though my parents and brother are very clever and inventive real-world people within the very non-abstract tapestry of small-town Hungarian village life.”
She says her family was very encouraging of her talent and wanted more for her.
“One day my dad took a break from tin-smithing a makeshift tractor-cab, spread the local newspaper over my mother's red needlepoint tablecloth - and his stubby, sandpaper, greasy fingers came across an ad for a renovated public music boarding school trying to make it in a quiet, recently post-communist Romania. I was just finishing up the last grade my local village school could offer, so that was that. I went.”
(Cape Codder & Gate House News Service - Candace Hammond, December 27 2012)
Woods does benefit concerts, often for the UU Church in Brewster, which has undergone a recent renovation and which maintains a close relationship with a sister church in Transylvania. The Unitarian church has roots in the region that go back for centuries. Usually she performs with pianist Deborah Geithner. Children’s and women’s services have also benefited from their musical offerings, often at Geithner’s waterfront home.
And she loves her life on Cape Cod. “I try to nourish my creativity” with Bikram yoga, a form of the meditation practiced in a room that is heated to a sweat-inducing temperature, and play with her active child. “I have a life filled with music and joy with my daughter,” said the woman chosen by the clarinet. (Barnstable Patriot - Ellen C. Chahey, January 31 2013)
Be part of an unique music program and clarinet education on Cape Cod based on practical experience, implementing Kodály's philosophy and guidelines with a child developmental music education approach, integrating the most effective and successful ideas,
techniques and tools for music instruction. Grants are available for those who qualify.
“And maybe because we have a 3-½-year-old ourselves,“ Woods said with a laugh, “we don’t mind teaching music to children that age,” She said that, as appropriate, they give lessons in their own home or the child’s, or in schools. (Barnstable Patriot Ellen C. Chahey, January 31 2013)
Going Solo: Brewster Clarinetist Monika Woods
“I have started to teach music privately on a variety of instruments, ...so now more than ever we have been seeking, and finding ideas and inspiration from other Cape creative people, to keep ideas flowing and enthusiasm high, there are so many creative folks in the woodwork. I love that Americans do things like house concerts in their own homes. When Deborah Geithner is not too busy being the mother of our [Secretary of the Treasury], I sometimes play benefit concerts in her house. (Cape Codder - Candace Hammond, December 27 2012)
And new to the Cape next month: an open mic for classical music, which is subtitled “the micless open mic,”
at First Parish Brewster Church... (Cape Cod Times - by Andrew Roiter, Jan 22, 2015)
Search for 'Soloist' includes Brewster clarinetist
"I want to find people who are captivating," says CCSO artistic director Jung-Ho Pak. "Not just sonically proficient, but players with charisma. That's what the superstars of classical music really have, that charisma."
"One entrant works in the computer field and plays the clarinet; people can relate to that."(Cape Cod Times, Keith Powers, February 02 2013)
Open Mics are not just for pop Music
The afternoon welcomes “any level, any ages, no program in advance. It almost sounds like a recipe for failure, doesn't it? But instead you discover hidden treasures,” she adds in an email. Woods gives the example of one of the 11 people who performed in March: a woman who picked up the clarinet in her 60s.
“Three years later, she is playing sonatas at our Open Mic Classical with so much passion and musicality.
What an inspiration!” (Cape Cod Times - Sound Choice, April 16, 2015)
Person of the week, Monika Woods at mvyradio (88.7FM), talking about Open Mic Classical (aka the mic-less open mic) in an interview made on February 18th, 2016
Over 800 people gave 7 great amateur performances a standing ovation at The Soloist Semi-Finals March 2. The judges deliberated. The audience cast their votes. Over 1500 online votes were made from across the world! The three finalistswill be the featured guest artists at our CCSO final concert of the season, The Virtuosos: Orchestra & Soloists, May 4 & 5, 2013. They'll also compete for substantial cash prizes: $3,500, $2,000 and $1,000. The audience alone will determine the winner of The Soloist!
Don't miss the exciting conclusion to The Soloist competition! Purchase tickets to the Finals online or by calling 508.362.1111.
Listen to WOMR interview with host Felice Coral talking to our co-founders: Bob Marcus, Monika Woods, and our guest performer of the month Christian Holleck. Special thank you goes to pianist Elizabeth Tipton, clarinetist Janet Atherton, and guitarist John Dirac, who play on the soundtracks.
Open Mic Classical on Arts Week with WOMR Radio Host Candace Hammond on September 28th, 2017
For Open Mic Classical New Website
'Soloist' finalists announced
Clarinetist Monika Woods of Brewster is one of the three finalists for Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra's "The Soloist" competition. Woods and Im will attend a "Meet the Artist" luncheon sponsored by the CCSO Guild at noon May 3 at Alberto's Ristorante in Hyannis. Artistic director and conductor Jung-Ho Pak will discuss with them their performances, passions and plans for the future. (Cape Cod Times, March 16, 2013)
And then there were three...
Monika Woods of Brewster, one of just two clarinetists to audition for The Soloist, also found her way all the way to the top three. She will once again perform “Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra" for the finals.
“I love this piece because von Weber just goes for it, no holds barred; he doesn’t really worry about being over the top,” said Woods.
“I guess I’m at the point in my life where I just want to go for it, too. Me, Monika von Woods,” Woods added with a laugh.(Barnstable Patriot - Jen Pitta, March 28 2013)
Born in Romania, Monika, 33, connected with Carl Maria von Weber's Concertino. "I love the piece because Weber goes for it musically, no holds barred, and doesn't worry about going over the top." (March, 2013)
Cape clarinetist has chance to shine with symphony orchestra
“I was chosen by the clarinet,” said Monika Woods of Brewster, the only resident of Cape Cod to win one of eight semi-finalist slots in the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra’s “New England Concerto Competition” on Feb. 9. (Barnstable Patriot - Ellen C. Chahey, January 31 2013)
Transylvanian Clarinetist Makes a New Home for Her Music
To listen to radio interview with Monika Woods by Dan Richards, about Open Mic Classical aired April 10th, 2017 on WCAI radio 90.1FM
WOMR Interview March 8th, 2018 / International Women's Day / Felice Coral from Caffee Classicale talking to clarinetist Monika Woods, and pianist Ana Glig about their musical background
And the winner is...
Marking the culmination of its Soloist competition, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra held its final audition and vote Sunday afternoon at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center. The competition drew more than 60 entrants and sparked a flurry of voting both online and by audience and jury members.
The three finalists performed with the orchestra under the direction of Jung-Ho Pak during both Saturday and Sunday concerts.The audience was buzzing at intermission, as votes were collected. There seemed no consensus in a random survey: many loved Im's music, which was romantic and powerfully played. Scott had the personality of a great singer, and a charming voice. And Woods had clearly distinguished herself with her tender and insightful playing of the unusual Concertino.
And because of that, there wasn't too much surprise when Woods was announced as the first prize winner. Im finished second and Scott third. (Cape Cod Times-By Keith Powers, May 05, 2013)
Woods wins symphony soloist competition. Only Cape Cod resident to reach finals.
Monika Woods of Brewster has won The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra’s first “Soloist” competition. (Wicked Local - Susan Vaughn, May 8 2013)
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