One of our long time members Gene Bearden has passed away. Gene was a member of the St. Louis Symphony and owner of Beardens Violin Shop that has been a main stay for beginner to professional musicians for years. Gene was a tremendous supporter of string education and was such a positive role model for every person who came into the shop to rent or purchase a string instrument. Mr. Bearden received the MoASTA Distinguished Service award in 1993.
Dear Members, I have received a few tributes about Gene which I would like to pass along to his family. I will be posting your comments on the MoASTA webs site so his family can see them. Please send any messages to email@example.com
“Gene was not just a supporter of the string world, he advocated for both students and professionals. His vision and actions moved Mo-ASTA to another dimension; his expertise provided many of us with instruments, bows and repairs we would not have had access to without his guidance; school string programs thrived under his tutelage. His passing is indeed a loss to our string community near and far. He will be missed!” -Marilyn Humiston
Mr. Bearden use to travel to Tulsa while I was in college with his music and instruments. I always looked forward to that visit! RIP Gene and thanks for the memories! -Julie Miller Miller
I’m sorry to hear this news. My thoughts are with Gene’s family.-Kirt Mosier
I am so sorry and saddened to hear this. thank you for letting us know. Sincerely, Sue Rola’
I am so sorry to hear this. When I first moved to Cape Girardeau, Gene Bearden was one of the I met with in my regular visits to St. Louis, and he worked for many years on my cellos and bows. He had a amazing gift for instruments, instrument repair, and was so kind and supportive of everyone in the string world. He will be much missed. -Sara Edgerton
I am so sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. He was a devoted supporter of music and musicians big and small, and an invaluable resource of expertise in string instruments. RIP Gene, you gave us much and will be sorely missed.-Eva Szekely
So sad. He was so wonderful and supportive always.-Leah Poe
My gosh, I didn’t expect that…incredibly sad. He was a big influence on me for sure and will miss him.-Matt Wyatt
He let me play my first $100.00 cello when I was 13…my mom immediately had me hand it gently back to Mr. Bearden…lol… He will be missed.-Fariga Drayton
I hate to hear this. He was so good to me always and I am eternally grateful for his kindness. -Mary White Pina
Oh no…so sad. Wow..I didn’t even know. An Amazing man and huge supporter for sure. -Bruce Walker
Oh no! I loved Mr. Bearden…. -Tracy Smith
RIP Gene. He will be missed.-Darlene Lanser
So sorry to hear this, my condolences.-Rhonda Branneky
This makes me so sad. He was so wonderful.-Christa Kopp
He always remembered my name after I bought my viola. -Tim Grimes
Mr. Bearden was always a strong and generous supporter of orchestral programs in our area. He will be missed.-David Peek
That is so sad. He was always so nice and helpful. He was always interested in every student and what they were doing.-Cathy Kopp
ALL-STATE ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR IS ANNOUNCED
I am proud to announce the conductor of the 2016 Missouri All-State Orchestra is Douglas Droste from Ball State University. I have attached his bio below.
All State auditions are set for Saturday, December 5, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri.
Director of Orchestras and Associate Professor of Music at Ball State University
Conductor Douglas Droste is recognized as possessing “obvious joy” for making music and a “sure sense of timing” when on the podium. Those under his baton routinely acknowledge him for his in-depth musical interpretations, keen sense of communication, and his personable ability to empower musicians. Droste is the Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at Ball State University.
Droste’s innovative approach to programming with the MSO has led to acclaimed reviews. He has conducted performances of Michael Torke’s Ash, Scott Routenberg’s Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra featuring Christian Howes, and special event concerts with the ground-breaking string trio, Time for Three, and the Ball State University “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band. Droste has also led the MSO in dynamic performances of Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
At Ball State, Droste conducts the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and oversees the orchestral conducting program. Recent performances with the BSSO have included Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919), the full production of Massenet’s Werther, and a combined performance with the BSU Jazz Ensemble of The Kennedy Dream by Oliver Nelson, the first live performance since the original recording in 1967.
Droste and jazz violinist Christian Howes were invited by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to perform and teach as part of an ongoing cultural exchange and engagement. Droste guest conducted the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill concert entitled “Music from the New World” and gave a conducting masterclass to young Ukrainian conductors. Other guest conducting includes the Columbus Symphony and BalletMet Columbus’ production of The Nutcracker, the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Midland-Odessa; and the Amarillo Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra on an all-Bach concert, performing as violin/leader on Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. Demonstrating his versatility, Droste has conducted pops concerts with artists such as Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Pink Martini, Michael Cavanaugh, John Pizzarelli, and Emily Drennan.
A dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth orchestras and also presents in-service conference sessions throughout the country. He is active as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals, and is affiliated with organizations such as Music For All, Yamaha, American String Teachers Association, Festival Disney, and Perform International. Believing that outreach is an important tool for the promotion of music education, Droste has developed Young People’s Concerts for several orchestras.
A talented violinist, Droste has performed with the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival (OH). He is a former student of John Gilbert and the late Michael Davis. Droste is also skilled on viola and trumpet, and has sung with a variety of choral ensembles.
Droste has held positions at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Youth Symphony, Austin Peay State University, and Liberty Union-Thurston School District (OH). Droste studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, as well as other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Larry Rachleff, and Michael Jinbo. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.
The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) is the nation’s premier organization for string teachers and performers. ASTA is committed to helping its membership develop and refine their skills throughout their careers, from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. ASTA offers many services tailored to each member’s unique needs.
Missouri State Chapter
MoASTA is active in many areas supporting string performance and education. The Board of Directors oversees the Missouri All State Orchestra Program (ASO). DIRECTORS please be vigilant in reading not only the audition information pages on this website, but the MSHSAA handbook rules for solo/ensemble festivals. Changes have taken place in both venues!
Encourage your colleagues to join ASTA and visit our website for news and pertinent information about our organization! Regards,
Ann Geiler, MoASTA President