Our most current and up-to-date listings will be posted here. This should be your first stop on every visit.
[03/08/12] More YouTube Statistics
There are now 36 videos on YouTube pertaining to the activities of the New Violin Family and the NVFO. Total views of all our videos now exceeds 20,000, which is a lot for a little group like ours. In the last year, some interesting trends have developed. Two videos in particular, which started out last on the list when they were first posted, have made a great rise toward the top. The Introduction to the New Violin Family, Part 1, and Robert Spear's on-the-fly tutorial about alto violin basics for the viola player, have soared to the number three and number five spots, respectively. This tells us that a strong interest in the New Family has been occurring since our first trip to the ASTA Convention last year. Another up-and-coming video has been the NVFO's performance of Ethan Winer's now classic composition "A Cello Rondo," which has jumped from number 36 to the 19th spot. We thank you all for your interest in our videos, and we will be recording additional performances in July.
[05/03/11] The New Violin Family at ASTA 2011
In March, Bob Spear and Bill Hurley traveled to the American String Teachers Association convention in Kansas City to exhibit conventional violins and violas, ergonomic violas, and instruments of the New Violin Family. The exhibit, sponsored by the Singing Woods Violin Shop, drew a crowd almost the entire time it was open. New Family instruments on exhibit included the mezzo, alto, tenor, baritone, and chamber bass violins--- all in a space only 10' x 10'. Here's a picture of the booth just before the doors opened on the first day. Bill and Bob were very busy after that! They made a lot of new friends and distrubuted a lot of literature. There was also a nice surge in visits to this web site and to our YouTube video channel. Reservations for a booth at the 2012 ASTA convention in Atlanta have already been made. See you there!
[05/01/11] YouTube Video Statistics
There are now 25 videos available on our Youtube channel http://youtube.com/user/octavivo. The aggregate number of views as of this date is over 14,000 and still growing. The Archus Trio's performance of a Haydn trio is still the most popular video with nearly 2000 views. Our most recent video explaining alto violin basics for the viola player is rising fastest on the list. It's halfway up the list after only a few months.
[02/02/2011] Alto Violin Basics for the Viola Player (video)
As the number of alto players in the world increases, there has been an increasing demand for a very basic video explaining the fundamental concepts of the alto violin for players coming from the conventional viola. This video, recently posted by luthier R. J. Spear, has quickly become one of the most-visited videos on the Octavivo channel. Spear says that the response to the video clearly indicates that it fills a need, and he is planning other similar videos during 2011.
[02/02/2011] New Alto A String Debuts
After months of development, an improved top string for the alto is available. The string, a collaboration between the SuperSensitive String Company of Sarasota, FL and the Singing Woods Violin Shop in Ithaca, NY, is in limited production and is available in limited quantities from Singing Woods Violin. Long-suffering alto players are calling it "the best alto A string ever." It is long enough to fit all models of alto violin, and has a warmer sound than any previous string. Pitch stability in upper positions is reported to be exceptional, and the string lasts much longer than the previous favorite, the extra-long Sensicore viola A. Work on the D string will begin next, and the ultimate goal is to produce a complete set.
[02/02/2011] YouTube Stats Update
The Octavivo Channel on YouTube now contains 24 videos, beginning with the Archus Trio first posted in September of 2009. The ever-expanding channel includes videos of trios, the NVFO Orchestra, and other tutorial and instructional videos pertaining to the New Violin Family. Aggregate views at this time number about 12,000.
[11/07/2010] Online Forums Activated!
With the stalwart help of our web host, Tim Trott at Cyberchute Hosting, a long-time supporter of the New Violin Family, the Octavivo Forums are up and running. You can link directly form this notice as long as it persists, and always from our forums page.
[09/11/2010] Orchestra Season Wraps Up
With performances before its largest audience to date at the ASTA concert, plus two benefit concerts at the end of the first week in August, the 21-piece 2010 New Violin Family Orchestra (NVFO) brought a difficult summer to a wonderful conclusion. Many in the audience said that this year'e ensemble was the finest yet. And even though our other audiences were smaller this year than last, donations to the food pantries were up by 20 percent. Congratulations and well done to all!
[08/02/2010] Orchestra Concert Publicity
Listen to Bob Spear being interviewed by Gregory Keeler on WSKG public radio. Spear was interviewed on July 28 at the WSKG studios in Vestal, New York. The interview was broadcast on Monday morning, August 2 during Bill Snyder's morning classical music program. In the interview, Spear tells a little about the history of the New Violin Family and how the NVFO came into being.
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