The Bedford Orchestras welcome two special guests for our Eighth Day for Strings on April 19.
The following guests will work with all of our district’s string students throughout the day and at the evening concert.
The performance will take place in the BHS gym at 7pm and if free and open to the public.
Both my parents played music, so my interest in music isn't really much of a surprise. My mom has her bachelor's degree in music from Albion College and a master's degree in music education from Michigan State. My dad played trumpet all through school.
I started taking violin lessons at the age of 3 after seeing a violinist play in our church and REPEATEDLY asking for a violin myself. I studied in Battle Creek, at Michigan State University, at Notre Dame, and at the University of Toledo, as well as summer sessions at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Capitol University, Andrews University, and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
I played dozens of concerts around the midwest growing up, including a performance for former First Lady Betty Ford, and an opening slot for comedienne Minnie Pearl.
When I started junior high in Charlotte, Michigan, the school did not have an orchestra, so I picked up the trumpet. I studied both instruments for several years but started showing more and more interest in the trumpet. I was named to the All-State band as a freshman in high school and to the McDonald's All-American band as a senior (1991). After graduation, I went to Michigan State and played in the Spartan Marching Band, sitting first chair Bb trumpet my fourth and fifth years. I also played in the pep band, the Spartan Brass. Between those two bands, I got to play at most Big 10 schools, and in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Japan. Throughout my college years, I rarely picked up a violin, but played trumpet an average of 20 hours a week.
I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1995 and took a job with DuPont in Orange, Texas. Within a month or two, I found a local rock band and got a job playing trumpet with them. A few months later, they decided to look for a fiddle player and I told them I could probably do the job. I bought my first electric violin in 1997 and have been primarily an electric violinist ever since. My primary band, Key West The Band, played all over the Gulf Coast of the United States and Mexico.
With the exception of a two-year stint as a missionary in Guatemala, I have been playing 120-200 shows a year for about 15 years. In 2008, my wife, Heidi, and I moved to Greenville, North Carolina where I am an electric violinist and singer for the band Spare Change. Spare Change plays mostly in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Michael joined the University of Michigan as an associate professor of music education this year, coming Michigan from the University of Vermont, where he was associate professor from 1999 to 2010, taught music technology and conducted the UVM Orchestra. He is the founding director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a guest conductor at orchestra festivals throughout the United States. He is active as a composer and arranger, with over 30 published works for orchestra, and many more commissioned by schools and ensembles throughout the U. S. He has performed as a double bassist with professional orchestras in Vermont, New Hampshire, Michigan, Colorado and Wyoming.
Hopkins is the author of the award-winning Web site, The String Pedagogy Notebook, resource guide for string teachers and performers. He has published articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, American String Teacher and The Instrumentalist and has presented at national and state conferences on topics in string education and music technology. Hopkins has served on the faculty of the American String Workshop, as executive director for the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and as past president of the Vermont chapter of ASTA with the National School Orchestra Association. Hopkins received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Colorado State University and his master’s and Ph.D. in music education from the University of Michigan.