Violinist Joe Scheer on Sibelius: “I totally love it”


The Arlington Connection newspaper from Arlington, Virginia, USA, last week ran a story about a concert that took place last night at Artisphere, featuring folk singer-songwriter Dar Williams and local ensemble, the Ibis Chamber Music Society. In the words of writer Delia Sava, the concert was “a musical collaboration of styles, as well as a family reunion. Williams is married to Michael Robinson, the brother of harpist Susan Robinson, who co-founded Ibis with her husband, violinist Joe Scheer.”

Much of the music in the concert was arranged by Joe Scheer, who uses (what else?) Sibelius:

Scheer started doing musical arrangements in 2007 when he could not find what he considered to be “challenging or really gratifying arrangement of a Duke Ellington piece” for an Ibis concert.

Scheer uses Sibelius, a music notation software program, which he said makes it much easier. Asked whether he enjoys the process, Scheer said, “Oh, completely. I totally love it … it’s like a Rubik’s Cube for me — I’ve got this problem that I want to work out and I can sit at the computer and think of different ways of approaching it.”

Robinson explained that this has expanded their possibilities, “There’s material out there, but it’s nice to have this option — if there’s something you want to play, you just get Joe to arrange it.” She noted that Scheer’s arrangements have been pretty widely accepted. “His crowning achievement, I’d say is the Harry Potter music from the film “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” The arrangement received kudos from composer John Williams, who Scheer has known for a long time through his association with the Boston POPS.

Check out the full article for a full profile of the performers at this concert.

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