Ms. Laura Mazza-Dixon

Guitar Teacher

Laura Mazza-Dixon

SAA Member

Contact

[javascript protected email address]
www.windyhillguitarstudio.com

Laura Mazza-Dixon teaches classical guitar and viola da gamba to students of all ages at the Windy Hill Guitar Studio in Granby, Connecticut. The Early Music at Windy Hill program, founded in Fall 2014, offers ensembles classes in Renaissance and Baroque Music. Laura has directed the Early Music Ensembles for the Community Division of the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. She also teaches a workshop called “Finding Common Ground,” based on simple principles of Renaissance improvisation, and conducts masterclasses in classical guitar.

Laura has studied classical guitar with David Leisner, Ann Willard, and Philippe de Fremery, and holds a Bachelors of Music in classical guitar from Penn State University. She focused on viola da gamba during her graduate studies, completing an MFA in the Performance of Medieval and Renaissance Music from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied viol and vielle with Judith Davidoff, original notation with Alex Blachly, ensemble music with LaNoue Davenport and musicology with Lucy Cross. After graduate school Laura continued her study of early music with Grace Feldman at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven. Over the past twenty years, she has completed teacher training for nine volumes of the Suzuki method for classical guitar and attended several early music summer workshops.

The students Laura teaches make up the the Windy Hill Guitar Ensemble, which performs several times a year in churches, libraries and bookstores. The programs incorporate music from the Suzuki literature as well as ensemble pieces in a wide variety of styles. Recently the Windy Hill Guitar Ensemble programs have included narrated musical settings of children’s favorites “Ferdinand the Bull” and “The Velveteen Rabbit,” a program titled Rhythm, Riddles and Rhymes, and one of Irish music and stories titled Limerick Lane.

Laura’s performing and directing background:

In 1980, Laura directed the Fantasia Consort at the Central PA Festival of the Arts and served as company musician to the Utah Shakespearean Festival in 1984. Since moving to Connecticut she has appeared with a variety of early music ensembles, including Concentus Laurentius, the Litchfield Chamber Orchestra, the Hartt Collegium and Citysingers of Hartford.

Upon founding the contradance band Heart’s Ease in 1992, an amateur band open to players of all ages, to play for family dances, Laura went on to organize the Granby Family Dance Series. Heart’s Ease is the house band for the Granby Family Dance Series and has performed for many years at benefits for the Marquis of Granby, the fundraiser for the foodbank called Empty Bowls in East Granby, and at the Holcomb Farm Spring and Fall Festivals.

For many years, the Village Fair Duo with Laura on guitar and Carrie Crompton on hammered dulcimer was listed in the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Performing Artists Roster. Highlights of their performances together were the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in Farmington, CT and the Downeast Dulcimer Festival in Bar Harbor, Maine. The Village Fair Duo is featured on two Connecticut Classical Guitar Society compilation discs, A Winter Fantasy and Gift of the Guitar.

Over the past few years Laura has directed a performance of Stately Sarabandes and Sprightly Ayres for the Trinity Music Series, and a lecture/ recital on The Art of Henry Purcell for the Hartford Musical Club.

On viola da gamba Laura Mazza-Dixon has performed programs of Baroque music on the Trinity Music Series in Tariffville, CT, the Music at South Church Series in Granby, CT, and also with Citysingers of Hartford at Trinity College Chapel and with members of the Hartford Musical Club at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Hartford.

She directed a lecture/ recital on The Art of Henry Purcell for the Hartford Musical Club and presented Near the Hearth, a program of Irish music, stories and poems, at the Simsbury Public Library. Her programs combining music, poetry and stories at the Cossitt Library in North Granby, include one on Robert Burns and another on Elizabethan Love Songs and Music from Shakespeare’s Time.

In 2010, the Early Music Ensemble at the Hartt Community Division presented two recitals under Laura’s direction. The first was Elizabethan music for recorder, viola da gamba, voice and guitar and the second focused on the music of Henry Purcell, for harpsichord, voice, violin, recorder and viola da gamba. In June 2010, the Windy Hill Guitar Ensemble joined forces with the Hartt Early Music Ensemble in a concert of Music of Shakespeare’s Time, with scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dreame presented by the guitar students and the stage music played by the early music students.

Recent performances include a lecture/recital at the Hartford Musical Club called Musical Letterboxing, in which Appalachian versions of traditional ballads of the British Isles were performed alongside their historical predecessors by Ann-Carter-Cox, soprano and harpist, Linne Landgraf, on concertina and pennywhistle and Mattie Banzaf on banjo and piano.

In the March 2011, Laura performed in a concert celebrating the birthday of J.S. Bach at South Congregational Church in Granby, CT with Peg Walker, violin, Michelle Davis, flute, Anne Mayo, harpsichord, Rosalia Bale, piano, and Bridget de Moura-Castro, organ. A lecture/recital by Walter Mayo at the Hartford Musical Club in April 2011 included many of the same pieces and focused the history and background of Bach’s Musical Offering.