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Bernie Griff at Fairfax, CA Festival - 1988
Hi my name is Bernie Griff. I'm recently retired from teaching at the Ross
Valley School District in San Anselmo, California. For my last two years
(1994-1995) my classes sang songs I had written that cover roughly a period
of American History from 1803 to 1880. With my last 4th grade class of 1995,
we created a History Folk-art "Singing" Quilt.
Each student fashioned a wonderful square or panel that represented a song
we sang in class. These songs have now been released in a CD called "WEST
HO! & SONGS OF THE WEST".
Before I go any further I would like to wave a fond hello to Sandy and the
staff, Especially my singing and guitar picking buddy, Joan Owen (who also
is quite a songwriter too!), at Upper and Lower Campus at Brookside. I miss
all of you and wish you many fine travels cyberwise and otherwise. This
site is still under construction and I hope you enjoy the journey through
my pages and stages of songbites futuredelights and Hindesights! Drop me
off a note if you get the chance and I'll play it on my Sound Machine. Take
care and have fun! Bernie
UPDATE (1/4/99): I have worked with various musicians (20 in all) recording
the songs for the CD-"West Ho! & Songs of the West". This
CD also comes with a Song-Coloring Book, that contains the song lyrics,
pictures by students, and a word search activity for each song to enhance
Spelling and vocabulary, a page showing the panels of the quilt each student
crated that represents each song on the CD. (Yes teachers, parents, ministers,
and folks in general, it has an answer key to save time etc.). (See more
information on this at "West Ho! Info".) Here is the CD Timeline:
- September 1993 - started writing songs for Album based on Curriculun
for a West Unit
- June 1994 - Writing and Singing songs for classroom and for other classes
at Brookside School
- June 1995 - 16 songs and 1 Poem written for Album - Songs to be enjoyed
for a broad and specific audience
- February 1996 - Songs arranged and revised with some rewritten and
- March 1996 - Began recording songs at Fiddlewest with Bob Wasicki laying
down Drum tracks
- August 1997 - Finished recording songs - Last track - Bobby Lee's pedal
steel on "Black Bart the Po8"
- January 1998 - Art, Logo and design was delayed but patience prevailed
and Jon Adams came through!
- February 1998 - Prophet Media in Stoughton Mass. began final layout
and processing the CD
- April 1998 - Changes in layout/fonts/photo for disc and insert delayed
CD for a month or more
- May 1998 - First shipment of CD's arrived at Fiddlewest
- June 1998 - Second shipment of Cassettes arrived at Fiddlewest.
- July 1998 - Began process of Press Release/Announcements/Mailings/
and Distrbution of CD's
- January 1999 - Performances/Workshops/Several stores/ Benefits/ and
Appearances later have brought the CD/Cassette/SongBooks and Related Play
to Oregon/Colorado/Michigan/New Jersey/Arizona/Arkansas/ and California
The CD-"West Ho! & Songs of the West"
is used in conjunction with a CD-Rom project I initiated while still teaching
at Brookside School (Upper Campus). This project is still in progress. I
am using Hyper Studio for this history simulation I call - "West Ho
From ST. Jo".I hope to apply the new programs to this project when
the CD is done. At the starst I was using a Performa 575 with 8mb of Ram
and an FPU chip I added for better graphics and animation. I am making great
use of Photoshop, Logo Motion, TextureScape, Ray Dream Design, Supercard,
Logic and Encore to name a few. So let me get off this computer for a while,
I've got to get my Martin D-28 revved up! Got to get some arrangements,
leadsheets, drum tracks, and Intros figured out straight away here! (More
to come as days go by! I will keep you posted).
Best to all you Super Surfers!
P.S Since my last writing (March 1996) I have been working on my updated
equipment (Power Mac 7500/133 with 48 mb Ram).
New news - I have been in touch with an educator from Solano County. His
name is James Stevensen. He has a site that emphasizes California History
for teachers and other educators (Internet:email@example.com).
If you haven't already, you should check it out. We are at present about
to initiate an arrangement of my music materials on his net site -"West
Ho! & Songs of the West" CD plus the songbook with songs and activities
and the play that utilizes songs from the CD - "What Hath Sam Wrought"
- a history play about Samuel F.B. Morse and others connected with the technology
of telegraph and the Pony Express. Jim Stevenson and I have been sending
messages back and forth over the past few months. Recently he requested
the words for the State Song - I Love You California for 4 teachers in Solano
County who were putting on a California Pageant. I looked it up and sent
Jim the words. He also wanted to put me in touch with one of the descendents
of General vallejo to work on a music project with her. It sounds like an
interesting possibility. I will look into it. bg
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