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The Story of Fanfare

The Fanfare for Lake Country by Crawford Gates was commissioned by the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra in 2010. The concept was to have a short piece that was vibrant, uplifting, that would be a reflection of life on the lakes.

Written with Oconomowoc and the area’s Lake Country in mind, the last well-known piece written for the area was ‘I Went for a Walk in Oconomowoc’ from approximately 1900. The time seemed right for a new tune! Although the Fanfare for Lake Country was written for the greater Oconomowoc area, with its beautiful lakes, the concept is universal… capturing the impressions and experiences we all have near lakes and water.

Once funding and dates were secure, outreach to a local composer took place, but for several reasons, it was not possible. OCO Music Director Roberta Carpenter reached out to Dr. Crawford Gates, the former Music Director of the Beloit/Janesville, Rockford and Quincy Symphonies, and a noteworthy American composer with compositions for various other Wisconsin locales. The two were well acquainted, as Carpenter had been the substitute Concertmaster and Conductor for the BJSO under Crawford’s direction, and Dr. Gates covered Ms. Carpenter’s Orchestra at UW-Whitewater while she was away during her tenure there in the early 1990s. 

The Fanfare for Lake Country premiered on the OCO’s Debut Concert, July 10th, 2010 at the Oconomowoc Arts Center with Roberta Carpenter conducting. Dr. Gates and his wife Georgia were in the house for rehearsals and the concert, and the piece was received with enthusiasm. The concert was recorded, and an audio and DVD were produced. See Fanfare Blog – part 3 or visit zmusicintl.com for additional recording information.

The Story of Fanfare - The Instrumental Arrangements

In order to share the Fanfare with the community, the concept of a violin/piano arrangement was conceived. The invitation was extended to Dr. Gates. Crawford responded with an enthusiastic yes and proceeded to compose an arrangement of the full Fanfare at a Professional level of performance.

Realizing that it would be possible to have the piece be accessible to all players and, also that sometimes a shorter version would be helpful, outreach and discussions took place with Jacob Beranek, a young, accomplished composer from the area. Jacob obliged with a short 18 measure version called ‘Theme’ as well as two one-page versions for treble and bass voiced instruments. The Theme was originally released for Treble Instruments (flute, violin, oboe), Violin, Cello, Bass Instruments (cello, stringed bass, bassoon, trombone & tuba), and Piano (with Guitar Chords). ‘Prelude’ was written for Treble voiced instruments (flute, violin, oboe) and ‘Nocturne’ was written for Bass voiced instruments (cello, stringed bass, bassoon, trombone & tuba). It is notable that these two Arrangements, though based on Fanfare, are completely unique, with different tempi, moods, and thematic material.

These Fanfare Instrumental Arrangements were premiered at the OCO’s Spotlight Concert in January of 2017. Performers included Theme - Luisa Heckenkamp, piano and Trinity Philbert, violin; Prelude - Vincent Cortese, violin and Jacob Beranek, piano; Nocturne – Eric Heitkemper, bassoon and Jacob Beranek, piano; and Full Fanfare – Roberta Carpenter, violin and Sigmund Snopek, piano.

Dr. Gates, with his wife Georgia, who performed on keyboards (piano and organ) through her life, also completed a Solo Piano version of the full Fanfare. These two pieces are capstones of Crawford’s significant compositional career of nearly 900 works.

In November 2017, Fanfare - Theme Instrumental Arrangements for Bb Instruments (trumpet, clarinet, sax); Eb Instruments (sax); F Horn and Viola were completed and released. These arrangements were composed by David Bohn, a pianist, organist and composer, who is President of the Wisconsin Composers Alliance. David’s arrangements of ‘Theme’ are based on the Fanfare, and are slightly different than the previously released ‘Themes’.  This is an excellent example of seeing various composer’s vision and voice in a project with the same source material.

These Instrumental Arrangements are now available in sheet music and pdf downloads. Links and Information are available on zmusicintl.com. In Oconomowoc, the Sheet Music and recordings are available at the Jewelry Mechanic on Hwy P.

The Story of Fanfare - Key to the Lake Area Photos on the CD Wallet

The lakes pictured on the Fanfare - Instrumental Arrangements CD Wallet are:

Cover – Silver Lake
Back Cover – Nagawicka Lake
Inside right (with tree on the left) – Lac LaBelle
Inside CD holder panel (with rainbow and pink flower) – Oconomowoc Lake

The Story of Fanfare - The Recordings

The OCO recording of the Fanfare for Lake Country – orchestral version is available on CD and DVD. The DVD was awarded 3rd place in the American Prize Awards, Orchestras - Professional Division, in 2012. The Fanfare for Lake Country – orchestral version is also available for Downloads and is on YouTube.com. The link to the OCO recording is available on both www.oconchamberorch.org and zmusicintl.com.

The Fanfare – Instrumental Arrangements recording is available as downloads and as a CD. The CD has a beautiful 6 panel CD ‘Wallet’ with photos of the Stradivarius, performers and 4 area lakes. The recording features Jacob Beranek, piano; Eric Heitkemper, bassoon; Dr. Aaron Matthews, piano; and Roberta Carpenter, violin. It also features the 1728 ‘Thunis’ Stradivarius. Links for the flier, downloads and CD ordering are on zmusicintl.com.

The Story of Fanfare - The 1728 Thunis Stradivarius

We had the good fortune to record the Fanfare – Instrumental Arrangements with the 1728 ‘Thunis’ Stradivarius.

Once the recording concept was set, outreach was made to the Stradivari Society. Stradivarius violins are very rare and in high demand, they have warm, resonant tone, and responsiveness . The Stradivari Society was happy to help connect the recording effort with a Stradivarius depending on it’s availability. As the exact date and time were secured, correspondence was made, and ultimately, the Strad was available. Acknowledgement was such that the Strad would be available the day before the recording session - less than 24 hours. What an adventure! The trip to Chicago was made, and the Strad was welcomed in Oconomowoc at the Lake Country Conservatory by a group of listeners, who heard the instrument from 8 – 11:00 pm. The recording was a 4 hour session on July 27th, and was graced by the Stradivarius. Our special thanks to Suzanne, Noah and Alec Fushi of Bein & Fushi, Inc. for their assistance in making this possible.

People ask, Roberta, did it really make a difference, could you really tell? Yes, absolutely. What a joy to play! It is a beautiful instrument.

I will say that I was playing with my bow, which is a good bow, yet perhaps not in the same realm as a Stradivarius. Perhaps the tone would have been slightly better with a different bow… having said that, because of the short time frame, only changing the violin so close to the recording time, enabled me to focus and adjust quickly.

Dvorak Serenade for Strings Recording with Janacek Philharmonic and Roberta Carpenter, Conductor are in the American Prize Awards Semi-Finals

The American Prize Awards Competition released their semi-finalists today...
the Dvorak Recording with the Janacek Philharmonic and Roberta Carpenter, Conductor are on the list!

This is the link to the American Prize Blogspot where the announcements are posted:

I appreciated working with the Janacek Philharmonic, and will look forward to seeing how we do.

Here is a shout out to the Hradec Kralove and Vidin Philharmonics, who are also in the semi-finals and are orchestras/organizations I've enjoyed learning from and working with.

It's an honor to be listed with the many other fine orchestras and conductors in the semi-finals.

A Favorite Musical Tradition

New Year's has passed, but I'd like to share a favorite New Year's Tradition with you... as you can still see the videos on YouTube.

Two of my favorite orchestral programs of the year take place on New Year's Eve, when one can see the New York Philharmonic New Year's Concert from Lincoln Center, and on New Year's Day, when one can take in the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert at the Musikverein in Vienna.

The VPO program also features a ballet troupe and some of the filming is done in a castle, and there is sure to be video highlights of such things as Lipizzaner Stallions, chocolate making, glass blowing, fine china, the Danube or some other cultural 'nugget'. The program used to be narrated by Walter Cronkite, for those of you who are familiar with him, and more recently Julie Andrews.

The tradition at our household for many years was to have lobster tails, hors d'oeuvres, cookies... and coffee and watch the show! It works!!

Given it is no longer New Year's, you can still see many of the VPO's & NYP's previous New Years Concerts on YouTube. Here are the links:



We don't see/hear these orchestras on television that often, so the New Year's programs are a real treat.


Fanfare for Lake Country - Bb, Eb, F Horn & Viola Arrangements now available

New Fanfare for Lake Country - Theme Arrangements 
    Bb (Clarinet, Trumpet & Sax)
    Eb (Sax)
    F Horn

New arrangements of Dr. Crawford Gates' Fanfare for Lake Country - Theme are now available for Bb, Eb, F Horn Instruments and Viola. Written by David Bohn, these short arrangements incorporate themes from the original Fanfare.

They are available for download or sheet music ordering.

Light: Classic Favorites for Violin & Piano - now on YouTube.com

Hello All,

The Light: Classic Favorites for Violin & Piano CD with Roberta Carpenter, Violin and Sharon Goodrum, Piano is now available on YouTube.com.



Inside story is that all tracks were recorded during a 5 hour recording session at the home where Sharon and I rehearsed many times over the years. It was a beautiful Victorian home in the middle of the Kettle Moraine forest, in a very peaceful and pictoresque setting. These are some of our favorite miniatures from over the years.

Zenith Music International - Roberta Carpenter on YouTube.com

You can now enjoy some of my and the ZMI Recordings on YouTube.com.

Dvorak Recording of Serenade for Strings
with Janacek Phiharmonic


Chatfield Award - Intro (5 min 40)
(with Scott Sleider interview and workshop visit)

Chatfield Award - Tom Snyder Tribute  (15 minutes)

(with guests Maureen Stapleton, Dr. Pat Neudecker, Ellen McDonald of Hartland Piano Gallery, and Randy Otto as 'Sir Winston Churchill' with a 'Message from Heaven from Tom')

(I narrate both of these videos)


Fanfare for Lake Country – Orchestral version


The 'Light' CD - Classic Favorites for Violin & Piano with Sharon Goodrum will be up shortly. You can hear this recording on CDBaby, or visit http://zmusicintl.com/recordings/light.html.


July 26 Recording Session - with a Stradivarius

On July 26th, we recorded three of the Instrumental Arrangements of the Fanfare for Lake Country and two movements of the J.S. Bach Unaccompanied Sonata in g minor at the Oconomowoc Arts Center. What made the session especially memorable was the presence of a Stradivarius violin.

Thanks to Alec and Suzanne Fushi and Noah Sims of Bein & Fushi Fine Violins in Chicago, IL, the 1728 'Thunis'  Strad was made available for the recording. Those who had the opportunity to hear the beautiful instrument all commented how it had a voice and presence that was touching and singular. Grateful appreciation to the Bein & Fushi Team for their help and support!

Also, many thanks to composer/pianist Jacob Beranek, pianist Dr. Aaron Matthews, Buzz Kemper from Audio for the Arts, Dave and Julie Williams, Sean Floeter and all for the wonderful and memorable session!

You can watch here, on the ZMI Facebook and on the ZMI Website for updates on the exact release date and logistics. The Fanfare for Lake Country Sheet Music is available for downloads, orders and in person. http://zmusicintl.com/sheetmusic.html

Plans also include the release of a Fanfare for Lake Country Video - Violin/Piano version, including lake images, rehearsal and performance images, and footage of the inside view of the world of fine instruments and luthiership.

Zenith Music International Blog & Facebook Page - Welcome

Welcome to the ZMI Blog!

I'm happy to share information about the Zenith Music International Blog & Facebook page with you.

For the latest Fanfare for Lake Country Sheet Music and Recording news, ZMI Recording Releases, and musical nuggets, you may enjoy viewing https://www.facebook.com/ZenithMusicStudio. This will feature the fliers, links and updates.

On the ZMI Blog, you'll find a more in depth entry about some of the background or perspective on the events and developments.

If you have questions about either the ZMI Facebook or Blog, please don't hesitate to be in touch at contactus@zmusicintl.com.

Thanks so much for reading!