Archive for the ‘guitar’ Category

Fremont Master Guitarist to Begin his 48th Year at Ohlone College

August 16, 2017

Doug Torres in action.

Doug Torres, the modest guitar maestro with unparalleled teaching abilities, is about to start his 48th year as the classical guitar master at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. Creator of the Ohlone College classical guitar program in 1969, a youthful Doug Torres used his energies to establish classical guitar into the classical music establishment which at the time commonly viewed guitarists unfavorably. Over time he built the Ohlone College classical guitar from scratch and developed it to world class standards.

Doug Torres at Ohlone College in 1969,

Doug was and is a teacher of rare distinction. At 70 he remains a relevant guitarist with an easygoing personality that keeps him in demand both as a studio guitarist and as an educator. Mr. Torres credits his “mellow approach” as the secret behind his uncommon longevity as a professional guitarist. His zen-like attitude about life and music is a gift he openly shares with his students weekly at Ohlone College.

“a youthful Doug Torres used his energies to establish classical guitar into the classical music establishment…”

Born in Oakland, California to a Portuguese family of little means, Doug grew up playing the guitar. As a teenager, he studied the instrument with Bud Eastman(of Guitar Player Magazine, Guitar Showcase, Musicians Friend, etc.) and such was his progress that he placed first in several prominent international guitar competitions. As a young adult, Doug attended Cal State Hayward(now Cal State East Bay) earning degrees in BA in Music(1968) and a Masters in Music Education(1970) while simultaneously operating a popular guitar studio in Castro Valley and teaching classical guitar at Ohlone College. Beginning in 1974, Doug branched out to found guitar programs at other local colleges most notably Foothill College in Los Altos and DeAnza College in Cupertino. Worried about possible cuts in arts funding from the state of California, Doug returned to college to earn his Elementary and Secondary Teaching Credential as well as another degree in administration. Faced with the difficult challenges of providing for his family in a down economy, Mr. Torres decided to close his music studio, cancel his tours and take the steady employment of a full time elementary school teacher and part time college music educator.

In the 1970’s Doug Torres decided to cancel his tours and take the steady employment of a full time elementary school teacher and part time college music educator.

Doug’s current curriculum is based heavily on the classical heritage of Johann Sebastian Bach, Fernando Sor, Ferdinando Carulli, Mauro Giuliani, Francisco Tarrega, Isaac Albeniz, Andres Segovia and of course his own compositions. Students will learn to read music as well as use proper classical guitar technique. With six sections offered for players of varying skill levels, Doug’s Fall Semester classes at Ohlone College are the perfect option for guitarists of all abilities looking to enhance their knowledge of the instrument’s classical heritage. Class starts on Thursday evening at 6:30pm, August 31st, 2017 and will meet weekly throughout the Fall Semester in portable FP11. The price for guitar instruction with Doug Torres is approximately $46/semester and interested parties can register online by visiting http://www.ohlone.edu or walk in to register on the first night. For more information on these classes, please email Doug Torres at dtorres@ohlone.edu

Top Guitar Vines (2016)

February 21, 2017

A mountain of evidence is available that points to the fact that chess and music are extremely beneficial activities for children. Therefore I don’t believe it’s coincidental that chess and music produce child prodigies with a much greater frequency than that of other intellectual pursuits. This is why the mission of the Torres Chess and Music Academy is to provide the very best chess and music instruction to the most children possible.

Below is a video demonstrating ten songs I taught to my guitar students over the last few years. These songs also happened to be my most popular guitar Vine videos from 2016. Enjoy…

The Torres Chess and Music Academy Has Big Plans for Fremont

October 23, 2013

The President of the TCAMA reports on an upcoming Open House Event in Northern California.

Fremont, California (PRWEB) October 22, 2013

On November 2, 2013, the Torres Chess and Music Academy will be having its annual Open House in Fremont, California. The TCAMA Open House allows children the opportunity to take part in an afternoon of classes with the Torres Chess and Music Academy. The festivities will begin at 1:00 pm at Achiever Institute in Fremont with an exciting hour long chess lesson. Directly following the lesson, children will be treated to a brief classical guitar concert by Doug Torres. After the concert, the children will be paired up to play a rated game of chess against one other opponent. Once the game concludes, Torres Chess and Music Academy teachers will explain to the players where they could have made better chess moves and how to avoid making the same mistakes again. Chris Torres will then advise all interested parents on the best course of action for improving the chess skills of their children.

Since 1998, Chris Torres has been providing his critically acclaimed chess instruction to children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the popularity of scholastic chess in the Silicon Valley, Chris Torres has also taught numerous national champions including the 2013 National Elementary Chess Championship team from Mission San Jose Elementary School. With fifteen years of teaching experience under his belt, Chris Torres looks forward to helping even more children achieve their chess goals this school year.

Doug Torres has been teaching classical guitar at Ohlone College in Fremont since 1969. Doug’s guitar work has been a part of numerous acclaimed recordings and many of his former students now are professional guitarists themselves. Well versed in all styles of guitar performance, Doug has also won the national championship on his steel guitar and authored several guitar instruction books.

A growing mountain of evidence is now available proving that chess and music are beneficial activities for children. Hundreds of university studies and even brain scans demonstrate the effectiveness of the Torres Chess and Music Academy approach at making children smarter. Chris Torres believes that: “It is beyond coincidence that chess and music produce child prodigies with a much greater frequency than that of other intellectual pursuits. While there is no theoretical necessity to explain why this should be so, I am quite comfortable in stating that chess and music ameliorate the rapidly maturing frontal lobe of the child’s brain by providing the adequate challenge that it requires to achieve its fullest potential.”

The TCAMA Open House at Achiever Institute in Fremont is an ideal opportunity for Bay Area residents to enjoy both chess and classical music with their families. There is no charge for admission and snacks will be provided for all attendees. Those interested in attending should RSVP by sending an email to hello(at)achieverinstitute(dot)org or by calling the Achiever Institute at 510-226-6161.

source PRweb

Chess students in Fremont get exciting lessons from Chris Torres.

Chess students in Fremont get exciting lessons from Chris Torres.

 

 

Fremont Summer Chess Camp: Preview 4

June 7, 2013

When I think of talented chess coaches, Tans Hylkema is one of the first names that come to mind. However, because you rarely hear Tans bragging about his fantastic chess students, he remains one of the best kept secret in the Bay Area chess scene.

The Mission San Jose Chess Camp in Fremont, California is lucky to have Tans returning to teach a fourth straight year. All students who sign up for our chess camp will benefit from Tans’ approach to teaching chess as well as get to watch one of the Bay Area’s premier flamenco guitarists perform.

Below is a recent article describing Tans as well as a video of Tans playing beautiful flamenco guitar music:

Tans Hylkema has been a TCAMA chess coach for nearly a decade. His abilities
allow him to be a fantastic coach for any level of student but his specialty is
working with young beginners. Several of the best students to ever come out of
the Torres Chess and Music Academy programs had their start in one of Tans’
classes. In addition to teaching chess for the TCAMA, Tans also teaches acoustic
guitar in the traditional Spanish tradition.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/All-Star-Chess-Coaches-Gear-Up-for-Fremont-Chess-4545418.php#ixzz2VVEHkY7y

 

 

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/fremont-summer-chess-camp-2013-preview-3/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/fremont-summer-chess-camp-2013-preview-2/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/fremont-summer-chess-camp-2013-preview-1/

California Chess Coach has the Blues

January 22, 2013

Chris Torres has the blues.

Chris Torres has the blues.

 

And it’s not what you think. My students are doing fine. Instead, I have the blues because I like it that way.

For several years I have tried to come to terms with why my favorite styles of guitar are the polar opposites of classical and blues. Could it be that they relate to chess more than other genres of music?

The very fact that classical music and blues music have completely different fan bases is reminiscent of the white and black pieces beginning on opposite sides of the board. Classical music grew out of the white European scientific approach to complex structure. Blues music found its roots in the southern black plantation workers/slaves who valued feeling over simple chord progression spirituals. At times the game of chess feels as thought out as a Bach Invention and at other times even seemingly simple positions require a fighting spirit and passion to bring home the point. Even a single game of chess can begin innocently in a well structured manner before it distorts into a string bending emotional melee. I believe that Chess, like music, is a blending of cultures and as such benefits when the practitioner is an expert of more than just one style.

Getting to my point:

A few days ago I was invited to take part in the Eric Clapton Guitar Symphony which requires the contestants to record an original instrumental take on the Eric Clapton ant-drug anthem “Cocaine.” On my first attempt I was able to seamlessly combine a simple delta blues approach with the more layered Eric Clapton jam. The result, in my humble opinion, is exactly the kind of music Eric Clapton would appreciate. Should I garnish enough votes from those who agree with my musical interpretation, my arrangement will be used in an upcoming release by Eric Clapton. This sort of exposure is an ideal opportunity for gaining attention towards the goals of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Below is a link to my submission. Please listen to my 45 second performance and cast a vote that will help me help the Northern California students who learn chess and music in our classes.

 

http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a71b51927f04feb9fe79af9ac12f1660/839

Tans Hylkema: Steps of Granada

September 1, 2010

Chess teacher Tans Hylkema can be regularly heard playing complicated Tangos on his flamenco guitar throughout Northern California.  Maestro Hylkema’s style is a cross between  Melchor de Marchena and Paco de Lucia and is featured on a new album titled “Steps of Granada.” The releases five tracks are original compositions  that features compelling melodies with magnificently complicated rhythms. With all the ‘Neuvo Flamenco’ albums redefining the genera, it is nice to hear the flamenco guitar in its purist form. Tans Hylkema’s “Steps of Granada” is authentic and inspiring.

Guitar Maestro Tans Hylkema

Tans Hylkema’s guitar page is www.midnightfandango.com


%d bloggers like this: