• The NS WAV Violin at Marshall Music Co. in Traverse City, MI

    Hi all –

    I am conducting again this summer in Michigan at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.  It has been a great start to the summer and we are looking forward to lots of good times and music this summer.  I had a chance to play my CR Violin for an art exhibit opening here at the Interlochen Campus last Thursday and am sure there will be plenty of other opportunities to break out the electrics.  This afternoon, my son and I stumbled into Marshall Music Company in Traverse City Michigan (www.marshallmusic.com) and had a cool encounter with Dave Weber and all of the folks at Marshall Music.  It turns out that they have an NS Design Wave violin out on the floor and are super excited about the NS Design line of products.  I took the opportunity to touch base with Dave about a bunch of ideas about amps that work great with the wave, as well as some tone quality and efx processing ideas. I also shared some ideas about the videos on D’Addario Bowed’s Youtube site.   Thanks to Dave and everyone at Marshall Music for making me, my son Matt, and my whole family feel so welcome!

    Dave Weber at Marshall Music, Traverse city, MI


    Scott Laird performing at Interlochen Arts Camp, 2012

  • Lamar Stringfield String Camp 2011

    Lamar Stringfield Haydn Orchestra with Scott Laird on CR Violin

    Hi all –

    For the past two weeks, I have been teaching at the Lamar Stringfield String Camp at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.  It was another great year at Lamar Stringfield with many fantastic moments.

    I am frequently asked how I incorporate electric strings into my teaching.  This week, at the camp, I programmed a little blues piece as part of the repertoire for the “Haydn” Orchestra which consists of students from 4th grade through 8th grade.  As part of the performance, I brought in professionals to play guitar and drums and I played my CR violin.  I had the kids play through the piece 2 times and on the second pass, the guitarist (my friend and colleague, Todd Miller from Apex, NC High School) and I took turns improvising over the chart.  As part of the rehearsals, I also took the opportunity to have a 20 minute Q and A session with the kids on electric violins, how they work, and how to play them. I was thrilled to tell them all about the WAV Violin and the NXT Instruments as well.   It was a wonderful learning opportunity for everyone.  The students really took to the style, especially when we added the drums and the performance was really successful.  The linked video will give you a good idea of how things went.

    I encourage string educators to give something like this a try.  Regardless of whether you do classical, jazz, bluegrass, or some other style of music with your orchestra, the NS Family of Instruments are perfect for this type of performance.  And, I guarantee, your students want to not only see you  perform, but perform with you as well.

    Best wishes!




  • Southeastern Strings Conference

    String teachers in the NC area:
    January 21 is a state-wide in-service day for teachers. Please consider attending the Southeastern Strings Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I will be giving a session on electric bowed strings and there will be many fine sessions throughout the day.  During my session, we will have an ensemble of NS Design instruments set up for attendees to try.  We will provide charts for the ensemble and we will simply all experience playing in an electric string ensemble.  I will explain panning and the use of a PA system, monitors, and basic EFX processing.  We will have an NXT Bass and Cello, a CR violin and viola, the new 5 string Wav, and many other NS Instruments for you to try out as an ensemble.  It will be a blast!

    It is not too late to register.

    Pre-Register by phone: call 1-800-999-2869 and have your Visa or MasterCard ready.
    Conference Fee & NC Renewal Credit Verification of Attendance

    There is a $40.00 fee for all instructors attending the String Teachers Conference. This fee will cover all instruction, handouts, clinician expenses, and refreshments. You may be able to obtain one unit of North Carolina Certificate Renewal Credit by attending this event. Please Pre-Register by mail or by telephone. To Pre-Register by phone, simply call us toll-free at 1-800-999-2869 and have your Visa or MasterCard ready. (Please Pre-Register!!) The on-site registration fee on Thursday evening, January 20, will be $50.00.

    Here is a list of events.
    Southeast String Festival Teachers Conference

    Master Class, Dimitry Sitkovetski
    New Music Reading Session, Lynne Latham, Latham Music, a Lorenz Company
    Electric Strings, Scott Laird
    Jazz Clinic for String Educators, Steve Haines
    Upper String Pedagogy, Marjorie Bagley, Fabian Lopez, Scott Rawls
    Old Time Ensemble Music, Revell Carr and Gavin Douglas
    Lower String Pedagogy, Craig Brown and Alex Ezerman
    Achieving an Artistic Vibrato in the String Class, Rebecca B. MacLeod
    Incorporating Students With Disabilities In Your Orchestra Classroom, Jennifer Stewart Walter
    String Instrument Repair, Melody Choplin

    Time Session Location
    7:45 Introductions School of Music Recital Hall
    8:15-9:30 Reading Session sponsored by School of Music Recital Hall
    Latham Music, a Lorenz Company
    9:30 Refreshments, student rehearsal ends Recital Hall Atrium

    9:00-9:50 Electric Strings, Scott Laird EUC Auditorium
    10:00-10:50 Jazz Strings, Steve Haines EUC Auditorium
    11:10-12:10 Violin Pedagogy EUC Auditorium
    Marjory Bagley and Fabian Lopez
    12:10-1:15 Lunch
    1:15-2:15 Viola and Cello Pedagogy EUC Auditorium
    Scott Rawls and Alex Ezerman
    2:15 Walk to Aycock Auditorium
    2:30-3:20 Old Time Music Aycock Auditorium
    Gavin Douglas and Revell Carr
    3:30-4:20 Artistic Vibrato, Rebecca MacLeod Aycock Lower Level
    4:30-5:00 McIver Quartet Performance Aycock Auditorium
    5:00-6:00 Dinner
    6:00-7:00 Observe Rehearsal Aycock Auditorium
    7:30 GSO Chamber Concert School of Music Recital Hall

    9:00-9:50 Students with Disabilities, Jennifer Walter Aycock Lower Level
    10:00-10:50 String Repair Lab, Melody Choplin Aycock Lower Level
    11:00-12:00 Dimitry Sitkovetski Aycock Auditorium
    12:00 Lunch
    1:30 Dress Rehearsal Aycock Auditorium
    2:30 Concert Aycock Auditorium

  • NS Design Instruments and the Lamar Stringfield Summer String Camp

    Hi all! Today, just a quick note about the Lamar Stringfield String Camp and NS Design Instruments.

    For the past two weeks, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC has been hosting the Lamar Stringfield String Camp, a day camp for students to focus on string playing, technique, and ensemble playing. Students may attend for 1 or 2 weeks and the camp is open to students ranging in age from early elementary students through high school age students.  I have been pleased to be on the faculty of this fine camp for the past 3 years and had a great experience again this summer

    As part of the final concert on Friday, Orchestra Conductor, Kirk Moss (President of the American String Teachers Association) programmed a really cool funk tune called Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (By Josef Zawinul, arranged by Bert Ligon, and published by Latham Music) that includes several open sections for improvisation. Kirk invited me to play on the tune and opened it up for student solos as well. As part of that performance, my son, Matt (in the photo on the right), and violinist Jacob Henderson (in the photo on the left) jumped in on the fun and performed improvised solos on their NS Design Wav violins. The performances was really well-received and the Wavs were perfect for the guys.  The instruments sounded great and the kids had a ball getting their solos together and dialing in the instruments.

    Thanks to NS Design for making such great instruments and making performances like this possible for so many!


  • Theresa Jenkins-Russ and Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra

    Theresa Jenkins-Russ and the Carolina Cool Jazz OrchestraHere at NS Design, we are really pleased to welcome Theresa Jenkins-Russ as a pioneer in our NS Design Artist/Educator program.    Theresa is a string and orchestra teacher in the Spartanburg, SC School District, Artistic Director of the Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, and President-Elect of the South Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.  Theresa is a fixture on the national string education scene, presenting sessions at numerous national conferences and is known for her work in the “Alternative Styles” world of string ed and for her work in promoting minority composers and musicians. At the recent ASTA national conference in Santa Clara, she presented a session on programming multicultural orchestral literature and conducted the alt styles new music reading session.  Her group, The Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, is a professional performing group in Spartanburg that brings together musicians of a variety of ages and experience levels to perform primarily great jazz literature.  They frequently feature guest soloists and are committed to promoting string instruments as an integral component of the jazz scene.  Recent soloists have included Matt Turner, Martin Norgaard, Joe Dread, and me.

    Theresa is now performing on the NS Design Wav violin and absolutely loves it.  We had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time with her at the NS Design Booth at ASTA and look forward to a long and productive relationship.  Congratulations, Theresa, on all of your good work!!