Robbin Gordon-Cartier is the first person to ever combine the teaching of “Baroque Flamenco” to a group of public school students … and then take them on a field trip to perform the piece with symphony orchestra.
Who is Robbin Gordon-Cartier?
Robbin Gordon-Cartier teaches a harp program in the East Orange School District at the Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts. Mrs. Gordon-Cartier performs regularly in the New York metropolitan area with credits including appearances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City; the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; the Pablo Casals Music Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the National Symphony Orchestra of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Robbin is a Salvi Concert Artist and has presented a week of master classes and concert at the French ambassador’s residence in Bogoto, Columbia for the Salvi Harp Foundation. Robbin is a sought-after presenter of workshops across the country. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and a Masters in Harp Performance from Montclair State University.
Where did you play “Baroque Flamenco” … and who did you play it with?
This performance was with my students from the Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts and the They competed in a DHC Challenge and won the spots to perform together with m and the West Shore Symphony Orchestra at the Carlisle Theater in Carlisle, PA on Nov. 17, 2019. We participated in video calls with Deborah as they competed. It was a great experience!
HARPISTS: Do YOU play Baroque Flamenco?
... then I'd love to hear your story and see a video of how you play it. Use this form to share your story and a video from YouTube and I'll feature it in a blogpost like the ones you can link to below.
Do you WANT to play Baroque Flamenco?
The solo harp sheet music includes 3 levels: advanced beginner, intermediate & professional. Other versions include harp ensemble, piano/harp duo (piano reduction), concerto and upcoming chamber ensemble versions.
My online class "Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page" takes you through the piece step by step at all 3 levels, with videos of all the sections and special effects, breakdowns (to show you how the piece is put together) and a set of warmups to help you develop the rhythms.
Q & A
1. If you had to describe the experience of playing “Baroque Flamenco” in 5 words or less, what would they be?
Exhilarating, Fun, Powerful and Exciting.5 words describe playing #BaroqueFlamenco: Exhilarating, Fun, Powerful and Exciting. Click To Tweet
2. What do people say when you play this piece?
I didn’t know that a harp could sound like that.
I thought I’d be bored at a concert with harp and this was the best part.
No one is sleeping on that piece!
3. What drew you to this piece – why did you choose to learn it??
I saw the video on YouTube from Deborah Henson-Conant and I was so amazed by this fantastic piece that I really wanted to play it.
The challenge of doing something different from all my other repertoire pieces. I wanted the challenge of stepping out of the box and this piece was it!I wanted the challenge of stepping out of the box and this piece was it! #BaroqueFlamenco Click To Tweet
4. What does this piece add to your repertoire (and/or your life) that you didn’t have before?
This piece adds movement, spirit and passion. I think it is a piece that continues to grow with you and that really is important to me. It’s also a piece that you can play differently each time and I love that type of freedom.
5. What would you tell someone else who’s thinking of learning this piece that you wish you’d known before you learned it?
I’d tell them to take Deborah’s Baroque Flamenco course. It really helps to go through the steps. I was blessed to be able to work directly with her through Harness your Muse and that’s the best option!
6. What do you think you can get from working directly with the composer of the piece that you can’t get from the sheet music?
When you work directly with Deborah, you get the complete spirit that she wrote it in. You get her tips and suggestions but she also gives you the freedom to play it your way. I think that’s the biggest gift.
7. Anything else you want to say?
Deborah Henson-Conant continues to be a huge inspiration to me and I hope that she publishes all of her music that is waiting to be heard!!
Want to know more about Robbin? She sent us these links to her PBS “American Portrait” series, sharing with us: “I was called for this series a few days ago – and thanks to you I just said ‘Sure’! The PBS interviewer came and filmed these videos – I just answered without thinking they’d go live.”