Month: June 2014

The Musicians Foundation Board of Directors Feature: Alex Skolnick

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, current exploits and upcoming adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.


Alex Skolnick

For the first in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with highly respected, world-reknown (and ever-prolific) metal/jazz/world music/improvisational guitarist, writer
 and MF board member: Alex Skolnick (Testament).


Most recently (last weekend), Alex performed (on June 21st) with his exciting new acoustic/world recording project Planetary Coalition at the Make Music New York/Mass Appeal: Guitars event reviewed by Guitar World magazine HERE.


Alex with his signature model ESP guitar

Next weekend (June 30 – July 4, 2014) you’ll find Alex teaching masterclasses, private lessons, leading jam sessions, directing ensembles, and performing at the Guitar Intensive Workshop in New York City along with guitar improviser/educator Bruce Arnold, fusion guitar heroine Jane Getter, and bassist Jerry DeVore.

When he’s not busy recording, performing live, teaching, serving as an interviewer, music industry spokesman, contest judge, guitar magazine columnist, or touring the world… he’s an author(!) His first book Geek to Guitar Hero” was released in 2013.

The stylistically versatile and virtuosic Alex has been known to venture from Thrash Metal and Jazz into the territory of Flamenco, World Music and beyond.  Upcoming plans include live performance collaborations with guitarist Prasanna R for “Raga Metal Conversations”.  Alex also recently served on the judging panel for the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in India.

Here, he’s seen having fun with the fantastic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela:

Here’s a great clip of Alex performing at NAMM 2013- Alphonse Mouzon’s (d) Mind Transplant featuring Alex Skolnick (g), Rhonda Smith (b), Steve Weingart (k) on “Nitroglycerin”:

Thus far, 2014 has been a very exciting year for Alex.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

January ’14   ESP introduces Alex Skolnick Signature Series Guitars here is the   Guitar World Review

February  ’14  Testament tours Australia Soundwave Festival (headlined by Green Day).    Alex begins writing for The Talkhouse with review of new release by Dianne Reeves.

March  ’14  Collaborates on composition for Richmond Ballet with Lamb of God Frontman Randy Blythe, performed April 5th & 6th

April ’14     Performs as part of Stu Hamm Band at The Iridium, New York City

May ’14    The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music and Make Music Monthly presents a conversation between Alex Skolnick and Aaron Friedman on innovative heavy metal guitar solos, including Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption (with live demonstrations by Alex).

 Alex Skolnick Trio performs at Festival Guitars du Monde, Rouyn-Noranda QC

For the very latest news updates and career highlights, you can find Alex on Facebook -his blog – his website.

MF Record logo

We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!


We’re redesigned and looking good!


We hope you like our new blog design for 2014!

We’re also launching a brand new series (coming soon) that features the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.  Stay tuned…

Donate now to support our music student scholarship programs — 100% tax deductible — instant donation acknowledgement — you CAN make a difference!

Click: donate


Mike Campbell, 22 Year Veteran Instructor and former Vocal Dept. Chair at Musicians Institute Announces Retirement

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Much-loved vocal instructor, former Dept. Chair of the Vocal Program, and longtime member of the Musicians Institute family–Mike Campbell has retired after 22 years of exemplary service to the students of MI.

Everyone at MI congratulates Mike, wishing him the greatest success in this new life chapter! He will be very much missed by the students, faculty and staff of MI.

During his retirement party on June 17th, Mike performed with his talented daughter Katie, trading choruses of the blues (Band: Christian Klickovits (k), Dave Keif (b), Tim McIntyre (d):

Mike is known for his extraordinary musical talents, patience, ability to encourage and genuine care for those who were fortunate enough to study under his tutelage.  He’s been an inspiring teacher and important mentor to thousands of MI students, and over the years he taught courses including: Jazz Vocals, Sightsinging, and Private Lessons and more.

Mike and his wife Elaine

Mike and his wife Elaine

As a Department Chair, Mike created a supportive and welcoming environment for students in the Vocal program to be challenged, grow and study with an exceptional vocal faculty.

Dawn Bishop performs a gorgeous rendition of "My One and Only Love" in Mike's honor.

Dawn Bishop (Vocal faculty) performs a gorgeous rendition of “My One and Only Love” in Mike’s honor.

His bio is voluminous and includes seven solo recordings, several instructional books and videos, and multiple appearances and recordings with A-list performing artists. Over the years, he’s contributed his vocal talents to numerous jingles, TV and movie soundtracks, and has performed on over 40 major television shows, He has served on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s) and is a member of AFM, SAG and AFTRA.

Prior to becoming a well-respected Jazz Vocalist and educator, Mike was a member of this group that appeared on TV regularly.  Mike is in the lower left corner. ca.1967

Prior to becoming a well-respected Jazz Vocalist and educator, Mike was a member of this groovy pop group that appeared on TV regularly. Mike is in the lower left corner. ca.1967

1985 Album Cover

1985 Album Cover


Thank you Mike for all you’ve done for the MI Community, and congratulations!!




Chuck Silverman Memorial Drum Scholarship – Applications now being Accepted


Musicians Institute and The Musicians Foundation have created a drum scholarship to honor the memory, exceptional talent and artistic career of longtime MI Drum faculty member Chuck Silverman. 

The $1,000 scholarship is provided to support the educational growth of a newly enrolling Musicians Institute Drum Program student (for Fall 2014) who demonstrates outstanding musicianship in the Latin, Brazilian and/or Afro-Carribean genres.

The deadline to apply is: August 29th, 2014

Please click HERE for complete details and application form.