Consuming Less

by Maria Bija


I normally write about music-related matters, but I simply have to share about something that has shocked me lately.  I myself am a minimalist as far as packaged products go, and am very glad that our Sonoma County stores and markets are slowly evolving away from giving out free bags with every purchase to order to save on paper and plastic consumption.  Lately, though, I've been blown away by store-workers' attitudes and practices.  Many times that I've requested "no bag" for my scone, or have brought my own container to get ground beef, the store workers still automatically take out paper bags/plastic wrappings, only to then crumple up those clean pieces when I say I don't want them.  Thus defeating the whole purpose!  It's very frustrating, and makes me glad to teach music to large groups of children, who are perhaps the only hope of changing this automatic consumption mentality in the future years.  Thankfully the act of making music can be entirely earth-friendly, and I'll be trying my best to model ways that an organization can be thriving and successful while consuming less.


Spring Celebrations

by Maria Bija


I love the springtime in Sebastopol for many reasons-- the lush green grasses and apple blossoms, biking and walking about town on beautiful sunny days, cleaning up the yard and getting garden beds ready-- as well as preparing my music students to perform for their families and the community.  My SunRidge 5-8th grade choir students perform in their multi-use room on Thursday April 3rd, my Bija Children's Junior & Prep Choirs host "Parents Day" during class time on April 3rd and the Bija Concert Choir presents an Irish Story Concert to the community on Saturday April 5th at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.  I myself will be singing some great Brazilian music along with Christian Foley-Beining for a Showcase Concert at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa on June 7th, as well.  So much to celebrate, so much to be thankful for.


Time for a Rain Dance

by Maria Bija


Our Sebastopol winter may be a dry one so far, but fortunately the climate in Bija Music classes is lush and thriving!  The Bija Children's Choir has transitioned well into three groups of wonderful young musicians, Voices of the SoL teenagers are working towards a music video project, Musical Mothering classes are bustling with eager little people, and the SunRidge middle school choir students are gearing up for a special performance at the prestigious Green Music Center on Feb 5th.  Whew, busy times!  But all good, community-oriented, creative busy-ness.  It's awesome to work with young people who are so full of life and energy, and potential for doing good things.  To tap into this wellspring, I'm going to lead some rain dances in my classes to quench our North Bay Nature's thirst-- be sure to join us in spirit!

 


Happy Holidays!

by Maria Bija


Hi friends, as the long cold nights of winter are upon us, I wish you warmth and happiness this holiday season.  I, for one, hope to attend some of the excellent music performances going on in our county-- definitely want to catch Scottish fiddler Alastair Fraser at the Sebastopol Community Ctr, and The Christmas Carol musical at Spreckles that my friends and students are in, and I hope you'll come out to cheer on my choir kids as they perform at the Sebastopol Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec 5th.  Also, I myself am performing Brazilian music with Sebastian Link at the French Garden on Dec 21st from 7-10pm-- come for a glass of vino on the cozy sofa by the fireplace while I sing you some bossas--  doesn't that sound perfect?  If you're in the shopping mood instead, pre-registration for my winter music classes is now open, and I'm using an online back office for the first time-- woo hoo, I finally have a secretary! :-)  Well, however you spend it, may there be the three essentials-- peace, love, and joy-- in your holiday.