Corky Siegel at Rockford’s Music Academy Jan. 14

Corky Siegel

Staff Report

Noted blues artist Corky Siegel will offer musical and creative guidance to students at The Music Academy (TMA) at the annual Suzuki Winter Workshop Saturday, Jan. 14.

The event will be at Loreen Hall, 226 S. Second St., Rockford. A concert featuring TMA ensembles and Siegel will follow at 11:30 a.m. in the First Lutheran Church Sanctuary, 225 S. Third St. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Siegel — a composer, blues pianist, singer and songwriter — has earned an international reputation as one of the world’s greatest blues harmonica masters. He recently won the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer’s national award for chamber music composition and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award for Music Composition.

The artist enjoys working with students, noting he has “secrets that I have stumbled upon over my 50 years of composing and performing. These secrets are revelations that really empower people, connect them to their art in very deep and effective ways, and basically make them happy, even though the revelations are simple common sense, and the techniques are simple and mechanical. All the amazing things that music does for individuals and the world are immediately heightened by these techniques.”

Siegel will share these techniques with TMA students in the morning workshop, and together they will display them at the concert to follow. His ideas and techniques also are revealed in his recently released book, Let Your Music Soar, The Emotional Connection. The book will be available for purchase at the workshop.

His professional music career began in 1964 when he met guitarist Jim Schwall at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The two became a duo, performing blues music. Eventually, the duo became a quartet, the Siegel-Schwall Band. The band toured nationally, playing large rock venues where they shared the bill with famous rock bands. Between 1966 and 1974, the band released 10 albums.

Siegel has worked on numerous musical projects, combining elements of classical, blues and jazz. In 1968, the Siegel-Schwall Band performed “Three Pieces for Blues Band and Orchestra” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Siegel formed Chamber Clues, composed of a string quartet — two violins, a viola and a cello — along with a percussionist and Siegel playing harmonica, in 1988. The group has toured nationally and has released three albums.

TMA is a not-for-profit community school of music dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable instruction and performing opportunities to students, regardless of age and ability. It is the mission of TMA to inspire in students a lifelong love of music and the arts.

TMA is in Loreen Hall, 226 S. Second St., next to First Lutheran Church in Rockford. For more details, call (815) 986-0037 or go to

From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue

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