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Music for People Founders

Music for People was founded in 1986 by David Darling and Bonnie Insull.

David Darling

How do you describe a person who, in a single solo cello concert, can cover Bach, the blues, Brazilian and African music, and slow-moving fluid sonic meditations? Whose solo albums, Grammy nomination, and appearances with the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, the Paul Winter Consort, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai represent nearly every musical genre and every conceivable way a human can communicate via stringed instrument? Whose recent credits include collaborating on the musical scores for works by European film makers Jean-Luc Godard and Wim Wenders? And whose unconventional, playful teaching style has helped open the world of music and improvisation to thousands of people?

"Maverick cellist" is the phrase most often assigned, but it hardly captures the richness, diversity, breadth and sense of humor of David Darling--a man who literally has redefined the way the cello is played and the way music is taught.

Darling is a classically trained cellist who began his career as an elementary and secondary school teacher and conductor of band and orchestra, specializing in cello and bass. He later taught music and served as orchestra conductor and faculty cellist at Western Kentucky University. In 1969, he joined the Paul Winter Consort, an extraordinarily progressive band for its time whose sound blended jazz with Brazilian, African, Indian and other world music--and at times even the voices of animals.

Since he left the Consort in 1978, he has dedicated himself to a solo performing and recording career, and to teaching music and improvisation. In 1986 he co-founded Music for People, a non-profit educational network that teaches and fosters improvisation as a means of creative self-expression. Through Music for People workshops, trainings, and special events, Darling has reached thousands of people. For several years, Darling has also worked for Young Audiences Inc., a National Medal of the Arts award-winning organization dedicated to enriching children's lives by providing in-school programs in the form of classroom workshops, artists' residences and performance programs. In 2002, Darling was nominated for a Grammy Award for his CelloBlue album.

The MfP Store page contains information about purchasing David Darling's recordings. Refer to his website www.daviddarling.com for his concert and tour schedule.

Bonnie Insull

A performer and teacher of improvisational and classical music, flutist Bonnie Insull was Executive Director of the improvisation network Music for People for 10 years, as well as editor of their journal Connections. Formerly the director of Dartmouth's Collegium Musicum, Insull was also a founding member of the Apple Hill Chamber Players, touring with the ensemble during their first decade. She has performed in classical contexts as featured soloist with orchestras throughout New England as well as in concert with Julius Baker and Jean-Pierre Rampal, and in improvisational concerts with colleague David Darling.

Reflecting her combined interest in the language of music and the music of language, Insull completed an M.A. in Musicology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and an M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language at the School of International Training, Brattleboro, VT, in 1997. In 1997, Insull was a guest faculty member with the Universidad de Veracruz in Orizaba, Mexico, and was a guest faculty member with the Chinese Academy of Science in Changchun, China in 1998.

"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument."
-- Rumi

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  Ver. 2.20 • Updated : January 22, 2007 8:15 PM
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