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April 07, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Short Takes Short Takes (April 07, 2004)

Know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

Longtime Menlo Park City Council watcher and onetime council candidate Harry Harrison seems to have donned another hat: gambling man.

During a March 30 council discussion about the law protecting heritage trees, Mr. Harrison light-heartedly chided Councilman Chuck Kinney for designing his house-addition project around a redwood tree to save it. "I hope those roots don't heave up the foundation of your house," Mr. Harrison said, predicting that Mr. Kinney would ultimately decide to cut down the tree.

"I'm going to put up 100 bucks that in 10 years that tree'll be down," he proclaimed, to which Mr. Kinney responded, "It's a deal."

City Attorney Bill McClure genially offered to hold on to the $100 in the meantime.

The beat(ing) goes on ... at Carnegie Hall

It sounds like every energetic kid's dream: Beating around with hammers and sticks -- and getting paid for it. But don't be fooled by the title of the project that's engaging the efforts of Menlo Park's Teresa McCollough these days. "Music for Hammers and Sticks" is the show she's taken on the road, but her "hammers" are contained in the bed of a concert grand piano.

An associate professor of music at Santa Clara University and a former Menlo Park arts commissioner, Ms. McCollough in 2002 commissioned composers Alvin Singleton, Alex Shapiro, Belinda Reynolds and Charles Griffin to write works for piano and percussion -- a dynamic marriage of sound that has long interested her.

So far, she has performed the pieces in concert halls in California, Georgia, Texas and New Jersey, and on April 7, she and percussionists Peggy Benkeser and Tom Burritt will take their hammers and sticks to Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Ms. McCollough, a champion of contemporary music, will perform the "Music for Hammers and Sticks" concert at Santa Clara University on June 19.

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