Bluestar recording artist and New Age composer Gene Newton has an interesting day job: he shares the joys of music with others. For over two decades, Newton has taught music and theater arts in a Spokane, Washington, public high school, directing the concert choir, symphonic choir, two jazz choirs and teaching a course in music technology. He has directed an extracurricular jazz ensemble called "Jazzphonics" for eight years, guiding them to awards and accolades in numerous competitions and festivals.
Newton composes in his spare time, blending technical mastery (Korg gets liner notes credit) with his innate creativity to create a distinctive, transcendent sound. He counts among his New Age musical influences Vangelis, Colin Chinn, Peter Buffett, Jean Michel Jarre, and Michael Gettel. "But there are many others I enjoy," he adds. "My favorite classical composers are Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Charles Ives, Chopin, and Stravinsky. I also love jazz and Broadway music. I really just let my soul do whatever music comes to it when I am composing; it is a very intuitive process that I try and stay out of the way of, at least I try and keep my ego out of the way." Newton's first album, 1993's Celestial Plea, is dedicated to New Age seminar leader Wayne Dyer, while other celestial influences are obvious in 1997's Tarot: Music for Readings. Elemental Suite followed in 1998. ~ Carol Wright
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