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Ear candy

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In the 1940s someone made candy at 4 Elton Street. But since September, Jake Glasgow, Brad Johnson, and six other instructors have been making music there.

inTune Contemporary Music & Production has four private lesson rooms, two classrooms, and a studio. Glasgow and Johnson renovated it from the dank warehouse it was; now the brick walls and high ceilings lend themselves well to an impending resonance.

Glasgow and Johnson both attended Boston's Berklee College of Music and are veteran Rochester musicians. They both played in Milkhouse, King Binjj, and currently are with jazzer Marcus Robinson in Private Stock.

"We'd been playing for so long and then decided that wasn't for us, the touring and whatnot," Johnson says. The two gravitated toward teaching, but they encountered some deficits.

"We ran into a number of kids that just didn't have the proper skills," says Glasgow. They also saw kids that didn't know what to do with what they had. inTune was set up to fix that.

"It's a modern approach to everything," says Glasgow. "Not just playing your instrument but learning how to do studio stuff or MIDI application and how to take your instrumental skills and add it to all of that."

What's offered is a far cry from the stoic piano lesson from the old lady down the street. inTune offers individual instruction in nine instruments and class instruction (in 12-week sessions) in music technology, theory, and ear training.

"A kid comes in and says 'I want to play that Clapton solo,'" Glasgow says, "But you have to learn some basics first and steer them in the direction they want to go."

But some kids want to play Clapton now.

"You try to convey to them that it doesn't happen overnight," Johnson says. "If I could wave a magic wand I certainly would. I keep encouraging them. It's just a matter of finding the right piece."

Glasgow and Johnson are now trying to secure grants to get involved with the Rochester City School District, where they feel music programs are hurting.

Information: 271-5980 or www.intuneonline.com.

--- Frank De Blase


Tsunami relief

Most major aid groups are accepting donations, but here also is a list of local groups organizing efforts.

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (800 East Ridge Road, Rochester, 14621): collecting donations through January 16 to be forwarded through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Info: 266-2240.

Sikh Gurdwara (temple) in Penfield (2041 Dublin Road, 14526): please call 377-2771 for information on how to donate.

Śrí Vidya Temple (6980-6970 East River Road, Rush, 14543): accepting donations to help survivors of a destroyed Sri Lankan orphanage, which the Temple has been helping to support. Donations can be made online at www.srividya.org. Info: www.srividya.org, 533-1970.

Islamic Center of Rochester (727 Westfall Road, PO Box 23266, Rochester, 14692): Indicate on the check that the donation is for tsunami relief. Info: 442-7164, www.rochesterislamiccenter.org

Hindu Temple of Rochester: collecting checks payable to the Temple. Write "Earthquake Relief Fund" in the memo line and mail to PO Box 20061, Rochester, 14602. Info: 427-8091, www.hindutempleofrochester.com.

Jewish Community Federation of Greater Rochester: collecting donations on behalf of the North American Jewry. Donations accepted online at www.jewishrochester.org.

And you can attend the following special events:

A relief event will be held Saturday, January 8, at Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince Street, at 8 p.m., with musical performances and an art auction. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, contact Bleu Cease at bbcease@yahoo.com

A Sri Lankan singer-songwriter, P.W. Gopal, will perform on Wednesday, January 19, at First Baptist Church, 175 Allens Creek Road, at 7 p.m. Admission is free; donations will help victims. Info: 244-2468.


Howard's due

It's payback time.

And it's only fair after all. Ever since GOP state Assemblyman Howard Mills was tapped to challenge New York's senior senator, Albany's pundits have been speculating about what he was promised in return. That's because no one ever even gave Mills the benefit of the doubt against popular incumbent Charles Schumer. To add insult to injury, the state's Conservative party chose to use the apparently unwinnable race to flex their muscle and teach Republicans a thing or two about where their loyalties lay. Instead of endorsing the centrist Mills, they ran Long Island Physician Marilyn O'Grady. Even though O'Grady siphoned off only about 3 percent of the vote, Mills still lost, garnering slightly less than 25 percent of the vote to Schumer's record-setting 70.7 percent.

Those numbers landed Schumer a seat chairing the Democrats' Congressional reelection committee. And Mills? Last week Gov. Pataki announced his reward for undertaking that Sisyphean task: Mills is nominated to succeed Greg Serio this month as the state's insurance superintendent.

If that doesn't sound like a plum appointment at first glance, consider that, if confirmed, Mills will have ultimate policing power of a $2 trillion industry. That's trillion with a "T." Even the usually terse Pataki press office called the job "one of the most important regulatory positions in the financial services industry."

And considering the man occupying another such position --- state Attorney General (and Pataki gubernatorial rival) Eliot Spitzer --- Mills likely hasn't landed all that far from the action.

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