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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS : A Fresh Start : Faculty alumni from failed Grove School of Music experience something of a rebirth with Contemporary Music Workshops.

July 02, 1993|MICHAEL ARKUSH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

For ex-instructor Terry Janow, the gradual collapse of the Grove School of Music was almost unbearable.

"It was like watching your family die," Janow said about the former Van Nuys school that went out of business earlier this year. "We all loved it."

Starting next week, at a studio in Woodland Hills, Janow, along with another Grove alumnus, guitar teacher Adam Levine, will introduce a series of music classes and workshops that they hope will fulfill the original vision of their former employer.

"The idea in the beginning was workshops," Janow said, "and then it grew too fast."

Janow, in fact, is concerned that prospective students might confuse the new enterprise--Contemporary Music Workshops--with the defunct Grove.

"We're not that," he said, "and we don't ever intend to be that. We don't want this to ever become a school."

Instead, the goal is to provide classes and workshops for high school graduates preparing for advanced studies at universities or music schools. So far, about 30 have signed up for workshops and 15 for classes. A few workshops are taught by ex-Grove teachers.

The classes, which will run Sunday afternoons from July 11 through Sept. 5, will include instruction from Russell Ferrante, a Grammy-nominated pianist, and jazz pianist Joyce Collins. Other guest instructors include jazz pianist Walter Norris, and composers and pianists Kei Akagi and Guillherme Vergueiro. The entire series costs $100.

The workshops, which include music theory, songwriting, arranging and vocal performance, are slated for weekday evenings and weekend afternoons beginning July 5. Tuition is $275 per workshop. The workshops and classes will be at Kaii & Friends Music Studios, 20929 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. Call (800) 649-MUSIC.

MOVING FORWARD--Six months have passed since KGIL-AM (1260) in Mission Hills went off the air after being purchased by Saul Levine, who promptly converted it to KJQI, an adult contemporary station broadcasting from Westwood.

The end for KGIL, which made its debut in 1947, signaled the departure for popular on-air personalities Carole Hemingway, Jackie Olden and John Swaney. Olden, who hosted a call-in food show, quickly landed a job hosting a weekend cooking show at her former employer, KNX-AM (1070), but talk-show hosts Swaney and Hemingway didn't immediately jump to their next radio gigs.

"I'm so stimulated by what I'm doing that my mind is in a different place," said Hemingway, who started a media consulting business--Carole Hemingway Media--in 1989 to advise lawyers, doctors and entertainers on how to better promote themselves.

Sometimes, though, Hemingway's mind gravitates back to radio.

"What I miss is when I have something in the news I'm dying to talk about to the audience," she said. "I have to talk to myself or my friends."

Swaney is still getting that opportunity. In recent months, he has filled in as a part-time guest host on Saturday mornings on KFI-AM (640).

"I think KFI is really a class operation," Swaney said, "and I feel great about being affiliated with them."

Swaney, too, misses his KGIL audience. "That was built over seven years. They were something special," he said.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME--After several months of hosting his weekly Barn Dance show of rockabilly music from In Cahoots in Glendale, Ronnie Mack returned in May to the Palomino in North Hollywood, its home from 1988 to early 1993.

"Country music, to them, has nothing to do with being a form of American music culture," said Mack, explaining why he left In Cahoots. "They didn't want to hear anything that has to do with traditional roots, only what's on the charts these days. Country music did not start with Garth Brooks."

Mark Fichter, the club's general manager, admitted that Mack's brand of country music did not mix well with the regular customers. "He's more on the edge," Fichter said.

Mack said he brought his Tuesday night concert back to the Palomino because of "its legendary status. I didn't want to go somewhere else to start over."

He said he had made the switch last winter because he believed that In Cahoots was more likely to fund a television or radio broadcast of the show, "but that didn't work out."

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