This is already the 3rd season of Pikes Falls. I'm heading up to VT in less than a week, and then on Monday, July 28, the musicians and artists start arriving.
I'm excited. Also, I'm nervous. I have to figure out how to sleep this year, because I start to lose my mind when I don't sleep for a week or two. But... overall, it's the best part of the year, and I am of course looking forward.
Check out the article the Boston Globe wrote about the festival. (Gotta say -- it feels pretty cool to get called by a correspondent from the Boston Globe.)
And, if you're interested in supporting the festival and getting some gear, take a look at our new store.
As always, thanks to everyone for all the support. Hope to see you up in Vermont, but if you can't make it, I'll be sure to send recordings...
For the past 4 years, as the KU Summer Chamber Music Festival approaches, I'm both excited and wary. It's undoubtedly one of my busiest weeks of the year (we teach/rehearse/perform from 9am-10pm almost every day... and then there are camp activities at night), so I begin to anticipate the exhaustion well beforehand.
But, I also remember how high the level of playing is, how eager the students are (they're incredibly enjoyable to teach), and how amazing that final concert always is.
This year was no exception. I was happy to come home on Saturday. After-all, I had missed my cats, and I'm entirely too old to be living in a dorm.
But, the week itself was awesome. My flute students came running with me in the mornings (dedication!) and I was very pleased with all the performances. It's always amazing to me how much students can get done in a week. The first rehearsal feels hopeless, but just a couple of days later, and they're all performance-worthy... and not just "oh, it's kids playing; how cute" performance-worthy. The concerts are truly inspiring, both because of the energy and accomplishment these students embody.
I also really enjoyed performing George Tsontakis's Imagine for solo flute. The Georgian Room was the perfect place for that piece. I'm keeping the piece in my fingers so I can continue to perform it. It's a good option those (oh-so-frequent) times a solo flute piece of 5-ish minutes is required.
Lastly, each year I'm very impressed with how nice the kids are. I'm sure there is a certain amount of in-fighting about groups and music, but overall, everyone gets along. As far as I can tell, they don't form cliques (no "Mean Girl" behavior), they're so damn polite, and they are absolutely dedicated to music. The age range is 12-25, but they all hang out together. Somehow, despite that the students change, the vibe remains the same; and, (now that I've caught up on sleep) I'm looking forward to next year.
Last fall, Inscape went to the Sono Luminus studios in Virginia and recorded Hindemith's Hérodiade. It's an incredible (and often-overlooked) piece that typifies Hindemith's style, and yet still pushes to an exciting dramatic realm. Today, the digital download was released.
Check it out on iTunes or Amazon. And since I seem to be incapable of hearing my own playing without thinking "OH IT SOUNDS LIKE ME WHY DO I PLAY LIKE THAT?," I'd also appreciate any [constructive] feedback that comes to mind.
Here's the article released to Montgomery County newspapers about my being a quarter-finalist for the 2015 Grammy Music Educator Award.
I obsessed about getting the videos as perfect as possible (with help from a couple of wonderful videographers), so I submitted them at the 11th hour last night. If you're interested, visit my Teach page to view one of them (scroll to the bottom of the page).
Heading down to South Carolina last Wednesday, I wasn't really sure what to expect. And admittedly, since I tend to have a bit of homebody inertia, there was definitely a part of me that didn't want to get on the plane.
I don't need to go into detail about the day-to-day at the Savvy Musician in Action, but here's something remarkable: I was never, not even once, bored. Every single leader (David Cutler, Howard Herring, Ranaan Meyer, Kimball Gallagher, Ariel Hyatt, and quite a few more) was inspiring and engaging... kind of eerily so.
And then over the 4.5 days that followed, we formed teams, created business models, actualized the business to whatever extent possible, and then pitched our creations. miniMaestros took on a Pinocchio-type metamorphosis, and I could actually see the 'film composition camp for kids' happening beyond the workshop-realm. And who knows... it just might.
Our team was fantastic. I'm not sure how I managed to know exactly who to work alongside, but it was pretty much a perfect group of people. We all had our strengths/weaknesses, and OH MY GOD, I learned a little bit about not being a control freak.
Beyond any of the particulars though, I [re]discovered some important concepts:
And so much more. I could go on for quite a while, but suffice it to say that I feel like a better version of myself. Now, holding on to that feeling as I move through the rest of the summer and into whatever happens next.
Tomorrow: VT to hang signs and do other organizational details for the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival. But first... I have to go for a run. It has been too long.
On May 18, Inscape will be presenting a concert of all World Premieres. Check out Inscape's post about the concert and accompanying Kickstarter campaign.
Thanks to Hoss and Ann at GNAT Tv VT for creating such a nice video press release about Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival. It will be broadcast around Southern Vermont during July and August.
Check it out... We're well on our way! With 11 more days to go (the Kickstarter campaign ends June 22), Pikes Falls Chamber Music is 53% to our goal. As you may know, if we don't reach our goal, we don't get the funds. So, it's really important that we raise the remaining $4,694 by June 22. No matter what the size, every donation helps... that's the crowd-funding way. So, whether you can donate $1, $25, or $100, please check out our Kickstarter campaign (with the wonderful Pikes Falls 2012 video) and, if you can, donate.
Earlier this year, PFCM applied for a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. Notifications were supposed to be sent in early May, but as of yesterday I still hadn't heard anything... so while I definitely didn't want to bother anyone, I finally decided to pick up the phone and call.
It turns out that we were funded, and somehow the email had just been caught in the spam folder. VCF has been waiting for us to turn in the paperwork!
In any case, hearing that news made my day, and perhaps my week. The monetary support is wonderful, of course, but even more important is the approval from the Vermont community. A huge thanks to the Vermont Community Foundation for granting PFCM a Small and Inspiring Grant. We're thrilled to be part of the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, we're still actively fundraising via our Kickstarter campaign. Time is quickly running out; please help us reach our goal!