Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jury Duty

I really didn't think my jury group would even be called in yesterday, so did not really make preparations to attend. I am straight on on six different projects, and just didn't have time!

So I got called in, stayed late to try to get in order what I could, and headed out at 7 am. About 14 of us (6 or 8 people did not show up) sat in a room until nearly noon, but there were no trials that day, so we were released. I brought work with me, and, incredibly, had a very productive morning with no phone or computer or musical distractions!

I almost signed on for daily jury duty, though I might have been testy, had we had a trial. I did sit on a jury a couple of years ago. It was interesting, but very time-consuming, as my jury took pains to make sure we made the proper decision, which is, after all, the right thing to do.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Arts Festival

We all agreed this was the best festival we have played and the best we have played in a festival. We have been playing as a quartet, and during the last week or so, added three very good players, doubling parts. In the past our flute choir has consisted of up to 8 players and we have tried not to double parts, but the doubling of parts made everything sound so much better, fuller, richer.

Our tent was well situated, and you can see we have attracted a small crowd. Sometimes our tent has not been so centrally located, and we have played mainly to relatives and friends. They were quite appreciative, calling us "excellent." The best part, for me, was a former flutist in the audience who came up and said the cello was the best part (even though I made plenty of mistakes).

You can't actually see me in this photo, just the cello, between the first and second flutes on the left.

Ok, here is what I look like, intensely intent on the Haydn, London Trios, as interpreted by 5 C flutes, 1 alto flute, and me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Concert tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big arts festival, and I am playing with my flute choir at 11:20 AM and the fiddlers at 4 PM. I play mostly flute with the flute choir, but am also playing cello on the first of Haydn's London trios (3 movements) and an energetic tune called "Little Red Monkey."

We're playing the London Trio with seven instruments, 2 flutes on first, 3 flutes on second, and an alto flute and me on cello on the third (cello) part. I was a little worried about having so many people play a trio, but it sounds good to me. I love the London Trios anyway. I do have a CD of the trios as played by a flute choir (bass flute instead of cell0). It sounds good, but the cello part makes it sound so much better, to my ears anyway.

It looks like the weather will be perfect tomorrow. I am looking forward to the event (it is a three-day outdoor arts and entertainment festival, with three performances going on at all times, and 2 large tents full of artists and artisans), even though I still am not getting every note, every time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

9 Cellos

We are starting a chamber orchestra/ensemble group here in town. The idea is that you can play in the larger, coached ensemble and/or break up into smaller groups, which may also be coached. So far we have 9 cellists among 34 people interested. There are about 10 violinists, a viola or two, 2 oboes, several flutes, a clarinet, a horn, a trumpet, and several keyboard players. Sounds like an excellent balance to me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bluegrass afternoon

Here's what Sunday's bluegrass festival looked like. This was after our group of 17 (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, string bass, and cello) played. You can see the stage in background on the right, and the seating off to the left. Not a huge venue, but there were also people sitting in the grassy area. I do think the audience outnumbered our large group of musicians. In any case, they were appreciative, and it was fun.

Monday, June 9, 2008

22 Years

It was 22 years ago today that we brought our son home, and yesterday our daughter, 19, set off for Georgia with her boyfriend, arriving there today. So, we are officially empty-nesters. I know the parenting years aren't quite over, but, they sure flew by, as we are warned they would.

On the plus side, there should be a little more time for practicing. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bluegrass diversion

I decided to play with the fiddle group this weekend at the Bluegrass on the Bogs festival. I went last year too, but this year I haven't been playing much fiddle music (we play old-time, not bluegrass), and there is very little time left to solidify my tentative grasp on the numerous tunes we will play. Fortunately, I do know some of them, but there will also be tunes I have never even heard before.

I'll think of something. It will be good to be surrounded by music and musicians for a few hours in the summer sun. (Well, rain is predicted, but I am hopeful.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Concert approaching...

My flute group is playing for a local arts festival on June 21. We're sort of ready. I am playing two pieces on cello: Haydn's London Trios, just the first trio (which has 3 movements), and The Little Red Monkey, a contemporary frolic, in which I play the bouncy baseline. I am somewhat sort of ready, but really need to find time to practice in the sort of three weeks we have remaining until the concert (especially the 3rd movement of the Haydn, which is vivace).

Last year when we played this event, there were gusts of wind that it blew the notes back into my flute. And, even clustered in a tight horseshoe shape, we had a hard time hearing each other. Why do we keep doing this? It's fun. We don't really attract huge crowds because there are three stages in operation at any one time, as well as tents full of artists and artisans, children's activities, and food, but I enjoy being part of it.