Tag Archives: midlife

Interlochen, Day 1

Chuck is attending the New Horizons Band Camp at Interlochen this week, and is filing his reports, while Georgeann attends the BSO Academy in Baltimore.  This is the first of Chuck’s daily reports.

Practice Hut at Interlochen Music Camp

A practice hut at Interlochen. Each has a grand piano inside.

New Horizon Band founder Dr. Roy Ernst has described Interlochen Center for the Arts as the Carneige Hall of Music Camps. It has a history dating back to the mid 1920 as the nation’s premiere music camp. John Phillip Sousa conducted the National High School Band here in 1930 and wrote his Northern Pines March after that experience.

This week about 200 Midlife Musicians from all across the country are spending time among the pines, soaking up the atmosphere, renewing old friendships and and playing what to many of us is somewhat challenging music. It is the New Horizon’s Music Camp, one of several held around the country each Summer.  New Horizons Music programs were developed by Dr Roy Ernst 20 years ago as a way to give adults an opportunity to learn music in a setting similar to that offered in school. Many of the participants have either played at one time and and came back after a long absence or taken up music for the first time. The organization now has over 182 bands, orchestras, choruses and other ensembles across the country.

Classes this week include ensembles for Brass, Woodwinds, Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinets and Percussion. As well as a few fun things like Dixieland Band, Strolling Band, Conch Shell Choir and introduction to conducting, a look at music before Bach and after Beethoven.

It’s going to be an interesting week, I’ve already had great conversations with midlifers from Florida, San Diego, Durham, NC as well as fellow midlifers from Michigan. We all have one thing in common, a love for music, most of us took it up again after leaving it in high school or college.

We will stumble this week, make a few mistakes, but have fun. And live by Dr Roy’s New Horizon Band Motto  ‘your best is good enough.’



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Filed under Fun Stuff, Inspiration, Music and Aging, Personal Journey

The Tempo of Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about tempo lately.

BSO AcademySome of the thinking has its roots in the music I’m struggling to master for next week’s BSO Academy.  I’m starting to get my fingers and bow around most of it — but at half-speed.  I’m nowhere near as fast as the recordings I’ve been listening to of Hindemith, Rimskey-Korsakov, and now the Dvorak String Quintet in G (my designated chamber music piece – 2nd violin).  And the thought of trying to play as fast as the music demands fills me with terror. Continue reading

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Catching Up …

2011 has started in a rush, and it’s already a week into February!

Just back from the 2011 Sphinx Competition, which featured final performances from the Junior Division this year.   Congratulations to Alexandra Switala, who captured the first place price with a passionate, charismatic performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5 in A Major.  Her animated performance stole the show from Annelle Gregory, whose more restrained classic performance was gorgeously rendered, but which left her in third place.   My row, however, was rooting for Xavier Foley, the young bassist who captured second place while bending in half over his instrument to play notes in positions never intended on the bass in his performance of the Dittersdorf Concerto in E Major.   Continue reading

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I’m Taking A Leap Of Faith …

This week, I announced plans to leave the employer where I have spent the last 20 years, to begin a new chapter in my career.   My intent is to go into business for myself.

It’s a leap of faith. Continue reading

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A Leap of Faith

From time to time, Chuck and I do encounter interesting people.  What makes them special is that they have taken a leap of faith which has propelled their lives in new directions, often at midlife. Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiration, Returning to Music

At Midlife, It’s Not a Competition …

There’s an important difference when you come back to music in midlife compared to when you were in school. The point now is to do it for fun.  At this point in our lives, it should not be a competition. Continue reading

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Rusty Wins in Baltimore

Kudo’s to the Baltimore Symphony and Music Director Marin Alsop!   The Orchestra invited amateur musicians — what they called “Rusty Musicians” to join them.  They were so overwhelmed with requests that they ended up scheduling a second concert to handle the 400 volunteers.   By all accounts, the experiment was a resounding success.   See the story in  The Washington Post or this blog entry from The Baltimore Sun. Continue reading

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New Inspiration, New Directions

A new year has begun, and so has a new season of music.  Continue reading

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It’s Music Season!

It’s back to school – and the season for most local community groups to resume rehearsals for the season. Many are looking for players, and it’s the perfect place for a midlife musician who has some experience to hone their skills. Continue reading

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Passions Know No Boundaries …

This week, I learned that even professional musicians may have a little “midlife musician” in them. Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiration, Musicians of Note