Tag Archives: performance

Interlochen Day 5 (Chuck)

Four days.  That is the thought running through my head this evening. I cannot even to begin to adequately describe what I saw and heard this evening.

Tonight the various classes and small groups had a chance to show what they accomplished this week.  We had four days to prepare and present music that we first saw Monday.  Individuals from all across the country jelled into a group, from the Intermediate Clarinets – where several members first picked up their instruments a year or so ago – to the Advanced Jazz Band, that could rival any big band in the nation.

Every group was practically flawless, and every band member proud of what they accomplished.  The evening held a few surprises. The Conch Shell Class did a great job on “Amazing Grace” and who would have thought you could get melodic sounds out of shells like those heard on “Ain’t She Sweet”?

One of the highlights of the Advanced Big Band performance was watching Greg Pope, the drummer from our band in Canton reading the lead sheets. Greg played with some of the Motown greats when he was a youngster, but never learned to read music. Tonight, he was practically sight-reading.  Watching him this week was like watching a kid in a candy store. The week at Interlochen was a dream come true for him.

Tomorrow morning, the Intermediate and Advanced Bands will perform.  It will almost be like a graduation.   We’ll be playing music that we stumbled over Sunday night; that after Tuesday evening’s rehearsal we all walked away shaking our heads thinking we had only two more days to get it right.

Four Days!!!! Four days to accomplish something that most bands spend weeks or even months to perfect. We were strutting our stuff tonight, and we were all proud.

Advertisement

Leave a comment

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

Interlochen, Day 4 (Chuck)

We are starting to see an increase of activity around the camp as college students begin to arrive for the official opening of Summer Camp. Over a thousand students are employed as cabin and dorm monitors, security, life guards and other camp functions.  They are also sprucing up the camp in preparation for Saturday’s Garrison Keeler’s Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast.

Meanwhile, New Horizon campers are busily preparing for Thursday evening’s small group performances.  The Jazz Ensembles along with the various instrument choirs will be performing, all proceeded by a strolling band outside the Fine Arts building.

It is amazing how much progress the Intermediate Band has made in the past few days, thinking back to  when we were stumbling over “La Cumparsita” and Bob Margolis’ “Fanfare Ode” and “Festival for Concert Band”. Tonight’s run thru of Sousa’s “Northern Pines March” may have had the March King turning in his grave, but hopefully we can get the kinks worked out in the final rehearsal tomorrow morning.


It is just hard to believe there is just one more full day of camp before heading back to the real world. It’s just amazing how many mid-lifers (and older) are enjoying a chance to play (and sing) many for the first time. There have been so many stories about other camps. I am already starting to eye the calendar for October 2012, they say Chautauqua, New York is a great camp….

Leave a comment

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

BSO Academy, Day 1

The afternoon performance of Verdi’s Requiem, with more than 120 voices joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, was alternately stunning, ethereal, and emotionally moving.  So it was amusing to learn, talking to members of the brass section after the performance, that they nearly “lost it” midway through the performance when a cell phone went off at a critical moment, with a ringtone that was perfectly in key.

Marin Alsop addresses the BSO Academy Musicians

BSO Music Director Marin Alsop addresses the BSO Academy Musicians

That casual, companions-in-music camaraderie, set a great tone for the opening day of the BSO Academy.   As music director Marin Alsop told the assembled musicians (mostly midlifers like me), “it’s about the passion we all share for music.”   The BSO Academy, now in its second year, is a very different experience for the musicians, too, she says.

“We are here to help,” she told us.  “It’s not about pressure.  Any pressure you feel, you are putting on yourself.  We just want to help you improve your skill set and music making, so you can reach new goals.”

At the same time, Alsop warned that she would not go easy on the BSO Academy musicians, just because we are amateurs.  “I can’t help it,” she said.  “I work with every orchestra as if it is a major orchestra.”  But she also promised that the experience would “take you where you are and move you ten levels up.”

There are a lot of people here who do other things for a living:  a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a retired marketing executive, and so on, with home addresses that include Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Massachusetts, and California.

Crab Cake Sandwich at Phillips Seafood at Harborplace in Baltimore

As the schedules were passed out over dinner, it’s clear it will be a challenging week.  I have my first private lesson at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, followed by classes on preventing injury, Alexander Technique, sectional rehearsal, chamber music rehearsal, and — after dinner — another class on sight reading.

Good thing I got my crab cake fix at lunch today!

1 Comment

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

This and That: Music, Work, Life

First, the news.

Detroit Public Television LogoI have a new job and a new title.   Senior Vice President, Content and Community Engagement, at Detroit Public Television.   I’m working on plans to address DPTV’s five key issue areas:   Energy and Environment, Leadership, Arts & Culture, Health, and Kids/Education.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Calendar, Musicians of Note, Personal Journey

Scriabin and The Puerto Rican Day Parade

Spent a lovely 90 minutes at the Steinway Piano Gallery on Saturday, listening to a young pianist (and humorist) by the name of Julian Gargiulo.   Born in Italy, Julian trained at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Peabody Institute.   He now lives in New York, touring the country with a unique blend of piano virtuosity, his own compositions, and a little stand-up humor. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Musicians of Note

29 Musicians Make A Wonderful Sound

Just back from Camerata Ireland’s performance at the brand-new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana.

Palladium Stage, Carmel Indiana

The view from our seats in the new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana

First of all, the facility is a winner.   Chuck and I bought seats in the choral terrace behind the stage, and they were great.   It was almost like sitting in the orchestra, with a full view of Barry Douglas conducting and nearly close enough to read the music on the stands. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Calendar, Inspiration

Camerata Ireland Begins U.S. Tour

Camerata Ireland at Castletown House

Members of Camerata Ireland

Camerata Ireland, the all-Irish orchestra founded by Barry Douglas, plays Carnegie Hall tomorrow night.  It’s the first stop on a week-long U.S. tour that includes stops in Nashville, the Chicago area, and Indianapolis.  They’ll be playing Mozart, Bunting, and works by the Irish composer John Field, who is said to have invented the nocturne form perfected by Chopin.

It’s part of a year-long celebration of Irish culture in the United States sponsored by the Irish tourism department. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Calendar, Inspiration

Steve Richko’s Final Performance

The statistics show many of you coming to the blog arrive as the result of a search for Steve Richko, the very talented jazz pianist who passed away unexpectedly last fall.  Thanks to Tim Hoy and Cliff Monear at the Steinway Piano Gallery of Detroit, Steve’s final performance has been captured on film.  This concert, featuring Steve, Cliff, and Tad Weed, took place just a few days before Steve’s death.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun Stuff, Musicians of Note

Forming a Musical Community

As the Christmas/New Years holiday week approaches, Chuck and I have finished a furious round of concerts.  The New Horizons Band where Chuck plays had three concerts of Christmas music – one in the midst of the big snowstorm that hit southeast Michigan on the 11th. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration

New YouTube Orchestra Announced

Australia will host the next edition of the YouTube orchestra, and musicians have until the end of November to submit their auditions.  The Strad had an article announcing the competition.   Selected musicians will play with Michael Tilson Thomas at the Sydney Opera House next spring (or is that fall down under?).   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun Stuff, Inspiration, Opportunities to Play