After many, many starts and stops, I am starting - and plan to maintain - this blog.
In August of this year I had the honor of meeting Rajni Shah, an actress and director currently living in Europe, and was interviewed for her project "Dinner with America", which is being premiered this weekend. This was immediately followed by the release of September's International Musician, in which I was featured. The International Musician interview took place two days after I played a benefit concert for the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. While Croton is neither a large city nor a cultural mecca, it was great to play there and to have such a receptive audience. The concert consisted of three concertos, including the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (which I played) and was originally intended to be "just another concert".
The seeds of that concert were planted in January 2006 when, upon seeing a calendar from our alma mater, a colleague from the University of South Carolina School of Music called me and asked if I would like to play a concerto with his orchestra. Four months later (and one month before my performance at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas) I received both a call and a letter from Tracey Sherry, then the Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, in which she very candidly chronicled the organization's financial situation at the close of the 2005-2006 season (which was, incidentally, the end of the first season following Hurricane Katrina).
After forwarding the letter to Darcy Lewis - and later posting it at violinist.com - I called Rich and asked if our concert could be a benefit...
Having worked as the marketing associate for an arts organization many years ago, I did send out press releases with information on this concert; however, I never expected THIS, and all I can say is that I'm very happy that people are still paying attention to what needs to happen in New Orleans.
Thank you all again, not only for the supportive words you have shared with me over the past two years, but for your continued assistance with the long-term recovery of our Gulf Coast's arts organizations.
For myself, all I can say is that it's true - healing is about the expansion of one's self into the universe, meanwhile remaining humble and grateful to be sharing in creation.