October 6, 2012

The Season that Was...2011/2012, Part One

And here we are, with the 2012/2013 season well underway.   On this Saturday afternoon I sit in a quiet space, grateful for time both to write and to look back at what was a very eventful and fruitful 2011/2012 season of concerts, new collaborators, new horizons, and of course some travel...and how appropriate to start this recap by revisiting a post from February, 2012:

In August 2011 I received an email from Annelisa Guries, personnel manager of Washington DC's Great Noise Ensemble. I had been contacted by Annelisa before, but at that time I was not available. This time, however, I was - and it just so happened that their core violinist (who has become a very good friend over the past few months) was not able to play...so of course, I said yes. The program, titled "Lullaby, Eulogy, Homage", was substantial: Stephen Hartke's Beyond Words, the world premiere of Hannah Lash's Hush and, in celebration of his 75th birthday, Steve Reich's
Music for 18 Musicians.   That concert was a success for the ensemble, and I am very pleased to share that not only was I asked to play with them again in January 2012 during the New Voices At CUA Festival, but I shall be performing with the group again during the coming season.    On October 19, 2012, Great Noise Ensemble presents its first concert of the season as Atlas Performing Arts Center's New Music Ensemble-in-Residence, and I am terribly excited to have the opportunity to work with this group again.

There were many days "on the road" between February and May, 2012, the first journey being to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture for a performance of Between a Ballad and a Blues with the Carpetbag Theatre Ensemble.   This play, which was written by Linda Parris-Bailey and premiered in 2008, chronicles the life of William Howard Taft "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, a multifaceted musician born in east Tennessee who was one of the most important figures in the development of string band music in the Appalachian region.   Among the late Mr. Armstrong's credits include serving as a consultant to Quincy Jones for "The Color Purple" and being the subject of "Louie Bluie", a documentary directed by Terry Zwigoff that premiered in 1985 and was recently chronicled in Strings Magazine.

Then, from Baltimore to Austin, Philadelphia and Toronto in the month of May:  in Austin, a weekend that included collaboration with Michelle Schumann of the Austin Chamber Music Center during the inaugural season of the Pro Arts Collective's Metropolitan Classical Series, which was quickly followed first by a performance as a member of Philadelphia's Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and a trip to Toronto to play a concert performance of Scott Joplin's "Treemonisha" with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

(Koerner Hall, TELUS Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Conservatory of Music)

....and this was all wrapped up with my seventh season as a member of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.


Now that I've caught my breath - it was a very busy year, one in which I could do nothing but be fully present in every situation - I ask you to stay tuned, as there's more....


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