Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ULM - On the road again 8-17-2012

Ahhhhhh, "You're getting to be a habit with me".  I'll have to research the composer who wrote that song, but I feel as though I could have written it myself. No, I don't think my sisters and I ever sang that one as we never travelled to Monroe when we all lived here although 2 of us did travel to Natchitoches for the orchestra/band ensemble festivals (on a school bus). Loved to play horn duets, trios and quartets. And we always made a "Superior" rating for solos and ensembles. Judy Causey was in our horn group at Lakeshore Jr. High and later Fair Park H.S.

This time on my weekly trip to Monroe, I certainly wasn't bored. No music this time, but two lanes of east bound traffic suddenly came to a screeching stop when a very large 18 wheeler threw what was left of a tire all over the road right in front of us. Thank you, hubby, for replacing my break pads recently. My Volvo stopped on a dime only inches from the auto in front of me. Whewwwwwwwww! Last week, driving back home, I ran over what appeared to be a huge chunk of scrap metal which I couldn't avoid and heard it whap and clang underneath the car as it worked its way out from under the back bumper. Kept checking the gauges all the way to Shreveport for any signs of a problem, leakages, etc. Harold checked as well a few days later and said I hit it just right - in the middle of the undercarriage. I don't even want to repeat what he said could have been damaged or torn off. Several thousand dollars of car parts!! Plus all the labor,  his labor, of course.

James Boldin and I worked on some excerpts and went through our usual duet routine switching off parts. So, now I have the Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, 2nd Horn part and am reminded of my previous efforts many years ago. It's been about 30 years since I have played it, and I had forgotten what a bugger it is. I remember being on stage some years ago at the Civic Theatre and playing the 1st part to the last movement for some show. Now that was exciting!!!! Or should I say painful? I love those high "c's" . . . . . . . uh . . . . . . I'm speechless. They just go on and on if you are playing ad libitum.

Dr. James Boldin - excerpts

protein bar, green tea, my "bag" and this time, my Lawson,
although I dearly love my Rauch

Passing the time buzzing

An old friend from the past greets me with a "hello" again and a "how are you   playing 
this week?" 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Violist Marcus Rose sets recital for Friday August 17, 2012

Marcus Rose will be in recital at Frost Chapel, FBC  . . . Friday August 17, @ 6:30 PM

Violist Marcus Rose - Juilliard student

Marcus Rose, a former student of local professional violist Borys Smolaga is now an undergraduate student at the prestigious Juilliard  School of Music in New York. I asked him to update me on his studies and here is his reply:

"Well , I've been home for a little over a month after finishing a half session at the Castleman Quartet Program in NY.  Other than that I've just been preparing for the recital and trying to get the word out as much as possible.  I'm at Juilliard right now studying with Steven Tenenbom, head of Chamber music at Curtis Institute, and Heidi Castleman.  I got to perform with Juilliard orchestra at Alice Tully and Avery Fischer Hall.  And I got a loaned viola from the Virtu foundation.  That's pretty much my recent life in a nutshell."

IN A NUTSHELL? Hardly! ...... Wow. Marcus is still a teen-ager.

In 2009, while still a student at Caddo Magnet School, Marcus won the TSO Youth Solo Competition held annually by the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra. He also played in the Marshall Symphony, The Longview Symphony and was an active musician in various church programs and social functions.

Marcus at the Perot Theatre in Texarkana, working with his
viola teacher Borys Smolaga before orchestra rehearsal

Marcus, a Marshall Symphony section violist

This Friday night August 17, Marcus will be giving a FREE recital at 6:30 PM at First Baptist Church, Frost Chapel. Featured are works by Bach, Faure', Paganini, Schubert, Bartok, and Dr. Todd Gabriel. 

I plan to be there and I hope you will be, too. Let's support our young musicians. They are our future!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

ULM driving time from Shreveport? Depends on the RV's, trucks, day of the week and your choice of music

For me, driving to Monroe to work with ULM's James Boldin once a week has not been that much of a hassle. Now, driving west toward Dallas from Shreveport for the same distance is sometimes a wall to wall nightmare, especially since I-20 West speed limit is now 75 MPH. Yes, that's what I said, for those of you who haven't ventured into East Texas in the past few months. So, now instead of driving 80, motorists, truckers and RVers  are now driving 85. Now that's scary!

So, my trip this week wasn't monotonous, but I decided to listen to the radio. Turned it onto Public Radio, KDAQ, and there I was listening to the "Beatles". I looked again. Did I plug in the wrong station? Where was my Tchaikovsky and Brahms, Chopin and Mozart? It was Regional Orchestra time!! No, It's right where I always have it, my number 1 on the Hit Parade! It wasn't the wrong station. What then? Had to wait for for some commentary, and lo and behold, I was listening to a South Arkansas Symphony concert from last season, 'The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour". OOOh! "Hey Jude', I was in my younger days singing along, a time when my boys were growing up and everyone was protesting something. Made me feel younger just thinking about those times. Since I have a birthday arriving on Wednesday this week, I tearted myself to an early BD present.
Telemann, anyone?
Holton Descant
Gunther Schuller studies last Friday (plus others, of course) and long tones and duets. I've owned the Schuller studies for many years, but their faint calling to me has been missing over the years and so I am reacquainting myself now with the vigor and vitality they deserve. Did I say that?