Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Home from 'Bama

Ok, so I didn't keep my end of the bargain and actually blog while on the trip. Everyday ended up being long and I was pretty exhausted by the time I got back to the hotel room. I was like a kid at the end of a long day at Disney World. All tuckered out from the fun.

I never know anyone when I go to these things. It's like I am from a completely different planet. I thought since this was actually in the south I might run into someone I knew, at least someone that went or taught at UGA. No dice. But even better, right? I can expand my circle of people and bust out of my tiny Atlanta world. I did know one person, Dr. Nick Demos, and one of his pieces was being performed by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

I attended the HSO's rehearsal of Nick's piece and it was a good experience for me to watch a professional orchestra perform a piece by an experienced composer. I sat next to him during the rehearsal and listened to his comments and his past experience with working with ensembles. Probably not an opportunities many people get to have, and it was purely by accident. Story of my life!

The rest of the festival was standard as new music festivals go. This music festival, however, had a wide variety of styles and aesthetics. It really kept things fresh to hear in one mini concert microtonality, a-tonality, tonality, electronics, experimental, and even some serialism. Every style of music was embraced, nothing as excluded.

I enjoyed my experience working with the flute choir under the direction of Betty Stone. They were really working out of their comfort zone with the extended beat boxing techniques, and they seemed to be having fun with it once they each had that "ah-ha" moment. They were great sports about everything and made me feel at home.

I hadn't planned on performing with the flute choir. I had mixed feelings about not performing on one of my compositions. If a piece had flute in it I was performing it. One of the alto flutist, however, got sick so I got to play some alto flute. Oh what fun to play alto! I have a special place in my heart for that instrument. So if anyone would like to fund my purchase of an alto I'd be game!

I'm glad to be home, and I look forward to the festival at University of Central Missouri in April. This time performing "Smorgasbord" myself. It will be good to make it back to the "homeland". I'm not sure about a trip to the band conference in Indianapolis. The band is premiering the piece here in Atlanta, so I might not go on the trip to Indiana. More news on that as well as other projects in another post!

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