2020-2023 Music Recap
In the past few years music has taken a bit of a backseat in my life. After moving to Florida from DC in 2018, I auditioned for the Florida Orchestra but did not get in. I did have a student and substituted as a conductor/instructor for the Flagler Youth Orchestra, which I greatly enjoyed. My professional career outside of music led me away to Texas, and then COVID-19 created a shift in the ability to get involved locally in the music scene. However, during that time period I made a YouTube video on intro to violin, practiced a great deal by myself, and watched quite a bit of YouTube performances by other artists who were sharing their work virtually. This time of introspection I miss in some ways, because I was able to spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts, listening and playing to music that came to me from somewhere in the depths of my feelings, and I was able to live in a world that was more about art and creativity and less about managing tasks and processes than my world has seemed to mostly become. This was the positive of that timeframe, as the luxury of time is so often undervalued in our fast-paced world.
I did get to see some wonderful bands in Texas, and they were all the more enjoyable because they were few and far between. When I left Texas at the end of 2020, I wanted to get back to teaching, playing with an orchestra, and performing. I did find a wonderful group in State College, PA, "The Band Junkies", who had recently started up and were booking bands all over Happy Valley where I moved to. This group and their prolific booking of bands, were really a positive aspect of my life especially with the move and not knowing many people locally. Another wonderful experience and part of my new life in State College was the American Ale House, where Tommy Wareham plays piano every weekend and brings together the community as well as musicians from around the region who join him on occasion. Every time I have gone there things have felt right in the world again. His professionalism as a musician and all-around inspiring member of the community have been a gift to me and many others.
I went overseas in 2022 and was able to play a fair amount during that time, particularly on Sundays with a guitarist that I met, as well as for a local association. We also got a whole band together and played a two hour holiday concert, which was an unforgettable experience. We even had Little Drummer Boy sung in French by one of our colleagues. Another memorable song was "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" which I had never heard before and was mesmerized with.
When I came back to Pennsylvania, it was winter and I had to work up energy to get back out there musically. Luckily, there was an opportunity to get involved with the Nittany Valley Symphony, which is an incredible group of professional and community musicians in the State College area. I have now played two concerts with them, one in April, and the most recent in September of 2023. The spring concert featured Sibelius, Delius and Franck with a focus on the renewal of Spring. In September our program centered on Romanticism and included works by Svendsen, Schubert and Schumann.
We will have another concert in December, January, February and April, so it will be a busy season. I don't have any students and am not taking lessons currently, but may try to do more YouTube videos to share knowledge and perhaps to play some covers and some songs I've written.