Even though I made a shopping list for a trip to the grocery store this afternoon I still managed to forget a couple of things that were somewhat important (including dark chocolate) and that I only remembered a while after finishing that errand.
This made me think of the many things that we "forget" to get, to say or to take care of in a daily basis.
Well, before this happens again and before this day is over, here is a very important list, a Thanksgiving list.
I am Thankful for:
- my faith
- my health
- my family
- my friends
- Canela, Pepper and Olive
- my job, a dream job I must add!
- the colossal window in my office
- my students and for their talents, work ethic, love for music and wonderful playing
- my instruments (Astolfo, Brigitte, Franz and Claude) and the many fun bows
- and last but definitely not least, my espresso machine
This is a hefty list. I'm happy and blessed with so much and I hope you are too!
Until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard this expression.
Not that I had never felt it or seen its effects on students but somehow I never quite got that expression into my not-so-comprehensive lexicon.
Well, the SLUMP is here...ta-dah!
A few weeks ago my students performed an outstanding mid-term recital but I guess that the reality of all that was yet to come finally sank in. For the pre-college kids the notorious six-month-of-your-every-year-of-high-school preparation for Texas All-Region and All-State auditions, summer programs, etc. For the college “adults” and graduate students, competitions, applications, papers, more competitions, bow rehairing, recordings, tuition due date…argh!!!
Well, breathe…count… 1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi... 3 Mississippi...BTW, why not 1 Texas, 2 Texas…? Well, this is enough material for a whole other conversation! ;-)
Sometimes it takes a bit more than that, but it is indeed a good start.
So, dear students of mine…collect yourselves, think about the WHERE you were, what you’ve accomplished in these few weeks and realize that… “sí, se puede”!
In most cases you are given just enough to stretch your brains and teach you a thing or two, none of this is designed to break you, to keep you from succeeding. On the contrary, overcoming adversities and learning to navigate the vicissitudes (huge hard-to-spell word!) of the learning of this noble profession is the core of all you teacher’s motivations.
Now, regroup and get over the hump as the semester is almost over! See you on the other side!
This week I, along with my students, had the opportunity to perform holiday music at the Edinburg Children's Hospital and at Casa de Palmas Renaissance Marriott Hotel in McAllen.
Despite the vast differences in the audiences and venues, we really enjoyed sharing some holiday cheer with the kids, doctors and nurses at the hospital and also with the very animated crowd at the Renaissance.
At the Edinburg Children's Hospital the kids in isolation couldn't really come see us perform so they broadcasted our performance through the PA system. Lots of pictures were taken so the kids could later see who was responsible for such "angelic sounds". The performance at the Renaissance was fun and the audience was in the best "happy hour" mood. It was great!
I hope the audience enjoyed listening to us as much as we enjoyed performing for them. I hope we can do this again soon. A big thank you goes to the Edinburg Children's Hospital administration and to Melissa Egan at the Renaissance. Happy Holidays!
That's right, the UTPA double bass studio is officially celebrating the holidays!
Last night the bass studio presented the end of the semester recital. According to the description of one of the VIPs in attendance (our beloved cello professor) the recital was...FESTIVE!
Yes, we had Santa hats on and beautiful decorations on stage (even a Christmas tree by the piano!). Lots of Christmas carols were performed between solo numbers and thanks to a very good selection of arrangements by the late George Vance everything sounded very good, everything sounded...FESTIVE!
Juries are just around the corner but after that we will take this show on the road. We will perform at the Edinburg Children's Hospital, at the Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel, at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and, believe it or not...a car dealership!
I hope everyone is as thankful for this semester as I am. We got a lot done and I had the privilege of seeing big improvements on everyone's playing. Way to go kiddos!
I will post more here about our upcoming bass ensemble holiday performances but I want to go ahead and wish you all a great Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!
“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” ― Thomas Jefferson
There is nothing more exciting than to see the things that you work the most for yielding positive results.
This past week I had the privilege of witnessing my most hard-working students once more succeed in their audition for the Texas All-State Orchestra and the All-Region orchestra - those familiar with these SUPER competitive processes will appreciate these feats!
Andrés Vela, Isaí Martinez, Maggie Mendez and Cristian Carrera did a phenomenal job and landed spots in the All-State Ensembles. Andrés Vela is a 4-year All-Stater, Maggie is a senior first year All-Stater and both Isaí and Cristian are sophomores and first year All-Staters.
They also secured spots in the All-Region Orchestra (you can see three of them in the pic!) and they performed a terrific concert program this past Saturday under the baton of Maestro Yutaka Kono.
Three of these super-stars attend Johnny Economedes HS in Edinburg where their director is Ms. Cristina Gonzalez - an all-around super-star orchestra teacher whose believe in the power of team work makes it possible for these kids to develop their talents to the fullest. Besides the terrific instruction they receive in their orchestra classes these kids are encouraged and are given the necessary financial and logistical support to take private lessons, attend master classes and participate in summer festivals . Kudos also go to Mr. Juan Menendez, head orchestra director of Barrientes Middle School where these power-packed bass players started their careers. Thank you Ms. Gonzalez and Mr. Menendez for all that you do for your students! Bravo!