Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Time to Head South!

I am wrapping up my last week at Interlochen for the 2013 summer season and we, overall, have had a great summer.  It has been filled with ups and downs for sure. 

Many of you know that my wife’s Mom passed away at the end of our first week in Michigan.  That made for some emotional goodbyes, lengthy trips back and forth to Pittsburgh, one missed concert for me and Joe, and some great teaching opportunities for me with my Intermediate Concert Orchestra here.  It was a tricky start to the summer and, for my wife, the transition was very different that we ever imagined.  We finally settled in to our summer around July 10.

My family has once again enjoyed our time in Northern Michigan.  We have made trips to Manistee, Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City, and many other beautiful spots.  We have enjoyed kayaking on rivers, swimming in beautiful lakes, rainbows, picnics, hiking, Frisbee golf, biking, fires by the lake, fires in the cabin fireplace, and many other activities.  We have seen performances of Shostakovich, Brahms, Kodaly, Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Britten, Prokofiev, and many other great orchestral composers.  My kids have played in orchestras, taken private violin lessons, played violin, bass, and guitar, played ping pong in the Minnesota room, and fully enjoyed the Interlochen experience.  We have experienced extreme heat and really cold nights, rain and sun, late nights and early mornings, as well as early nights and late mornings.

I have had great conversations and interactions with wonderful colleagues too many to mention here.  I have discussed the topic of subdivision, hall acoustics, movement in the orchestra, string pedagogy, and many others in great detail. 

Having said all of this, it is definitely time to head home.  The prospect of the upcoming academic year at NCSSM looms large and I have a great deal of work to do.  In-service activities begin next Tuesday and my inbox is filling up with e-mails from students and school administrators with important questions and information on the upcoming start of school.  NCSSM needs my attention now. 

I am very ready to be home to my leather couch, constant internet, my office, my home studio, kurig coffee maker, my own bed, ESPN when I want it, kitchen, my NCSSM Arts colleagues and closest friends (Riggs, Sampieri, and Stuntz), Blacknall Church, my road bike, and many more things.  My life at home is awesome.

Interlochen is such a special place.  It is a retreat for me and for my family.  It is a different pace here.  Interlochen is a place with different priorities.  I will return home refreshed and ready to attack life in Durham and NCSSM for another school year.  We have a little bit more to do here, though.  I have a concert on Saturday and Matt will play for Les Preludes on Sunday night.  By  Monday at 5:00 AM, we will be on the road.  It has been a good and productive summer.



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