La Jolla, CA - Roswell, NM  (March)
Dear Readers,

Thank you for visiting my journal and welcome back. I've decided to stick with the multiple city entry again this month for two very enjoyable concerts I just did - a most interesting trip to Roswell, New Mexico, and a residency in beautiful La Jolla, California.

Of course, Roswell is the location of the famous alleged alien spaceship crash and government cover-up, perhaps the most controversial such incident in US history. It has clearly become a large part of the city (see the photos!). In fact, I think it gives the town a terrific and unique character. There's everything from alien-eye lampposts throughout the streets, to a UFO-shaped McDonald's, to inflatable aliens in the shop windows. The residents seem to be quite passionate - one way or another - about what really happened.

The orchestra consisted mostly of musicians that traveled in from surrounding states (Texas, Arizona, Colorado, throughout NM, etc) - some from as far as 5-6 hour drives (only two players were actually Roswell residents). For this concert I had the opportunity to do three concertos: Ibert's Concertino Da Camera, Debussy's Rapsodie, and my orchestration of Demersseman's Fanaisie Original. Usually the soloist performs just one or two concertos when visiting an orchestra - so something about doing three was incredibly satisfying. In fact, next month I get to do this exact same program twice (with the same conductor) in California.

The morning after I arrived, I met with a news writer at a coffee shop for a magazine interview. The 15-minute interview quickly turned into a most enjoyable and interesting hour or so. Afterwards I attended a symphony board luncheon, followed by my rehearsal with the orchestra. The concert the next day went especially well. Afterwards, we had a beautifully catered reception (though a bad shrimp and a little food poisoning can sure put a damper in a long day at the airport - but it happens, and you just try to make the best of it.)

My trip to La Jolla/San Diego this month was also a very eventful one. It started with a 3 day intensely packed outreach residency, where I visited about 8 area schools for hour-long performance/demonstrations, ranging from kindergarten through high school. It was really quite gratifying, especially the younger kid's sessions. (It's amazing how honestly curious and open-minded little kids are.) I also had the opportunity to do a live TV performance and interview on NBC San Diego - a truly must enjoyable experience. Something about live TV interviews is just an absolute blast. I really hope to do more. On air, I performed my arrangement of Morricone's Cinema Paradiso theme, which went very well.

The main purpose of my visit to Southern California was a recital on the prestigious La Jolla Music Society Series. It took place on the final evening of my 5-day stay to a packed and extremely enthusiastic audience. My program featured Rachmaninoff, Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Ibert, and more. Afterwards we all went to a local restaurant where we talked and hung out for several hours. The following day my flight didn't leave until late afternoon, so I took the opportunity to visit more of beautiful La Jolla. My pianist (who came with me from Chicago) and I took a 4 hour hike, walking through endless winding trails in the mountains and around cliffs, eventually making our way down to a very serene beach.

I'm now in a plane on my way back home to Chicago for a few days before my next trip. I'll try to post plenty of photos as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone for all your comments and for reading. Until next time...

Yours truly,

La Jolla, California
Cliff in La Jolla
Dying tree
Cliff from afar
Moss on watery rocks
La Jolla Cove
Another view
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Seal Rock Flat Rock White tides
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Tide pool Seaweed on beach Squirrel on the path
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NBC TV interview Before the interview another view of the building
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The cameraman Performing on TV Live on NBC
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Outside the concert hall Razor Point trail From the mountain top
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Torrey Pines Park Protected plants Rocks against the waves
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Natural cliffs Smooth beaches Polished stones
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Birds watching the waves Birds on one foot
Roswell, New Mexico
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Welcome to Roswell My hotel room Welcome basket
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Inside the hall My dressing room View from the stage
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Outside the concert hall Roswell lamppost Another
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Everyone's welcome here UFO McDonald's Alien vending machine
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How about you? "Maybe we don' t believe in you" Cover-up Cafe
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Roswell UFO museum Leaving New Mexico Inside the little plane
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