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...