Saturday, April 28, 2007

Great weekend!

What's this on my skin? Sunshine? A tan? Sweet! We'll have to watch the amount of time we spend outside tomorrow. We'll be gardening after church. A nice way to end the weekend.

Last night, Dave and I went to hear Lara St. John in recital at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. (H.S.P. is a converted mansion, operated by the Des Moines Ladies' Guild (Women's Guild?) who are celebrating their centennial anniversary.) The recital was fabulous. Jaw-dropping, actually. She is just a phenomenal player. An early Beethoven violin sonata, the Franck sonata, Bach's Chaconne from Partita No. (1?) for solo violin, and a new arrangement (by St. John and her pianist--much more than an accompanist) of Lizst's Totentanz (essentially a 'variations on Dies Irae'). All were played with a different approach and character. It was like she was breathing through the violin. I'd love to have a fraction of that level of musicianship in my playing.

Dave got to meet her after the concert (I held our place at the dessert table) and chatted with her as she signed her CD--you know the famous one from about 10 years ago with her in the nude, covered by her violin. We were standing in the lobby at intermission (free drinks--go Guild!), talking to a local celebrity (Hollis Monroe, Iowa Public Radio host...Dave was almost as excited to meet him), and this woman comes up to invite us to the champagne dessert reception afterwards. (That's where we/Dave met Lara.) Ah, the perks of a small concert.

Today was the Indianola Musical Festival, and four of my piano students participated. (Side note: I'm so tired, getting up at 6:15am to get to Simpson College for 7:15am. I stayed until about 1:30pm helping out.) Last week's piano recital at my house (hmm, did I blog about that?) went really well; I wanted them to have a chance to play their pieces in front of an audience before Festival. They seemed to work out their kinks, and all my students did so well today! They all got the highest rating, a 1+!! Not that the rating really means anything, but they all worked so hard, and I'm so proud of them.

I left Festival after all my students had played and went home to help Dave set up for his Simpson jazz band BBQ. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was between 80-85F and sunny. The kids were able to stay outside (although I did clean the house), play some ultimate frisbee in the field behind our house, and lounge around on our deck with Dave for some good old jazz bonding (and ribbing). Most of them stayed for about 4 hours, which completely shocked me. It also explains Dave's sunburn (M&P, he was wearing his Tilly hat though!)...I wore sunblock.

I'm really looking forward to planting our garden tomorrow. Ooh! And I'm excited that we're getting Vonage this week. Free long distance! (Make sure I have your phone number!) I'm even more excited for my students' lessons this week, where I get to show them their wonderful comment sheets!

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!


Karmen said...

Ahhh - Lara St. John! I love her! She played the Khachaturian Violin Concerto with the NAO a few years ago when I was in it. Rehearsing and playing with her was such a treat. Hanging out in between was even better! Incidentally, I just played the Khachaturian again a few weeks ago . . . which is what made me think of her! Very cool :)

Karmen said...

Oh, and incidentally, I'm having a great weekend :)