Yellow House Salon #7, Rubato


Ruby with the Eckstein Senior Orchestra at Icicle Creek Retreat


Statue on grounds of Sleeping Lady near Leavenworth Washington




This week’s recording is a Gershwin Prelude, Rubato. Rubato means to play with expressive freedom,  a give and take of the tempo without altering the overall structure. (recorded on my Roland hand held digital recorder)

The first thing about middle schoolers, they eat a lot!  As a chaperone on a recent Icicle Creek trip, most of the duties consisted of food shopping,  feeding the kids, tucking them into their cabins at night, and  letting them out of their cabins in the morning. Just over a week ago,  I accompanied my daughter, Ruby, a member of the senior orchestra of Eckstein Middle School, to the snowy wonderland retreat at Icicle Creek/Sleeping Lady resort near Leavenworth, Washington. We were a group of 50 including the orchestra, coaches, the director, and chaperones.

Aside from a few Faulty Towers moments where we had to shuffle people in an out of rooms to make sure everyone had a place to sleep, the retreat was a huge success.  The kids worked their tails off, rehearsing as much as 11 hours a day in the full orchestra, sectionals, and chamber groups.

I am in awe of the commitment of the director, Brad Smith,  the students, the high school coaches, the professional instructors and the parents of all of these kids to make this all come together. It’s not just the support to pull of this  weekend retreat, but the long-term commitment to music education.  I listen and watch the students and I think of the weekly lessons, the daily practice, the extra rehearsals, the shlepping of instruments back and forth, the patience of the instructors, the juggling of schedules, the endless repetition in the practice room, and finally, the  glorious music  that is the end result of this team effort. Ultimately, the pursuit of music is an act of love on all parts, and it definitely takes a village.



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