A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Washington State Music Teachers Conference at Sun Mountain Lodge near Winthrop, Washington. The lodge, surrounded by rolling hills and hiking trails, also provides a 360-degree view of the Methow Valley and distant mountains. Attending the conference were some 140 members of the Washington State Music Teachers Association. Our days were filled with inspiring conference sessions (presented by members of WSMTA, including yours truly), and our evenings were spent attending exquisite concerts. Joe, my better half, traveled with me to the lodge and spent his time finding and photographing colorful birds. He features his best images on his weekly bird blog, Short & Tweet Bird Reports (you can find the Sun Mountain Lodge posts here and here). In all, it was a terrific working get-away with time to hike, relax, and reflect on the past year.
It’s been a little over a year since the publication of my book, Music in the Westward Expansion: Songs of Heart and Place on the American Frontier. Over the past year, I presented 13 concerts featuring live music and narrative pulled from the pages of the book. Venues included book stores, historical museums, schools, retirement communities, and assisted living facilities. All the while, I maintained my private studio teaching, played extra gigs here and there, and adjudicated for the Washington State Music Artistry Program in Everett and Edmonds. It’s been quite a year of sharing music and stories, and interacting with enthusiastic audiences. Thanks to all of you who have purchased the book, attended events, and cheered me on through this past year.
There’s a new project on the horizon! I’ve been working with my beloved mentor and teacher, Jill Timmons, on repertoire for a new 2024 performance program. Practice sessions of late consist of “new to me” music from John Philippe Rameau, Joseph Haydn, Amy Beach, Charles Wakefield Cadman, George Gershwin and Dave Brubeck. Luscious!
I’m also starting to build an online beginning piano course for busy adult students; the course design allows students to move through the curriculum on their own timeline. Stay tuned for more about this exciting project, and please, let me know if something like this interests you! Have you always wanted to learn to play the piano? Are you curious?
“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” -Sergei Rachmaninov
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