String Sectional

Today we rehearsed in this space. As you can see, its not very large. Luckily it was just a string sectional...the morning session was on Don Juan and Dvorak 8...and the afternoon session was on Eugene Onegin, even though that concert isn't for over a month. We were all a bit confused as to why we had a rehearsal for it on the first day of orchestra. Also, Don Juan sounds really bad without the winds and brass.

Its so nice to just spend time on the Tanglewood grounds. Today it was so nice and sunny and I spent most of the afternoon walking around the grounds, talking on the phone etc. I will be spending a lot more time on the grounds this year since I can't really afford to drive back and forth from Miss Hall's given the high price of gas. Good thing its really nice there! Now I just need to work on reserving practice space.


Post Quartet Seminar

I thinks its reasonable to say that our quartet performance this morning went pretty well...especially given the circumstances. As previously mentioned, we were in the Tanglewood Theater (where they put on the operas) which is a much more outdoor hall than Ozawa is...therefore, it was very humid. There also happened to be a thunderstorm going on at the same time. It stayed quiet for our entire Haydn Quartet, but in the break afterwards, while I was about to start the Dvorak with my low C-String A-flat, there were rumbles of thunder. Good thing it matched the mood of the introduction. By the time we finished our one Dvorak movement, it was starting to storm. I feel bad for the next group because they had to deal with the really really loud thunder while they were playing. They still sounded great.

Mark Sokol came and gave us each a hug right before we played, and then did the same after. I still kind of love him. A lot. {the Lee Quartet is pictured above}

Right now I should be preparing for my New World Sub-list audition which is a little over an hour. However, I'm writing this blog instead. I've elected to play the old-standard: Dvorak Concerto along with three excerpts of my choice: Don Juan (the middle, not the beginning), Brahms 2 slow movement, and La Mer. I think that these are all in my fingers pretty well, so I'm not freaking out about it. Its not like they gave us a whole lot of notice anyways...I think they put up the sign-up sheets two days ago. Sigh.


Loud Frogs

I'd like to take the opportunity to tell you that the frogs outside of my window are so loud its ridiculous. I was talking to Kimberly on the phone the other day and she could hear them as if they were there with her in Seattle. Keep in mind that I'm on the third floor and the frog noise makes it all the way up here to my room from the courtyard below.

I'd also like to say that I kind of love Mark Sokol. For those of you who don't know, he was the first violinist of the Concord Quartet (they recorded all the Rochbergs that you all love...Mr. Fischer was in that group too). Anyways...I've had him as a coach every year I've been here at Tanglewood...the past two summers he has coached my group on Haydn. He always pushes us in such a crazy and unique direction...but it always ends up sounding so amazing. He has such an amazing ear for making sound different in a good way. He's also an amazingly nice person. He always hugs us after every coaching...and then has a cigarette. He's pictured above with said cigarette. If any of you every get a chance to do anything with him, please do!

I just decided to read the Orchid Thief again...now that I have it back from Heather. I kind of love that book too. I think I'll read some now.

Old Bass Road

Things are progressing nicely here at Tanglewood...tomorrow is our quartet seminar marathon performance. My first two summers here it was in Ozawa Hall, but I guess its overrun with dancers now, so we have been relegated to the Opera Theatre. As you can see in the pics...not nearly as nice. My group will be playing at approximately 10:30am...so we can expect a huge audience. If you are so inclined, and live in the Berkshires, you should come by...the concert starts at 10. We are playing Haydn and Dvorak.

I signed up to play the New World Symphony sublist audition...the only problem is that its tomorrow, and they just put up the sign up sheets. So nice of them to give advanced warning. I hear that its worth it to do it, even if you don't feel prepared. The only thing that stopped me from doing it last year was the fact that I was rehearsing Verlkaerte Nahct 24 hours a day and I had strep throat.

I've decided that I'm going to start sharing random pictures from my photo library with you all. Todays selection (seen above) is the road sign outside of our Bed and Breakfast in CT (where me and my parents and uncle stayed for a few days about a week ago). My uncle insisted on calling it "Old Bass Rd" and as you can clearly see, its just simply "Bass Rd."


Hello Tanglewood

Driving Day 5: Not as much driving today, but I was the most tired...I guess it kind of builds up over 5 days...I picked up a cello from Martin Cornelissen in Northampton MA, and then drove down to Clinton, CT (somehow making it there even though my Google Maps directions didn't exist...hmm) and picked up another one...by this time I was practically passing out and had to stop playing because I couldn't pay attention to it anymore!! Got back in the car...drank a red bull...and drove an hour to Windham Center (after finding out I was driving in the wrong direction, but only for 5 minutes).

Days in CT: kind of relaxing, but there was a fair share of family drama...as there always is.

Tanglewood: I finally have a single room (pictured!)...quartet seminar is now in full swing (or will be tonight) everyone is playing Haydn, my group's other piece is Dvorak A-Flat Major Quartet...not my favorite piece in the world, and no matter what we always sound bad, because its in A-Flat major...hmmm...but the group is fun and pretty good! I've been playing on the Wilke cello which I really like so far...but I think he will need it back soon...hopefully I can finagle it for a few extra days to use for the quartet seminar concert!


Driving: Day 4

Today me and Steph listened critically to Popular (from Wicked). Steph decided to keep a list of all of the characteristics that in Glinda's mind, make you popular. Items such as "good at sports" and "proper poise" made the list. I thought we should also make a list of the things that keep you from being popular. The only two were "brains" and "aptitude." Hmmmm.

Day 4 of driving was just as exciting as the previous three, except today we were only in New York and Mass...we saw the scenic Berkshires (where I will be living for the next two months) but took a brief detour to the home of Karou S (to drop off Steph!) and to Boston (where I am staying with Heather!). We had a lovely dinner at Tasca. Too bad my visit is so short (seems to be a theme these days!).

Tomorrow I fly solo and drive to Northampton, MA and Clinton, CT and Willimantic, CT where I will be meeting up with the parents.



Day three of driving was uneventful...somehow two songs from Wicked have become our theme material with listenings happening at least hourly. Only two songs because I only have two songs (Popular and Defying Gravity) on my iPod and Steph's iPod doesn't work with my radio thing for some reason (maybe its too old?). Steph gets very emotional when we listen to these songs and choreographs dance routines in her seat (which are more restrained when she is driving of course)...I'm sitting on the floor of Sara's apartment right now...and I must admit its quite lovely. Rochester is nice and cool compared to where we have been (the South was burning hot!)...today marked 12 states in 5 days...tomorrow will bring 13 in 6...and Thursday will make 14 in 7. I'm very excited to finally settle down in Pittsfield/Lenox for a few months. I'm researching being able to take some yoga classes at Kripalu (two summers ago I got the royal treatment there as part of a music+yoga study) so hopefully I will be spending some time there again this summer!

{above: Me on the floor||Sara in a chair}


Half Full??

As you can see...I didn't do very well. Kimberly took the rest home with her and had them for her next meal. (the whip cream had Kahlua and Irish cream in it...yum). Steph and I drove the rest of the way to Chicago today...things went without a hitch until we got to Kankakee, where tornadoes rolled through yesterday and they highway was closed for cleanup of overturned trucks and general mayhem. The result: driving through lots and lots of cornfields and small towns in southern Illinois on the detour...we never made it back to I-57, but we did somehow emerge in Chicago eventually...will be nice to have a day off of driving tomorrow!



I don't why I posted this pic at this time...but it seemed strangely appropriate. In case you are wondering, those are pancakes from the one and only Griddle Cafe in Hollywood...they are very very very large...perhaps tomorrow I will post how much of them I actually finished. Its always hard to say goodbye to people...I had to again yesterday! (Bye Peng!) I'm not really sure if its easier to be the one that stays behind, or the one that leaves. These days it seems I'm the one staying behind...not exactly sure how I feel about that.

Steph and I made it from Houston, TX to Blytheville, AR. I never really thought that I would be coming to Blytheville so regularly...but this is now the 3rd time I've been in this city...city being used very loosely...it seems to be the perfect stop on the trip between Chicago and Houston, no matter which way you are going...and no tomorrow won't be such a big drive...only 7 or 8 hours! Too bad Illinois is really boring until you get to Chicago.


Hello/Goodbye Houston

  1. Updates have been sparse because internet connections have been also.
  2. The big West Coast trip is over...both concerts went fine...plenty of fun was had by all...you can ask me in person for all the details.
  3. It took me forever to get back to Houston yesterday...but it was like a sped-up recap of the whole trip...flew from Portland to Oakland (and got to see really nice views of the the whole bay area!) and then stopped in LA for a second and then on to Houston...almost everywhere I stopped in for the whole trip!
  4. I spent all of today zooming around Houston...Mr. Volvo is back and in top condition (thanks to Volvos Only!) and bags are packed and the car is ready to be filled.
  5. Tomorrow morning Steph and I will try and make it to Blythville, AR...the next day we will drive to beautiful Wilmette, IL where will spend one day...on Tuesday we will drive to Rochester, and on Wednesday we will drive to Boston!
  6. I will have been to both sides of the country (including the middle!) in six days! I think I'll probably be pretty tired though. If only we stopped in NYC, I could claim going to the four biggest cities in the country! Oh well...
  7. Traveling is fun...most of the time.