Back to Real Life

Thanksgiving break has been a success in my book...plenty of food, and plenty of time not spent in Arkansas, where I will be headed back to tomorrow. I have a pretty light week coming up...just one concert and a handful of gigs...nothing remotely busy. So hopefully I will go to the gym everyday and lose fifty pounds...well, maybe more like four, which is also fine.

Yesterday I saw Quantam of Solace, that new Bond movie...which I was not a fan of at all. I really liked Casino Royale...but the action scenes in QoS where much too fast paced and heavily edited for me (I couldn't really tell what was going on at all) and I felt that the storyline wasn't really focused (and didn't really make any sense)...but that might just be me being stupid...as usual.

Feel free to call me tomorrow. I will be bored and sitting in the car driving through corn fields...really exciting.


Drive Complete

Well...I made it all the way back to Chicago in one piece...thanks in no small part to all of you who called me to keep me from falling asleep...and of course, conservative talk radio...nothing like Rush Limbaugh to get me pissed off and to keep me from falling asleep. The drive ended up taking over 12 hours...I was making great time, until I hit Chicago, which of course had terrible traffic and took over two hours to get through. I was really stiff after that. I trust that the return trip will be a little smoother...but you never really know I guess.



I don't understand why people are complaining that Obama's cabinet picks are not the change that he promised, as he keeps picking people from the former Clinton Administration. Do they not realize that this is a change from how things have been for the past eight years and that he is simply going back to an administration that worked?

Anyways...things are going ok here in Arkansas. Our quartet concert last week wasn't exactly a huge success, but we got through things without any major disasters, which is probably the best we could have hoped for. The review was far from a rave, but wasn't negative by any means. We are now done for the season...only weddings, random gigs and demos from now on. We will most likely do some concerts in the spring...but we are done with our appearances at the Clinton Library.

I'm excited to go home for Thanksgiving this week...I'll be driving up to Chicago on Wednesday and staying until Sunday. Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays and I'm especially excited about being at home after my very draining past few months...


Busy Week

This is shaping up to be my busiest week (and a half) of the entire season so far...this week we are playing an all Mozart program in orchestra (its only our third classical symphony concert so far this season) I am, of course, reminded of the huge 250th birthday celebration a few years ago when every chamber group and orchestra seemed to be playing the complete works of Mozart on every single concert they performed...and it got really really old

But this should be a pretty good concert...Overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No. 41...and the Clarinet Concert, which is far from my favorite Mozart piece...ugh. Haven't played the symphony since 8th grade!! It was basically my first "big" orchestra piece that I played (in Midwest Young Artists Youth Orchestra)...always exciting to come back to music like that! Wait...I think I may have played it at Eastman too...oops...

Also...my chamber group is presenting our second (and final) concert of the season at the Clinton Library featuring the Schumann 3rd Quartet and the Enesco Octet. The Schumann is really coming together, but the Enesco is proving to be a daunting task. Its always frustrating rehearsing an octet...there are just too many people and too many opinions to review and everything takes too long to figure out. And the Enesco is really hard on top of it...so you can imagine how its going...we have exactly one week from tomorrow...I know CCE pulled off miracles like this all the time, so we'll see how it goes!!

Pictured above is me hugging Zhuzha...the violist in my quartet's dog at my Obama party on Tuesday night (note my Obama shirt!!)


Change Is Finally Here

I'm happy to say goodbye to the last eight years. This is moment for our nation to be proud of.


Welcome to Yellville

Last week the Sturgis quartet played our first demo. A good portion of my job is traveling to schools all over Arkansas and doing "Music For All" style demos for elementary school kids. Its a good thing that I got all that great training at Eastman!!! Anyways...our first demo was in a town called Yellville...and as you can guess from the name...it was very rural. We had to drive over three hours to get there (a good portion of that time on a windy mountain-type road). If you look it up on google maps, you'll see that Yellville is kind of in the Ozarks...it was very hilly/mountainy there...kind of pretty, but not exactly beautiful...if you know what I mean...

The highlight of the trip was when we passed a church that had a sign that read, "Don't be so open minded your brains fall out." This is probably the scariest/most fantastic thing I have ever seen. On the way out of Yellville we pulled into the church driveway and snapped a picture...and then promptly ran away before anyone could shoot us (we passed one scary looking man driving around on an ATV fully loaded with weapons...bows+arrows and shotguns among others...)

It was really interesting to me to see place like Yellville...I don't think I've ever been somewhere quite as remote as that...and never any place as conservative/republican as that...we didn't see a single Obama sign out there...it was definitely McCain/Palin territory...which was kind of scary. At least on the way there we stopped to see Arkansas's Natural Bridge...which turned out to be a typical roadside attraction...not very exciting.