Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spokane, WA: Fall Folk Festival

This has got to be one of the more underappreciated regional festivals...though certainly not by its attendees. The Spokane Community College venue focuses the action in one nice spot, with all of the various stages close by and a big craft-and-jam fracas in the middle. Performances kick off with a live radio broadcast show featuring a cross section of festival performers (honored to make the cut!), co-hosted by Carlos Alden, an old friend from 'Project' days (nearly ten years ago [gulp]...stay tuned for anniversary plans!) and frequent muse-prodder. My full set is in an unpretentious conference room, with a Power Point projector inches above my head and a lovely white-board-scribbled mountain scene behind me. Folk, all right. And here comes the snow...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some Gigs, Some News...

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Renton, WA: Lindbergh High School (plus Commission News)

Though I can name many different musi-performance roles I embrace regularly and eagerly, this one caught me a bit off-guard: sole speaker at a school Veteran's Day assembly. Yes, you are correct: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of my country's armed services.

WW Band organ/keys player Brian Hoskins spends his days teaching choir (brilliantly!) in the Renton schools. A few years ago, his middle school kids premiered--and later reprised (audio/video)--my choral arrangement of "Carry On," a wonderful experience for me and nice tribute to the late Don Shawe, a World War II veteran and the song's inspiration. Many of those kids are now at Lindbergh, and Brian's Ad Astra choir chose to perform the piece (they all apparently remember it!) as their selection for the school's Veteran's Day assemblies. I, of course, happily agreed to accompany the group and perhaps say a few words about Don.

Somewhere in between, however, I became not just a component of the Leadership Class' program, but the featured speaker! So Don's life and words got center stage for a few moments this morning, along with my 'this is one story--every veteran and servicemember has his/her own (as do their families!)' disclaimer. So it goes...

Thanks to Brian and the kids for getting it up on its legs with such scant notice. I will never tire of hearing that many voices sing my song! (And honor Don and those whom his experiences represent...) And I will get to experience it all over again next spring as the LHS Ad Astra group has commissioned me to compose a new, original work for them to premiere! (More details coming soon.) Honored, excited...and ready to get to work am I!