Musical Meanderings

This is a blog centered around some of the musical encounters and experiences that I come upon in my daily life as a musician.

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Location: Alameda, California

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sycamore Strings Academy Concert

Lots of concerts happening during this very exciting time of year. I wanted to write about my favorite character, my little daughter Isabelle, and her last concert esperience

She's funny! You never know what a five year old will come up with. She and I play quite a few concerts here and there. We played a benefit that Natasha Miller put on for the Midway Shelter here in Alameda. We do old folks homes. We perform whenever we can. So Isabelle is used to performing.

When we performed for the Sycamore Strings Academy Concert on a Sunday afternoon in early December, we were very excited. It's a large hall that has just been built and opened in Livermore. There were all kinds of instrumentalists running around backstage. There were probably fifty violinists and thirty-five guitarists, all playing together for this concert. Isabelle was the only cello student playing!

I have just started a program for cellists there, and so my three students there were not ready to perform yet. Isabelle and I played duets. We played Beethoven, Brahms and a Bach Minuet. After we played, Isabelle wanted to stay on stage with me as I performed an improvised piece, but our friend Sachiko came and got her so I could play.

I had to run up to El Cerrito to play a Handel Messiah with this cool guy named Bryan Baker. He dresses up like Handel in a white wig and velvet robes for this performance...anyway, I had to leave Isabelle with Sachiko, and Sachi would drive her home to her father for me.

Well, the crowd loved Isabelle! Everyone was completely quiet when we performed and when we bowed, people were cheering bigtime.

So the next day, I asked Isabelle how she had felt, after playing so beautifully in such a lovely hall with such a great and appreciative audience. She was so funny!

She said, "Good. It was fun mama. But, mama, that's the last concert I'm going to play, okay?"

I asked her why, and she said, "Mama, I was afraid when you left, that everybody was going to take me home with them. They were all strange people."

So, I thought that was interesting. She had been kind of intimidated and overwhelmed by the audience response and by people coming up to her after the show and telling her how much they enjoyed her performance.

I told her that from now on, I won't leave her at a show, that either her papa or I will always be there with her, so that she won't have to worry about coming home with anyone but us. And she thought that that would be just fine.

She also said, "Mama, they said that I was the best cellist. Me. Not you mama, me. So, too bad for you mama. I was the best, they said." She giggled as she said this.

I had to agree and giggle along with her. "Yup, you are, honey," I said.