Saturday, August 22, 2009

On Being a Rock Star...

Be sure to check out the Photo Album at Flickr!
I officially stepped into the rock ‘n’ roll world last night. I had the time of my life. I am utterly exhausted but way too excited to sleep. It’s the craziest thing and I don’t ever want to lose this feeling (though I would like to go to sleep eventually)!

In case you’re wondering what in heaven’s name I’m talking about, I played my viola on a couple of songs with the Dirty Guv’nahs tonight. They performed at the Square Room, a great venue down in Market Square here in Knoxville. If you haven’t heard of the Guv’nahs, you are missing out on so much! Go to their website and their MySpace, and if you’re on Twitter, follow them. You won’t regret it because they are made of pure awesome.

So last night’s show was amazing. I’m just so happy and honored to have been a part of it! The band invited me to play with them once before but I couldn’t because of a symphony obligation. I’m so glad that this time worked out—my birthday is Monday and this show was the best present I could ever ask for! After I played I made my way back to the crowd and people were so nice. They all wanted to shake my hand and a few even wanted hugs—they truly enjoyed my playing. One woman said that she was so taken by my sound that she just watched me the entire time (glad I didn’t know that during; it would’ve made me nervous!). A couple of guys stopped me and as one said “You totally made those songs!” the other interjected “I wanted to hear you play some more by yourself!” Yet another person said they were inspired by my calm while playing. That’s the second time someone has described me as “calm” while playing—which is sometimes the exact opposite of how I feel. But I must be doing something right! I also smiled through the many compliments on my "violin" or "fiddle" playing. ;-) The best part is that my peers—the band and other musician friends—all had positive things to say. It’s a blessing to have a gift and have people appreciate and enjoy it.

Side note: The funniest moment of the show was running into a former Music Appreciation student. I spoke with him a little, and told him I wanted a concert report afterward! The second funniest moment was when I realized that "Oh, Jericho," the song before my part of the set, was a short tune and I had to get to the stage pronto. James had to vamp the beginning of "Born to Theives" as I got into the elevator, went up two floors, went down two flights of stairs and finally made my way through the (dark!!) backstage area. Sorry, James! :-D

What’s amazing is that I wasn’t really nervous this time around. I kind of freaked myself out when I realized that over 350 people had RSVPed as “attending” on Facebook and that the Square Room can hold 600. But I promised myself that I’d just have a good time and really enjoy making music with these six talented guys. And that’s exactly what I did. It’s also amazing considering that earlier Friday I was running a fever and skipped soundcheck to go see a doctor. And I didn’t get to nap like I was planning on doing before the show!

I had a magnificent time last night. I’m running out of adjectives, and none of the ones I’ve used so far can really describe how I feel right now. I’m just so very thankful. The Guv’nahs are going places and I’m thrilled that I got to go along for the ride.

**Thank you so much to Ethan and Carla for taking pictures!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Are there things which bother you but really shouldn’t? I.e. actions by others which don’t greatly affect your life but annoy the everloving bejeezus out of you? For me it’s people who don’t understand the concept of highlighting entire words/sentences/lines when editing something on the computer. Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace drives me CRAZY. Just use Shift-Arrow or even Ctrl-Shift-Arrow for crying out loud!!!!

*calms down*

What about you?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Memorable People

Do you have a song which reminds you of a particular person or event? Sure, we all do. But how many of you have a song which reminds you of a teacher? I’m not talking about Beethoven’s 5th reminding you of a conductor you worked with in the past. I’m talking about a song you’d hear on the Top 40 radio or an “oldies” station.

The song “Break on Through to the Other Side” by the Doors always reminds me of my conducting instructor at UNCG, David Kish. He was a graduate conducting student and a really cool teacher. I remember there was something funny about his syllabus… It was along the lines of this: He told us to read the syllabus for homework and there was a line in it that said “At the next class meeting go to your seat, and just sit there and smile.” I don’t recall exactly what it said because I was one of the students who didn’t read it. *smiles innocently* What I do remember is sitting there being confused because some people were smiling and exchanging knowing glances and the rest of us were thinking “Um… What’s going on?”

But back to the topic of the post. The song reminds me of David—I think he let us call him David. It seems like ages ago! Anyway, the song reminds me of him because he was always encouraging us to break out of our shells and be bolder with our conducting. Every time he made that request of someone on the podium, he’d start singing the refrain (if you can call what Jim Morrison does in that song singing).

Wow. I just Googled him and found out that he now has his doctorate. I think I’m officially no longer on a first-name basis with him (if I ever was in the first place, haha)! He’s currently Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at The Metropolitan State College of Denver. Congratulations, Dr. Kish--keep on breakin’ through!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Moved... FINALLY.

I might have to change the title of this blog if I keep talking about non-musical things... Oh, well!

I'm here. My new home for at least the next 12 months. I'm too exhausted to be excited, and will continue to be so until the eleventy hundred boxes have been unpacked. Ugh.

I've learned some very important lessons during this move:

1) Know that there can be a HUGE time difference between hiring someone to move you and hiring someone to pack and move you. If the company schedules the packing and the moving on the same morning, take your business elsewhere.

2) Put important items--soap, TP, medicine, lamps, change of clothes, whatever--together, or at least know which box they're in. That way you can still be clean and dressed while surrounded by boxes and sparse furniture.

3) Hmmm. Thought I had a longer list. Maybe not.

So we're here. I'm now sharing a 3 BR, 2.5 BA house with a friend/coworker. Good heavens, this was a lot of work. I can feel the ibuprofen kicking in... Hopefully tomorrow my feet won't have turned into swollen, unrecognizable masses. Oh yes, and those of you fortunate enough to follow me on Twitter ;-) know about my recent joys with dental surgery--I was so tired this evening that my teeth were throbbing. Did I mention that ibuprofen is a Godsend?

In other news, maybe I can soon rid my parents of all the junk they're holding in "the renter's room." That's how my dad jokingly refers to my bedroom in their house, the house in which I grew up. Also, I will have internet tomorrow. And TV! Can't wait!! Okay, maybe I do have a little energy to be excited.

I hope all who read this are having a wonderful weekend. If you're working, work hard so you can play harder. If you're playing, have some fun for me! Good night, all. :-)