I’ve not been nearly as faithful a blogger as I had intended. I believe this is the experience of most diarists unless they actually “get religion” and find it an essential element of their lives. I have not yet attained that level of commitment or ardor…but I am still working at the FunnyMeanHappySad production.
I’ve learned one thing, right off the top. I do not know how to use google drive. I uploaded most of the sheet music for the performers days and days ago and I’m just now learning with less than two weeks to go that they did not have access to the folders. Bad producer. Bad publisher. Bad composer. And I would have to say one thing in my defense: I learn something new every day.
Here is the press release shared with media, social media and individuals on my list. That list surprised me by its size: more than 700 individuals, so far, have received this notice. I post it here as another step in the process of “letting the world know” about my next concert.
Now the hard part.
Planning counts. Rehearsals really count. By the time you get to the performance, everything has already happened except: 1) screaming, 2) yelling, 3) paperwork. And the job is not over until all of the paperwork is completed. I hope I've found my religion enough to post again tomorrow. Stay tuned?
Late last night I got an email from the violist scheduled for the FunnyMadHappySad concert. The next sentence will deliver the bad news. Our intrepid violist fell while downhill skiing and fractured her arm to the extent that she won’t be able to join us on 2/27.
Sighs and deep breathing ensues.
And the emails, texts and phone calls follow in quick succession. I am talking to people I’ve known for decades, folks I’ve met in passing and folks who are new to me – all with the help of people who I trust because I don’t have time to audition or work with a roster of violists. Sighs and deep breathing again.
I recently saw a movie about being a producer which stars Robert De Niro. “What Just Happened” is the name and what it portrays puts my little problems into perspective.
20 February 2022
Focus is now on the final stages of FunnyMeanHappySad rehearsals, production and promotion.
What “shows” is the promotion. Hundreds of social media and personal email invitations and narrow but amount to 2,000+ individuals and their friends, partners, and families. Print and online media outlets have received the press release. And finally, the least likely to be successful, broadcast media members have been contacted.
The very nature of an interactive event (FunnyMeanHappySad) means that the quality and quantity of the live audience’s experience will be much better with folks that can be drawn into the conversation. If there are 200 people in the room, many folks will be sitting on the perimeter and have little chance to speak or be heard. What is the “ideal” in-person number of audience members? 30-50 people would be ideal, I think.
As invitations are sent out to the venn diagram of communities that I belong to, I realize my diagram’s geography ranges over both coasts with concentrations in California, Denver, Minnesota/Iowa/Missouri, and an area that circles 150 miles from Manhattan. Of course, it is thrilling to review where that venn diagram has seeped into Europe and Australia but that is the rarity and exception. I am grateful for the collegial, personal, familial and professional associations that have nourished me for the past 40 years. I would recommend each of us to review our own legacy venn diagram. It will encourage you, humble you, and clarify what relationships need strengthening. No one is an island.
Who knew skiing injuries could play such an important role in producing a chamber music program in a Twin Cities suburb? I am tearful as I think of my dearest viola friend and colleague who is now recovering from a skiing accident. The operative word is “recovering.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever deter Judy MacGibbon from playing viola and sharing stories and jokes. She is a valued person in my life; one of the people closest to the center of my little venn diagram. Not family – she’d never agree to hang with those people. I’m just glad she puts up with me and my shenanigans.
And the old adage that “whenever God shuts a door, She opens a window” seems to have been proven, again. And by God, I mean violists.
I emailed and called a dozen violists in the last week in search of a solution to my “viola emergency.” With each contact, I re-energized my friendships with long-time colleagues or widened my network within the viola “community.”
The viola is the brunt of thousands of jokes. I won’t recall them here in interest of getting to the point but every violist is in an amazing, invisible partnership with all other violists of the world.
Not one of them is too proud to think they are better than any other. And more instructive, once you enter into the hidden society of musicians who all play the viola, they pass you through their midst as one would pass the fishes and loaves at a picnic in Judea. I love violists. It’s like Woodstock without the volume.
So the "opening window" is Thomas Bandar sent from God, herself. He is new to the Twin Cities where he has invigorated the Lutheran Summer Music program, a summer camp for talented young Lutheran musicians.
I was inspired decades ago when I visited my wife at LSM at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD where she was teaching oboe. What I witnessed inspired a piece that I suggested to Garrison Keillor. We ended up collaborating on The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra.
Anyway, Thomas is a chronic and excellent violist and has agreed to jump in with both feet to join us in the program.