wind ensemble

The Premiere: Follow-Up

Well, we're back from our whirlwind trip to Rochester... and we're working on getting back in the swing of things. It's a little more than six hours each way and while we both love road trips, it was a little taxing to drive there and back in the span of three days.  On the way there, we were very productive: we mapped out an agenda for the wedding rehearsal (processional order, who sits where, etc.), made to-do lists for the days leading up to the wedding, made a list of things left to buy, and wrote down a list of emails to send this week.  On the way home, one of us drove most of the way and one of us took a series of short naps (okay, I confess - I just couldn't keep my eyes open!).

Nevertheless, it was a great trip.  We arrived in Rochester around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and settled on Dinosaur BBQ for dinner.  Y'all are probably thinking, "Barbeque?  In upstate New York?"  Let me tell you, it's delicious and authentic and in all the time we lived in Rochester, we never visited the restaurant!  We ordered a pulled pork sandwich and half of a rack of ribs (along with several sides: cajun corn, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, cornbread, and baked beans).  We ordered a piece of Blackjack Pie to go (pecan pie with Jack Daniels and chocolate chips).

We spent most of Monday soaking up Gibbs Street: Eastman's Main Hall, Java's, sitting in on an RPO rehearsal (Steve), surprise visits with professors and friends, and observing the Wind Ensemble dress rehearsal.  This was the first time either of us heard Steve's new piece ("Distant Moons") - great experience.  The director even asked him to come up on stage to give a few comments!  Reason #54 for upgrading to a phone with a camera.  We changed into our evening attire, had dinner down East Ave. at Veneto - a wood-fired sausage, pepper, and onion pizza with salad - and even had time for a cup of coffee (and our third visit to Java's) before the concert at 8:00 p.m.

This was a combined concert for the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble.  Here is the program:

Eastman Wind Orchestra: Husa: Smetana Fanfare Camphouse: A Movement for Rosa Holst: Suite in F (100th Anniversary of the work)
Eastman Wind Ensemble: Danyew: Distant Moons Cahn: Night Ride for Timpani Sierra: Carnaval (premiere)

As a side note, the Eastman Wind Orchestra is the school's freshman/sophomore wind ensemble, focusing on standard wind band classics, music for chamber winds, new music for wind ensemble and transcriptions.  The Eastman Wind Ensemble is America’s leading wind ensemble, and has frequently toured and recorded.  Its core of about 50 performers includes undergraduate and graduate students performing wind ensemble music from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

"Distant Moons" is a work based on the black and white photography of American icon Ansel Adams.  Musically, the piece is full of contrasts, imitating the light/dark, near/distant, high/low contrasts of Adams' work.  "I can see Ansel Adams' work when I listen to your piece," a woman said to Steve at the end of the piece.  It was so exciting to be a part of the audience for this world premiere!

The Premiere

Today, we are back at Eastman.  It's a perfect time in the semester to escape for a few days and what better reason than for the world premiere of one of Steve's pieces for wind ensemble!  Yes, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Mark Scatterday will be premiering "Distant Moons" tonight at 8 p.m. in this hall.  This is the inside of Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, by the way.  The chandelier is one of my favorite features. A few things I am looking forward to during this trip:

- Hearing the whole program tonight - it's been such a long time since we've been to a concert! - A walk down to Orange Glory for the best lemon cookie in the world - Visiting with teachers and friends - Quiet dinner out (still trying to settle on a restaurant!) - Apple Cider from Java's

While we're still quasi-working during our visit, I think it's important for us to set everything aside (at least for part of the day) and take a breather.  The past few weeks have been crazy with school, teaching, choirs, and wedding planning and the next few are going to be just as busy.  (I'm dreaming about ivory vs. white tablecloths, y'all.)  I just keep reminding myself how important it is to prioritize and give 100% of myself to one. thing. at. a. time.  Grace, not perfection.  This is not a multitasking competition (though, I think I would be awesome at that).  The joy is in the journey!