It was such a treat today to hear these talented high schoolers sing in the culminating concert of their week-long vocal camp. I wish I could turn back time and attend along with them but instead I’m very happy to help out and get some vocal tips vicariously. Extraordinary vocal professors from all over the Pacific Northwest help my voice teacher pull off this top notch event. It was especially exciting that one of the participants this year was a former student of mine. In fact, I was even his choir director at one time!
L and MK
I got into an interesting discussion today with L, my voice instructor. We were discussing important aspects of performing music. It’s important to connect emotionally with the music and with an audience. It’s equally important to have technical skill and command of your piece. But one does not necessarily beget the other. Artists may excel in one category and fail miserably in the other. A plethora or dearth in any direction can doom you. It’s a blend of the two that necessitates a great performance, that marks a great performer. I tend to go waaaay overboard in the emotional department (I’m Italian!) and am striving to improve my technical skills without focusing solely on the notes. I’m sure it’ll be a life-long journey, but I have to admit if I had to pick one or the other I’m glad I’m emotionally-inclined. The technical stuff can be taught.
This past weekend marked the sixth annual Write On The River writing conference in Wenatchee, WA. I attended for the first couple of years, missed a couple while I was away from the area, and have been behind the scenes for the last two. This is a top-notch event. To paraphrase one of our attendees, it would make cities three times our size envious. It was useful to see things from all perspectives. As agent/editor appointment coordinator last year it was good to see the progress certain budding authors have made in the past year. As a writing group member who has been in absentia for the last few months it was great to catch up with my other scribes. As a board member it was exciting to see the authors we have talked about all year come to life. And as a writer it was both useful to receive excellent information from long-time professionals and inspirational to hear encouraging words from folks who are truly in the know. I can’t wait to see who we’ll bring in next year. Check out some of this year’s fabulous presenters:
Some say letter writing is a dying art, but it’s alive and well in my mailbox! What a treat it was to receive a good old-fashioned letter the other day from my good friend, K, from Germany. Being artsy and craftsy with a good eye for color and style, K sent a fun alternative to paper, writing instead on the back of several postcards and photographs. I loved this old-meets-new photo/letter/blog montage which gave me some nice word and image snapshots of her life. Our day-to-day lives once looked fairly similar. In lots of ways they look completely different from one another anymore. It’s fascinating to me to follow people’s journeys. Though so much has changed, so much has stayed the same, too (which is somewhat ironic considering that old “life is change” poem, right, K?). I, too, wish we could chat over a cup of tea or a walk in the woods…
I walk past this sculpture almost every day. Unadorned it is a simple motif of love, connection, life. But more often than not she is clad for whichever season we are currently experiencing. She defies the elements. In winter she wears a scarf, in spring she holds flowers, for Mother’s Day this wreath crowned her head. I should really look into the history of this piece–dig up the details on who built her, who inspired her, who funded her, who cares for her. But really I prefer to make up all of those stories myself. Perhaps those imaginary musings will inspire another work of art with love, connection, and life as its theme.