Catchin’ up Tuesday

I’ve been mysteriously absent, yes. And for that, I apologize. It turns out that March and April decided to conspire and explode on me together. It was very messy.

I’ve been up to some cool, stuff, though. Check it out:

Newport is one of the many lovely coast towns this state of ours has to offer. In March, I got to play a fantastic concert with their orchestra, conducted by their assistant conductor, Mr. David Ogden Stiers. He did a great job filling in for the orchestra’s regular conductor, who was busy becoming a new father. The cool thing about him was the bragging rights he gave my dad for being able to tell people I worked with him, but the cooler thing was the Poulenc double piano concerto he programmed. I had never played it before, and it’s delightfully kooky:

Spring break hit, and I purposefully did as little as possible. I’m finding I love being a teacher as long as I give myself frequent breaks from the job. I don’t know how the year-round ones do it.

Then, I got an email with a request to do THIS:

This is actually from our show! If you look carefully, you can see me with my unmistakable red glasses just sawing away. I’m standing right next to the incomparable Roddy Chong. Near the end of this bit, you will see flames shooting up behind us all… yup, we had no idea that was going to happen. We felt an enormous rush of heat, and I thought to myself, “Yup, that’s a wall of fire.” When holding a very expensive instrument in this environment, you find yourself fighting the instinct to dive offstage to protect it – especially when that instrument is as flammable as ours. It only occurred to us after the show that WE were also flammable. Once you get used to the random acts of arson, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra puts you in a pretty good mood. The guys were super nice, and really easy to work with. They have a really specific kind of thing they do, and they do it REALLY well.

In fact, they do it so well, I’m going to let you take one more look at Roddy:

Seeeee? You can do just about anything with a music degree.

Finally, rehearsals have started for our final opera of the season, Candide. Bernstein wrote this, it seems, to kind of marry the opera and musical ideas. There are some wicked hard licks in this one, including this little number in the first act:

Opening May 11th!

As you can see, it’s been a fun and unusually busy time for me – although I couldn’t be happier with the variety my career is bringing at the moment. I do this for a LIVING.

What kind of musical moments have come your way lately?

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