October 16, 2012 at 2:01 AM(Aurora borealis, 10-13-12. Photo courtesy my next door neighbor, Stephanie Snyder)
The first snowfall came in a silent, smothering hush of white, making travel difficult for those who hadn't gotten around to changing tires. As a result, the church was noticeably thinner in audience for Saturday's performance by Kathryn Hoffer, Roxann Selland Berry, and Maria Allison. Many of the familiar elderly faces were absent, but so many of the loyal regulars managed to make it in spite of the weather. And me? I wouldn't miss it for anything. Kathryn is the concertmaster of the Anchorage Symphony, and Roxann is the principal flautist. Not only that, but they were performing a new work by Canadian composer Kenneth Nichols. As the trio shared a fresh program of modern works, I felt privileged to be able to enjoy such a treat. Looking out across the audience, I could see I wasn't alone in my sentiments.
We have such a beautiful audience here in Soldotna. I've never once taken for granted a single gracious face or thirsty ear. I can always trust their welcoming applause, un-jaded enjoyment, and appreciative reception. They come ready to soak up any culture they can get, and I feel deeply that it is our responsibility as musicians to make it happen for them. The town of Soldotna exists amidst a harsh wilderness in a climate that promotes isolation and silences our efforts to shine, and a lot of good ideas simply never get off the ground. And that's the part I hate about living here. Musicians like Paul Rosenthal, Zuill Bailey--and tonight, Kathryn, Roxann, and Maria--are my heroes, and I'm so incredibly thankful to be able to experience world-class musicians in such an intimate setting because they took an interest in creating the venues in the first place.
I crave to emulate that concept myself, but I need help from others in making it happen. I know there are more like-minded, capable people out there--people like my new cellist-friend Kevin, who could be anywhere playing with anyone, but fell in love with Alaska and came to stay. It truly is a bewitchingly beautiful state, and what setting could possibly be more profoundly inspiring to us artists and musicians? The snow may seek to suffocate, and the mountains may rise in resistance, but we will stubbornly tackle them for the rewards to be had, for the sake of the shining beauty that's to be shared with those thirsty ears.
The folks up there in Soldotna are lucky to have you and the others there to remind them of the beauty and joy good music can provide.
So glad that fate has sent you a cellist & hope you make the most of it...sounds like you're off to a great start. Piano trios = wonderful (especially with such a good pianist).... Brahms = awesome.... and I'm sure it'll be accompanied by something yummy, yes? Pretty much my idea of heaven right there.
I'm glad for you that your musical cravings are finding musicians with which to collaborate.
Alaska does possess some beautiful sights but it's way too cold for me!!
(Tomorrow's the day! So excited...)
Good Luck!!! today, Emily.... as the saying goes....break a leg!!!
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