This year's Interlochen's Adult Chamber Music Camp was special in many ways. First was making two new V.Com friends:
Elise Stanley, Mendy Smith and Amy Sexauer at the closing reception
I met Elise first before registration began in the hallway of the hotel. After giving her time to change rooms and get settled, I knocked on her door and said "Let's Play!". Elise, my good friend Josh and I played through the Beethoven Terzetto. She did a marvelous job sight-reading the piece. Afterwards, we broke for lunch and then headed down to register for camp.
A few hours later while waiting for the opening meeting to begin, another very tall person came up and asked if I was Mendy. It had to be Amy (which it was)! She was already "adopted" by another "camper" on the flight over, both having had their luggage lost on the flight. Luckily she had most of her essentials and viola with her. A little digging through what I brought with me handled the rest until her luggage arrived the next morning. This year there was a bigger shortage of violists than usual. Within minutes, Amy, Josh and I were bombarded with requests to play with various groups. Sooner than I would have expected our dance cards were filled up.
This year, Josh and I signed up for three days of coaching on Frank Bridge's "Lament" and Michael Daughtery's "Viola Zombies" with my former teacher Joel as our coach. During our first coaching session with Joel, he suggested that we perform the "Lament" at the participant's concert. More on that later....
Amy, Josh and I had the opportunity to play Kimber's "Reflection" for 3 violas. She did a marvelous job. The first read through was beautiful! Josh and I also had the opportunity to play some Mozart Quintets with Elise which was one of the most enjoyable groups I had played with that week.
At the participant's concert, Elise was before me and Josh. She played a gorgeous piece for violin and piano (Elise, you will have to remind me the name of it). She played very well with a poise and confidence that I was hoping to inherit in a small way.
After changing the setup for Josh and I to perform and introducing the piece, my heart started racing thumping very loudly. My first though was "NO! Not Now!!!" I had several measures of Josh playing solo in order to compose myself. With a deep inhale & exhale, I started playing. There were a few moments where I thought my bow arm shakes would come back, but luckily they were held at bay. After the last note died away we were blown away by the applause and didn't quite know how to react to it. Most of our performance experience has been at our church where an applause simply does not happen.
The moment was bitter-sweet. That performance was our last one together for quite some time since Josh had moved to Atlanta on the drive up to Interlochen. I am going to miss him dearly.
With luck, I will see all three of them again next year.
More entries: July 2011
From holiday tunes from Joshua Bell to a biography of Jascha Heifetz's early years in Russia, you'll find plenty of great gift ideas for violinists and violin fans on this year's list.
Mendy Smith is from League City, Texas. Biography
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