Fellow v.com blogger Charlie Caldwell recommended an Atlanta luthier (Stephanie Voss) to me and I have a new bridge (Superieur Despiau) and pegs that I can finally turn with one hand! I was looking for a warmer, more mellow sound and the new bridge along with Obligato strings have made a huge difference. Stephanie was so caring and patient. I learned so much from her and feel like I've made a new friend for life. Caeli's article on her luthier inspired me to visit Stephanie.
Rehearsals for my church orchestra resume next week and the community symphony starts back at the end of August. I received a list of concerts and music we would be playing this year and it sounds like a good season. I really enjoyed my first year with them and look forward to beginning reahearsals again.
On the music front, I missed my violin. As we were parking our car for the concert, a symphony violinist zipped by on his Segway with his instrument strapped to his back. I snapped his picture and will try to upload it later. I ordered new Obligatos before I left for the trip and can't wait to get caught up so that I can try them out.
I love Atlanta in the summer. Yes, it's hot and yes, it's humid, but it's also full of cool things to experience. A few weekends ago my husband and I got up before the crack of dawn to drive downtown to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for "Niki at Sunrise". The ABG's summer exhibit is a marvelous installation of Niki St. de Phalle's sculptures. The event was free to celebrate Piedmont Park's birthday and I must admit that things look better when they are free. It was delightful to stroll through the gardens in the cool mist of day break. Afterwards, we ate breakfast at one of our favorites - the Flying Biscuit (which has just been franchised, so look for one near you soon) and then visited the park's Georgia Grown outdoor market to buy organic fruits and vegetables. Buskers serenaded morning shoppers as they browsed the fresh flower stalls and tasted samples. I parked myself on a bench and enjoyed people watching with my Starbucks. I wish I had enough nerve to busk. I'd give the $$ to charity.
Last night we picnicked at Piedmont Park for one of the Atlanta Symphony's outdoor concerts. This is one of my favorite events of the year and we have been attending since my children were small. The program was especially great last evening. The concert master played a soulful rendention of Ashokan's Farewell accompanied by guitar and then the entire string section joined in. It was very unusal for the ASO and well received by the crowd. Of course there were the usual 4th of July pieces and the encore for ASO outdoor concerts is always Stars and Stripes Forever. Picnickers bring sparklers, and everyone stands and marches in place to the finale. It is a fun ending to a delightful evening. Thier next concert at Piedmont is at the end of the summer and is called the Bark in the Park. As the name suggests, people bring their dogs - surprisingly, most of them are well behaved considering there are usually 500 or so dogs in attendance with picnic suppers spread on the ground. We hope to have Baxley "socialized" well enough to take him this year. PBGV's are notoriously hard to train we have discovered.
The AJC did a piece last week on a bassoon camp held at Emory Univ. The director is the principal bassoonist for the ASO and the camp sounded like so much fun. Can you imagine a bassoon choir of 50 or so? It was interesting to read why some of the campers chose the bassoon as thier instrument and the challenges they face.
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