Sunday, November 4, 2018

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

When I was a child, I thought this was the funniest joke.  "Practice, practice, practice!"  And, while there is a great truth in these three words, the word 'practice' embodies so much more.

Tonight, I give my Carnegie Hall debut with THE SONG CYCLES of BEACHY HEAD as both a performer and a composer ...  Performing in Carnegie Hall was something I only dreamed of doing all those years ago.   Yet, today, as I prepare myself to go on stage, I keep thinking, "How did I get here?"

Yes.  I did practice ... years of practice to be able to play as well as I do ... Yes.  I did practice-- creating and composing music ... Yes.  I did practice playing this recital in many cities around the globe ... but, today ... as I sit here contemplating, I know that ALL of that practice comes down to whether or not I believed in myself.  A performance in Carnegie Hall never happens without belief, which I believe is action fueled by love.

I am filled with overwhelming emotion ... so much love will be there tonight ... family and friends ... perhaps even some of my greatest critics or enemies ... Who knows ... ?  But ... what I do know is that tonight my performance is a statement of belief about myself ... and I am saying to the world:  This is my best!!

Thank you, Beth Dolan, and Shelley Waite ... my favorite Beachy Heads!!
See you at WEILL HALL

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Feeling Lucky

Ever since I moved to Rochester, NY in 1996,  I have always felt myself fortunate to live here.  I love my home; I love the city, the people, and everything this wonderful city has to offer.  My gratitude was especially felt this weekend when I had the good luck to go to the Clothesline Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery.   

Walking on the campus of this museum is always inspiring because of the sculpture that dots the lawn, but it was even more inspiring this past weekend because of all the imagination and creativity that I saw in the booths.  So many vendors with beautiful wares to sell!  Pottery, Weaving, Clothing, Leatherwear, Paintings, Woodwork--the creativity displayed was in abundance, and I could have bought so many things--and did!  However, what was most meaningful to me were the stories of the vendors.

Here are some of the highlights:

Middle Earth Leatherworks makes some of the most stunning leather bags, all hand-crafted in Syracuse.   The young woman that talked to me about her work said that she started as her father's apprentice but now designs.  Her bags are so well made and beautiful as she uses contrasting leathers to create her works of art.

The same is true of the pottery I saw in the first booth I visited--works of art by potter, Hodaka Hasebe.  His story of dreaming of being a potter to actually becoming a potter was SO INSPIRING because he pursued his dream and lives it.  I could feel myself so lucky to buy one of his distinctive turquoise bowls to enjoy.  I could imagine how my yogurt and blueberries would look dressed in one of his lovely bowls, so I bought one and wasn't disappointed the next morning.

The Plein Air Paintings in Oil by Barbara Jablonski also drew my eye.  Her paintings tell me that she has been to the places she paints, and they are as vibrant as her personality.   Her story of how she was a consultant "to pay the bills", but made business appointments with herself to paint until she could do it full time showed me that creativity is a powerful force that can direct a person's life and lead them to happiness.

Lastly, I loved the illustration of an Ithaca artist by the name of Marika Chew.  Even her business card of the redwing blackbird is gorgeous!  I could see from her work that she loves creating and how she pursued that love by learning how to do it well.

Yes.  I feel so lucky to be here.  In Rochester.  Living among the courageous people who create --Living among people make our world a more beautiful place.