10. July 2009 · Comments Off on Congratulations to Gregory Vajda · Categories: Congratulations!, Links

Maestro Vajda has been named as the new artistic and music director of Music In The Mountains.

I really enjoyed working with Gregory Vajda; I look forward to seeing him again with Symphony Silicon Valley in our 2009-2010 season.

Article #1

This second article includes this:

By all accounts, MIM musicians, some of whom have performed under Vajda at Symphony Silicon Valley, are keen on him.

“We are extremely excited about this,” said MIM concertmaster Robin Mayforth, who was also on the search committee.

“He has this infectious energy and enthusiasm that translates into us being able to play on this incredible level.”

But it wasn’t just Vajda’s charisma that won over Mayforth and other members of the orchestra.

“From the moment he steps up to the podium, there is a clarity in his stick technique,” she said. “And there is this incredible trust that he places in us, and we feel we can trust him as well. That puts everyone at ease.”

(Robin Mayforth is also concertmaster of Symphony Silicon Valley.)

10. July 2009 · Comments Off on When “Elevator Music” Blesses Someone · Categories: Links, Ramble

Mayo Clinic is very proud of its art. Everyone who walks into Mayo receives art therapy, whether they know it or not. Architecture, paintings, sculptures, and music is carefully designed and chosen for the purpose of stress management. Thus, of course, soft instrumental music always plays in the chemo waiting room. Yesterday, while sitting in a waiting room chair, I suddenly experienced a huge distraction from my book. I heard something rather interesting. My ears perked up and listened carefully to the room’s elevator music. Was my mind playing tricks on me? I listened more closely to the violins, violas, cellos, and basses in the song. I could not believe it! I heard an instrumental version of The Bangles, Eternal Flame—a pop hit from 1989.

At the age of six, this was my favorite song. In 1989, I also loved Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City.” Yes, I was a rockin’ six-year-old. When I was young, each Sunday after church, my family visited my grandma at her house. Lucky for my now-rock-star-brother Andy and me, the Top 20 countdown was on MTV every Sunday morning. Of course, the two of us religiously camped out in my grandma’s living room and watched the show every Sunday. As an extra treat, in 1989, another older brother, Ken, recorded the Top 100 video countdown of 1989 on a VHS tape. I sang along with the songs and my brother Andy taught me (and himself) how to head-bang. It was joyous.

As a six-year-old, Susana Hoffs, the main singer of The Bangles, was my idol. She was so pretty, and she provided me with a favorite song. Twenty years later, at Mayo, I hear the song. First of all, I could not believe that an orchestra played an instrumental version of Eternal Flame (that is a bit odd). Second of all, I could not believe that I was hearing the instrumental version of Eternal Flame in the chemo waiting room at Mayo.

I read this here, where a brain cancer patient blogs about her “adventure” with this horrible disease. If you go to the site, be sure and start at the beginning so you get her full story. I just can’t imagine having her very upbeat attitude.

And how did I find her blog? Well, it all began here, where you will see one of the people I met for sushi and a concert last night. Cory is the guy on the left, holding the clarinet. (Hi Cory with no “e”! 😉

10. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

heard someone describing the instruments in the orchestra and how an oboe is actually bigger than a clarinet apparently.

Maybe he misheard and the word was “better” …? 😉

10. July 2009 · Comments Off on Past My Bedtime … · Categories: Ramble

… but I’m home from San Francisco and figured I’d at least update this quickly.

I had a great time with Maura and Cory, the two people I was meeting for sushi and symphony. They are comfortable and easy to be with, and of course my worries were totally unnecessary. (Although now I do think, “Gee, they probably think I’m totally weird!” But that’s because I’m … well … totally weird. Right?)

The sushi was incredibly yummy (I’ll have to go back sometime with Dan) and the symphony was great fun!

Now it’s off to bed with me … I’ll try to blog more about the concert later. My brain is fried.