Thursday, November 24, 2011

Performance Diary

Thanksgiving is a great day to post on some recent performances by the Kenwood Players. We had four performances in eleven days, a frequency of public performance I'd never previously experienced. One performance was in yet another local country church with glorious acoustics, Waddell Presbyterian over in Rapidan (for those familiar with the area it's the wooden Gothic church right as you go down to the river from the Orange side). Here's a snapshot of the interior:

During the service we did "Sweet Hour of Prayer", "The Old Rugged Cross", and "In the Garden" as instrumentals three times through, me on guitar, Judy on drum, Steve beginning each on trombone and Dick taking the third time through on trumpet, with Bill B and Crawford switching out on the second iteration on sax or Eb tuba. Each and every solo was terrific. Crawford, a retired preacher who'll be 80 next Aprils Fool's Day did a tuba solo on "In the Garden", that to me at least, spoke of a well and fully lived spiritual life. 

We got a lot of very nice compliments, but my favorite was from the organist who said afterwards in an almost dazed way, "You all are really good!" It's not unusual for us to get nice comments from other musicians, but the music therapist in me who's never done a lot of straight up performing is always delighted to hear them.

We also did three performances with basically the same set list, for an open house at an assisted living facility, for a fund raising gala for the local art center, and for the entertainment following a harvest dinner at the Presbyterian church in town. Maggie and I did less than ten minutes of flute clarinet, then Dick and Steve did trombone trumpet duets, then Crawford and Bill C on tuba and me on horn joined them for some brass, then I switched to banjo and we did some good time Americana, and then some straight up Dixieland.

I am obviously biased, but my sense is that the good feelings we create as a group making music together are getting transmitted to the audience. People are enjoying the music, but they're also enjoying and sharing our having a good time making the music. 

Here's how I put it in a thank you note to the Players: Thanks to each and every one of you for these recent performances and all the past work that laid the groundwork. Both how we make music as a group and how the group makes music in the community is something I've never experienced so fully before. I saw a quote here lately that for a true musician the love of self doesn't get in the way of the love of the music, which is a great way to describe the cooperative spirit needed for our getting the feeling we're expressing in the music.

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