I'm happy to announce that my fundraising was successful! The BHAAAS was able to raise enough money to cover the rest of my ticket after the additional fundraising I did, so in September I will arrive in Sarajevo to play second horn in the Philharmonic.
Thank you all for the kind words and financial support, it's been wonderful to experience the unexpected generousity of friends and neighbors.
I'm currently at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Sewanee, Tennessee, hosted by University of the South. Sewanee brings 180 music students together for a month of lessons, masterclasses, orchestra performances and chamber music. I was selected for a scholarship that allowed me to participate in the program through a recorded audition process this past spring.
Last week, the students participated in a "strolling" band for the annual 4th of July parade. Sewanee is a very small community of only a few hundred full-time residents, in addition to 1500 students at the university, and comes alive in the summer as a seasonal retreat. The festival is an integral part of the community, and the band float is a favorite in the parade.
Later in the evening, fesitval students put on a free concert of patriotic music. Selections included The Star Spangled Banner, Stars and Stripes Forever and a band arrangement of a piece from Saving Private Ryan. We had a great turnout, and the audience was especially excited for the Armed Forces Salute, a piece that combines all five service tunes. Members of the audience who have served in each service traditionally stand to be recognized while their song plays, so it's always a pleasure to see veterans recognized for their service. (The linked video is a marching band version, we were not quite as large but just as enthusiastic!)
Aside from the holiday activities, the festival has been great so far. The two horn professors are both excellent players, in addition to caring and helpful teachers. Mr. Bruce Heim is the professor of horn at University of Louisville, and Mr. Dave Brockett teaches at Baldwin-Wallace and plays in the Cleveland Orchestra.
The orchestra has been playing some challenging repertoire, and my chamber groups so far have been a lot of fun! This week I'm playing in a woodwind quintet, with clarinet, oboe, basson and flute in a piece called Petite Symphonie by Charles Gounoud. I'm also in a sextet of flute/piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, basson and oboe for a piece called Mladi (Youth) by Leoš Janáček.
Concerts are available streaming live on the festival website for free, everyone is welcome to watch and enjoy!
(Concerts are generally at 4:30 p.m. EST on Sundays, as well as faculty/chamber concerts on Wednesday evenings and Friday evenings.)