The sun is shining here in the Netherlands. And, you know what they say: write blogs while the sun shines.
...they don't say that? Oh...
Regardless, it's a perfect time to catch up on some happenings from the fall.
Right before we made it to Arizona back in November we stopped in Austin for a short bit. Having first visited Austin in 2003, one of the things I've always remembered was watching the bats on the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world, and every night throughout the summer the bats emerge at dusk to begin their night. It's a pretty incredible experience and it's free to watch! Thanks, Nature!
I never really wrote about our visit to Arizona right after Texas, though I did write a thank you note of sorts, inspired mainly by my experience in Gilbert.
It was incredible being home, and Arizona brought its A game with perfect November weather. My parents once again had Barrage over for dinner, my mom made her soup (the same I made yesterday), and we finished the night with a jam in my backyard. Dean, Barrage's music director and a former Canadian National Fiddling Champion, even joined in. It was an incredibly inspiring thing, sitting in a circle jamming in my backyard with the musical mastermind of Barrage, the guy whose music motivated me for so many years. The man is a genius. I'll never forget that night.
|Beautiful moon in the backyard.|
|The always popular "Ring Your Glow Necklace Around an Empty Bottle."|
|Sunset on the night of the first performance in Gilbert.|
I certainly can't speak for all of the members of Barrage, but I could not have been more impressed by the students at Highland. I think Barrage was getting annoyed with me talking about Highland because I was so excited for the visit, having worked with them on their retreat, but I think they all understood why after we spent a few days there. Bill Bitter and Amy Bennett have undeniably built one of the best orchestra programs I have seen in my travels, and it's filled with some of the most wonderful high school students I have met. I haven't stopped by Highland since the residency as we've had tour every day they've been in school, but I hope to catch them again before school is out in May!
It was also a great week because we traveled east out to Eager/Springerville, a region of the state I'd not previously visited. I've always loved Arizona's extreme geographic diversity (I have one word for you: Sedona) and the drives did not disappoint. I didn't get pictures because I was driving, but we did stop at Salt River Canyon and I snapped this photo.
|Salt River Canyon.|
I should probably go now to take advantage of the time I still have before today's call.
But, a quick update on the leg: the wound opened up while I was in the shower yesterday evening and stayed open for the rest of the night. I put a band-aid on it before I went to bed, though, and it didn't bleed while I slept (which it had the night before). The healing process continues!
Also, I can now confirm practicing scales with an open wound makes you feel incredibly hardcore. I laugh in the face of danger!