We had an amazing recital! I'm so proud of all of my students who played solo for the first time in front of an audience. Keep up the good work guys!
This Saturday some of my students and I will be having a recital. For many, this will be the first time they play solo in front of an audience. Here are a few pictures of my students getting ready for the recital.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to audition to be a part of an orchestra in a scoring session clinic with Sony Pictures. I auditioned, not getting my hopes up too much. But in the end I actually got the audition! Last night we played scores from How to Train Your Dragon, Aliens, Night at the Museum, and several others, alongside other professional musicians and tech/sound professionals. It was an incredible experience! I hope to be working more in recording studios in the years to come.
For the past 6 months or so, I've been playing viola with a group called the Whyman Project. Completely innovative music with a lot of personality. The Whyman Project was started a few years ago by Ryan Whyman. This year we had the pleasure of being one of the winners for the prestigious competition, "Beverly Hills Music in the Mansion." We've just released our first CD. You can download it for free here! Take a look. :)
This summer has been amazing both musically and spiritually! We put together this short video to summarize what has gone on this summer. I hope it blesses you. :)
I found this video of our concert in Oklahoma City. The church recorded it for us and I think it's pretty good. :) It was an amazing summer. This is a long video because it's a video of the entire concert. But it gives you a good idea of what we do on the road as Celebrants.
Tonight we are having our 37th annual Celebrant Singers Banquet.
Finished the summer out strong with the Celebrant Singers. It was a great time of ministry at our 37th Grand Homecoming Concert! :D
Glad to be back in California. We had a concert last night in Bakersfield and some alumni members joined us as well.
This weekend we were at one of our favorite destinations of the tour, Denison Texas. St. Patricks has always been extremely welcoming to us and the deacon there had even joined our board of directors. :) The concert was great and I can't wait to come back and see familiar faces next time we come through.
Today we had a concert at Crossroads in Oklahoma City. It was a beautiful church. And it was huge! We actually plugged into their sound system and used their lights. It was super top notch! They made a recording of our concert so I will have to post a link when that comes up.
Something that was really cool is that the pastor of this church traveled as a singer with the Celebrants back in 1990 when they toured to Poland. So before the service he came to share a bit about what God did on the road when he was traveling. It was a beautiful concert tonight and I hope one day we will be back. :)
Set up before the concert.
We stopped at Oral Roberts University today before our concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This university was started with the vision to educate the "whole man." And it is a place that is focused around prayer.
It's been a while since I've posted. But right now we are headed to Michigan. We got back from France last week and had a bunch of concerts since then. We went from New York to Connecticut to New Jersey to New York to Pennsylvania to New York and back to Pennsylvania! Get me out of the east coast!!! :P Nevertheless the tour has been great so far and every place we go the community tells us how blessed they were to receive us.
Today we drove into Paris and finally had some leisure time. I went into the Notre Dame Cathedral and it was amazing! There is so much history here in France. Then I walked for over an hour to get to the Eiffel Tower from there. On my way I walked past a lot of little shops and tents where they were selling souvenirs. About half way to the Eiffel Tower I stopped at this tent that was selling old Paris newspapers and vintage magazines. Then I spotted a piece of music and I just had to buy it. I didn't realize until later how old it was. It was printed in France in 1912. So this piece of music I now have in my possession is over 100 years old!!! I held it thinking how many hands it must have went through. How many violinists have used this music to learn this particular concerto? And how did it end up at that tent on the streets of Paris? It's a mystery to me, but I'm excited to have my own little piece of France to bring back home with me. I can't wait to begin playing it!
Here is a short biography of the composer I found.
Alfredo D’Ambrosio was born in Naples June 13, 1871. He died in Nice, December 29, 1914. After studying composition with Enrico Bossi at the Conservatory of Naples, he went to Madrid, where he worked violin with Pablo de Sarasate. He continued his violin studies in London with Wilhelmj August, then moved to Nice, where he devoted himself to teaching his instrument, the violin. He wrote an opera Pia de Tolomei, “a ballet Ersilia”, a string quintet, string quartet and two violin concertos (1904 and 1913) and numerous concert pieces for violin (“Romanza” ,“Canzonetta”).
We have only a few more days left here in France. The concerts have been amazing we've been able to travel all over this country! We will be in Paris for our last day before we fly back to New York to finish out our U.S. Tour.
This weekend we spent two days in Avignon at a Catholic Church. This is really where we saw that the church is becoming very stale in France. In the first mass I counted 37 people at mass. All were older, there were no young people. The second mass there were a few more. Just to give you some perspective, there are 28 people in our team alone. So the attendance of the church was only a little over the amount of people in our team. What was really exciting is that for our concert, the entire church was packed! The priest said that there were many people that came to see the concert who have never been in church. So the pastor was very excited.
Today we drove into Montélimar where we had our second concert. No body really knew where all of the equipment was and everyone was still really out of it from the night before, so it took forever to set up. Once everything was set and we had a rehearsal, the concert was a blast. It was amazing to see all those people there. The cool thing was that there were some young people there who had been asked to be a part of Soli Deo, which is a group started by a former Celebrant. They were asked to be a part of the group this summer but made other excuses why they could not join. The funny thing was that our synth player gave a testimony at this concert and talked about how God called her to leave everything behind to come on the road and serve Him as a missionary. The two young people realized how much courage she had and were inspired.
Just before the concert.
Today we flew into France. We've been up for about 48 hours with all the packing of the equipment and everything. We then took a four hour bus ride to our first concert which was at 8:00 tonight. I guess being on the road is sort of like when Jesus said, foxes have dens and the birds have their nests, but the son of man does not have a place to rest his head. Despite our tiredness, we all somehow managed to pull it together for the concert and it turned out very well. Now for some sleep!
Walking in to set up for our first concert in France.
Today we are packing for flight. We fly tomorrow night from JFK! :D