My recital is in two days! My dress rehearsal was this evening, and I think most things went well. Right after the dress, I had a recording session, so am now just getting home and downloading the videos from the rehearsal. I am exhausted, people. October has been especially busy this year, and scheduling a recital the same week of Viola Day really doesn't help! Not to mention the desire to put together proposals and make recordings with various colleagues for conferences and concert series that have due dates in early November. It's a lot, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever had THIS much music available at my fingertips. I'm somewhat blown away with all of the notes I've been playing recently. :-)

In studio class this semester, my students and I are reading, First Learn to Practice, by guitarist Tom Heany. While a lot of the ideas are obvious to me, and express many of the exact practice techniques I use and teach my students, it's nice to have everything written down in one place. We discuss the different chapters of the book at the beginning of class, and I encourage (and sometimes force!) everyone to participate in the chat. Last week we were talking about practicing in general, and I shared with my students that these days, as an established and professional musician, I am sometimes surprised by the amount I can accomplish in the little time I have to do it. I've gotten so much better at learning and interpreting music than when I was a student. This isn't rocket science, of course, but I am glad that I can be an example to my students and tell them that it DOES get easier, and things WILL come more quickly...

...Which is why I think I have all of this music available in my fingertips at the moment! I have less and less time to practice, but seem to be playing more and more. Go figure!

On my recital I am premiering two works by living, American composers! Shawn Head's In Paris With You is a viola duet that is quite beautiful and haunting (originally composed for two cellos, but this is the viola duet world premiere). The other piece is a demanding Sonata for Viola and Piano by Salvatore LoCascio-- you may remember his super awesome work Bene that I played a while back. Salvatore is now a doctoral composition student at Ball State, and he wrote this sonata for me. I'm excited about it. It's difficult, but I really like it and am looking forward to sharing it with the world on Thursday.

In addition, Sophia Kim and I are playing all of the Shorter Pieces for Viola and Piano by Rebecca Clarke, and with the Trio Harmonia (Mihoko Watanabe, flute and Jooyoung Kim, piano), a trio by Durufle. [Trio Harmonia, you ask? Why yes! It's my newest endeavor, with these amazing musicians! More to come about that soon.] 

It's going to be a good concert! If you're in Muncie, please come on out. 7:30 PM in Sursa Hall on Thursday 22 October. Free and open to the public, as always.

Happy practicing!