I'm back. I had a wonderful summer, broken into several different chunks by moving and the AVS Festival, but around those events, I hiked and camped in National Parks and explored other beautiful corners of the US, mostly in Colorado and Wyoming. Besides the obvious annoyances of moving, it was an amazingly stress-free summer. Having finished my job at Ball State and not having yet started at Schwob, I had very little job-wise to occupy my mind, and for the first time in a very long time, I had a legitimately vacated vacation. Here's a photo of one of my new favorite spots, Rocky Mountain National Park.
I also had the immense pleasure of going to the American Viola Society Festival at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. I got to reconnect with extended family outside of LA, as well as see six of my amazing BSU students perform at the Festival. Five of us stayed in a condo together, with Dr. Crawford coming in one night as well. I had a lot of fun. At the Festival, Violet performed the world premiere of Benjamin Fuhrman's Study after Hokusai, which was met with rave reviews. I presented with colleagues on a collegiate teaching panel; about the 1919 Berkshire Competition (for which the Bloch Suite and Clarke Sonata were written); and about CV and Resume writing. It was a busy week! The best part, though, was my students' performance at the Festival. The BSUVC was one of three viola ensembles nationally invited to perform at the Festival, and they worked really hard and got to a really high level of artistry. I am still so incredibly proud of them. After their performance (notice the BSU colors!) I gave knitted jellyfish to all of them who hadn't yet gotten theirs. (I started knitting jellyfish for my students as graduation presents a few years ago-- I hope it'll inspire them to remember "jellyfish fingers." If you don't know what that means, come have a lesson and I'll tell you.) :-)
Here are some more photos from my time in LA.
And now it's September first and I've already been at my new job for two full weeks. And I am SO very happy to be here. Columbus is an exciting and vibrant city. While it is still pretty hot down here, there is fantastic energy in the air, and the students at Schwob are motivated and hard-working and eager to learn. While I miss my Ball State family, I'm enjoying growing a new one here.
I hit the ground running, and feel good about how things are going so far. I even had the immense pleasure of collaborating with new colleagues on a recital the other day. Dr. Rob Murray, the trumpet professor at Schwob, invited me to perform the Saint-Saens Septet, and it was a total blast. He even introduced me to the audience before we began playing, which I wasn't expecting. It is really wonderful to feel so appreciated. So far, this job is turning out to be everything I had hoped.