The week before last was filled with Dr. Daphne Gerling-- so it was a very good week! Daphne is a fantastic pedagogue, violist, and best of all, friend. She came to Ball State on Wednesday, March 22nd, and gave an inspirational and energetic master class, filled with Hindemith and Zombies. Eh? Well, two of my students are working on a piece called Viola Zombie, composed by Michael Daugherty. Ironically, shortly after that portion of the master class had ended and we were on to our last Hindemith performance, the emergency loud speaker in the hall piped up that a man had been spotted on campus with a rifle. I locked the doors to the hall, we took a few minutes to gather our wits and make sure everyone was okay and we were secure, and continued with the master class (a very practical and violistic approach). Later we found out that it was a toy rifle and that the person was playing a game, Humans vs. Zombies. Ironic, that the only viola piece about zombies was performed and taught while a game of Humans vs. Zombies raged nearby!
Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of the students with Dr. Gerling, but here she and I are (albeit a bit fuzzy).
Daphne and I had a nice dinner Wednesday evening, and enjoyed some down time on my couch before we headed off to our respective beds for the night. She left on Thursday morning, after we had breakfast and read a viola duo that we'll be playing together at the International Viola Congress in September (stay tuned for more on that later). But then I got to see Daphne again a few days later, in Illinois!
It was Redbird Viola Day, at Illinois State University. Dr. Kate Lewis invited me to be a guest performer and faculty member, along with the legendary Jeff Irvine, Dr. Gerling, Dr. Wendy Richman, and more. I invited my own students to attend the day, but only two were able to come. We all got up very early on Saturday morning and drove out to Illinois, where all of us had a fantastic time, and then drove home. It was fun hanging out with Anthony and Julie in the car, and then at Viola Day to spend time with friends, new and old, with colleagues, violists, and of course to play and teach lots of viola. I enjoyed performing Daniel Sitler's composition again, and as happens every time I perform it, got lots of positive feedback about it. Here are some photos from the day.
Just a note-- you don't HAVE to be tall to play viola. So all of you out there who aren't as tall as me or the other folks in the photos, don't despair! :-)