Deturtle June Tour:
So my little sister (that’s CARRIE) is touring with her band Deturtle and thought I’d mention it to you guys in case you were interested in checking them out. They combine a jazz trio and a string trio to make a whole new kind of sound world. (Pretty good stuff. I recommend you listen to the tracks they have online.)
“At the crossroads of the Oberlin Conservatory is the Kohl Plaza, the space between the classical conservatory and the jazz building. It was in this space that deturtle, an ensemble combining jazz and classical music, could be conceived. In September 2012, guitarist Matt Gold brought together a jazz guitar trio and a classical string trio to play original compositions and arrangements. He aimed to create an unconventional, modern sound by merging two traditions of music. The goal was to create an ensemble not only fusing traditional sounds from the jazz world and the classical, but to go beyond that.”
I’m honestly pretty bummed they aren’t coming to St Louis. I offered room, but I guess transportation was the issue. Maybe it you all go out and support them someday she can tour my neck of the woods!
Did I mention that Carrie plays the viola??? I mean, really, a band with a viola. If you’re at all interested, listen to the tracks on their website to get a sense of what they are doing. I’m pretty impressed by my little sister sometimes.
Fitness Event Stuff
Saturday is the CDM Body and Mind 5k.
Next Saturday (June 1) is the Benton Park Remembering the 80′s 5k—if you are planning to run this, let me know and I’ll look for you! I’m somehow less excited about it this year than in the past but I still have a myriad of outfit options. I sent a few sample pictures to Jen the other night and her response was “how do you have so many choices?”
June 8: Get Outdoors St Louis
I was also told about another event the morning of June 1 that might interest you if you don’t care for the 80′s.
Bethesda Hospice Care Hosts First-Ever 5K Memorial Walk/Run
Free event honors loved ones with remembrance ribbons for participants;
local St. Louis guitarist Lisa Jones to perform at opening ceremony
WHAT: On Saturday, June 1, Bethesda Hospice Care will host its first-ever 5K Memorial Walk/Run at Queeny Park in Ballwin. The walk/run will celebrate the lives of participants’ loved ones.
The 5K walk/run is free and welcome to all ages.
REGISTER: Registration form and more information can be found at http://www.bethesdahealth.org/pics/db/document_library/64_MemorialWalkInformationRegistrationForm.pdf
YOU GUYS!! BRAD PITT EMAILED ME!
Somebody found my blog the other day by searching for “how to tell if your violin is depressed.” I thought I’d use that as a prompt and tell you five ways to tell if your violin is depressed and five ways to help. (Note: Depression is a serious illness and in reality, the best and sometimes only way out is to seek medical help. )
How to tell if your violin is depressed:
1. It won’t stay in tune. You’re constantly tuning it and wondering if it’s the weather or if it’s the humidity. It’s neither.
2. It’s covered in cat hair. All different kinds of cats. Violins tend to seek out cats more when they are sad.
3. It only wants to play sad pieces like Barber’s Adagio. If you try to play something happy like Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony it transposes it into a minor key and before you know it, you’re back in Barber’s Adagio.
4. Your violin won’t eat and sleeps all day in its case. It refuses to come out even for its previous favorite activities like Kreutzer Etudes and Scales.
5. You find a lot of empty alcohol and prescription drug bottles hidden in the trash and you don’t remember drinking or taking any of them yourself. That’s just your violin, self-medicating.
How to help:
1. Blast happy, joyful tunes at your violin all day long. I recommend a lot of Mozart and perhaps the last movement of the Organ Symphony by Camille Saint-Saens.
2. Practice, practice, practice. Aka, fake it till you make it. If you pretend it’s not depressed, on occasion, your violin will pull through. Try scales, Sevcik, etudes, and your violin’s old favorite pieces.
3. Sometimes putting your violin together with other instruments can help. For instance, consider another violin, a viola, and a cello. Get them to play some Beethoven String Quartets (personal favorite, opus 132). DO NOT let them play Barber’s Adagio. If this fails, try a larger group—include woodwinds, brass, percussion. Mahler Symphony no. 2 might be a good option for that. (You’ll need a chorus too.) Again, do not let them start playing Barber’s Adagio.
4. Buy it a new, colorful case. Studies show that bright colors can help. Continue to avoid direct sunlight though as violins, unlike humans, do not like direct sunlight.
5. If all else fails, your violin will need professional help. Take it to a luthier for repairs. Consider planing the fingerboard, a new bridge and/or soundpost, an adjustment, a thorough cleaning and polishing, and of course, all new strings! If that doesn’t make your violin happier, then nothing will.
As a freelance musician, I bring together a lot of different musical activities in order to make a living. One of the most common jobs I do is playing music for weddings—mainly ceremonies, but occasionally cocktail hours or receptions.
Often people ask me how I get asked to play for weddings. I run my own group (hannahviolin.COM is my page with that kind of stuff) and I get bookings through the site and also from referrals from past weddings we have played. I also play with a couple other wedding ensembles in the area so those contractors ask me to play whenever they need a violinist. I put all of that together in a very elaborate way on some days in order to make sure I can get from one wedding to another one! (I don’t know how people managed before computerized maps…it must have been such a challenge trying to figure out if you would be able to make it from one place to the next in time…)
Yesterday was a fairly busy day. I had a wedding in the early afternoon in Belleville and then a later afternoon wedding in Festus. I had booked the first one so I was stressed about a lot of details (that ended up working out just fine, though I often think, I don’t stress, maybe things won’t go as well…) and the second one all I had to do was show up and play. (Highlight of the wedding was a frog nearby that kept making frog noises.)
(First wedding at a church)
(Second wedding at a private residence by a lake, so beautiful, but hot and sweaty!)
That’s how just about every Saturday in the summer works, and it’s a lot of fun. And work—sometimes driving and playing and driving and playing is utterly exhausting.)
Speaking of utterly exhausted…
How is your weekend going?
TGIF, am I right? It feels like just four short days ago I was writing about how much I hate Mondays, and here we are. (In case you’re missing my sarcasm…as I work most of the day Saturday and often Sunday…plus I’m actually writing this post Thursday night.)
Every week the Mayor of St Louis has a mini-poll about some topic. This week is music. I may or may not be part of the poll questions.
GET OUTDOORS ST LOUIS!
The weather has been really nice, albeit perhaps TOO hot, but at least it’s a great time to be outside. I’ve got some neat stuff planned in the future and maybe you’ll want to participate too!
I posted about the CDM 5k awhile ago, but I wanted to remind you—it’s a week from Saturday and I plan to be there. Then on June 1 is the Benton Park 5k which you all KNOW I love (and already almost have my outfit ready).
I was recently told about a cool event on June 8. If you are an out of town reader, you should know that St Louis has this really cool thing called “The Arch.” This event takes place there. (The Arch is such an iconic part of the cityscape here that Chris and I decided to use it for our wedding invitation and save the dates!)
WHAT: On Saturday, June 8, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on the Gateway Arch grounds. The annual one-day event, celebrated by parks and cities across the nation, aims to combat the effects of indoor, inactive lifestyles by encouraging families to spend time outdoors and explore the natural world, while enjoying various outdoor recreational activities.
The Gateway Arch grounds will be filled with various free, family friendly, fun and educational outdoor activities that include a kids’ walk, rock climbing, fitness sessions, live music, geocaching, orienteering, gardening information, stream life demonstrations, and much more! Participants will also have a free photo opportunity to remember their day. (See list of activities and exhibitors on the following page)
More than 30 local organizations – including Bi-State Development Agency, CityArchRiver, Great Rivers Greenway, the Saint Louis Zoo and the National Park Service – will share information about healthy lifestyles and public lands at the event. “We encourage area residents and families to come out and experience the exciting outdoor activities St. Louis has to offer at this year’s Get Outdoors under the Arch event,” said Ann Honious, Chief, Museum Services and Interpretation, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “The event promises to include a little something for everyone as it connects area residents to nature and encourages healthy lifestyles.”
WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9 am – 2 pm
WHERE: Gateway Arch Grounds
COST: FREE and open to the public
My parents in front of the arch on a visit a couple of years ago.
I won’t be able to attend the event, but it seems like a pretty cool thing—if you are looking for something fun and family-friendly (if those things can be synonymous ) to do on June 8, head on down to the arch!
My blog was recently mentioned in an article about…blogs! CRAZY, right? Well, local blogs. Always fun to get mentioned for something that I work so hard on. OR for blogging! I’m listed under healthy living, but I find my blog very difficult to categorize. That’s probably a problem with my blogging…but oh well. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.
And on that note. Have a great Friday! What are your weekend plans? (I don’t really care. Unless you’re doing something really awesome. And then I’ll pretend I don’t care but secretly I’m really jealous.)
I was waiting to write a race recap until I could find the results online, but you know what, it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t a PR, it was a slow race for me…and that’s what you all expect anyway, right? Plus…the results ARE online…except not my time, for some reason. Too slow I guess? They gave up? Whatever.
Tour de Grove 5k
My friend April asked me about this race one day when there was a deal to get the entry for $15 (half price). We figured, might as well!
The race was a 5k along a course that later would be used for the “Tour de Grove” which is a professional bike race. The 5k course was a double loop with a little spur out to the side, I’m guessing to make it 5k.
The Grove is a neighborhood not too far from where I live. According to the website, “The Grove is a growing vibrant business and entertainment district along Manchester between Kingshighway and Vandeventer in St. Louis City. In the Grove you can find a diversity of independently owned restaurants, nightlife, retail, and services. It is also home to the premier nightlife in the area, and is a thriving center for the LGBT, artist, and cycling communities in the St. Louis area.”
All of that is true. It’s also the neighborhood where Chris got punched in the face randomly walking with a friend going to a bar. Things he learned that night: he can really take a punch. But that’s not really a race recap story now, is it? That’s just your normal, “the night I almost got mugged but then they ran away because they didn’t realize that I would keep standing” story. But that’s really quite unrelated.
April and I, pre race
Anyway, we met super early because we needed to register the morning of and we weren’t sure how easy that would be. Answer: really easy. We both arrived 30 minutes before our planned time and parking was a breeze (plenty of parking near Vandeventer and Chouteau). Registration took about two minutes and then we found ourselves with about an hour to kill. Oops.
It turned out there were less than 100 runners in the race. If we had been fast runners we might have been excited by the chance to do well. But instead we were nervous about coming in last. We decided it didn’t matter. Because once you’ve come in last in a race, it’s okay. Plus last in a tiny race like this would be no big deal.
Anyway, we agreed to just stay together unless we got really annoyed. And we didn’t. We ran the whole first loop and then the heat started to get to us and we took a few short walk breaks. I think our time would have been around 38 minutes which seems really slow…and maybe it was…or maybe the course was long because both of our running apps clocked in at 3.4 to 3.45 miles. But I hate people who say that, and they claim the course was certified. But then again, they claimed they’d have results online and neither of us seemed to show up.
It was a nice race though. Great, well marked course, though the double loop is kind of boring, at least you know where you are going the second half. We almost got run down by the 2nd place male at one point…but we didn’t. It was a fairly flat course and the T-shirt was good (I’m actually wearing it right now.)
Other plusses: nice volunteers and staff who handed us bottles of water as soon as we finished—none of that dazed wandering around looking for water while trying not to pass out. So I’d totally recommend this race. It was a fun way to spend the morning.
April and I, post race! Proud and sweaty.
Teaching violin often feels like a thankless, worthless job. (Like all teachers, I imagine.) Underpaid, often overworked, tired, and feeling like it just doesn’t matter. I mean, who needs violinists anyway? (Answer: we all do, but that’s for another day.)
As you may know, the school I teach three afternoon/evenings a week is closing at the end of the school year (beginning of June.) We had our last studio recital on Saturday. I’d been working hard, the kids had been working hard, and it’s a stressful thing for some of them—getting up in front of everybody, playing their piece from memory (some, at least). Performing is a tough thing! (and excellent preparation for the future…)
I always get really stressed out. Will people remember to show up? Will they bring their violins? Will they mess up and make me look bad? Will the other teachers judge me for having students with bad posture?
And as always, none of those things mattered or happened. It was a great day. My students did their best, and I was a proud teacher.
And at the end, one of my students, after finishing a very musical and exciting performance of the third movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in G minor…after that, she gave a speech about how much the school has meant to her over the past years (she’s been there since she was 4, I believe) and how much she will miss it. And I got teary. And then she gave me flowers and the above note.
Sometimes that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Making a difference to one person. And I think, at least I hope, that I mean that to most if not all of my students.
Underpaid and often undervalued by society, yes. Thankless and worthless, no.
These next few weeks at the school will be bittersweet.