I saw a meme the other day. A man asks a child, “Are you ready for Christmas?” The child replies, “No, my parents are musicians!” Well, that pretty much sums up the holiday season for musicians.
I last posted from California; our annual wine bottling endeavor. Recall that it was canceled due to the massive fires in Sonoma County. Fortunately our bottling trip has been rescheduled for the second weekend in February. So, it looks like we will get to bottle Barbera after all.
Since October, Liz and I have been concertizing….a lot. After finishing the run of Fiddler on the Roof, we performed a 10 day or so run of Nutcracker. Our very own Eccles Theater in Logan seats about 1,050 and every show was sold out. This is our 11th year of doing Nutcracker, and it is safe to say that it has become a local favorite. (The ballet is doing so well, they have secured funding for the orchestra to join them for their annual production of Sleeping Beauty in March.) We weren’t able to get any pictures, being in the pit and all, but we did decide to get to tickets to the Ballet West production of Nutcracker in Salt Lake City a week or so ago. I have played Nutcracker live more times than I can count, but strangely enough, have never seen it from the audience. We enjoyed their rendition (and costumes) of Nutcracker:
Also in November, Leaping Lulu performed at a quaint concert venue just over the Wellsville Mountains in Brigham City. I was lucky enough to play cajon and percussion with them, which was great fun (and a supreme challenge with my bandaged up hand). No pictures from this gig either, but here’s the poster the venue plastered all over the internet (Facebook) and around town:
In early December, we perform an annual Xmas concert with American Festival Chorus and Orchestra (our 10th season). This group performs 4-6 master choral/orchestra works each year, again, right in Logan, Utah. The Xmas concert is traditional Christmas music, usually with a guest artist or group. This year’s guest was Gentlemen’s Trio, better known as GENTRI. They hail from Utah, but have been gaining notoriety and performing all around the country. We performed 4 sold out shows on campus (1700 seats) in our newly renovated Daines Concert Hall, and one sold out show (2500 seats) at the less than a year old Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City. Here are two pictures that include members of GENTRI, first our brush up rehearsal and sound check, and then concert lighting right before the doors opened.
I have one last gig right around New Year’s: Harry James Orchestra. Harry James has been dead for quite some time, but like Glen Miller and Woody Herman, the bands live on in ghost incarnations. Usually one of the players, often one of the original members, takes over for Glen, Harry or Woody as the front man. As time goes by, the band morphs into new members performing all of the music from back in the day. I got the call to sit in on 3rd bone for the concert in Idaho. Sight reading the book is always nerve-racking, but comes with the territory of that professional musician thing.
Since my last blog, we have added solar panels to our Park City place. Start to finish takes about 2 months, and our net meter (thing that allows us to run the panels and get our energy from them) was installed today. Last step is to turn the system on, i.e. throw the switch. By the time you read this, we should be up and running with the sun. Here’s a shot of the panels up on the roof:
We took this shot a couple of weeks ago and it was snowing.
Finally, I really enjoy posting pictures that my father-in-law shoots from various locations around British Columbia. The following pics are Snow Geese from the Richmond area, out by the Vancouver airport.
Family will be showing up for the holidays over the next week or so. After the Harry James concert, January and February bring concerts/shows including Scarlet Pimpernel and the 25th anniversary concert of the Ellen Eccles Theater in Logan, not to mention the Sonoma wine bottling fiesta. In other words, more blogs to follow! Happy Holidays!