Thursday, July 31, 2014

Surprise Surprise!!

Hello everyone!!

I just wanted to share a few photos from the night of my birthday when my dearest friends completely surprised me with a party!  As you can tell, they succeeded completely, and I was just.. blown away!

They got the carrot cake recipe from our trio blog that we all love, baked it in secrecy, and surprised me with this amazing cake, funniest of cards, and really, so so soo much love.

gosh, I absolutely loved reading all of the wonderful (funny, loving, and inappropriate  ;)  loved all of them!) comments in the card!

 We shared the incredible cake, played a lot of ping pong, danced a whole lot, and played King's Cup!
It was a good ole' time  ;)

It was such an incredible night, and I felt so, so loved!  Again, I can't believe I have been so blessed with these amazing peeps in my life.  =)

I hope you have a wonderful day today, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quarter of a Century

Hello everyone!

I'm a quarter of a century old today, and feeling all sorts of blessed.

Spending the day in this beautiful part of the Earth,

starting the day off at this charming little church with a birthday surprise from my beloved trio and the whole congregation,

spending time with these fabulous people that I get to call my roomies,

and spending time with other incredible friends, both new and old.

there have also been so many calls and birthday wishes from family and friends who are far away, and I feel so loved (even with the phone call at 3 A.M.. baby bro..  -.-;;  haha) 
Thank you all so much for showing so much love.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be so blessed to have all of you in my life, but I feel so grateful.  I really would not be where I am, or be who I am without all of you, so thank you!
Have a wonderfully beautiful day, and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Garth Newel :: Everyday Life

Hello everyone!

As you can imagine, everyday life at Garth Newel Music Center includes lots and lots of,, well, music.  In all different forms.  
Most of the day is spent rehearsing...  everyone does this for the better part of the day, including us fellows, guest musicians, and the faculty.

Then, if we have enough energy at night, we sight read for fun.  In case you have never heard of sight reading, it's when musicians come together and read chamber music without ever having had time to rehearse.  It's usually a pretty funny train wreck, but sometimes, when you have the right group of people, it can also be incredibly satisfying.   like when we read this Schubert Cello Quintet a couple of nights ago.  Oh My Lord.  If you have not heard of this quintet, please go to Youtube or Spotify right this second and listen to the first movement.  you'll fall in love.   =)

and if you have more energy after the sight reading session, you can also just break out in spontaneous, memorized, Brahms Cello Sonatas together.   Here are my favorite two men at Garth Newel doing just that!  Our Timmay, of course, and Robbie, the pianist.  He teaches at Boston University, and I am soooo excited to get to work with him when I got there for my doctorate!

We have our final official Fellows concert on August 3rd, but we have been performing quite a bit outside of that in different churches and other community venues this week.  Most of the churches are quite small, and incredibly charming, like this one!

When we're not performing, we are probably watching the guest artists and faculty performing, along with this little fellow.

Oh, sometimes, we have a performance classes, or master classes, with the faculty and guest artists where we play for each other and get feedback.  At Garth Newel, these are also accompanied by some 4 legged friends!  I mean, shouldn't everything be accompanied by our 4 legged friends?  I think so!  =)

It can be pretty tiring, but it is also awesome spending all our days among amazing music and friends (including the 4 legged ones), and I can't believe 3 weeks have gone by here already!  We have a pretty crazy week remaining though with more concerts and rehearsals than ever!  we're all pretty exhausted at this point, and well all like to be dramatic and say things like 'I don't know if we can survive!' 'We're all gonna die...'  but the craziness...  well, somehow we are all drawn to it. and perhaps we crave it.  because in the end, what we get to do, performing amazing music with the people we love, is really an incredible gift, and we really can't ask for much more than that.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Garth Newel :: Lake Moomaw

Hello everyone,

We happily slave away all week/weekend rehearsing and performing, but usually, we have the Mondays off here at Garth Newel.  Well, technically we have every Monday off, but you know how it goes... There are only 15 of us as fellows, so if we want to have extra rehearsals, it's pretty easy to find each other and say 'let's rehearse!' and no one ever says no to that.  I mean, it's chamber music, how can you say no, right?

But last Monday, we managed to have the majority of the festival agree to no rehearsals for half of the day and sneaked away to Lake Moomaw!  It's a lake formed by the Gathright Dam on Jackson River, and we heard that it was beautiful, so we decided we must go visit (and I mean, with a name like that, how could we resist, right?)

We took three different cars to the lake, and somehow, all of us got lost.  Each in our own way.  But at least the road we explored in our lost-ness was gorgeous.

and when we finally got to the lake, the view was totally worth being lost and driving around dirt roads for an hour.

Welcome to Lake Moomaw!

the Garth Newel folks!  well, the two cars who got there together... the other car got uber lost and came an hour later..  poor chaps.. haha

We spent the half a day learning how to swim in the water, which was incredibly warm for a mountain lake water, playing frisbee, and giving each other massages on the warm sand.  Yup, it really was as good as it sounds  ;)

Then, some of us hopped out of the lake and struck out to go for a little hike.

I could be totally happy living near somewhere like this 'when I grow up'.  =)

When we returned to the lake, we found that the other car had finally made it to the lake!!  actually, we heard Tim's shouts of joy in the mountains before we even saw them at the lake  haha 

It was such a nice, relaxing day spent at an incredibly beautiful spot in the Virginia mountains!  
Now,,, back to rehearsing and performing until next Monday..   haha  ;)

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Garth Newel Music Festival

Hello everyone!

After jetting around to Korea, Taiwan, Nebraska, and Seattle, I have been spending the past 2 weeks in the beautiful rolling hills (mountains?) of Virginia!

This amazingly place that I get to call home for the whole month of July is the Garth Newel Music Center!

I mean, how charming is this place, right?  complete with these roaming cows!   

It only gets better once you walk through the gates.
That 2 story building is where I live, and it's really the best living situation, complete with my amazing suite mates!  ;)

and this is the view we have at every mealtime.  Couldn't ask for a better view, eh?

oh, and this (the Manor House) is one of the rehearsal spaces!  

When we are not rehearsing, we enjoy just taking walks around this beautiful place.  This large and beautiful property belonged to two artists who later invited two musicians to spend summers here, which became the Garth Newel Music Center!

Once you walk down the driveway of the music center a little bit, you can find fields of wild flowers, so of course, my favorite flower-picking pianist went in to make a bouquet for me  =)  

When you walk out a bit more, there are fields of... cows!  I think it's quite charming  ;)

It has been a pretty intense 2 weeks rehearsing all day long, but I have to say, I have been enjoying every moment of it!  I mean, amazing food, amazing music, amazing company, and the amazing scenery...  like this sunset that we got a couple of days ago...

How did I get so blessed!  =)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by!