Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some of what I've done since Wellesley

Fantastic! A place to share! Wow! I think about my Wellesley days and am certain they shaped the course of my life so far...I was involved in music at Wellesley, and am still. I just got home from a rehearsal of second-year 6th grade band students. I conducted a piece called Haydn's Surprise, and wondered in my on-the-spot improvement as a conductor. I was able to be consistent (for the most part) in my count-offs, and the kids figured out how to follow me. Rewarding work, it is. I teach in public school and do my best every day, but I would like to not have to drive to work and am trying to build up enough courage to decide that I am going to teach locally. On the performing side, I have been playing in the Berkeley Symphony since 1982, with a couple of years and auditions in-between, but close to 27 years, including a long stint under super-star Grammy-winning Kent Nagano. I learned a lot about music from him and was blessed to enjoy rehearsal sets several times a year. I enjoy being semi-pro on the bass--physically it is demanding. I play probably 2 hours a day on some instrument or other, and am getting better on the violin, piano and guitar, respectively. I feel kind of awkward writing about myself like this, but I suppose it is good for me. I was young at Wellesley and have mellowed out a bit, become more mature. Teaching is important to me, as it is a way of sharing the passion I have for music... Last weekend I got to spend time and play music with some wonderful people. I have been teaching at California Coast Music Camp for the last 2 years and will be teaching during the first week this year: 7/11-7/18. A lot of professional tech-types (and many other kinds of folks, interested in a lot of different types of music) attended this retreat (85), and 2-300 will attend the camp. I have enjoyed attending many music camps since I have lived in California, since 1982. The Women's Philharmonic was just starting up when I arrived in Oakland, staying with Mary Watkins' friend for a couple of days and auditioning for the philharmonic (Women's Phil) before I had established a place to live. I was fired up! I am singing and developing a repertoire including a couple of Grateful Dead songs, a four-part canon, a couple of originals. I play in the Bolos with Don Burnham, who is in the Western Swing Hall of Fame, and whose music graces "Car Talk" on npr. It is a little ditty called "Apple, Google, and Gold", and I could have been in the video, but I had another gig...I have been developing my musical voice, still playing...I like organic and local and ride my bike a bit. My daughter is 23 now. That's it for now. Write to me, please. karenehorner@gmail.com

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