For the past 4 years, as the KU Summer Chamber Music Festival approaches, I'm both excited and wary. It's undoubtedly one of my busiest weeks of the year (we teach/rehearse/perform from 9am-10pm almost every day... and then there are camp activities at night), so I begin to anticipate the exhaustion well beforehand.
But, I also remember how high the level of playing is, how eager the students are (they're incredibly enjoyable to teach), and how amazing that final concert always is.
This year was no exception. I was happy to come home on Saturday. After-all, I had missed my cats, and I'm entirely too old to be living in a dorm.
But, the week itself was awesome. My flute students came running with me in the mornings (dedication!) and I was very pleased with all the performances. It's always amazing to me how much students can get done in a week. The first rehearsal feels hopeless, but just a couple of days later, and they're all performance-worthy... and not just "oh, it's kids playing; how cute" performance-worthy. The concerts are truly inspiring, both because of the energy and accomplishment these students embody.
I also really enjoyed performing George Tsontakis's Imagine for solo flute. The Georgian Room was the perfect place for that piece. I'm keeping the piece in my fingers so I can continue to perform it. It's a good option those (oh-so-frequent) times a solo flute piece of 5-ish minutes is required.
Lastly, each year I'm very impressed with how nice the kids are. I'm sure there is a certain amount of in-fighting about groups and music, but overall, everyone gets along. As far as I can tell, they don't form cliques (no "Mean Girl" behavior), they're so damn polite, and they are absolutely dedicated to music. The age range is 12-25, but they all hang out together. Somehow, despite that the students change, the vibe remains the same; and, (now that I've caught up on sleep) I'm looking forward to next year.