Festival This week

6/20/2010 Sunday 12:31 pm

This may be my last post for a little while as we begin the giant fest.

Tons of media – big articles in both papers last week: Statesman and Chronicle.

TV shows galore last week, radio everyday this week, TV multiple times a day, speeches, intros…. and that’s just my small formal part to play in a much larger ball we have put in motion.

See you on the other side!

The week in review

6/13/2010 Sunday 2:48 pm

We’re just a week away from our giant international music festival.  I can’t believe it.  Things are really heating up – as if they weren’t already!  So we’re just gonna do highlights:

This week Tim and Karrie League (Alamo Drafthouse owners) invited me over on Friday with my student Vincent Turner for Vincent to perform after dinner for about 25 friends – and for me to promo the upcoming festival.  They have been incredibly kind about helping us with promo.  Great meal, great people, and Vincent played beautifully, but the highlight for me was when Tim handed me a full-size sword and chain mail gauntlets and had me “cut” open a bottle of champagne, while he held it!  We began with the end of my sword on the body of the bottle, slid it quickly and forcefully off toward the cork end… and the entire end of the bottle blew off.  (it took me five tries, but with Tim’s coaching I eventually got it)!

(Of course the real highlight was hearing Vincent play.  Here is he playing the first and fourth movements of Koyunbaba on You Tube – strap yourself in and enjoy!)

Tons of final festival details were settled this week, including some production details during a big production pow wow at the Long Center Thursday morning.  We also had a KLRU production meeting at the LC Monday about the documentary they’re gonna do.  This coming Monday we meet with guest services about reception details, and on Tuesday we meet with more production folks about the Alamo Drafthouse night.

Promo is amping up to the next level: radio and TV like crazy coming out this coming week.  Two stories, with any luck, will hit on Thursday (Statesman and Chronicle).  We’re also tracking down every lead we can for community engagement, employer and civic group discount offers, direct material placement, and more.  C’mon ticket sales!  This past Monday I did a phone interview with Making Music Magazine for an issue coming out next month.  This past Wednesday I enjoyed being on the radio (KOOP) with the Biscuit Brothers!  This coming week I’m on Classical Austin Wednesday night at 8PM on KMFA 89.5FM, and, speaking of KMFA – check out their website, which is buzzing with news about our festival!  Thursday morning at 7:20 I’ll be on Fox 7 morning news as well to discuss the fest in detail with Joe Bickett.  And Friday evening Classical Guitar Alive will air the GFA festival preview show again with my interview (the first airing was this morning at 11!).

On Thursday evening this past week, I was at City Hall where the Mayor even read a proclamation for the festival!  So much fun.  We’ll be back as musical guests on Thursday, the 24th at 5:30 as well.

Last night we were treated to a marvelous evening with the Symphony and Pink Martini for their pops concert.  Our friends Carl and Margaret Caricari gave us tickets and, amazingly, had our table catered by Mirabelle.  Yum.  Glenda and I had a wonderful time!

The lousy news for the week was that the publisher (Univ. of Chicago Press) who had been considering my newest manuscript (on nonprof arts organization building) for the last several months, decided there are too many other similar manuals out there, and particularly online, for it to be worth it for them to sink resources into publishing mine.  Boo hoo.  I’ll have to go to plan B – just as soon as I know what that is!

So life continues to cruise along at a million miles an hour.  Mayor Thursday, the Leagues Friday, Pops concert last night, tons of media all around.  Its really quite exciting!  Today is a rare, relatively relaxed day.  I’ve got two hours of teaching, but otherwise I’m going to just go over my lists, knock out a few items before the week starts, and try to poise myself to be able to stay on top of the week as it advances by!

Oh – yesterday my 12-year-old student Amber played a little concert at the Austin Children’s Museum.  She’s helping me promo the Biscuit Brothers appearance during the festival, so we had a volunteer there handing out literature!  Here’s a picture of her playing – she’s been playing beautifully lately.


6/2/2010 Wednesday 9:40 pm

I had a blast yesterday and today delivering my new speech.  Yesterday I was at the downtown Rotary Club of Austin – a guest of Laraine Lasdon.  Also present was my dear friend, board member, and avid ACGS supporter John Henry McDonald (founder of Austin Asset Management Company).  Today – at around 7am, I spoke at the Metropolitan Breakfast Club of Austin at the UT Club – a guest of Jacqueline Rixen of RixenLaw.

Both days I gave the same speech, more or less.  At least the bones were the same.  I spoke about community service through the arts, the importance of nonprofit arts organizations in connecting art and artists to communities, the particular power of arts education and the deep impact arts can have on individuals.  I ended, of course, with an invitation to our giant international music festival which is now only three weeks away!

The speech was filled with more stories than statements or exposition.  I modeled it after one of our favorite Ted Talks speeches with Ken Robinson about creativity in education.  My delivery was really good Tuesday (at least I felt great about it).  Today was a little rocky to start with, but it smoothed out and I’ve gotten lots of really good feedback from both.

Here’s a picture of Joan Grable of New York Life, me, and Jacqueline at the Metropolitan Breakfast Club early this morning taken by photographer James Bland (that’s Bland…. James Bland).