The latest

8/26/2010 Thursday 5:25 pm

So much has happened in the week and a half since we returned!

Glenda’s birthday was Tuesday – she’s 35 (as I will be in October) – and to celebrate she wanted to go to “East Side Show Room” Tuesday night.  We loved it.  Kaua’i is unbelievably gorgeous but Austin is unbelievably cool, eclectic, and artistic.  Its great to be home.

I just left an address to the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters – I was asked to relay my experience as a former Little Brother.  What a tremendous organization BBBS is – I hope someday to volunteer as a big brother myself.

Lunch today was with Tricia Forbes, she directs the SIMS Foundation.  SIMS provides free and reduced-cost mental health care for Austin musicians, and I serve on their music advisory panel.   It was a terrific lunch and we plotted ways I might be of service in the coming year.

I had a great call with the owner of Trilogy Guitar (John Silva) in LA shortly after lunch – Trilogy will be supporting ACGS this year with a large advertisement and a sponsorship of our spring ensemble festival.  Yay.  Thank you John and Trilogy.

I had a delightful meeting this morning with a development whiz who might be helping us out at ACGS with some big events coming up.  More on that soon.

So what’s happening?  I guess I’m hitting highlights working backward?  Yesterday I had a great meeting with Suzanne Warmack over at KMFA.  I just love KMFA!  We talked about the new season – and I also got turned onto the great blog entry KMFA’s Dianne Donovan did on our June festival.  Thank you Dianne!  Speaking of Dianne – I got in the mail the CDs of the live broadcast she and Tony Morris hosted of Pepe Romero’s concert opening our fest.  They’re masterful!

And coffee yesterday morning was with PR whiz Molly Browning – who did PR for Austin Lyric Opera for 17 years.  She is a amazing person – and she’s gonna help out ACGS!

Tuesday (Glenda’s Birthday) was fun because we went to the Bauer House (the home of the UT System Chancellor) to meet Rod Caspers who runs system events.  We were there to plan our October party the Chancellor is hosting.  So exciting, its an amazing place and we are incredibly lucky.

Monday I met with Ed Fuentes, who is the director of the KLRU documentary on our June fest – we’re putting the last pieces in place – and I had a really stimulating talk with the President of Texas American String Teachers Association.  We’ll see where that leads (more news, perhaps, to come!).

Man, that is just a few highlights from this week – to say nothing of last!  A few unusual items from last week, lessee… We got word from our friends at the Alamo Drafthouse that we’re definitely on for a private viewing of the premiere of our documentary on September 30th.  I talked for an hour Friday with Alfred Foss – owner of Fingerstyle Magazine.  Had lunch with the Development Committee of Texas Choral Consort (where I serve) and came up with a near term development strategy.  Lunched with John Henry McDonald (super power for ACGS board) and Jim Rainbolt (JH’s friend, and development genius in Austin).  And sat down with Jacqui Schraad at the Heritage Society to talk about a new partnership we’re looking at launching in the spring with a series of salon concerts in historic homes.

Why list these meet ups?  Partly for my own records – it feels good to set it all down, and take a moment to remember it all.  But there’s a bigger and better reason.  It has to do with the spirit of Austin.  There is something incredibly special about returning home and being treated to a veritable flurry of contacts with so many people – all of whom are excited about doing great things for the community. All of whom are open to new ideas and willing to think creatively and generously.

Tomorrow Bill Ash, director of the St. Louis Guitar Society, flies in to Austin and we’ll spend the bulk of the day together talking about running a big guitar festival.  He thinks he may host the festival in St. Louis that we hosted here earlier this year – so hopefully I can help steer him a bit.

I’m teaching like a mad man.  The studio is totally full with around 35 contact hours.  So I’m on until 9PM Mon-Thur and I have 9-1 Saturday and 2-5 Sunday!  I enjoy it tremendously. Whenever I can squeeze in a spare hour, I’m writing feverishly on the online training program document for ACGS education.  This is our next strategic step, and we need to finish it out.

More soon.

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