Festivities (through 12/19)!

12/24/2010 Friday 7:50 am

It’s Holiday Time!

Glenda and I have enjoyed a wonderful mix of Holiday parties, year-end work-related activities, and 2010 reflection these last few weeks.  My last entry left off with a fabulous ornament party hosted by our friends Fiona and Neal on December 11th.  My my my, a lot has happened since then!

I won’t bore you with a list of all my meetings, but a summary includes many trips to Houndstooth for coffee with everyone from authors, to film directors and software engineers.  I went to lunch with Claudia Roeschmann, who designed my book jacket, and so much more, and I had several productive meetings with FG Squared who will be giving our school curriculum site a facelift (http://www.guitarcurriculum.com).

Here’s a sample trip to Houndstooth… we were sitting with Carlos Ufret-Vincenty (who directs our adult guitar ensembles) and my friend and fabulous guitarist Tom Echols, discussing the possibilities of online group education using the Simversity Platform with Simversity co-found Moneet.  Here’s Tom (right) and Moneet deep in discussion!

Friday night was fun.  Ever since Glenda’s birthday, she’s wanted to return to East Side Show Room.  They have amazing original drinks and she’s particularly fond of the Antelope Tartare (which, as resident vegetarian, I find kinda gross!)  “ESSR” as it’s called, has a unique eastern European feel, and nightly entertainment that draws loosely on Balkan music traditions.

Glenda at ESSR on Friday, 12/17/2010. Groovy place! Groovy outfit, Glenda!

Last Saturday was a big day!  Things began with teaching and practicing through the morning and early afternoon.  These days I’m practicing a bunch for my January 5-8 stint as conductor when I go to New Mexico to direct New Mexico’s “All State Guitar”.  New Mexico is the first state in the Union to have all state guitar – this will be their second year, and I’m honored to have been asked to lead them.

Anyhow, there were two main parts of last Saturday evening, here’s a shot of the first:

My studio recital! 18 students played (about half my kiddos), this, of course, is an audience shot. It was a great evening all around. I was super proud of everyone. We had a nice reception afterward.

One of my students, Celeste, even put her performance up on Youtube!  Great job Celeste!

Then Glenda (who helped me a ton with the recital) and I got cleaned up and joined our friends Karl and Githanjali for their annual Christmas Dessert party:

Here we are around the dessert table. That's Githanjali on the right spooning trifle into a "to-go" container for us (Glenda on the left, of course). On the front left there was apple pie, back left was key lime pie, back right trifle, near right flourless chocolate cake, assorted cookies in the middle... all delicious, all made by Karl and Gathanjali, including Karl's amazing egg nog (not pictured).

Sunday morning I got up early to perform for a friend’s Holiday church service.  Julie (and Jim), who we met through Fiona (the one who hosts the annual ornament party from my last post), had an extremely special day planned in which members of their congregation discussed “stories” and “gifts”.  I was really pleased to be able to offer my “gift” of music to the morning’s offerings.  Sunday was my last official, regular work day before the Holidays (though I had one meeting each day Monday and Tuesday – those were aberrations!).  The remainder of Sunday included teaching one lesson, attending the Austin Classical Guitar Society’s Community Guitarists final recital of 2010 (which was packed, and a raging success!), and then having dinner at Eastside Cafe with our dear friends David and Emily Tietz (David is a photo researcher and he found the cover image for my new book – he also snapped the portrait of me on the cover of this website!).

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