5/7/2011 Saturday 11:00 am

What an exciting few weeks it’s been.  The concert season mostly ended in April – through we have one more Classical Cactus Event and one more Austin Guitar Salon event each next week.  Then we’re off for major events until the summer series begins in June.  April was exciting with all of the travel and workshops and performing.  And these early weeks of May seemed like a good opportunity to slow down a bit.  Boy was I mistaken.  At some point in the middle of the week before last I realized that every single day for two weeks straight had (has) a lunch appointment scheduled and, in most cases, a bunch of other things as well!

Lunches this past week for example: Monday, Steve Golab, owner of web development firm FG Squared to talk about their sponsorship of our Austin Pictures Project; Tuesday, Jeff Kodosky, co-founder of National Instruments for our annual lunch together; Wednesday, 5-way lunch with Austin Museum of Art to discuss Austin Pictures partnership; Thursday, Tammy Hale, Director of International Philanthropic membership organization L3; Friday, performed at Annual Convention Center luncheon for 600+ for tourism industry. We also had a guest in town from the east coast observing our education program Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning I had a great meeting with Julie Sutton-McGurk, Retail Marketing Manager of the AMLI 2nd Street District in Austin to talk about their partnership for Austin Pictures.  Oh, and speaking of Austin Pictures – Austin Symphony Orchestra’s conductor Peter bay has agreed to conduct the opening guitar ensemble portion of the program!  This is huge.

Next week lunch’ll be with John Henry McDonald, owner and founder of Austin Asset Management Company on Monday; Megan Crigger, the new director of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Program; Jose Ortiz to talk about building nonprof organizations, our May Board meeting, and then Dr. Kim Perlak – guitarist and dear friend – to catch up a bit!

So it all boils down to development right now.  We’re between major programming and that is giving us the opportunity to reach out, catch up, and make plans.  We sent about 100 Education progress reports this week to various current and prospective supporters of our education program, and we’re busy promoting our Latin summer series.  The new brochures will be mailed to about 4,000 this week, and we’ll get very busy carrying out an extensive targeted marketing campaign in the coming weeks.

This shot is actually from two Saturdays ago - the night before I headed out to south Texas. That's Tim League down there, in his back yard in front of a giant movie screen. Tim and his wife Karrie own the Alamo Drafthouse and we were over to watch the Italian classic "The Bicycle Thief" accompanied by a delicious Italian Feast!

Last Sunday was the debut of my new trio with Steve Kostelnik and Tom Echols. Our working title is Lyriko. Here we are tuning back stage of Dell Hall at the Long Center where we performed, for the first time in public, last Sunday afternoon!

Here's a shot from yesterday morning of the various musicians performing at the convention center. What a bunch. Luminaries like Sarah Hickman (center, seated), David Garza (standing left) and many more amazing people.

And here's a shot from last night, if you believe it! This is from my studio recital! 23 kids played, and played beautifully. I've got 5-10 more young ones that didn't play and about 10-15 adults I teach as well. The studio is recital is one of my favorite nights of the year.

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