The latest!

3/6/2012 Tuesday 9:30 pm

I’m speaking at Nerd Night tomorrow!  That should be fun. Info here. I’m working on a 20 minute talk that touches on the career challenges we face in the arts world and how powerful nonprofits in the arts can address those challenges through connection borne of a community service-based mindset.  Hmm.  That’s pretty much all I ever talk about – come to think of it!

Berta was stunning.  Berta Rojas played on Saturday (March 3rd) for our International Series.  We had close to 500 adoring fans!  Digging back deeper – into February – Eliot Fisk gave a phenomenal performance for our February 9th gala too.  We had around 280 out at One World Theatre and raised close to $100K for our education program.

Education.  Wow.  The pace really kept up through February. is going bananas, and we’re on our toes to keep up with the demand.  ACGS brought a part-time educator to full time two weeks ago, and added a part-time event manager to help with our ever-rising level of activity.  We’re also doubling our office size next month.  Whew!

Austin has gotten gorgeous.  When is it not?  But lately I’ve been teaching with the windows open, or sitting out back drinking coffee and enjoying the blue sky and the singing birds.  It’s been incredibly peaceful.

One of my biggest Feb highlights was a 3-day trip to Oklahoma City where I conducted all-city guitar festival with about 80 kids.  It was a total blast! I just love doing this!  The kids worked so hard, and the performance went really well.  Working with groups of kids like that is one of the most uplifting things I get to do.

I had a blast doing Views and Brews at the Cactus Cafe with Lyriko (Steve Kostelnik and Tom Echols) on February 6th.  Other February highlights were a series of calls with classes and trainees in Ohio and Pennsylvania (I know, it doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but it is!) for, and a concert and talk on Valentine’s Day for 300 at UT Quest.

Glenda and I took a weekend (no Saturday teaching and no ACGS events) in February and went to the Ballet Friday and Austin Shakespeare’s Arcadia on Saturday.  Both were incredible.  Arcadia, in particular, really blew my mind.  I hope to find more time to get out and see things that I’m not producing!

Getting very excited about future plans.  We’re in the thick of planning our June 22nd collab with Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow to commission and premiere a new original live film score  for a 1929 Lon Chaney Sr. silent film called “The Unknown”.  We’ll show it at Laguna Gloria with 500 seats, and we’re working on creating a circus atmosphere with food and wine on the grounds, to go along with the film’s subject matter.  The composer/guitarists are Randy Avers and Benoit Albert, and the fabulous Sandy Yamamoto will play violin as well!

So, gearing up for my talk tomorrow.  Next week I head to DC where I’ll play a brief concert and conduct the Loudoun County all-county guitar middle-school festival.  I’ll get a day to hang out with my mom too!  Yeah!

Then it’s back in Austin, we’ll have a duo in town from the east coast the week of the 19th – they’ll do 10 school shows and then a Classical Cactus appearance on the 22nd.  On the 24th, Steve Mattingly will be here on our House Concert series: Austin Guitar Salon.  And I’m playing a concert myself on the 25th (private).  Then off to Brownsville to judge and teach for Mike Quantz’s festival.  In fact, it looks like I’m traveling every other week until May 12th… so this spring will keep me on my toes indeed.  Can’t wait!

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