Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015: It Was a Good Year

A few years ago I was fresh out of grad school and working with a wonderful group of young women, all of us artistic, but each at a different place in our lives: married with children, single parent, newlywed, and idealistic graduate (that was me).  Something they all told me, though, was that there was something about nearing the age of 30 that made them more confident. They didn't care what others thought and cared more about their own path and dreams.  They lost the worry about what the media calls "beautiful" and trusted their own gifts.

Nearing 30, I feel exactly what they're talking about.

It has been a big year for me in terms of professional personal development.

I really started writing here on the blog, sharing my research and thoughts about body awareness and playing. Luckily, you guys decided to read it! This was huge, and a confirmation that I should trust my interests and passions.

Husband and I moved to a new state, where I chose to let go of my previous university position in refusal to do the distance-marriage thing.  I'm carving out a small place for myself here as a freelance accompanist, and hope to expand that in the coming months.

PASIC was a blast.  It was totally invigorating to present my ideas on such a platform, and to perform in a Showcase Concert with husband.  Along with this I got to write an article for Rhythm! Scene, which I've shared previously on the blog.  After its release I was asked to contribute to the newsletter for the National Association of Percussion Teachers in the UK, which should be released over the holidays.

There have been other things this year, too.  Relationships have been nurtured; wounds have been healed.

In anticipation of turning 30 in 2016 I've decided to slowly turn one of my hopes and dreams into reality.  For a long time I've wanted to do something that helps people.  "Help" is super general term and we all know that there are needs everywhere.  But I figure that my immediate circle is where I can do good, and it's made of those that are also musicians, so that's who I will aim to empower.
I'd like to create an organization that helps to fund art music in local communities.  And this isn't art music at a school, this is art music presented in the local black box theater or art gallery.

Something I've learned, though, is that it's hard to start a non-profit organization, even a small one.  So, when I finally launch this project in 2016, it will begin as a for-profit company that I will hopefully be able to turn into a non-profit within 24 months.  I'll sell things, like sheet music, but I don't want to keep the proceeds.  I want to offer them to other percussionists who, like me, want to take their art music to their community.  The message is Arts Advocacy. The message is Love. The message is about nurturing mental and emotional health through music.

I'm not sure why this feels so "right" to me, but it does, like I'm supposed to try this.  Maybe this project - which I'm calling One for WON - will stick and maybe it won't, but it's at least a first try. WON stands for the wealth of the nation, and it's inspired by some of Hazel Henderson's writings. I read about her ideas in the book Creativity, and haven't been able to stop thinking about them.

I'm one of those idealistic people that thinks if everyone runs their own path and works in place to help others that the world will be happier, healthier, and more compassionate.  Compassion and charity can be contagious things, at least that is my belief and my hope.  When I think about trying to do what I'm "meant to do" I'm reminded of a line from Schiller's Ode to Joy - (in loose translation)

As the suns are flying, happy / through the Heaven's glorious pane,
Travel, brothers, down your lane, / Joyful as in hero's vic'try. 
I look forward to sharing more about my goals for 2016 with you soon.

Last, but certainly not least, I'm proud to officially announce that I have joined the Innovative Percussion family as a Performance Artist! You can check out my artist profile here. As a native Tennessean and lover of IP mallets, I'm really excited about this new relationship.

I recently performed Samuel Adler's Dialogues for marimba and euphonium and look forward to sharing it with all of you soon. And telling you which IP mallets I used, of course!

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