Last Sunday, I performed a trumpet solo at the 40th anniversary of the Lancaster County Musical Arts Society.
Although long, the event was marvelous. I was able to finally perform in public with my old teacher, Curtis Palmer, who now owns Seacat Music. Elizabethtown College piano professor Debra Ronning played a beautiful arrangement of music from The Wizard of Oz. Carolyn Black-Sotir performed a fun selection of vocal music. Gene Clark, a fellow trumpet player who I played with in the Lancaster Junior Orchestra many years ago.
It looks like Gene is doing well these days. It's so exciting to see people grow up and do neat things. Here's a press release from 2004, noting Gene's accomplishments at Franklin & Marshall College:
(if you see this blog post, email me Gene. Awesome playing on Sunday.)
My solo went very well. I was very pleased with how the expression flowed. My accompianist Ruth DeLeon has a talent with expression that can make a Handel harpsichord piece something flowing and lyrical. It was a magical performance. Ruth is a teacher at the Lancaster Conservatory of Music. She's interested in blogging -- I need to get her a blog sometime.
The most amazing, exciting occurrence of the day came after the performance. I was packing up my music and instrument when a woman walked up to me.
Without introducing herself, she said,
"Did you recently receive an award from the Elizabethtown College English Department?"
I was taken aback. "I did receive the Wenger award....for excellence in English studies."
She wasn't satisfied. "Did you receive anything else?"
"Well, I won the Louise Baugher-Black prize for nonfiction writing," I replied.
She looked at me and smiled.
"I am Louise Baugher Black," she beamed.
I hugged her. This was too exciting! We talked for a while about music and English and Elizabethtown College. Her daughter is Carolyn Black-Sotir, former runner-up in the Miss America contest and acclaimed opera/broadway singer. Her father was a president of Elizabethtown College. And Louise was a well-loved professor of English during her time at Elizabethtown.
You never know who will be in the audience. It pays to perform well at all times.
I hope my music brought joy to Professor Baugher-Black. Her husband died this April, after they were married for 60 years. I'm glad I was part of a performance that surrounded her Mother's Day with beautiful music instead silent loneliness and an empty place at the table.