After saying goodbye to Austin, I took the 30 minute hopper over to Dallas. I spent the weekend with the Asava family and what resulted were trips down memory lane, meeting new friends, cooking breakfast twice, and late night chocolate feasts. It is hard to replace people in your life that you have known since childhood, and the feeling of being at home for a few days was certainly replenishing.
On Monday, I rented a car for the first time, and this is what I got...
Let’s just say I had a little too much fun with it one night, and spun it out on the road. I need to work on driving real-wheel drive automobiles. That didn’t stop me from still pushing the limits the next day. I’m not sure if you can read the green speedometer, but it says 103MPH. Taking a picture probably wasn’t too smart during that time.
I spent the other half of my time in Dallas with Kim Campbell, his wife LeAnn Binford, and the rest of the Dallas Wind Symphony. Kim founded the group in the 80’s and hosted me for a spectacular dinner at his place on Monday night. The food was…delicious.
Passionate conversation about bringing El Sistema to Dallas bled to the following morning where I met with Big Thought—an incredible arts organization that provides numerous interventions in the Dallas area. The time with Kim and LeAnn culminated in their invitation to the Dallas Wind Symphony concert on Tuesday night. The best part about the concert was being joined by 8 of my local friends who had never seen a classical music performance before. The performance included Jennifer Higdon’s Oboe Concerto, and a brand new transcription of the finale from Copland’s Third Symphony. I was grateful to be introduced to the players, crowd, and board at the concert, and to share my passion for wind band with my friends in Dallas.
Also starting on Monday, I spent the afternoons in Fort Worth, where I was hosted so kindly by Jill Goff. Her family’s foundation started B-sharp Music in Fort Worth last year, an El Sistema-inspired program that is held at Como Elementary School. On Tuesday, I was invited to spend some time with the students and staff at B-Sharp, where I was treated to student-led performances, bucket-drumming demonstrations, and singing Coldplay. The music making was not only relevant to this community’s culture, but provided the students with three hours of artistic and academic instruction in a safe, compelling, and passionate environment. I was able to spend some time with Amanda and her amazing staff, who allowed me to get my hands dirty immediately.
Jill also introduced me to Performing Arts Fort Worth, Inc, an organization who has reached out to bring arts to over a million kids just this year. Their local political impact has enabled kids to view programming at bass concert hall (with this angel statue on the outside) at least twice a year, and also has made a music curriculum mandatory in the Fort Worth School District. After a great final dinner of Chile Relano, it was time to get to bed, return the Mustang, and head over to the airport early the next morning. Many thanks to all of my hosts!
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From 2013 on, this blog will serve as a photo-blog encompassing students, friends, family, and other fun life events!