Old Apr 4, 09, 8:34 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
In the morning I eschewed the sessions but rather hiked
around; in a slightly more dodgy part of town, tummy
rumbling, I found Gladys Knight's Chicken & Waffles, which,
even though it was just before 12, had a 45-min wait! I
guess church must have let out. I asked the host if there
would be a lull in the afternoon, but he said it was
likely to be crowded all day. Oh, well. I came back to
listen to the national solo competition winner, Deanna
Talens, who gave an unbelievably professional and polished
performance of the sonata for solo cello by George Crumb and
Pampeana #2 by Ginastera, neither of which I am thrilled by
as pieces, but she certainly came close to making a case.

The orchestra competition winner was Stringendo from
Poughkeepsie; I escaped from K.138 to poke my nose in a
seminar for a few minutes but returned to hear them do a
nice job on David Diamond's Rounds. There was another
piece on the program, but lunch was calling, so I went
across the way to the hotel's fancy restaurant, Sear, where
there was a brunch buffet ($21.95) that didn't look very
interesting. For a buck or two less I got a steak frites
blue from the regular menu: a pretty good 12-oz strip,
topped with a superfluous Worcestershire-spiked butter,
sided with excellent fries.

In keeping with my fondness for trying local products, I
ordered a glass of Wolf Mountain Coupage (White County) 05,
a decently Bordeaux-style blend, medium-bodied, nice though
light color, good tannin, a little acid, but somewhat muted
in flavor and with a bit of wintergreeny aftertaste. That
was the second glass; what originally came was a blackberry
oaky fruit bomb that was obviously wrong - turned out to be
Columbia Crest Merlot.

A dessert reception with excellent cake, of which I ended
up having 5 pieces. What can I say, people just kept handing
me food.

Off to a seminar on rock and roll in a classical setting,
which I didn't want to stay for (Elizabeth Matesky was
speaking on Nathan Milstein downstairs, and I sort of wanted
to go to that), but some friends of mine were here.

Caught up with them a bit afterward and then went off to
the silent auction, for which they were charging $25
admission, and why that was I couldn't figure. Well. It
turns out there was open bar with Maker's among other things
as well as copious snacks (quesadillas, stuffed cherry
tomatoes, empanadas, crudites, mixed nuts, lots of cheeses),
of which I made a copious if unhealthy dinner. Missed a
Mexican dinner with my friends.

I bid on a few interesting things, such as a Yankee gift
assortment from the New York state chapter (not for me, but
rather for friends of mine who are silly enough to like not
only me but also the Yankees) and an electric violin; ended
up being talked into bidding for (and winning) the Idaho
state chapter's gift basket and some earrings (not for
myself, I don't have pierced ears) made by Judy Bossuat,
the association's secretary, whose sideline is jewelry.

The Idaho basket started off with a 10-lb bag of potatoes
and went down from there. I ended up giving the taters as
a consolation prize to an unsuccessful bidder on the
earrings (she was driving home). The book about places to
hike in Idaho I lugged back, along with the DVD of some
locally renowned folk singer.

Next event was Zuill Bailey with the Atlanta Symphony Youth
Orchestra; I got there early to stake out a good seat near
the exit (good acoustically, I mean, not good by virtue of
being near the exit). Noticed an attractive woman about my
age; I must have seemed to be giving her the eye, as she
started talking to me. Turns out, after twists and turns in
the conversation, that she is the orchestra director at
my high school - which had no music program to speak of
when I was there 40+ years ago. Small world.

The orchestra gave a spirited but technically average
rendition of Roman Carnival and then sensitively accompanied
Bailey in the Saint-Saens cello concerto, which was one of
the fleetest and most dazzling versions I've heard. I didn't
care for it, because I think that Saint-Saens was a better
composer than people give him credit for, and there's more
emotion behind the flash and dash than this performance
offered. Then ... not another Dvorak 8th! I like the piece,
but it's done by every high-school and college-level
orchestra in the known universe, so I excused myself to my
room and set the alarm for 10:30, so I could get washed up
and ready for the jam session at 11.

I slept through the alarm, waking at 5 in the morning
feeling ready for music. Alas, nobody else was.
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