Would you believe me if I told you that a red-breasted grosbeak landed on my shoulder and stayed for a short visit during my reprise* of the G Major prelude as the sun set through the trees?
This evening's performance was for six people in a back yard in Lincoln. I was "gifted" to two older adults, including a gentleman who had lost his wife just two months ago amidst the pandemic.
I improvised the following program:
Suite in G (complete, with occasional repeats)
Beethoven Minuet in G ("composer, anyone?")
Dvorak Humoresque, after which, two audience members (siblings) shared the dirty lyrics that their father had taught to them many decades ago, and I accompanied them for the camera--great fun.
Intermezzo, from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana
Allemande, from flute partita in a minor (with mute)
Explanation of Bach's ability to use a single-voiced instrument to turn melody into harmonic development, almost architecture.
Prelude, from Suite in E-flat
After Bach, by Netta Hadari (premiered November 2019)
Largo from violin sonata in C (with practice mute)
Gigue, from Suite in C
The Swan (muted), transitioning directly into
Prelude, from Suite in G (*reprise, and this is when the grosbeak decided to visit, just before the final few bars)
A neighbor, who the hostess had never met, stopped by on the sidewalk to say that he had enjoyed the music while eating dinner at his house.
More conversation, fond goodbyes
"There was something magical, transformative and healing about your gift of music to that small group in Lincoln that you performed for. I was moved and in awe of the power of music to transform so much at a time when our fears and worries cloud the gifts life offers us each day. Thank you so much for making many people feel loved and lifted by your musical gift, your voice and sense of empathy and understanding."
Sharing project documentation and examples of student thinking, and my own.