Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Monday, May 19, 2008

105 degrees F, so I'm told

Whew, was it hot yesterday out on Paramount Ranch, site of the 48th annual Topanga Banjo-Fiddle contest. The quest for shade was, umm, indeed "paramount".

Our time to play was 11:00 AM, not the hottest part of the day but late enough.

I played ok, for me, which is to say not well enough to win, show, or place. But as we all say, it's the experience that counts. Right now, perhaps still tired and recovering, I'm wondering if that universally-treasured experience is always all it's cracked up to be.

There were some fantastic players there. People who think these players of fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, and myriads of other instruments are just slouches that wouldn't be able to hack it in the classical world just haven't heard what some of these musicians can do. Sure, there are throngs of just-begunners and mobs of intermediate wanna-bes (like Yours, Truly). There's also quite a number of amazing performers, many of whom don't compete, they're just there for the fun.

At least three cellists competed in the "Other Instruments" category, in addition to finger-picked guitar (Finger-picked guitar is considered a separate instrument), harmonica, flute, dulcimer, and I forget what else. I was able to observe only one of the other two cellists and yep, he was better'n me (but even he didn't win). And, he made a smarter choice of what to play -- my choice was just too near the limits of my ability. Fool, fool, fool!

Y'know, though, what I'd really like to do for next time, whether it be next year or several years from now? Compete in the accompaniment category. I think that's where cello shines, but it's also something I like to do. Now, where am I going to find somebody crazy enough to (1) compete in the whithering heat of the day-long festival against some true virtuosos, and (2) let the likes of me provide accompaniment? Send any takers my way.


keithklan said...

Hey Terry...I am a cello teacher (53also) in St. George, Utah. I have many adult students and we do have a great time doing the Suzuki lit. I have group once a month, everyone's favorite...and many smaller people who are learning. Our recital is May 30th, 6pm. check out some of us at yomamablog.blogspot.com I can connect you with others who could be helpful and we can all share experiences...

Terry said...

Well, I'm far from St. George but I might get out that way someday. My wife's been there and would like to take a trip out that way sometime. Maybe we'll catch some future recital.