We woke to gunshots.
No, we’re not trying for the Bulwer-Lytton Prize for concert tour reporting; it was the beginning of duck season! It was also beautiful weather for taking in docks and closing down cabins before the cold sets in. All the same, we had memorable audiences and experiences.
After a fun morning catch up with friends from Rolf’s High School days at Anderson’s Starlight Bay Resort in Nevis (Thanks Sherm!), we drove to the Pequot Lakes Library, for our “Music through the Ages” recital program. One woman mentioned she collected Tomie dePaola kids books, so we shared one of our “Pages of Music” presentations. As we were in a library and Sept. 22 was “Hobbit Day,” Bilbo and Frodo Baggin’s birthdays, we played some birthday commemoration pieces. When we talked about Adrian Mann’s Thunder and Lightning, written in commemoration of Rolf’s dad and twin uncle’s 80th birthday, the women who collected books rose her hand and said, “Today is my 80th birthday!” We learned she had 100% Italian heritage, so we naturally followed with Adrian’s Canzone Vecchione, written for Carrie’s dad’s 70th. It was fun to give a command performance as a birthday present! Another woman in the audience introduced herself as a volunteer for the library, and gave lunch spot suggestions, though she said she wasn’t supposed to be partial, as she was also the town mayor!
After lunch (no dessert, so Rolf missed out on his wished-for culinary trifecta!), we drove to Pine River to give our program celebrating African American music and musicians, “The Spirit Sings!” We’re constantly inspired by this music and these stories. A gentleman in the audience, very knowledgeable about LP recordings of all sorts, said he just got a box full of swing-era records that he was going to listen to with new ears when he got home.
We started the Sept 22 Autumnal Equinox near Nevis and ended in Apple Valley. Ironically, we came south to face a freeze warning at home. Right after we unpacked, we rushed out to the garden for a rapid harvest and spreading of tarps in the dark. We’ve had a little chance to catch our breath and gather our thoughts. We think the first 6-performance installment of our Kitchigami Regional Library System tour went very well, thanks to great preparation by the library staff and teachers involved. Our audiences were wonderful, and energized us by their enthusiasm as we shared our repertoire and educational programs. They reminded us again of the power of music to make connections in all directions.
It will be a longer, action-packed trip next week when we take up the “Travel-Blog” on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sunday-Tuesday Rolf and Carrie put on their teaching hats at Luther, Gustavus, and UW Eau Claire, and perform as school and soccer parents to Ada and Ella in Apple Valley. Hope you’ve enjoyed sharing a taste of our behind-the-scenes experiences and touring activities as “The World’s Only Professional OboeBass Duo.” To be continued, Wed., Sept. 26. 6 down, 8 to go!