As the first month of the New Year draws to a close, I have enjoyed reflecting back on the past, not only strictly the happenings of the previous year but also of my own journeys, even many years farther back, and how they have shaped me. Of course, being informed about the past helps one to shape the future since the people we were affect who we are and will be!
This year didn't quite allow the month of introspection that I've come to expect. I made my first trip down to Texas and played a recital at the First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I never would have thought that the first time I visited Texas, I would fly from 60 degree weather in Maine into the middle of Texas...where it was also 60 degrees. New England (and Texan) weather, what can one do?
I certainly got a taste of wonderful hospitality and friendliness during my time in Texas and very much enjoyed playing the lovely 97-rank Möller!
I flew back to Boston from Midland, arriving on Monday evening, and was at the Church of the Advent (on Brimmer Street in Boston) by Tuesday morning to start working (or, at least, getting in the way of those trying to work!). For "Winterterm", I worked with Mark Dwyer, the fantastic organist and choirmaster of the Church of the Advent and Ross Wood, the assistant organist, and tried to learn everything I could about the incredible music program they orchestrate.
Between rehearsals, learning about administration, and attempts at practicing, I was also able to travel about the city (thanks to a handy commuter rail/T pass). The instruments that this city has to offer are really unparalleled, as is the generosity and willingness to share about the organs themselves.
My final Sunday, January 27, certainly ended the month on a high note (with no pun intended) as the Advent Choir performed Byrd, Howells, and Darke. This month really could not have been better (or more extreme in weather temperatures) and I'm humbled by the experiences and grateful to all of those who enabled them.