Last night we had the final concert of the Hot Springs Music Festival. The
orchestra played Ma Vlast (Moldau) by Bedrich Smetana, An die schönen blauen
Donau by Johann Strauss, and the 8th symphony of Antonin Dvorak. The orchestra,
consisting of music students and their mentors, did a great job! Especially the
brass was shining that night, much to thanks to inspiring coaching by the
trumpet mentor Scott Moore.
The Festival Horns! Photo by A.S.
Besides the concert, I had to witness one remarkable trait of American
character. The festival runs mostly on the donations made by private citizens,
and before the concert it was announced that there is a "grant challenge" of
5000 USD made by one donor, and for the festival to get it, the audience should
be able to match it by their collective donations during the 2 festival weeks.
The challenge was short of only something like 500 bucks from the goal, but
during that one intermission the audience came up with 4000 USD in donations!
Four thousand!!! That means that every member of the audience contributed by
something like 10 dollars average. This kind of generosity and supportive
spirit I would like to see in Finland also!!!
Festival players Willie (viola) and Beth (violin).
Photo by A.S.
After the concert we of course had a little party and said goodbye to those
friends who were leaving already by night. I also sorted some orchestral parts
with Case and Dana (the other two conducting students), but that job (which we
were asked to reserve two whole days) was finished in half an hour! So that
means that for next two days I will just spend sitting on my thumbs in the
quiet little town of Hot Springs! Now that the festival is over it seems there
is absolutely nothing to do here! Luckily I have three books with me, so I will
probably just rest and read and gather forces for the homeward journey...
Me and Andrew. Photo by A.S.