November News

from Benjamin: By chance, a bunch of my musical happenings got clustered around this yo-yo-weather month of sun and snow:

My choir’s season-opening concert on November 8, plus two repeat performances. The concerts followed our annual Estes Park retreat of intense rehearsing—which happened the day after returning from my October New York trip, so mom didn’t even repack suitcases, she just added coolers of meals she had cooked and frozen before our big adventure! And my intense difficulties with insomnia at altitude were finally helped by some sleep meds that were working for me.My heart was soaring and swelling with singing the music on this program. The theme: “A Place To Return To.” Fern Hill by John Corigliano was the centerpiece; it is set to Dylan Thomas poetry which brings you right back to childhood.

Have time? Enjoy reading, listening:
Fern Hill, poem:
Fern Hill, choral work: (about 17 minutes long)My violin came back out of its case (I’ve been focused on ukulele this year), and I got rid of the rust in my skills for some quartet-playing with Colorado Symphony musicians—two sensory-friendly concerts in the Denver-Metro area.

The Arc in Lakewood invited me to sing for a LifeAbility event focusing on music. I’d been having a rough time with my tics—parts of my brain take over, sometimes pulling me way down into the dumps, but that’s the truth of it, in spite of the successes the world sees. I’m so used to performing and love the stage so much, though, that making music for an appreciative audience was like a life-buoy…music is a powerful force.The “Lunch and Learn” program at Horizons K-8 charter school in Boulder invited me back to share with a new crop of 6th – 8th grade students, to help them understand about autism and be more kind to their peers. As always, my final poi-swing performance had everyone walking out of there with a smile!And the November highlight—singing and emceeing another of my sensory-friendly concerts at the Boulder Public Library.Our program: “The Joy of Living,” with the wonderful “Touch of Class” trio from Denver. The group performed lots of original compositions, and the most moving was a song by violinist/vocalist, Tracy LaGuardia. She composed, “Let Me Be Your Voice,” for her daughter (affected by autism and remaining non-verbal); I think everyone had goosebumps and tears brimming as Tracy sang, directing her voice and heart especially to her now grown-up daughter who was silently sitting in the audience…very touching, very powerful. I felt truly honored to be part of this particular concert.

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