Music in Haiti

January 2nd through 7th I traveled with my sister Elizabeth and friend and colleague John Wineglass to help Haiti.  We joined a team of doctors from NYC on a trip to combine medicine with music!

Friday January 6th, John and I returned with the medical team to the tent city – a man carrying a Casio keyboard on Wednesday had returned as he’d promised to let John play on his instrument.  We set up just outside the tent, serenading patients and the long line of people patiently waiting their turn for treatment.  We were set up right outside the tent beside Dr. Stanton’s work station.  Dr. was seated in a plastic lawn chair, hunched over his patients who lay on a long rickety bench. People helped bringing a chord over the main dirt road to feed electricity to the keyboard through their generator.  Continue reading

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In the Middle East

Western Wall, Jerusalem

I just returned from one of the most special trips around the world.  I was traveling through Egypt, Jordan and Israel with my parents and sister.  All the stories would fill a novel.  I write to you about a very moving part of my trip.  Even before crossing the Atlantic, I knew I wanted to leave a note with the names of David Arben’s family at the Western Wall.  I wrote them on a small sheet of paper, folded it up and carried it in my jacket pocket, safely next to my passport.  When we arrived at the wall in the Old City of Jerusalem I felt nervous, mainly because I wasn’t sure what the traditions were and hoped I wouldn’t do anything “incorrectly”.


Continue reading

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On the Road

I have spent a very fruitful 2 weeks on the road.

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival 2011

It began with a trip to Santa Fe where I reunited with L.P. How (Mim 2009 & 2010).  Having played beside L.P. for many years now (during Mim, for Santa Fe kids, and at the Sarasota Opera where he is concertmaster), there is a unique sense of familiarity.  L.P.’s gorgeous sound and dedication to keep each performance fresh creates inspires me.

As part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, we spent the week performing for area school kids, including the children on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation.  In 5 short days, we performed 20 shows, reaching hundreds of children!  Continue reading

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David Arben and Michael Tree

I spent an entire afternoon and evening with Mr. David Arben – always an enriching time of listening, learning and laughing… just moments after I had entered his Spruce Street apartment, Mr. Michael Tree phoned him asking him to dinner the next day – what a coincidence he should call while I was there!

David: “I have someone here who would like to say hello.”
Rebecca: “Hello Mr. Tree. It’s Rebecca from Santa Cruz.”
Michael: “Well hello! What a nice surprise! I was just calling David to invite him to dinner tomorrow after I finish teaching at Curtis. Would you be able to join us?”

The next evening I met David at the stoop of his apartment at 6:30pm. We walked, or strolled rather, stopping every few yards so he could punctuate a part of his story. With only a few blocks to walk, we arrived at Michaels’ hotel rather early so we took the extra time to walk to Curtis Institute of Music. As we passed this historic, ornate structure, he read my mind remarking, “This building has amazingly changed very little since I first came so many years ago.” Continue reading

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2011 Reflections

After Music in May ends I like to find a seat at a local café (preferably in the sun!) and put pen to paper, reminiscing the weeks’ activities. This year I thought I’d share some of my reflections, our highlights, in order to give you a behind the scenes snapshot.

Something I mentioned as we raised a glass at our final reception was how close I felt to the musicians, even those I had met just days before- this closeness we feel to one another impacts how we play with one another. The musicians who perform at Mim are tremendous talents but in addition I am so proud to be associated with such warm spirits. Unlike the large personalities of performing artists often talked about, the kindness of our featured musicians not only made my week doubly enjoyable but I believe it also emanates from their playing. Continue reading

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Testimonial – Amy Yang

Such amazing players, amazing personalities, and all around great FUN. It was as exciting to see the joy on people’s faces as they swayed to the music as it was to see the goggle-eyed pumpkins marvel at the act of music-making [during the outreach programs]. Amazing how art is needed in these days and Mim helps that cause immensely!

— Amy Yang, pianist, a Mim favorite

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Testimonial – David Arben

I was enchanted with the sound of the violin . . . The violin saved my life.

— David Arben

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Testimonial – Richard Rood

Mim was a retreat for musicians of the highest level. We rehearsed intensely and gave deeply communicative performances that reflected our complete commitment to the highest level of music making. Each musician had clearly spent weeks if not months preparing their individual parts. Everyone came in with musical opinions and fresh creative ideas, ready to work, and amazingly no fragile egos!

— Richard Rood, leading member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

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Review – Krishna Pulavarti

In three short years ‘Music in May’ has become one of the premier musical events in Santa Cruz. It is, without a doubt, the finest chamber music you will get to see here.

— Krishna Pulavarti, a fan and “techie engineer.”

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Review – Ellen Primack, CFCM Executive Director

Mim is dedicated to creating chamber music performances of great artistic excellence and with a genuine humanistic quality.

— Ellen Primack, CFCM Executive Director.

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