In spite of these tumultuous times, I have every reason to believe that 2017 can be a beautiful year.
What we can’t find outside of ourselves, we might seek within – and so we grow, we learn, we choose who and how we want to be, with intention.
I’ve been living back in the Chicago area for 3 and a half years now, performing, teaching, collaborating. I have watched freshman become seniors, small cellists become tall and wise, I’ve met colleagues with whom I continue to deepen relationships. For the first time, I have been able to start growing some roots, and it feels good! It is no small thing to me to be able to set goals, knowing they may take a while and that’s ok, because there is no graduation, no end of contract, no finish line to cut me off. And so, I have some really cool projects that are developing as we speak.
I’m honing my teaching philosophies and strategies to create a more personalized cello lesson curriculum; by combining concepts from ballet pedagogy, medicine, and Pandora internet radio, I’m working on an approach to technique learning and etude study that should really streamline the process between a student’s goals and their achievement.
My quartet, the Kontras Quartet, now starting its 9th year together, is developing a reputation for inclusive programming, accessibility, and expertise in a wide variety of genres, not least of which is folk and bluegrass. We have been named WFMT, classical radio 98.7, Artists-in-Residence for 2017, during which we will highlight and celebrate the ways that folk and classical music come together. We continue to tour with the Kruger Brothers, and have a new album coming out this spring – by Merlefest, in April 2017.
On top of all that, I keep busy with the Chicago Cello Society, lots of solo performances, and entrepreneurial pursuits (one of which I hope to launch this summer…be sure to check back for updates!) And I feel good, knowing that by occupying my mind with construction, creativity, and hope, I leave little room for negativity.
I hope that your hopes for 2017 are high and attainable, and I hope that our paths may cross soon 🙂