Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Just overwhelmed

Here it’s only Tuesday and I’m already overwhelmed.  I had an hour between work and community band rehearsal tonight and I sat in the car and watched people coming and going from the grocery store wishing I just had grocery shopping to do.    Sometimes getting to rehearsal seems so hard, but once I’m there I’m usually glad I went.  But not tonight.  Tonight we got all new music for our last concert which is in 6 weeks.  I didn’t like any of it, and it all looks like a lot of work.  And I’m too tired to think about it.

Last night Katie and I went to school.  The instructor is getting more accepting of us, and occasionally we get a “good job with the Sheltie.”  But we also still get “the Sheltie is lagging!”  Which of course she is.  I think it has more to do with where my shoulder is than a problem with Katie.  It’s hardly ever the dog’s fault you know.    She did great on her sits and downs this week; last week she kept lying down on the sits.  But her recalls were really horrible.  She’d come when I called, but she’d run past me and hide behind my legs.  She was worried about the shadows from the overhead lights, though they are the same as they’ve always been.  She didn’t like the conformation class in the next ring because one of the little hairless something or others kept squealing.  I didn’t like that noise either.  The highlight of my whole week so far is that Katie allowed the instructor to touch her on the stand for exam! 🙂

So that’s my week in a nutshell so far…on day two.  Tomorrow night I have book club and I haven’t finished the book yet.  Guess that’s not going to happen.  But dinner and conversation that doesn’t revolve around work or the dog will be good!

Hope everyone else is having a great week!  I’m with Carol…no more talk about snow!


Too busy to know

I’m feeling  disconnected.   I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to post or even read very much.   Katie and I had school Monday night, I played in a concert Tuesday night and I worked late last night.  I still haven’t caught up with that lost hour of last weekend’s daylight savings time adjustment.  Here it is after 8 and I’ve just sat down for the evening.  Where is the time going?

So.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that.  Let’s start with Katie and school.  This week was our second week in the correct, ‘Novice Motivation’ class.   In last week’s class I felt like we were a bother for the instructor who clearly didn’t remember we used to come all the time.  Because Katie wasn’t up to the instructor’s expectations with heeling we were pretty much ignored.  A lot of eye rolling went with the ignoring.  About the only thing she said to me was “you’re a nice Mom.”  And she didn’t mean it as a compliment.  Even though Katie did a perfect recall and was perfect at her sits and downs she would hide behind me every time the instructor with her loud voice came near.  I felt terrible.

This week Katie and I practiced during the week, her Dad didn’t feed her just before class, and she was less afraid of the big noisy building.  And I was more diligent with my corrections when she wandered.  So Katie gave me a bit more attention, though not much more than the week before.  And on her long sit she laid down.  Twice.  So when we did the long down I made her sit.  She was not happy with me.  “All the other dogs get to lay down MOM!!!”   Her recall is still good.  I felt a bit better by the end of the class.  We haven’t practiced heeling this week at all.  I have too much going on and I need to make time for practice this weekend or I’ll be miserable at school again on Monday night.  It’s so hard to get there by 6:30 when I work an hour south of here and class is 30 minutes north of here and I have to swing by and pick up the dog.  OK enough whining.

Tuesday night we played a concert with the 7th graders again.  I didn’t have time to practice since our last concert, but it went OK.  Personally I think we played too long for those 200 7th graders to sit still.  But we DID have a captive full house audience!

Tuesday and Wednesday were really terrible at work.  I can’t talk about it but suffice it to say that if I could retire right now I’d be gone.  Again.  I hope it’s just a bad string of days and not the way it’s going to be into the future.  I’m very very tired.  OK.  Enough whining now.

So maybe it’s just as well I’ve been too busy to hang out here.  Because I don’t feel like I’m very good company.  Katie’s barking.  Again.  She barked for an hour last night at 2:00 a.m.  We finally put her in her crate.  It was heaven to sleep without her. Could be I’m a slow learner and she should be there every night.  We’ll see.

OH!  And I forgot the whole point of this post was supposed to be that I’m too busy to notice stuff.  It took me almost all day to realize why so many people were wearing green today.   I guess I’ve been too busy to realize the month of March was…well..(forgive me!)… marching on.  Here we are at St. Patty’s and I didn’t even know it.

I don’t suppose wearing green tomorrow would be the same.


When music fills the night

Last night my husband and I were privileged to spend another evening with the Ann Arbor Symphony.  The program, titled Russian Romance,  included three pieces all energetic, rich with imagery, full bodied and lush.

They opened with the Overture to Rusland and Ludmila, from an Opera about a princess and her betrothed warrior, composed by Mikhail Glinka in the mid 1800’s.   The strings raced up and down long runs of notes as if they were a single instrument, the clarinet showcased in the middle captured my heart and the sound of the orchestra swelled and filled the hall with such a robust sound it was clear this piece was meant to be a fanfare for the rest of the evening.

Also on the program was Symphony No. 5 composed by Prokofiev in 1944.  Each of the four movements brought such imagery to my mind.  The first movement reminded me of a massive Russian army marching across a cold barren landscape.  The second movement was more “Peter and the Wolf ” -ish, only bigger, with animals running and frolicking in a deep Russian woods.  I’m pretty sure I heard an elephant or two in there as well.  I think this movement was my favorite.    The third movement started off reminding me of a dream scape, soft, floating, somewhat sad.  But it quickly turns into a nightmare with shrieking woodwinds and ranting strings moving closer and closer to some horrifying climatic event that we didn’t even want to imagine.  The fourth movement combined bits of all three, the playfulness of movement two intertwined with the marching army of movement one and the dreams in movement three.  And it all came to a crazy, frenetic, crashing conclusion that left us all gasping for air even as we began to applaud our appreciation.

But the highlight of the evening?  The twenty-five year old Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich playing the Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff.  Prior to the concert he gave a little talk, and when asked what we as audience members should listen for during his performance he paused…thought a moment…then said: “There are a lot of notes.  And you should listen to every one of them.”  We all laughed.  Later he said we “shouldn’t think too much…just let the music take you.”  Good advice.

It started out lush and full as if someone was falling in love, then moved into a playful period, as if the two lovers were enjoying their new relationship.  But soon ominous tones began to infiltrate; trouble in paradise?  The music became more frantic and it became clear (to me anyway) that this was the story of an overly dramatic teenager.  Then came slower, and more plaintive music, almost contemplative music that moved toward angst and confusion.  Then the flutes calmed the senses and the oboe has a conversation with the rest of the orchestra as well as the piano.   The music become plaintive again and then the piano takes over, reminding me of an older couple walking hand in hand through the landscape, remembering their history together, the memories portrayed in different parts of the movement lively and full of life, including the dancing of a waltz together near the end of the lives.

Then the music chages again and it is as if we are on horses galloping through hills and woods, perhaps on a hunt.  We’re soaring over fields and I followed the pianist’s advice…I let go and flowed with the music for the rest of the piece.  I can’t tell you the details from this point on…it was as if we were flying and this talented young man was the horse with wings.   As the piece came to an end with a lush, fully orchestrated swell I knew the young lovers, the older couple and everyone in the audience lived happily ever after.

And as the last note slipped into the heavens the audience erupted.  Rabinovich played three encores; it was as if we couldn’t let him go.  Such talent.

What a gift all the musicians gave to us last night.  I wish you all could have been there.


How to color a black and white weekend

It’s snowing here.  Big wet white flakes.  The sun is hidden and any grass that had emerged is covered again.  And they say we’ll get 3 more inches tonight.  My world has threatened to turned black and white.

But thankfully I didn’t have to sit here and watch the snow pile up.  No I did not.  Today the community band I play with participated in a concert band festival.  Twelve community bands from across the region were invited to play for judges comments and incidentally for the other musicians hanging out waiting for their own group to go on.

Each band played a program lasting approximately 45 minutes.  They started at 9 in the morning and the music kept on until after 6 p.m.  We were the fourth band up and played  Sousa, Gershwin, Hazo and other composers.  Everything went magically, as often happens on concert day.  I had to concentrate on concentrating, afraid to get lost in the music for fear of forgetting to come in when I was supposed to.  But it was tempting to just go with the moment.  And it was so much fun.

It’s always interesting to play in a hall you’ve never been in before.  The sounds are so different in every place you play and sometimes cues you’re used to hearing don’t sound the same once you’re on a new stage.  On the other hand the clarinet player next to me and I both jumped at one point when the gong in the percussion section was hit.  Apparently it had been in the music all along, but we’d never heard it before!

We’d been warned by our conductor that the adjudicator assigned to us was tough; a retired band teacher who still teaches private lessons.   And we haven’t yet heard the comments she put on tape during the actual performance, but she walked into the room where we assembled after our concert to hear her verdict and told us that she had been enjoying the music so much she had forgotten to write any comments down!  She did mention that we could do more with dynamics; many community band have issues with dynamics.  Like she says, every band can play loud and fast…the good ones can play with feeling, soft, loud, fast and slow.  We did quite a bit of that…but we could do more.  Needless to say we were thrilled by her comments on the things we did well.

After we were finished I slipped back into the auditorium to sit with my husband and listen to two more bands.  One was a band I played with more than 15 years ago.  Many of the players I’d known were still there…some with gray hair or no hair…but recognizable even from the audience.  I enjoyed listening to them very much, especially when the conductor who had been there so many years ago came out to conduct one of the pieces.  It was as if the band perked up and played especially well for him.  And I was glad I had the opportunity to see him.

And the second band was the one my Aunt plays with down near Ann Arbor.  I’ve never heard them play. Often their concerts this past season were weekday nights or nights we had concerts ourselves.  So it was especially fun to listen to her group perform.

I have to thank my husband for going with me.  He sat through four bands..and concert band music can get a little old after several hours of it. Especially if you don’t play an instrument.   But he’s a trooper and I appreciate it.  I made him some cookies tonight as a thanks.

And of course Katie-girl wanted to know what she got for having to stay home alone most of the day.  So I took her out to play in the snow this evening.

Somehow as she sits drooling on our feet as we enjoy the oatmeal cherry raisin cookies I don’t think that was exactly what she was hoping for.

Silly girl.


Lost in the music

Tonight was my first concert in a very long time.  The first time in years that I was sitting in the band rather than out in the audience.  It’s heaven.  I wish everyone could have the experience of being in the music; to hear the sounds as they’re being created before the notes head out over the heads of the audience.

This was our “Spooktacular” concert filled with scary music about snakes and magic and phantoms.  In fact we had our very own phantom, a tenor with a beautifully powerful voice, who sang music from Phantom of the Opera while we accompanied him.  He was singing about 18 inches from where I sat, and on a couple of occasions during the long piece of music I actually stopped playing, mesmerized by the power of his voice.

I didn’t want that piece of music to end, because when again will I be surrounded by sounds so exquisite, be so close to a voice like that?  I was treasuring it while it was happening, enjoying the full-up feeling of being totally happy, glad to be in the moment.

I said before that if everyone could play music, either alone, or with large groups, if everyone could get that special high from making something beautiful, if everyone in the world could create something, something so elusive, so transparent, so temporary, but so solid and powerful, if everyone could make music the world would be better.  I still believe that.

Wishing each of you days filled with wonder, music and art.  It can’t hurt.


Define versatile blogger

I’ve won an award – someone thinks I’m a “versatile blogger!”  Check out Carol’s (my nominator) blog to see her own list.   Hmmmm.  Here I always thought I was just a somewhat disorganized and scattered blogger – you know, talking about whatever whenever.  Versatile is such a better term.  Don’t you think?

And look!  I was even able to get this lovely versatile blogger thingy to show up as well!  Amazing.  Perhaps what I actually am is a technically versatile blogger.  OK.  Maybe that’s a stretch.  Now stop laughing!

So anyway  I’m supposed to tell you 7 amazing and previously unknown things about me.  Right.  Like you don’t already know all the amazingly interesting things about me and my life.  Especially about my dog.  Of course there are some of you, the “newbies,”  who haven’t been around for my  entire blogging ride.  So I might cheat a tiny bit and throw in a few things that some of you might already know.   Or I might not.

Here goes:  Seven Amazing Things You Don’t Know About Me! (This feels somewhat like standing on the high dive above a high school pool)

1.  I don’t really have a favorite color.  When asked that question I always stall and then say ‘blue’ because somehow that seems to be the color expected.  But really I can’t pick a favorite, they are all so special.  Just like kids, each is exactly right.

2.  I wish I could have a second dog.  Without a fenced yard we have to take the one we have outside on a leash to do her jobs or play.  She’s somewhat of a full time job and I can’t see us doing all of this times 2.  But still.  This is why I’m afraid to volunteer at a shelter; the risk of adding to our family is so big.

3.  If I could do anything at all without regard to responsibilities or relationships or commitments I’d sell everything I had…well I’d probably have to give it away because it’s not worth anything…and buy a small recreational vehicle and just travel.  I’d stop at anything that looked interesting but I wouldn’t live anywhere at all.

4.  I wish I could paint and draw the things that are inside my head.  What’s there just doesn’t translate onto paper.  Alternatively I wish I could accept that what does transfer is still art.

5.  I think soup is the perfect food (other than the fact you can’t eat it with your fingers) and like to collect wonderful recipes.  I like to make the soup too and even better, share it with family and friends.

6.  I never had children, but I would like to put a child through college.  Somehow.  More than the education, the college experience is such a life-changing experience and so important to the total growth of anyone.  I’d like a child somewhere to know that if they stay in high school, get the grades that are required for college, then they’re going to be able to go.

7.    Sometimes I  forget  how old I am.  Most of the time I still believe I can do all the things I’ve ever dreamed of doing.  And when I take a moment to look back I’m kind of amazed at all I’ve already done.  But I’m not finished.  Not by a long shot.

So thanks Carol for asking me to play!  I think I’m supposed to name some new people to pass this award to…but I’m not good at that.  So I invite all of you to sit still for a moment and think of 7 amazing things about yourself.  It’s a good exercise – to take the time to think positive thoughts about yourself.  Can you come up with 7?  It’s not that easy;  most of us were brought up to be modest – not taught to toot our own horn.  But it’s worth a try.  Because each of you  have way more than 7 interesting and amazing traits that you could explore.

And if you want to share them –  cool!  I’d be eager to learn more about you all.


Another Amazing Ann Arbor Symphony Adventure

This evening husband and I, along with my aunt, were privileged to attend another Ann Arbor Symphony performance.  The concert was called “American Celebration” and all the works played were composed in the United States.  Much of the music had a uniquely American feeling, sounds that might have come from a bit of the old west, some raucous comedy, the noise of a busy city street, peacefulness of  quiet reflection.   It is a gift to experience an evening of Ann Arbor Symphony music filling the hall at the Michigan Theater; the sounds created by individual musicians combining  into something bigger and grander than can really be described.  But of course I’ll try.

Tonight’s  first offering was  “Seattle Slew:  Three Dances in Forequarter Time” composed by William Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winner, Seattle native and professor emeritus of composition at the University of Michigan.  We heard just one of the three dances, a lively, fun, sometimes humorous piece composed for dancers and to honor the horse Seattle Slew.  I was sitting about 7 rows behind the composer during the performance, and I could just see the top of his head as it moved to the music he had written.  What a wondrous thing that must be, to hear your work done by such professionals!  Of course Mr. Bolcom has undoubtedly heard his work played many times, but I have to imagine that each time brings heartfelt joy, especially when the piece is done as well as it was tonight.

The second piece featured a piano soloist, Arkadiy Figlin, doing George Gershwin’s Concerto in F.  Did I mention this concert was amazing?  Gershwin is always fun, and Mr. Figlin’s  improvisations made this rendition spectacular.  He told us during the pre concert lecture that he was “a bit nervous” about tonight’s concert because he wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to play during his improv opportunities.  After listening to him perform I have to say I don’t think he needed to worry.  The first movement was so extraordinary, and ended with such strength and beauty that the audience broke into enthusiastic applause even though traditionally all applause should be held until the entire piece is finished.  And it wasn’t just one or two misguided folk who broke the “no applause till the end rule” …it was all of us, and let me tell you, we aren’t ashamed of our misbehavior!

All three movements of the Gershwin piece reminded me of sound tracks to movies.  The first was a fun, quickly moving piece and I pictured some lighthearted romance in a city, say New York, maybe in Central Park, where actors like Doris Day and Tony Curtis would frolic while the sounds of city traffic floated in the distance.  The second movement began in a more moody vein, as if it were the background music for Humphrey Bogart sitting in a dark 1930’s smokey bar, him staring into his drink and feeling blue over some girl he’d lost.  Then the music changed and I imagined a new dame sashaying into the bar catching his attention.  As he watches her he starts to imagine a whole life with her.  You know, the suburban house, 2 or 3 kids, a dog, drives in the country in a convertible…the improv of the solo pianist made me feel like there was going to be a happy ending after all for everyone.  The third movement reminded me of a car chase in a silent movie, all black and white and jerky.  Maybe Charlie Chaplin driving the getaway car, followed by some keystone type cops.  Up and down the mountain road they roar, Chaplin hiding his car behind boulders on occasion, then shooting out the other way, always just ahead of the cops.  The ending of the piece was clear to me; the cops crash into a big rock and Charlie drives off into the magnificent sunset, tipping his hat and winking at us on his way out. Now, really I doubt that anyone else saw these pictures in their mind as Mr. Figlin and the Symphony played, but you never know.  What I DO know is that we were all on our feet as the last notes died away and Mr. Figlin got two curtain calls.

I think we would have been satisfied if  the concert had ended with Gershwin, the program had been that fantastic, but we were in for a third treat–a more traditional symphony, No 9 in E minor From the New World, by Antonin Dvorak.   A strong piece with interchanging melodies,  the orchestra took off in the first movement, on fire and  pounding out the relentlessly compelling melody.  The second movement contained the music most of us recognize as the spiritual “Going Home.”  You know the one…

“Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m a goin’ home;
Quiet-like, some still day, I’m jes’ goin’ home.

It’s not far, jes’ close by,
Through an open door;
Work all done, care laid by,
Goin’ to fear no more.

Mother’s there ‘spectin’ me,
Father’s waitin’ too;
Lots o’ folks gather’d there,
All the friends I knew,
All the friends I knew.
Home, I’m goin’ home!”

This song has special meaning to my family, as we’ve used it in so many funerals and memorials in recent years.  The orchestra played it like a prayer, and I cried silent tears all the way through, sent it up to Mom and Dad and hoped they were listening.  The third movement was strong and quiet, big and beautiful, small and delicate, a joy to listen to, and a perfect ending to an amazing evening.

I know this blog entry turned out to be long…but I want to use this opportunity to encourage anyone that lives within a couple hours of Ann Arbor to investigate attending a performance as soon as you can.  If you haven’t been you’re missing a treat.  Even if you don’t think you’re into “classical music,” give it a try.   You just might find yourself sitting silently with tears running down your face.

And that’s a good thing.



More than a week ago I was able to attend a collage concert in Ann Arbor; a concert that celebrated the entire Music and Theater departments at the University of Michigan.  Bits and pieces of all the works done in the departments were presented one after another with no applause between.  The lighting moved rapidly from place to place on the stage and always where the spotlight fell groups of artists or a single performer began to share their talents with us.   A concert band, jazz ensembles, a single cello player, a saxophone quartet, the cast of Evita, modern dancers, Shakespearean actors, the university symphony, a chamber choir, a group of woodwind players dressed in big hats and giant bow ties, three marimba players.  It went on and on yet it seemed to only last a moment.  A minute of this, three minutes of that, classical followed immediately by popular.  Talent flowing everywhere.

My favorites?  The slim woman who made magic while playing Rachmaninov on a grand piano.  The audience gave a collective sigh when she finished.  And for sheer fun, the four euphonium players who did a piece in the pitch black of a stage without light.  At first I, and probably everyone, thought the lighting people had made a mistake when music began and no light illuminated the players.  I worried that they had the beginning memorized but would have to wind down as the seconds passed and still no light appeared.  Eventually it became obvious this had been planned to be presented without light.  Still I couldn’t relax, worried that somehow this was not right! But before it ended I realized what a gift it was to listen to music in the dark with no distractions from sight.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go back to Ann Arbor and listen to the Ann Arbor Symphony play.  It was the tenth anniversary of the symphony’s maestro and a celebration  of Mozart.  I learn something each time I attend an Ann Arbor Symphony performance.  I learned this week that Mozart wrote music for smaller numbers of musicians, so on this evening the symphony was much smaller, more intimate.  As usual they played wonderfully, from the first piece, Divertimento No. 1 for Strings in D Major, which was written when Mozart was sixteen to the third and last piece written, but not completed by Mozart because he died before it was finished, Requiem in D minor.

I have to say I enjoyed the first piece the most; it was light and airy and fun and I could envision a young Mozart throwing it together as a kid, proving his genius.  I also enjoyed the second movement of the second piece, Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, a piece Mozart wrote for a friend who played French Horn.  The second movement is so melodic, and was done beautifully by the guest soloist Andrew Pelletier.   I was not looking forward to the Requiem, it’s not my favorite piece.  But I have to say I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the choir assembled for the performance.  Three choirs, all from high schools sang together.   I counted over 130 members and the sound just soared in the acoustically perfect Hill Auditorium.  The kids were amazing and the packed 5,000 seat auditorium was transfixed.

Two events filled with talent.  You have to have hope for the future when you are priviledged  to listen to such beauty.


PS: a little bit of this and a little bit of that

For those of you interested, here is a link to an Ann Arbor review of the concert I went to.  If you scroll down to the bottom you can see Dr. Nel play the piece he played for the encore.  The one that made me cry.

And for those dog lovers out there, Katie and I were in obedience class tonight.  She was “on” right from the start, though she threw up right at the beginning of the heeling.  Don’t know what that was about, she was fine the rest of the class.  During the long 3 minute sits and longer downs I was standing away from her, arms folded, watching her watch other dogs get up and I thought – “Sometimes I just love you so much Katie-girl!”  She was SO GOOD!

Katie 2076



Several evenings this past week were filled with special events.  It’s unusual to have so many scheduled in one week, but there you go, it’s the life of the unemployed; I’m unhindered with work and able to accept all invitations!

Last Sunday my husband and I went to a tiny, intimate theater in downtown Detroit to watch Rita McKenzie’s “Ethel Merman’s Broadway.”  I didn’t know much about Merman prior to this show, which told her life story in the first person.  Rita McKenzie dressed and sang like Merman as she talked about her life.  It was a lot of fun.

Thursday I attended the University of Michigan’s version of “The Marriage of Figaro” with my aunt.  It was so professionally done and we had great seats which allowed me to watch the pit orchestra as well as the stage.  I’m not an opera fan, but this one was very funny, with modern translations of the words being sung.  I enjoyed it and didn’t realize till after it was finished that it had gone on for over three and a half hours!

Last night found us back in Ann Arbor with my aunt, attending the Ann Arbor Symphony.  They did three pieces.   After hearing the first, Overture on Hebrew Themes by Sergey Prokofiev (who did the ballet scores for Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet and Peter and the Wolf,) I thought to myself, “Well that’s probably going to be my favorite this evening” because it was so fun, flirty and light with bits of humor and history thrown in.

After the second piece, Symphony No 1 in C Major by Georges Bizet, written when he was 17 years old in 1858 as a homework assignment...I thought to myself, “That last movement is my favorite tonight…the violins were crazy busy, off to the races, and it ended about 3 times, almost as if the composer was saying ‘See teacher?  Here’s some MORE..and some MORE and MORE!’ ”  I couldn’t believe he wrote it at seventeen. And that it wasn’t played for 80 years because he didn’t feel it was worthy, and that it languished in the basement of his school until it was discovered by someone doing his biography.

Then the crowning glory of the evening, a piece by Johannes Brahms,  the Concerto No 2 for Piano and Orchestra.  The guest pianist was Anton Nel, originally from South Africa, once a piano professor at UM, now teaching in Austin TX.  He was phenomenal.  I thought to myself  “Well…I guess in the end the last movement of the Brahms is my favorite for the evening…it’s racy tunes, the strings driving toward the finale…a wonderful end to a wonderful evening.”   Everyone in the audience was on their feet as soon as the last note began to die away.

While we were clapping I wished that everyone in the world could sit where I sat; that surely if they could then we could end wars and crime and all injustice.   Because how could anyone that received such a beautiful gift, that let such beauty inside themselves, anyone who sat next to strangers and felt their hearts could these people not be positively effected?  I know, I know. Totally unrealistic.  But still.

There were four curtain calls.

And then a grateful gasp rose from the hall as Dr. Nel, exhausted from the 50 minute concerto he had just finished, sat back down at the piano.  Just one man, one piano.   And then the sound.. the most beautiful, most soulful, indescribable sound.  He played something from Franz Liszt, I don’t know which piece.  It was so very beautiful that tears ran down my face.  And I said to myself…”This is my favorite.”

I don’t think I was alone.