What a weekend.

September 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm 1 comment

What a weekend.  Where could you have heard jazz played by a member of Frank Zappa’s band, a member of Miles Davis’s band, a member a Lee Ritenour’s band, along with the Dean of Students, the Director of the Academy and the Director of Residential Life; heard the world premiere of a new work for violin and piano; seen farm animals made from a bullet ridden car door, ladies shoes, and pink feathers; and seen a one-woman show from one of Broadway’s veteran performers?

The answer, of course, is Idyllwild Arts Academy.  It was our first weekend of the year, a closed weekend, which means don’t go home this weekend, stay here and be a part of our magnificently rich community and experience what you came here for.

Friday night our jazz faculty played at Café Aroma, a local restaurant operated by one of our parents.  Behind them, at a long table, sat virtually our entire group of jazz students, listening, asking questions between sets, learning to play by learning to hear.

But before that we had the opening of the Visual Arts Faculty Show.  This was not a place to see pretty photos of mountains, nice vases of flowers, or pottery you might use on the dining table.  These people challenge us to appreciate or at least consider that panty hose might have some sort of symbolic meaning beyond warmth or beauty, that the structure of cars and animals might have some spiritual relationship, that there really is a bee farm on the way to Hemet…

Saturday night’s Faculty Concert was provocative in different ways:  who would have expected that the opportunity to see teachers on the stage (some in unexpected roles– administrators on percussion, academic faculty reading original poetry and fiction) would have inspired such enthusiasm!  I felt like a rock star!  Even so, I was reminded that we have many jobs here:  it’s just not okay to get up and walk out of a concert even if your friends ARE expecting you in Pierson commons.  They should have been at the concert, too!  It’s part of why they came here.  And besides, you’re being rude to the performers.  It’s a little weird, accepting congratulations and thanks for your performance and then immediately telling that same congratulatory student to be considerate and get back in their seat.  But it’s what we do here every day.  We have educating to do about being a respectful consumer of art as well as being a good producer of art.  More on that later.

Singer/Actress Teri Ralston shared songs and stories on Sunday afternoon as only a true first lady of theatre can:  an original Broadway cast member of Company and A Little Night Music, she can deliver her Sondheim with complete authority.  Why not?  She got it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  How many performers can say that?  Since she taught a class on Saturday as well, all of our kids can now say they got it straight from her.  She told stories about Glynis Johns and Hermione Gingold. And boy can she belt.  I think they heard her in Banning(!)

I officially moved into my new Dean’s office today.  I have a desk, filing cabinets, microwave, Steinway, and an excellent Italian espresso maker.  Stop by and I’ll make you a cup.

Entry filed under: daily happenings. Tags: , , , .

Actors Wear Black September in Valencia

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Pam Pierce  |  September 17, 2008 at 7:25 am

    I just got back today from 10 days away and found your site.

    Pin this url up everywhere on campus. We need this kind of communication from above — very informal, informative, and we get to see a mind (and fingers) spinning his days on campus. This can help us all, as parents and members of the community, feel we are part of the conversation, not just an audience to the final product.

    Thank you for not making it just a promo for IA!

    Reply

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