My Carnegie Hall Debut!

My friend Liz called to see if we could use some complimentary tickets to a concert of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Joyce couldn't make it, but my friend Fritz was in from Portland to shoot a wedding, for which he used me as his "second shooter." That was great fun!

At any rate, we went to the concert, and upon entering the hall we were given Chinese hand drums with beads on the ends of two strings. They pound each face of the drum simultaneously when you spin it. Everyone was "warming" up before the concert began, which could, at one point, be heard from the lobby according to the NY Times reviewer.

What the reviewer didn't say was that we called for three encores! The first was for the cellist, Trey Lee, the only one to play a Western instrument. There were many erhus (which I reference in Beyond the Chariots) and various other stringed instruments, plus Chinese percussion and wind instruments, all set up in a Western orchestra fashion. Lee's emotional connection to the piece, first performed in Hong Kong by Yo Yo Ma, was exquisite! I recently taught a Graceworks seminar to the music department at the University of Memphis in which I urged them to envision a story as they play a piece. Whatever story Lee was telling was compelling me to the edge of my seat!

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