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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Pictologue - My Gig on Norway Pond

I never think packing for gigs is going to be that complicated. I mean, it was only a few hours away.

It fit! You know, big cars do have their uses.

We figured the drive would be five hours, and my husband Peter was determined to get there by 6:00 PM. But the muse strikes in the weirdest places, like the gas station at exit 56 off the Merritt Parkway.

I brought my own fruit salad into Burger King. No $1 buck double for me, thanks, I read my Michael Pollan. They didn't kick me out, fortunately. I don't think anyone in the place had ever heard of a fruit salad (or Michael Pollan).

On the way back up 91, my determined husband Peter called our hosts and promised we'd be there "when the clock strikes six." What was he thinking? We broke a few speed laws, scared a few moose, and ... voila! Here I am with our hosts, Rick and Jody Simpson, and their dog, Pearl. Check out that church tower clock!

We had a festive dinner that night with Rick, Jody, and their friend, Katherine. But the next day was all work. Here are The Junior Mints, ready to enter the church, which is also the theater. Jody is herding them along from behind.

Mom came up from Cambridge to check out the show (she taught Jody conducting at NEC, and she taught me everything I know). Her sister, my Aunt Betsy, surprised all of us, Mom included, by driving up from Concord, Mass. Can you tell we're all related?

Megan Henderson played a brilliant performance of Poulenc's Babar, and Jody's Junior Mints gave a rousing musical show based on four Fairy Tales. And then it was my turn. People say you should never share the stage with small animals and children, and these kids were so energetic and talented and well-taught, I was quaking in my boots. But I had nothing to fear. The audience was wonderful as I performed a program of my own songs and some children's favorites. And finally, I just had to include these accomplished kids into the act. So I taught them some Ellington. On the spot.

What's my favorite part: traveling to a lost-in-time village in the Monadnock Region of Southern New Hampshire; visiting dear old friends; working with the incomparable Jody Simpson; sharing my songs with a brand new audience; or teaching a group of young children one of the great songs from the American Songbook, and schooling them in their doowahdoowahdoowahs? All of it is my favorite. A life in music.


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