Have you ever practiced for 8 hours and wished that you could just keep going for a few more?
Looks like I've got your attention. Great! From April 4-25 I'll be touring Lithuania with my family's ensemble, The American Virtuosi. I'd love to share a few highlights from the the first part of our trip.
A week ago today, I left my home in New Hampshire and flew to Maryland to start rehearsals with my family. I landed at 2pm. An hour later, I was seated in front of a piano. We stayed in the practice studio 'til almost midnight; though we had each been working on our individual parts, there was a lot of work to do with putting together our ensemble and synchronizing our artistic visions. My face *almost* turned blue (see picture). My eyes did turn a bit red.
Sunday... more practicing. Monday morning, we hit the road. Agenda:
So, what did we do after we checked into the hotel and had a bite to eat? We gently asked if we could have access to the music school to practice, of course. I got the concert hall (below) and we each put in a couple hours.
Wednesday morning we met the Mayor of Siauliai (pictured in blue suit, below). We talked about music, education, our travels, teaching... and a bit of politics as well (though we tried to avoid the US Presidential race...).
After lunch: practicing and after lunch a masterclass for several talented young pianists.
On Thursday, we woke up to see a picture from yesterday's meeting in the paper. We practiced and rehearsed most of the day, and then performed our first tour concert. We shared the stage with the renowned Dagilelis Boychoir - and at the end of the concert we played a beautiful selection together: "Ave Maria" by Guilio Caccini.
Friday... rehearsals & practicing. Never enough!
In the afternoon we were special guests at a national boychoir festival in which they performed their instrumental talents (solo and ensemble). WOW! We enjoyed the recital, and then were invited on stage to close the festival with our selection "Music from Around the World." I guarantee it to be the fastest ticket around the world!
Today we almost played basketball instead of a concert. Our performance took place at the Siauliai arena, and our greenroom was box seats above the basketball court. The game started during the concert, so every time we came back to the room we caught a bit of it. Lithuania is known for having great basketball players and it was fun to watch them (believe it or not, this was my first time watching a live basketball game).
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Elizabeth Borowsky is a pianist, teacher, and composer. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (Music Teachers National Association).