Two Thirds of Us
Julie and I spent the past week in Colorado together. Without Becca. We have spent so much time together as a trio this spring that we missed her and felt strange without her!
The reason for our “two thirds” Albers Trio appearance was the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. Julie and I had the opportunity to perform with the Grand Junction Symphony Saturday night. We hadn’t played it together for many years and were thrilled to do so again. I was also quite excited to have a “working vacation” in one of my favorite places.
As with any chamber music, there is rehearsal required before the concert. In the case of the Brahms Double, not only did we have two rehearsals with the orchestra, but we met three days before our first orchestra rehearsal to share ideas and practice without the orchestra. We stayed in Breckenridge, my favorite mountain town, where there is still snow all over the mountain! My condo backs up to the ski slopes so we took a snow/mud hike up a fire road one afternoon. (Check out pictures of this, our evening visitor & CO National Monument below!) We worked out a schedule which allowed us plenty of time for practice, individual and together, and plenty of free time to eat, hot tub and enjoy the town.
We arrived in Grand Junction Friday afternoon, in time to give masterclasses at Mesa College. We enjoyed working with violin and cello students, from grade school through college. I find that every time I teach, I come out with new ideas to try in my own practice. There is, ironically, always that “ah-ha” moment when I remember that if I practice what I preach it will be helpful to me also!
We rehearsed with the orchestra twice- on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Finding the balance between leading, following the conductor and playing chamber music with Julie was my biggest challenge. We also chose to perform without music, which was something I could have easily let turn into a disastrous mind game, but luckily kept it in check. I found myself, midway through first rehearsal, calming my nerves by remembering that this was only two days of my life and I was really excited to be playing Brahms- so I might as well enjoy and make the most of it!
We spent the rest of our free time Saturday touring Colorado National Monument and enjoying the Arts and Jazz Festival downtown. We like to make the most of our time, wherever we end up. There are always interesting people to meet and places to see. The performance Saturday night went well and we had a good crowd (including my boyfriend, who flew out just to hear us!). Julie and I had a great time playing together and only wish that we’d be able to do it again soon!