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by laura on January 20, 2010

img_0711Last weekend we sold out our two concerts at the Mondavi Center in Davis, California, and were left wondering if this was more a result of inspiring kids from our school outreach programs to bring their parents or the enormous picture advertising the Albers Trio in the lobby.  The picture snapped with my phone really doesn’t do it justice but it’s here for entertainment purposes nonetheless.

We began 2010 in California, with a week of rehearsals then a concert at the gorgeous Villa Montalvo in Saratoga.  We then headed the opposite direction for a week in Davis.  Our days were filled with wonderful volunteers driving us to and from events.  We did school outreach programs, played a house concert and had the opportunity to work with composer Ross Bauer before we tour with his trio, Tathata.

We visited six schools and the programs we saw left me with the optimistic view that music is indeed still valued and well taught in some public schools!  We approached these outreach with a scripted program, which we varied according to age and classroom interest.  We wanted to share the likeness of communication in music to spoken conversation and discuss the many venues of musical expression.  In doing so, I was inspired to really examine my own playing and communication, both with my sisters and our audiences.

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Our week in Davis was more than music!  We made friends with a group of hydraulic engineers thanks to our hotel’s free nightly happy hour and were that obnoxious “group of ten” for Thai food one evening.  We also made good use of the Hallmark Inn’s cruiser bicycles and did some good advertising for them in the process.  Check out those flags!  Mostly we biked with a final food destination, like the Austrian pastry shop. Saturday morning included a sneaked visit (the guard let us stay) to UC Davis’s delightful outdoor lap pool and an oogling of Davis’s finest produce at their amazing farmers market.

We seperated for two days and, collectively, fit in several hours of teaching at U of M, three video game recording sessions at Skywalker ranch, long dog walks in the NYC cold, and everything else that needs to happen when one passes briefly through home base. We meet in Colorado this evening!

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