It’s been a quick minute…

Well… its a been a little bit.
We had grand plans of writing every single day of our Boston trip and it didn’t happen. So after a bit of a pause to recover and finish the rest of the performing seasons, I’m finally getting round to it.

Boy… by the time that trip was done I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week! Is this what the teachers felt like when chaperoning me and my friends as high school students?!

So as you know, everyone arrived later than expected on Thursday night and then we had late night rehearsals for our concerts the next day. We didn’t put our instruments away until midnight and then, instead of going to bed, all the high schoolers ended up staying up till about 3 in the morning. Ridiculous. By the time Pedro and I got ready for bed and I finished posting the first blog it was 1.30am and we were shattered.

The next morning was a very early morning. I was the drill sergeant making sure everyone was dressed and walking out of the door at 6.50am. We had to get from our AirBNB to the church for warmup at 8.30am and I was a bit worried that the trains would be crowded with rush out traffic. With 10 people and gambas, it would be difficult cramming on to a crowded train so… the earlier we left the better. Also… we neeeeeded coffee after that night. So with instruments in hand everyone tromped out the door to catch the bus which would take us to the T and then on to our stop in main Boston. It was about a 40min trip.

Fortunately we were an earlier stop on the the bus and T line so it wasn’t very crowded and we had an easy time getting on and off the public transport. We even arrived about 30 min early so we had plenty of time to get large coffees and wake up. We let the kids wander in the park across the street and I got a chance to take photos.

Once the kids got into the church and tuned it was nearly time for them to go on stage (they were first on the program). Though it was a relatively quick warm up, the kids did really well. Pedro and I were very proud of how they handled themselves and performed.

The whole VDGSA Gamut lasted from 9 in the morning till about mid-day. The kids stayed around for several other groups before we let them go grab some food and replenish their energy before coming back to hear Pedro and I and the last group play. The whole Gamut was programmed really excellently. Enjoyed all the performances and it was a really wide variety of music. Pedro and I played a portion of our Long Road Home concert which featured Renaissance music all the way to real Texas Country music and some originals. It went down well. We were followed by a group doing originals and jazz. So wickedly cool. I think the kids really liked that group!

Once the Gamut was finished, we all headed back to our place to drop off all of the instruments so we didn’t have to keep them all day. Everyone got an hour respite from travel and change clothes and then we went back into town to explore a little bit. I took everyone to my favourite place for chowder on the wharf – The Boston Sail Loft. It really is some good chowder and is right on the water. On the way there we walked by Paul Revere’s house… little bit of history thrown in. Unfortunately, it was hard to really enjoy walking around in Boston because around about the time we passed Paul Revere’s, it started to chuck it down. No one except for me had brought an umbrella with them so they were all sopping by the time we reached the restaurant.

We hoped that by the time we finished our lunch (which was quite late at 4pm) that the rain would let up. But alas, it did not. So we slogged our way into the streets and made our way to the Italian district for some real cannoli. I feel it is one of those desserts that’s nice to have one time a year at a really good place, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it normally. It was really very tasty though!

It was a quick stop because we had to run to the opera… back into the rain we made our way to the T and to the theatre to collect our tickets and get our seats. It was convenient we were in the nosebleed section. On the way to the theatre we stopped and got ponchos for everyone and we just had stuff dripping everywhere by the time we got to our seats. Plus the kids and Pedro and I were exhausted. So having an area at the complete back of the theatre to put all our damp stuff was helpful. Also, it was perfect for the kids to take a nap if they were too tired or bored.

The theatre was just beautiful on the inside. Hard to really capture it in a picture. Enjoyed the opera too, though the story line had an ever so slightly odd ending. Oh well… I guess that’s French baroque opera for you. Opera ended at 11 something and then we headed back to our AirBNB. I thought everyone would fall into bed. Seems all the kids had a 6th wind and they stayed up ridiculously late yet again.

I didn’t sleep either until very late and was up before any of the kids as Pedro and I packed my luggage, violin, and all the borrowed instruments into an Uber to be taken back to Brandeis. I don’t know what the Uber driver must have been thinking as Pedro and I expertly stacked instruments to the ceiling on the back seat of his sedan and packed the trunk full! Poor guy. He was very nice though.

After a crazy past two days, we decided that trying to cram something else in on Saturday morning was probably not wise, so after dropping all the instruments and helping Sarah Mead put them away, I met the kids in town at café Nero and we went shopping at Primark. A very relaxing morning if I do say so myself. And well deserved!

Shortly after, I had to catch a train to go play a music festival at Princeton and Pedro and the kids had to go back home to Houston so we parted ways on the T.

It was definitely a learning experience and I was glad to be able to share the Boston Early Music Festival with the kids. It was fun. But maybe I’ll wait a few years before chaperoning high school students again… It took me 2 days to catch up on sleep after I got to Princeton!

But hey… Pedro is doing it all over again when he takes a couple of them to Viola da Gamba Conclave this summer! Get ready for blog posts from that! They’ll be right at home there though… everyone stays up till stupid o’clock in the morning reading music. I look forward to seeing how they survive that week!

In the next few days I’ll put out another post or two from Boston. I had all the kids send me pictures and paragraphs about their experience and so I’d love to share that with you all but this post is already pretty long. So… till later!




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