Friday, June 18, 2010

2010 AAW symposium - Thursday report

I arrived in Hartford Wednesday afternoon. As soon as I had my gear from baggage claim, John Wheland picked me up in his work van for the trip to Milford, CT. I spent the evening with his family and had a chance to visit with John in his workshop and then to do a bit of practicing on the sets we would play for the Thursday evening entertainment.

We drove up from Milford about mid-day and spent the afternoon doing a lot of typical first day things. I introduced John to everyone I ran into, and it was so great to see everyone again after so many months apart. Amidst all the reunions, I put my pieces into the instant gallery and checked to see if my "Acer Embrace" piece actually arrived in good condition. I'm very happy to report that it survived shipping without a glitch. Not so for Jerry Bennett's "Maple Syrple" piece, which was in a dozen or more pieces. That delivered a gut punch when I saw the damage. I'm sure it's repairable, but it still hurts to think about it. Jerry - you have my complete sympathy!

I attended the demonstrator's dinner with John and enjoyed visiting with my friends J. Paul Fennell and Bonnie Klein as well as Tania Radda during the meal. It was actually a very nice meal. John and I had set up the sound system just before dinner and had time to get cleaned up a bit before the dinner which was a good thing since we had no time to spare between then and the "AAW's got talent - or not" event. This was organized by Jacques Vesery and Terry Martin and featured Jerry and Deborah Kermode - Jerry singing while Deborah danced the hula; Terry Martin with a clever song he had written, Sharon Doughtie and Jacques Vesery doing "stupid human tricks" (very clever!), Gorst duPlessis telling a joke or two, Barbara Crockett playing her flute, and a few acts I missed.

John Whelan, Flynn Cohen and I finished the evening's entertainment. The first two sets were tunes I could play on fiddle, and then John and Flynn did their magic. A display of virtuosity, which was so much fun to listen to and to see how the audience reacted. Thanks, John! I came back on stage to play some bodhran for the last tune.

I don't think I'll get much sleep tonight. Opening ceremonies are at 8 am. . .

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