A great rehearsal this morning, with Faculty Guitarist Susan McDonald rehearsing the Vivaldi with us. After that, an early break, before Szewczyk. It worked out: during the break, there'd been a press conference, and we were into the swing of Piotr's piece by the time the cameras came to rehearsal. Possibly about six of them. Wow.
Several of us went over to check out the American University at the invitation of their incoming Chair. They're a quite new department, with only about 30 students and another 30 entering in the Fall (September). They're adding faculty lines, and some exciting things are happening there. They're housed in the same building as a more established Art department, so there's lots of art (sculptures and paintings) all over the place.
After conducting class, I taught a lesson with one of the local students who's been studying in Switzerland. Some solid work done on a Beethoven Romance, which I hadn't played so I probably got into a rather severe amount of detail... Then I played the Louange movement from Quartet for the End of Time, with John, for the composition class.
Cherise/Mahogany, Marc, Bruce, and several of the students went to the house of one of the former students' family, in the evening. It was quite a drive, winding through several suburbs, to a new one built in the last couple of years.
The family was incredibly welcoming. Mother, father, and four children: two grown sons, a daughter in high-school, and a six-year-old son. The two older sons play violin, the daughter wants to be a dentist. (The younger son seemed to enjoy having visitors very much, and happily took on chores like bringing water, served here in pre-sealed containers.)
Dinner was AMAZING: I think it was called dolma, and it had been cooking all day. It was a melange of rice wrapped in grape leaves, along with eggplant, lamb, tomatoes, and even some stuffed squash flowers. I also enjoyed a yogurt/buttermilk-type drink, which settled my stomach after the overnight discomfort...
After dinner, first dessert of tea and (sweet) biscuits, with Iraq's "The Voice" on TV in the background. Then a second dessert (I like this country!) of fresh fruit, while we sat around chatting, then end of "The Young Victoria." A very enjoyable evening.
Sitting with Bruce, I mentioned just how wild it was that in this family of six, one of the members was absent... because he's in the same place as Karen and Elizabeth. As I said yesterday, a VERY small world.
Hmm, don't know why this didn't post yesterday. It's (very) late on Wednesday night, so I'm just going to repost. Today was good, another wonderful meal at the house of a student, went to a concert of Kurdish songs - very beautiful.