After much practice, I performed Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro last weekend. I have never played anything like it – five minutes of playing, with only one short rest! But boy was it fun! Now moving on to Mozart’s violin concertos. Check out the recording below – I hope you enjoy!
Final Emory Concerts!
The season is truly coming to an end! Last week marked my last Emory concert this school year! This has been a wonderful and fun experience.
A weekend or two ago, a large part of my orchestra went up to Nashville for the weekend. We toured various museums, listened to some fantastic music, made our own custom goo goos (those did not last very long… :-)), performed at Belmont University, and most importantly – we ate every 3 hours.
Check out the recordings at these links:
Musical – Happily Ever After
It’s been a long weekend! My musical theater company and I performed 3 shows of the original musical Happily Ever After. Wow, this was such a fun musical – it is a satire on the traditional fairy tales. You favorite fairy tale characters are portrayed in a way you have probably never seen before. This show was so cleverly written – we got some good laughs. Check out some pictures:
Recently, I was asked by Mr. William Suit – a wonderful pianist, vocalist, and composer – to record a podcast. I am so fortunate that I have had the honor of working with Mr. Suit for years. He started me off right on my vocal journey, helping me to learn the correct techniques and to be self-confident. Not only that, but Mr. Suit gave me opportunities I would not have found anywhere else. A year or two back he asked me to record vocals for his CD of children’s songs, In My Backyard – he had composed all the music and wrote the lyrics. Mr. Suit continues to assist dozens of young, aspiring vocalists and pianists to start off on a path towards a successful music career or a satisfying hobby. Mr. Suit is truly a fabulous musician, artist, and mentor! I look forward to working with him in the future.
You can check out the podcast at this link:
…and yet another fun cabaret has gone by! This time, I performed two pieces I absolutely adore – America (West Side Story), and Je Veux (by Zaz). In America, I was honored to have been able to accompany Ms. Ashlyn, a phenomenal dancer. As a surprise, I prepared and dedicated Je Veux to Mme Maryse, my wonderful friend and French teacher.
I was honored that my family and friends came to see my performances! Check out the recordings below.
I cannot wait till the next cabaret! Please comment and let me know what you think.
My New Violin – Sweet Valentine!
I got my first full-size violin just a couple of weeks ago! Woo-hoo! And boy, do I love her – which is very appropriate since I got her on Valentine’s Day. In honor of this, I have named her my Sweet Valentine. Who knows – maybe she will be the violin I take with me through the rest of my life. Check out the pictures – isn’t she just beautiful? And she sounds so wonderful… like melted caramel.
Emory Orchestra Concert
Last week marked my second Emory Orchestra concert! I am so honored that I get to be a part of this wonderful orchestra. We performed a very nice program, I believe. Check out the recordings at the links below! Please let me know what you think in the comments.
Symphony in D Major, op. 11 Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
Fantasia in F Tracey Rush
Unter Donner Und Blitz, Schnell-Polka (Thunder and Lightning, Quick Polka)Johann Strauss Jr.:
Woohoo! Once again, I got the opportunity to be a part of my acting studio’s Cabaret! I had so much fun playing some fiddle music – I performed Cotton-Eyed Joe! This was a special treat for me, as I mostly play classical music! Special thanks to my wonderful violin teacher Mr. Crane, who arranged the violin music and created the soundtrack.
I also sang I Could Have Danced All Night. This is such a special song and I got to be like Audrey Hepburn aka Eliza Doolittle for a few minutes…😊 I also had the honor of working on this piece with Ms. Ashlyn, a wonderful dancer! Mr. Don joined us for the second performance and made it very funny.😊 Here are the recordings:
I would love to hear what you think!
The Most Magical Christmas
I had the most magical Christmas this year, and I would love to share a little bit of it with you!
This winter, I got to visit my grandparents in their little village in the Czech Republic! I usually only go in summer (check out my blog “Adventures With My Grandparents”), but this year we decided to visit for Christmas, as well. And let me tell you, Christmas in the Czech Republic is so wonderful. People spend a lot of time with family and friends. They bake gazillions of different kinds of cookies that they share and exchange with others – it is a very sweet-smelling tradition! We made about a dozen kinds of cookies, and the family thought we were seriously slacking off. I guess we will have to do better next time! 😊 Another and perhaps the most important tradition is watching fairytales. They are loaded with the best actors in the Czech Republic, and no, they are not animated or baby movies. These fairytales are so magical and special.
Most days, the temperatures hovered right around freezing. And the crazy thing is, my grandpa and I went bike riding nearly every day anyway! We would ride out into the woods, and we found lots mushrooms (though we didn’t eat any, as they were ‘edible, but not tasty’)! Check out some pictures of these cool mushrooms in the slideshow.
While inside, I often baked with my grandma. We made lots of yummy treats, most notably gingerbread cookies (there is a picture in the slideshow). But we also made Christmas breads, linzer cookies, and other kinds of cookies. The scent of the doughs and ingredients filled the air with a beautiful, sweet aroma.
A lot of my extended Czech family came to visit us, which was really nice. There is something very magical about having most of your family in one room. I am sure you agree. My relatives would always bring Christmas cookies they made, and quite frankly sometimes we almost ate the whole box in one sitting! Czech cookies are really delicious.
And then there was Christmas Eve (that is when we celebrate Christmas) – the most magical day of the whole trip. The celebration started in the afternoon when we all went to the little chapel in the middle of my grandparents’ village. It was getting dark and really cold but it did not stop anyone from joining in. Nearly everyone from the village was there, and we all sang Christmas carols. We soon returned home and had a delicious Christmas dinner – most people still eat the traditional fish and potato salad that evening. Christmas is not a big culinary feast. It is a day to appreciate the people in your life and things that really matter. After dinner, we sat and more or less patiently waited for the bell to let us know that it was time to come to the tree. Finally, it rang, and we all rushed into the living room where the tree was lit up and wrapped in beautiful packages. We opened our presents and we all were very happy and grateful.
But there was a surprise yet to come. I told my grandparents that I had one more gift – a little surprise I had been preparing for a while. It is a famous song from the most beloved Czech fairytale. I had prepared and recorded the piano part that we then played on their TV while I sang the song for my grandparents. I even had a costume that looked like it was from the movie! My grandparents were shocked! My grandma was so surprised she had hard time breathing when I started, and my grandpa was crying. My grandparents did not know where to look first – at me singing or at the TV where I played the piano! I think they liked it…. 🙂 What a wonderful evening.
P.S. After I sang the song, we watched the fairytale from which the music came! 😊
Here is the recording of this song:
I was only able to play this thanks to my wonderful piano teacher Ms. Irina. She is an incredible pianist, teacher, and friend to me. Thank you, Ms. Irina!
My grandma’s birthday also falls around Christmas time! We celebrated with a delicious French cake drizzled with raspberry sauce – my Mom made it. The cake was so delicious! Check out a picture in the slideshow.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season yourself. Feel free to share how you celebrated in the comments section! Happy New Year!
Emory Orchestra Concert
A few months ago I was accepted into the Emory Orchestra family. We just had our first concert last week! I am so happy that I have the opportunity to play with so many talented people. Check out the recordings at these links:
Boyce’s Symphony 1 – First Movement
Boyce’s Symphony 1 – Second and Third Movements