Posted at 7:43 PM on July 13, 2012
by Alison Young
(Young harp artists await the judge's results. I was the non-harp-playing judge, but my input was said to be invaluable!)
I'm sitting in a rocking chair outside listening to a cacophony of unfamiliar birds and watching the sky turn pink over the mountains. The day flew by as nine more contestants played their programs that included a super cool piece by harpist David Watkins, Firedance which we heard a total of six times and all really superbly played. I imagine the music is just so fun to make, a young musician can't stop practicing! If you watch the video, check out the stopped scale all in one hand at about 2:40 - amazing!
Today I was a surprised that we were pretty far apart in what we saw as the top players. I continued to look for musicality, a real understanding of the phrases and a commitment to the music while many of my colleagues wanted to hear clean and polished technique. Always a challenge of course.
("Family style" Southern cooking for the last night. This vegan took food just for show!)
I'll be back Monday and playing one of Judy Loman's discs, probably a piece by her teacher, the famed Carlos Salzedo. See you soon!