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February/March - Changes afoot

Gigs, Grad School Push, & a New Tribe... Oh, and some MEA Conferences to boot.

Taking Time to Shift Gears

Extended my stateside stay for both personal and professional reasons. Following the discussions I had before and after the JEN conference it seemed to be prime time to shift into full gear for the coming academic season and apply for doctoral programs.

With Vaughn Wiester and his Famous Jazz Orchestra

Westward Ho!

But first a little music making with Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra to keep my toe in that water (such a fabulous band!!)... and then it was off for my first ever trip to the great state of Colorado, to audition for UNC, Greeley.

Visiting Colorado was also a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I hadn't seen for a long long time. It's gratifying to realize that I truly do "have people" EVERYWHERE. Then the icing on the cake was receiving an acceptance letter from UNC for their doctoral program just 2 days after my audition! "I guess we're doing this!" was the vibe as I started mentally prepping for a big paradigm shift in my lifestyle.

New Tools, New Skills, New Tribe

Meanwhile, back in Ohio there were still things to do... The Ohio Arts Council occasionally provides professional development for its roster artists like me - and I leap at every opportunity I can to learn whatever I can that might help me as an artist and educator. The workshop on "Creative Inclusion" offered by Cleveland-based Center for Arts Inspired Learning (CAL) was eye opening, and inspiring indeed and introduced me to a whole new tribe of like-minded arts professionals to connect with across the U.S. (more on that later).

And Another Thing...

Almost forgot... somewhere in there I also managed to pop into both Illinois (ILMEA) and Ohio (OMEA) Music Educators Association Conferences. Yowza! Shout out to my dear friend Gayle Bisesi for graciously lending me her fold out couch for one of those! And coulda woulda shoulda gotten photos with my friends David Katz, and Mary Jo Papich (among others)... next time, I guess.

March – "Taxi!"

Sew glad I'm here!

It's a good thing I extended my U.S. trip, because it was clear that my family needed me. With two members "out of commission" (aka unable to drive) and a slew of doctor's appointments and therapy rendez-vous... we were ALL glad that I was around, with a fairly flexible schedule, and that there was an extra car handy to help make it all happen.

A little time and extra space to get some sewing in to help preserve my sanity and keep the creative juices flowing (let alone replenish my wardrobe... hadn't really planned for spring when I left Paris 5 months ago!). And still keeping my toe in the professional waters, bien sûr.


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