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The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

John Stuart Mill


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Monday, December 17th, 2007

End of the semester

Sylvia's semester is wrapping up; and yesterday and today she played at the winter concerts of the Youth Orchestras of Essex County, her first performances since she joined the Overture Strings (the youngest group in YOEC) in the fall. The shows were great. Overture Strings performed "The Blue Danube Waltz", "The Great Gate of Kiev" from "Pictures at an Exhibition", and "The Nutcracker March". Lots of fun, although Sylvia found the second violin part for "Blue Danube" quite frustrating -- it is mostly disjointed quarter notes with rests in between and it's hard to get a sense of the melody when you are practicing by yourself. Her favorite piece was "Pictures at an Exhibition".

posted evening of December 17th, 2007: Respond
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Monday, May 5th, 2008

Concert

The Youth Orchestra of Essex County ended its spring term today with a concert at Daughters of Israel rest home, in West Orange. This was Sylvia's second semester playing with the orchestra and her fourth concert. It went very well, I thought -- the Overture Strings played "Ashokan Farewell" (which Sylvia and I are going to be performing together at the end of the month, when Gladney is holding a talent event at the Chinese Consulate) and Vivaldi's "Spring", and sounded very pretty. The Junior Symphony played a lovely piece which I thought was called "Slovenian Legend", but I'm not getting any hits for that. Maybe something else. And ECSO played the overture to "The Magic Flute", and sounded like professional musicians.

Sylvia sat by herself (I mean with other kids, separate from me) through the Junior and ECSO performances, and paid attention to the music. I kept an eye on her from the back of the room and felt good that she was into it.

posted evening of May 5th, 2008: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Ashokan Farewell

Today, for International Children's Day, Gladney has organized a talent show at the Chinese consulate in Manhattan. Sylvia and I are going to be playing "Ashokan Farewell", which she learned in in Overture Strings this term. Fingers crossed! I think it will go well, we've been practicing it a lot over the last few days.

Inspired by Apostropher and by Dave B., I have put together a mix tape of music that makes me feel happy. It's uploading right now, I probably won't get a chance to link it until we get back from our performance. So come back this evening to listen!

...The performance went very well indeed! We both made our entrances correctly (and I just want to point out that this was Sylvia's first experience with arranging -- she worked out who would play what part where) -- played in tune and kept time and all. Here's a photo:

posted morning of May 31st, 2008: Respond
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Monday, June 9th, 2008

Blackout

So I left work early today, to watch Sylvia auditioning for next year's Overture Strings, and to file away the folders of music I've had in the back of my car since YOEC's spring concert a few weeks ago. Arrived at South Orange Middle School, only to find the school and the rest of town dark -- a fire at a transformer station in West Orange shut down several towns around here.

Well Ellen, Sylvia and I escaped the heat by driving over to Springfield, which still had power and by lucky coincidence, has the only public library around here that's open well into the evening. We chilled out, I read the first chapter of Nixonland and confirmed that I want to read the rest of it. Got back home just as the power came on.

So the site was down for a while this afternoon but it looks like no data was lost. And here we are.

posted evening of June 9th, 2008: Respond
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