Tomorrow I’ll tell you the whole list of reasons why I’m so happy to be here, but today I just want to tell you where we are. We are at Emory and Henry College, in the mountains of far southwestern Virginia, at a Suzuki Violin Institute. I think this is our sixth or seventh year.
You know the author Barbara Kingsolver? Remember her book about local foods? We ate at her restaurant last night. It just happens to be out in the middle of nowhere two miles from where we are spending the week.
It’s fun going out with a big group that includes a fourteen year old boy. They get embarrassed SOOOO easily.
Speaking of food, do you remember how little you appreciated the dorm food in college? I complained and fussed… I guess my mom had spoiled me. But now it’s amazing how nice it is to not have to cook, not have to clean up, and for each child to be able to eat what they choose… The food is actually excellent. Almost as good as the music. And see my parents? They drove here from Michigan to help me out for the beginning of the week, until Dixon’s here.
Here are my four musicians when they had to sit still without their instruments. Some children are not good at that . But any large group coming together from all over the country to play together for a week has to listen to announcements for a few minutes before getting started. Sorry.
Finally they got to play. The bigger boys are there, too, just way in the back where I couldn’t get them in the picture from where I was sitting.
Emily wasn’t with that group, they put the violas with the cellos tonight… and Emily’s actually not doing the Suzuki institute this week. She’s studying with the Fry Street Quartet, a faculty group from the University of Utah who are in residence here teaching chamber music. It’s neat that the people who arrange this week understand how rare and valuable it is for families with children with a wide range of ages and abilities have a chance to play and study together and have everybody’s needs met.
Time for bed, everybody’s first class is at 8 AM tomorrow.