Day 2

Date: Tue,  6 Jan 1998 21:08:58, -0500 
Subject: Contra-fest second day! 

Again I return home at days end fully charged with the days activities. It amazes me how when you put contra-bassoonist from 4 continents who don't even all speak English, how they all immediately bond and learn from each others experiences and cultures. 

Today there were lectures, discussions, public performances (Las Vegas's first French contra-bassoonist performing amongst the slot machines), and tons of sharing. 

I tried to apologize to the group about a logistical abnormaility and to my amazement, they all did not even know anything was wrong.  All of the contra-players just climbed back into each others heads and appeared to be sponges gathering information from each other. 

We have some of the worlds most renowned contra-bassoonists participating.  We have some students participating.  We see differences in contra styles and cultural expectations.  I am sure that new ideas will be taken back to each players countries to be implemented. 

Tons of contra music floating around today.  I listened in the class offered by Chip Owen today and made a decision that all future contra-fests will only be for contra-bassoons.  There is so much that can be learned and shared for just that one instrument, that to include other contra-instruments would not enhance the festival.  Sorry guys, you others may come to future festivals and present, but there will be no lectures or masterclasses for other instruments. 

It also occurs to us today that some third world countries would like to send their contra-bassoonists, but can not afford it.  My Lions Club will explore this situation and hopefully identify some funding to handle it in the future.  Any ideas from other double-reeders? 

There is lots of discussion on increasing the number of attendees at this festival.  It was agreed upon by all that if this week were superimposed at the IDRS conferance somehow, it would increase the attendance at both.  Many of the festival attendees had to choose this year between which to attend.  I will communicate with the IDRS leadership and the convention hosts for Tempe and those after about this possibility. 

It was also decided to not conduct a competition ever again.  More emphasis on education and performing is where the contra-bassoonists want to stay. 

Tomorrow we look forward to a very in depth reed making session (2.5 hours).  More recitals, masterclass, public performances, fun food together, and sextet practice.  Everyone decided that a doubled trio should also be performed in the final concert on Thursday. 

If anyone reading this is within a one hour flight of Las Vegas, it would definitely be worth your effort to come to the Grand Finale Concert at the MGM Grand Casino from 3-5 pm on Thursday! 

Lastly, I need to know now if you want the videos.  There will be 2 videos (lectures and performances).  The lecture video is getting almost all of it in English and French.  There is some Spanish too. Fortunately, Richard Murray has agreed to write another IDRS Journal article about the festival upon completion like last year. 


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