This week was one crazy full week of concerts for Qantu but it was a lot of fun and full of pride even if there were some mess ups here and there.
The first concert I took part in was the soloists’ concert on Monday night. Other than the little choque Marco and I had the evening went very well and the students played very well even though the local was not the best acoustically speaking. It was also fun playing in a little orchestra after a really long time of not playing in one. We had a lot of practices and pulled it off quite nicely. I enjoyed playing with Ernesto Zamora as well, a violinist from Lima. He is helping me out with getting my bow re-strung in Lima. All in all, it was a good concert.
On Tuesday night we had the violin concert which went quite well other than a few mess-ups at the end with the entire group but that was a result of a lot of students not coming to the final practice. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud of my students I was, especially one who I had worked with so hard on changing her bow hold and getting her to relax her palm while putting her fingers down. She played beautifully! We had a special treat from some Canadian boys who were here on vacation and dropped off a ton of donations from different stores and a former teacher of Qantu who now lives in Canada. They played traditional fiddle tunes from Yukon and Cape Breton. One of them accompanied himself with foot percussion. The audience loved it! I am so happy to have had such a successful concert. The first concert I took part in back in July was fun but I wasn’t as invested in it as I was with this one. 8 months of working with students will definitely add some interest and pride. We gave Angela flowers at the end of the concert to conclude her final concert with Qantu. She got emotional which was totally understandable. She puts so much energy into her students and I know she is going to miss them terribly when she is in Lima. She is going to the conservatory where she will only further her music career. I wish her the best of luck!
Finally, on Friday night we had the ensamble concert at the centro de convenciones which is basically the municipality’s conference center. The acoustics were terrible and it was really hard to get everyone to play together in time. It was cold and a lot of hard work was done in vain because it really didn’t turn out too well. It’s unfortunate but that is what we have to deal with here. There are very few areas in Cusco that have really nice acoustics and can fit all of the kids in the ensamble.
Also, we have the great fun of moving clavinovas and cajones to all parts of town for the concerts since no one has a piano here. Seriously, there is not one single place in Cusco that has a really nice grand piano. It is sad and it is something that Flor, our director is always asking for at concerts to let everyone know that we really really need one here for the betterment of our students and so we don’t have to move clavinovas all over the place! It’s really not that bad but it does get tiring after a while. Ideally, we would have a bigger place to teach and to have concerts. It would be wonderful but we need a lot of funding for it. Maybe there is someone out there reading this blog that has the resources to send donations or help us out! That would be genial as they say here.
Today, we celebrated the end of the semester with a chocolatada. It is a tradition here during Christmas time to celebrate with hot chocolate and paneton which is like fruit cake but much lighter and more delicious than what we are used to in the States. The hot chocolate is delicious and the paneton is also scrumptious. I have already had three cups of hot chocolate and two pieces of Paneton. Tis the season to engoradarme (get fat). ☺