You’re honest but modest. You let your actions speak louder than words.
I frequently talk about and write about the two “P” words—Practice and Performance. However, it is important that I do more than talk and write about this subject; I also practice, create and perform new programs hoping that my example will encourage my students to work toward their practice and performance goals.
Creating programs takes sometimes months of research. Programs with a theme are always audience pleasers. Discovering that theme can take many twists and turns: an article read, a new piece performed, a thought from a student, an idea found while walking the beach or walking through an art gallery all can lead to that “new” program. Sometimes the “discovery” phase can take weeks or even months. Once the theme is solidified though, the creation of the program can begin.
For a program such as my organ and media event, Bach and Sons, the idea came from a series of solo organ concerts I presented at the Abbey Bach Festival where I played on one night the secular organ music of Johann Sebastian, Carl Phillip Emmanuel, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and on the second night the sacred organ music of those composers. These programs planted the seed for Bach and Sons.
Eighteen months later, after extensive research, practice, and preparation and with the help of an eight member focus group the concert was premiered in Anchorage, Alaska to an enthusiastic audience. Since then it has enjoyed many performances.
My students are well aware that I not only talk the talk about practice and performance, but spend hours a day in practice for those many performances throughout the year as a concert organist.