You’ve been wondering whether I’m ever going to get back to this blog, and the answer is, “Yes!” It’s too easy to work outside in the garden rather than sit in front of the computer. Classes start at Dakota Wesleyan in a couple of weeks, however, and then I’ll have to adhere to a schedule more faithfully.
One of the last music treats of the summer for LyricWood players is the string retreat that starts today at Abbey of the Hills near Marvin SD. Abbey of the Hills used to be Blue Cloud Abbey, up in the northeastern part of South Dakota. The Abbey is the sight of LyricWood’s first several retreats. When the Abbey closed, we went to Inspiration Hills in northwestern Iowa. Inspiration Hills is a lovely retreat center, but it felt as if we were coming home when the Abbey retreat center re-opened. Our friends the monks have dispersed to other Benedictine houses, but the wonderful acoustic space that was the chapel’s sanctuary remains, as does the pipe organ.
We will start with playing sessions this afternoon, reading down music for Sunday afternoon’s concert. Tonight and tomorrow we will have rehearsals and masterclass sessions and practice time. On Sunday our weekend immersed in music will culminate with a concert at 2:00. The concert is free and open to the public. The Abbey (and Marvin SD) are north and east of Watertown, so it’s a bit of a drive. Eastern South Dakota is beautiful and green this year, so why not treat yourself to a drive and a concert? Come to hear us. The program will include the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and a fun little work called the “One-Bow Concerto.” It’s for string orchestra with violin, viola, and cello soloists who share a bow!