Alameda is a Portland based indie folk music band that I've had the pleasure of playing and recording with. They are currently on their tour and will be stopping through San Francisco! They'll be playing a show at the Amnesia Bar located at 853 Valencia St. Between 19th & 20th on Saturday, March 24th. I am excited to say that I will be on stage playing with them! Hope to see you there!
Well, it's happened! I've moved to the bay area! East bay to be a little more precise. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind! Bye Bye Birdie at St. Mary's Academy was a big success (And a super fun book to play for horn. Oh, how I love to play jazz and rock n' roll!), and the move down was relatively flawless. Amtrak Express, however, did manage to lose track of my 2 1/2' x 1' x 1' aluminum trunk weighing 84lbs. How this happened completely eludes me, but hopefully by tomorrow it will all be sorted out.
So, I finally made my move on Tuesday, 3-6-12 at 9:15am. It seemed like an auspicious time for a big life transition. My travel buddy and I ended up driving through the gambit of weather changes including sun, heavy rain, snow, hail… you name it! Okay, no tornadoes… but needless to say it was quite the dynamic ride down!
No sooner did I arrive in the bay area, my old college friend Michelle Stuart posted a need for a horn player to cover the book for Thoroughly Modern Millie at Roosevelt High School in Fresno. My weekend happened to be free and I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and get some playing in. So, no sooner did I land in the bay area, I found myself in the car again and making my way down to Fresno.
It was a super fun weekend! Michelle did an incredible job conducting the show. They had a full orchestra, a large number of the musicians being high school students (many of which it was their first year playing their instrument). Fresno never ceases to amaze me with the wide array of talent, and driven individuals. It really is astounding how dedicated the musicians in the Fresno community are to their craft! The group did a fabulous job pulling off this 1920's jazz and dixieland show.
In addition to the show, I managed to get some time in with my very first student, Daniel Carrion. What an amazing transformation he's undergone in the last 9 years. Not only did he go from the kid who reminded me of The Karate Kid's Ralph Macchio to a distinguished young man with a slight resemblance to Adrian Brody, but he's become an incredibly talented horn player! Can you tell I'm a proud teacher? Daniel is currently studying with my undergraduate horn professor, Dr. Thomas Hiebert, an inspiring man with a tremendous heart.
And so it begins... this new chapter of my life. The next couple of weeks will involve meeting up with musician's I've reached out to prior to moving, lots and lots of practicing, recording as soon as I can, and getting signed up for aerial classes! Ready, set... GO!
Thanks for reading! Wish me luck!
There's a lot that's been happening for me as of late. At the end of this month, and a big thanks to my fabulous horn playing friend Leander Star, I will be performing my first concerts with the Newport Symphony Orchestra located on the Oregon Coast. We are playing a newer piece by the composer Daniel Kellogg titled Pyramus and Thisbe. I believe the composer will be there for the rehearsals and the performance!
In addition, St. Mary's Academy has asked me to come back and play for their musical Bye Bye Birdie in late February and early March. I've always enjoyed working with for St. Mary's and am looking forward to that as well.
The big news is that I am getting ready to move to the Bay Area! I'll be heading there after I'm done with Bye Bye Birdie with the hopes that I can build a more established freelance career! It does help a great deal that most my family lives around the bay, and I've been itching to get back there for awhile. As Dorothy says "There's no place like home!" (Not to mention, I'll get take flying trapeze classes more regularly!!!)
And lastly, I'm trying my hand and singing and songwriting. This is something I've wanted to do for some time and just recently got the nerve to just go for it. Here's my first song that I've released to the public. Thanks for listening! Enjoy! http://amyvs.bandcamp.com/
Pixie Dust Production's The Wizard of Oz opened last weekend with only 8 more shows left! As with any Pixie Dust show, this is a spectacle with flying, pyrotechnics, an excellent cast and wonderful musicians! Hope to see you there! Here's a bit from today's morning news: http://www.kgw.com/community/blogs/drew-carney/The-Wizard-of-Oz-135907118.html
When people ask me these days who my favorite musical artists are, Merrill and tUnE-YarDs instantly comes to mind. Merrill embodies a child-like musical approach that I felt while growing up; dressing up in costumes, putting on make-up, and dancing with myself while singing wildly in front of the mirror or around the house... only she has the courage to do it on stage and share herself and her vision with everyone! Not only that, but her music is raw and enticing! Armed with a rockin' ukelele, various drums, loop pedal, and good and talented friends, Merrill is truly breaking new ground!
They played a spectacular sold-out show at the Wonder Ballroom tonight, as always. I saw her play at Mississippi Studios in May 2010 the first time. To get her full effect, you must see her live! It pleases me to no end that her musical draw has spread like wildfire! To give you an idea, Mississippi Studios holds 300 people and the Wonder holds nearly 800. Not bad for a year and a half of progress! See you at The Crystal Ballroom next time you come around to Portland, tUnE-YarDs?
For those of you who are saying, "Wow, this person sounds cool!" or "Okay, you've sparked my curiosity", here's a video of newer song that I love and adore:
The Cascadia Composers have asked my quintet, the Moussai Ensemble to play two new works for their concert this Saturday, Oct. 29th @ 8pm, located at the Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church. We've been working directly with the composers, have really grown an affinity for these pieces, and are looking forward to exposing them to the world! Hope to see you there!
Some of you may know that when I turned 30 I began eating a low-glycemic diet. I did this for a number of reasons including a desire for more energy, healthy weight loss (I was about 30lbs above average), and improving my mood. To take it even further, I've been trying to eat all organic and little to no processed foods. I had such a remarkable change and can't imagine going back to how I ate before!
In addition, some of you may know about my severe chocolate addiction (and sweets in general). Since eating this way, I've made it a bit of a mission to find recipes that allow me to eat the foods that I love, i.e. cookies, cake, pies, pizza, bread etc. Hopefully, these future posts will help others in their journey to achieve healthy lifestyles while still eating the foods they love!
On that note, Travis and I have a couple of friends who will be visiting us soon. One of our visiting friends has a birthday around the time that they will be visiting, so naturally I'll be making him a cake! He eats a little to no gluten regime. This can be tricky because Gluten Free does NOT equal Low-Glycemic. Many people confuse the two. Gluten Free goods often include flours made of rice (white and brown), tapioca, and potato. All of these ingredients are super high in starch and ultimately convert into sugar as they are processed in the body. Very occasionally I will eat these things and the extreme sugar rush always makes me regret it. So what do I do?
I've been exploring recipes that involve Coconut Flour lately, so when I found out that my friend likes chocolate and peanut butter (who doesn't?! ... expect for those allergic...) I did a google search for "coconut flour chocolate peanut butter cake". This is what I found. I'll post the whole recipe again below for those who want to refer to my post.
These are brilliant!! Who would of thought that black beans would make a base for chocolate cake? Incredulously, I gave it a test run. Like the blogger who posted it said "I kept thinking about this cake for several days so I happily gave in to my chocolate cake craving". I couldn't agree more! Travis and I decided it's for the best to try another test run before our friends get here. This time, putting chocolate chips in the batter before baking and using salted peanut butter! Yumm!!!
Enjoy!! Here's the recipe again. I decided to use honey instead of erythritol and included the change below:
(The picture is of the ones that I made today!)
Grain-Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
2 cups cooked black beans, room temperature (can use canned but rinse very well in colander)
3/4 tsp liquid stevia
2 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey (or agave)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat so it’s in liquid form (or melted butter)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 Tbsp milk (almond, coconut, rice, cow etc)
1 tsp chia seed, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Peanut Butter Icing Ingredients
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used salted because I love the sweet/salty combo)
1-3 Tbsp milk of choice (depending on how thick you want your frosting)
1-3 Tbsp honey (or agave) or more to taste, depending on how sweet you want it
For serving, optional
Chopped roasted salted peanuts
Chocolate or carob chips or chocolate shavings
1. Preheat oven to 325F. In a 9-inch round springform pan, grease sides and bottom with coconut oil or butter and line bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a blender or a food processor, add beans, eggs, stevia, vanilla, and honey and puree well.
3. Then add remaining ingredients (coconut oil through baking soda) to blender/food processor and puree well. Make sure they are no clumps!
4. Add batter to the pan and bake for about 27-30 minutes or until your tester comes out mostly clean (ovens vary). Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool. ~You could also make cupcakes and bake for about 21-23 minutes.
5. Once the cake has cooled completely, start your peanut butter icing/drizzle. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, milk and honey and mix well with a spoon. Add milk a little at a time to reach your preferred consistency.
6. Remove sides of the springform pan and spread frosting over the cake. OR if you want mini cakes like the ones I made, cut the cake round in half horizontally, then use a round biscuit cutter to cut small cake rounds. Spread the frosting between two layers, drizzle additional icing on top, and garnish with chocolate chips/shavings and chopped peanuts. Enjoy!!!
We just finished our second weekend in a six weekend run of Annie Get Your Gun at Lakewood Theater. The show has gotten excellent reviews and standing ovations nearly every time! Here's a link to a review, and below is a fun preview. If you listen closely you can hear me playing horn. If you're curious, our instrumentation is two synths, violin/banjo, two reed books, stand-up bass, trumpet, horn, and percussion.
Get your tickets 'cause they are going fast! Hope to see you there!
Opening night is tomorrow for Annie Get Your Gun at Lakewood Theater in Lake Oswego, OR. I reckon it'll be a hootenanny! It's a six weekend run, Thurs.-Sun. with occasional double shows on Sundays. The costumes are incredible, the cast is top notch, the music and pit players rock (I'm not biased...), the set is beautiful, and the theater is an intimate setting. Would love to see you there!
Thank you for visiting my first ever website and blog! I'll have more information up for you very soon.