Day 3+4 – Alba, Italy

Day 3

Today I was able to sleep in a bit before getting up to join part of our group having breakfast at La Brazilera, which from here on will be referred to as ‘the flagship’ as we usually meet or hang out there. After hanging out and chatting for a bit, we headed to lunch at the communal cafeteria. (For reference, breakfast is often seen as a very light occasion, consisting of only coffee and a croissant.) The cafeteria was just what one would expect. It was very similar to your high school cafeteria, where you take a tray and move down a line selecting your items. After lunch, we walked to St. Mary’s College where we attended our daily composition lecture, today listening to Dr. Peter Farmer present some of his works, followed by constructive discussion. After the lesson, we had free time until the 9pm evening concert at Fondazione Ferrero. The inaugural concert featured singer Hilary Cole. Her standing ovation earned her three extra encore performances.

Day 4

There was a similar basic schedule for the composers this morning. Breakfast, lunch, composition lesson at 1pm. However, today we listened to St. Mary’s composition professor, Dr. David Froom talk about some of his works and lend some constructive criticism for the group. I also met privately with Dr. Froom to talk about a couple of my own pieces, looking for some general advice on the compositional process. His suggestions proved helpful in aiding with some last minute changes to the piece that would be performed the next day by the Siren Woodwind Quintet. For the evening concert, we saw the St. Mary’s College Men’s Quartet, followed by Brian Ganz performing an all-Chopin concert on the Pianoforte in the beautiful Chiesa di San Domenico. After the concert, Max, a student from St. Mary’s pulled me aside asking if I was a percussionist. I told him that I was and he proceeded to invite me to be a part of a Klezmer performance on Saturday, June 2nd. I was thrilled to accept, as I was itching to actually perform during the trip.

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