2022 was a year of reopening.
It was not as if the January 1, 2022 came and the bells rang out and a voice announced " the world is open again". The reopening happened little by little.
Looking back, I could really feel the shift in March. We had Federation Festival in person at UNCG. It was so wonderful to meet teachers and students in person, and the halls of UNCG buzzed with the excitement of being together. (I noted with appreciation that hallways/rooms in the UNCG music building are clearly labeled, which made it relatively easy to navigate)
In April, I started singing in choir again! I am part of Gate City Voices, a volunteer choir that sings with the professional ensemble Bel Canto Company. We had two wonderful concerts in May, and two concerts in December. Singing in a choir is life-giving and energizing, and singing with this group and this director in particular has been a good challenge for me. It doesn't hurt that we rehearse in a beautiful church that has amazing acoustics. (On a side note, I'm thinking of starting a travel blog so I can write about all the beautiful churches in this area that I visit for piano/choir events)
My dad and I also got back into beekeeping this year. We set up two hives at the farm connected with Church of the Redeemer. Sadly, we lost both hives over the summer, but we during the process we met many local beekeepers and started attending the monthly beekeepers association meetings. We learned much about how different this area is from the coast in regards to plants, growing season, and pests, and we will be much better prepared for beekeeping next year!
Summer was a combination of pool time with my niece and nephew, teaching, reconnecting with friends from TN, and a family beach vacation!
Once the fall semester started, the leadership of North Carolina Music Teachers Association hit the ground running in preparation for the NCMTA conference, which was held in person for the first time since 2019! Now that I am part of the leadership team, I have a greater appreciation for the amount of work that goes into planning the conference, but once we were there (in person), we all remarked how wonderful it was to see everyone and not deal with Zoom fatigue. Video conferencing technology has allowed us to collaborate in some pretty incredible ways over the past few years, but there is a wonderful energy and buzz from being in person that cannot be replicated through a screen.
Also in the fall, I had the pleasure of practicing and performing piano duets with two piano teacher colleagues. I was reminded again of the unique collaborative elements of sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone, breathing together, sharing notes and keys and life.
The year ended with a month full of music- two choir concerts with GCV, piano recital for my students, singing in the Advent choir at Church of the Redeemer, and the Greensboro MTA holiday gathering where I played duets with another teacher. The house we gathered at for GMTA was way off in the country (in the neighboring county), off the road and up on a hill. It reminded me so much the annual Christmas tea I attended as a child, with my mom and sisters. Every year, we would put on our best clothes and travel to the house on a hill for a time of decadent desserts, awkward conversation, and singing.
The Christmas eve service almost didn't happen, thanks to a brutal winter storm that drove the temperature down into the single digits (time to move to Florida?) and knocked out the power. But the power came back on just in time, and somehow the heaters worked efficiently enough that the church was not only warm, it was slightly too warm (but maybe that's because I was wearing many layers). You could almost say it was a Christmas miracle, but that would be too cheesy.
Here's to 2023!
I am a piano teacher who loves teaching music and discussing personality styles. I also enjoy playing music with others, whether that is chamber music, piano duets, or singing in a choir. My favorite composers are Bach and Haydn.