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*dusting off this website for an important announcement*

You may want to take a look at the DVS website:

Do you know (or are you) an aspiring young musician or vocalist in grades 7 through 12? The Dakota Valley Symphony is inviting students to perform a concerto movemenr or an area to a panel of judges in early 2008. The winner will be a featured soloist with the Symphony in the April 26 & 27 concerts. Click here for an application packet.

(see the website for access to the application packet)

And yes, I'll be returning to posting here!

A note to our sponsors...

Blogathon sponsor emails have gone out. If you have gmail, they likely went to your spam folder.

I don't think I get confirmation of whether or not you've fulfilled your pledge - so I hope you have. I just fulfilled mine this morning :D.

If you can't find your email that Blogathon sent out, never fear! The link to fulfill your sponsorship directly with DVS is right here. If you scroll to the bottom, there's a button dedicated just to Blogathon sponsors :). If you need a reminder of how much you sponsored, please send me an email at fiddledragon AT gmail DOT com and I'll be happy to get you those totals. :)

As far as content here goes, I haven't forgotten. I've been swamped at work and then hit with sick. I'm coming back :)

Meant to make this post last night...

But will take a second right now - particularly since an additional THANK YOU is in order to shadesong!

That's right - you can still donate!

Donations close this evening (don't know what time, I think 8pm Central?)

In any case - am finally fully recovered from this weekend *woot* and will be ready to start thinking up new content to add here within the next few days.

Blogathon 2007
For Dakota Valley Symphony
Sponsor this blog
Total so far: $90
I've mentioned health problems before, and in managing them, I see my physical therapist...regularly. She plays MPR's Classical Station in her clinic, so music is often a topic of conversation - particularly if DVS has a concert coming up.

One day I was lying on her table, and a piece came up that was very confusing to me...I couldn't tell if it had one or two pianos, and so I concentrated really hard to try and figure out what it was.

"Stop that, I can feel you thinking, and I can't continue to work until you relax!"

I laughed so hard, but I couldn't stop thinking until the piece was over, and ultimately we did end up stop working entirely until it was over. Her concentration was broken, and I just couldn't focus on anything except that piece.

I've concentrated on music so many times in her office before, but never like that...I guess it showed, and was reflecting in the way my body was reacting. I was right, though - I did figure out it was two pianos....and the commentator mentioned as much when the piece was over. I can't for the life of me now remember what it was.

Oh - and ps - before I forget. *chuckle* Steve, if you're reading...the dj from http://radio.blogexplosion.com wanted to know if we travelled outside our area and if we perform in the Chicago area ;).

Once more, with feeling

Well, folks, the end of Blogathon 2007 is here. I haven't done this before, but I have to say it is a very rewarding and fun experience.

I am pretty sure I will be doing this again next year - maybe for DVS again, or maybe for some other charity. I already have an idea or two.

Thanks to everyone who donated, or posted comments, or kept me up by chatting! Good morning, and goodnight.


Last Post: So where to now?

First of all. thank you again and again! Thank you for reading. For those that donated, thank youu. For those who commented throughout the night, thank you - for those that sent me IM messages thank you. For those that kept me laughing *way* too much (I'm looking at YOU Team Venture) Thank you. Thank you to my partner in blogging songwind, without whom I would NOT have made it through the night. Thank you to my other housemate ladysea who even though she wasn't here in person, was tremendously supportive in spirit. Thank you to the kids who are my inspiration in everything, and thank you to Spud and the dogs who were incredibly patient and awesome throughout when songwind were busy taking care of blogging and some household projects.

This was my first Blogathon, and it most certainly will not be my last. I was a little worried as to whether or not I'd be able to handle it due to health concerns, and I'm feeling a little unsteady now, but over all pretty darn good considering I only had about a 2 hour nap throughout the entire Blogathon.

So far, we've raised $80 for DVS, but don't despair! It's not too late to donate! There's a 48-hour grace period for donations starting right now! Just click the link that says "Sponsor this blog" ;). But $80 is more than we had before, so I'm not complaining in the slightest. A first year event for any one person is always a "slim" year as people get their feet wet. Besides, it gives me *lots* of room for improvement for next year!

So what happens between now and next year? I certainly don't intend to leave dragonsfordvs lay fallow. I'd like to keep up segments on each of the topics brought up tonight and more. I'd *love* if more DVS members would like to participate as well, but that, of course, is up to them. Don't worry, the volume won't be anywhere near like tonight. I figure I'll probably post a couple times per week...at least that's my goal. I won't speak for songwind as to his plans for the future here or if he has any.

And as an extra bonus, I think I have an extra bonus post in me before the end.

Blogathon 2007
For Dakota Valley Symphony
Sponsor this blog
Total so far: $80

Music to sleep by

What music do you like to go to sleep by?

I have never been able to sleep along to the stereotypical "sleepy" music. Classical, even lullabyes, requires too many brain cycles for me. Maybe if it were really familiar I could get to sleep.

When I was a teen, I went to sleep to Metallica and similar music. It was familiar enough not to require any thought, and the beat, while fast, was steady and deep, so it acted almost like one of those white-noise generators.


I need to hurry and get this post written a few minute early - the intrepid travellers should be home very very shortly!!!! Yay!!!!! I've missed them!!!!!!!


So Anne McCaffrey's notable in a lot of respects, and a number of her books include music somewhere in them. But two series in particular have music as a central theme, without which the book would be a very different concept.

The Crystal Singer is the first of 3 in a series about a woman by the name of Killashandra, about a group called the Heptite Guild, and about crystal singing in general. Quite literally, the ability to sing is required in order mine crystal, and Killashandra is one of the best.

Again, this was a book I read a very very long time ago, and became a well loved favorite very quickly. I should reread all three of them....

But the books that I feel as a musician, and as a parent, that really set Anne McCaffrey apart is her Pern books. In her Pern books, the concept of music as community building, music in education - heck music as a vehicle for education, music as a unifying force - are all epitomized. The Harper Hall is omnipresent throughout the Pern Books...but there are two where it's really pertinent: The MasterHarper of Pern and Dragons Eye. Though both of these would benefit the most from having been read after reading the founding three books of the series: Dragonsflight, Dragonsquest, and The White Dragon; and the companion YA series: The Harper Hall Series: Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragon Drums

ooooh...and I think I hear everyone!!!!! (only 2 more posts after this!)

Blogathon 2007
For Dakota Valley Symphony
Sponsor this blog
Total so far: $80

Movie Music

Something I enjoy about going to the movies is listening to the soundtrack. Lately it's become the "Listen for the John Williams" theme game, but well...yeah. When you consider that he worked on the first two Harry Potter movies, and wrote the defining themes for the movies, and then they went on to other composers for the other 3 (two others now, this last one was a new composer again)...and ditto for Pirates of the Carribean, well..it's not surprising that you'll find his themes embedded in and around other composers' works.

What surprised me, however, was when I was watching Transformers last weekend...and in it I could have SWORN that I heard thematic elements from POTC...but nothing else of the sound track sounded even remotely like John Williams, and after *counts on fingers and fails* how many summer pops seasons since 2002 I can tell you I'm becoming fairly familiar with his work!

So I went to trusty old IMDB, and looked up the composer, Steve Jablonksy. Nope, not John Williams, as I had surmised, but darnit, I was CONVINCED that I had heard POTC. So I looked through his credits to determine what else he'd worked on to see if there was a link....

A -ha...There it is...almost half-way down the page, He worked as a composer for additional music on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Oh, and there was another element that I *really* liked, though I couldn't find a link in his credits - he may have put it in for nostalgia purposes. In any case, there is a scene with fighter pilots...and in that scene, he uses music with chord structures almost identical to those used in fighter pilot scenes in Top Gun.

Nice touch!

Blogathon 2007
For Dakota Valley Symphony
Sponsor this blog
Total so far: $80

Adult music students

This would definitely be a topic I'm passionate about, particularly as I came to my currently chosen instrument as an adult.

Oftentimes, when people find out I play violin, I get asked, "Oh! How long have you played?" And they tend to expect some age early in years. They do *not* expect to hear something around the age of 22 as being when I got my first violin. The next response is then usually along the lines of "Oh wow, I've always wanted to play $INSERT_INSTRUMENT_HERE, but I don't think I could because $INSERT_REASON_HERE". It might be they feel they're too old, not enough time, kids are too young, not enough money, etc...Or, they're afraid to take up an instrument because they're afraid they won't be able to learn it. That the golden window of opportunity has closed forever.

I disagree. I feel that it's never too late to learn an instrument. I feel that there are solutions to *most* ever barrier, but you might have to search for those solutions, or be willing to be realistic on what those solutions might be.

To be continued.....

Blogathon 2007
For Dakota Valley Symphony
Sponsor this blog
Total so far: $80