Harmonic Convergence

A pair of happy clarinet players in Kalamazoo: the great Anthony McGill (left) and the hopes-to-be good Charley McKelvy.

A pair of happy clarinet players in Kalamazoo: the great Anthony McGill (left) and the hopes-to-be good Charley McKelvy.

(Kalamazoo, Michigan) At the conclusion of my clarinet lesson on Wednesday, my teacher Jason Gresl asked if I was free Friday night, because Anthony McGill was slated to appear at Dalton Center Recital Hall on the campus of Western Michigan University with the Pacifica Quartet as part of the Fontana Chamber Arts series.  Recently named Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic and Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the past decade, Anthony McGill is arguably the best of the best clarinet players in the United States.  You may recall that he appeared on national television on January 20, 2009 with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.  All I know is that I got a ticket, got myself to Kalamazoo in time for the concert and sat enraptured right under the stage as Anthony McGill performed Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet in B minor with Pacifica Quartet.  And I was there after the concert when Anthony McGill told a group of clarinet students that it was all about breathing and that one should always work on one’s embouchure, and that one should never practice for more than 45 minutes at a time.  But by the smile on his face, it was clear that his main message was:  Playing the clarinet is a good time!!!

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Sunset Coast

Somebody's got to watch it.

Somebody’s got to watch it.

 

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Stopping by woods

(Harbert, Michigan) We stopped by the Harbert Road Nature Preserve on Harbert Road just east of the I-94 overpass the other day to see what was hopping in the 90-acre habitat of ponds, wetland and woods.  The birds were quiet, but the adjacent soybeans were browning nicely in the October sun, and a woman was happily heading out on the trail with her dog.  Life was good, and it was good we stopped.

Soy scene.

Soy scene.

A walk in the woods with woman's best friend.

A walk in the woods with woman’s best friend.

Postcard from Harbert, Michigan.

Postcard from Harbert, Michigan.

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Fall Drive

When we go for a drive in the country, we begin with a drive in the country, right here at home in Harbert, Michigan.

When we go for a drive in the country, we begin with a drive in the country, right here at home in Harbert, Michigan.

 

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Hunting Season

IMG_4313

A Great Blue Heron hunts for lunch in Worster Lake at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty, Indiana. The 6-square-mile Park is 3 miles east of North Liberty on State Road 4. For more information, call: 574-656-8186.

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Pot o’ Gold

We found our pot o' gold on U.S. Hwy. 12 in Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday morning.

We found our pot o’ gold on U.S. Hwy. 12 in Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday morning.

 

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Fall Color Tour

(South Bend, Indiana/Harbert, Michigan) We drove down and over to South Bend the other day to have my clarinet teacher, Jason Gresl, undo the “fix” I did to my clarinet.  After Jason diagnosed the problem as an over-tightened A key and got me playing in tune again, we feasted our eyes on a fall color tour to end all fall color tours.  To wit:

On a South Bend street where my clarinet teacher lives.

On a South Bend street where my clarinet teacher lives.

Popping up Portage Road into Michigan as the fall colors pop.

Popping up Portage Road into Michigan as the fall colors pop.

Westbound on U.S. Hwy. 12 just south of Buchanan, Michigan.

Westbound on U.S. Hwy. 12 just south of Buchanan, Michigan.

Dipping into Warren Woods on Warren Woods Road.

Dipping into Warren Woods on Warren Woods Road.

Through the Woods brightly.

Through the Woods brightly.

Looking north on Prairie Road from Red Arrow Highway, and then . . .

Looking north on Prairie Road from Red Arrow Highway, and then . . .

. . . home again, home again, jiggity jig.

. . . home again, home again, jiggity jig.

 

 

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