Sunday, March 15, 2009

MTSU Guitar Grad selected as semi-finalist in Parkening Int'l Guitar Competition

(Updated) MTSU Guitar Grad Silviu Ciulei has been selected as one of 5 finalists in the Parkening International Guitar Competition at Pepperdine University on May 28, through Saturday, May 30, 2009.

Silviu was awarded the $500 semi-finalist prize and the $1000 Fifth Prize. Silviu was the only college student presently attending in the United States to win a prize in this, the preeminent guitar competition in the world.

This competition has the largest cash awards of any classical guitar competition in the world. Over $65,000 in prize money, including the $30,000 First Prize. (The $30,000 1st Prize exceeds even that of the famous Van Cliburn piano competition).

After graduating from MTSU last spring, Silviu was awarded a Graduate Assistantship and a Dean's Fellowship last fall at Florida State University where he studies with Bruce Holzman, my old teacher.

Watch Silviu performing one of the required pieces for the competition on youtube.

(Pic of Silviu partying out on my boat)

Also, congrats to MTSU Guitar students Javier Castellote and Kip Minton for winning 2nd and 3rd Prize at the Beethoven Club Young Artist Competition in Memphis on 3/7. They earned $200 and $100 in Prize money.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The beautiful gift of music

While on tour, I performed at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. I stayed a few days with Christopher Berg. I loved his place because had no less than 5 lutes, a vihuela and various other instruments.

He gave me this piece I had heard him play, Lullaby Blue. Such a sweet, beautiful and emotional piece, I learned it as soon as I got home. It was a great gift.

Have a listen, I think you'll like it too:

Lullaby Blue MP3

Here's a photo of me at Christopher's place playing his vihuela and a photo of us after my concert.

Congrats to Christopher on his excellent article in Soundboard Magazine: "The Re-imagination of Performance, " and his recent engagement.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First week of 5k training - TORTURE!

Maybe I'll run a few 5k races. I really hate this training but part of me loves it, I must have a masochist streak in me.

This was my first week of serious 5k training after a meager injury filled indoor sprint season. I'm amazed that my crappy 55m sprint time is still in the top ten (#8) nationally in my age group. I know I can do better.

But for now, I'll just torture myself with 3 or 4 more weeks of 5k training and maybe run a few races before it gets warm.

Here was my first week - and it was a ball buster!!

2/27: 4 miles - 7:02 avg pace

2/28: 6 miles - 7:09 avg pace

2/3: 8 half miles intervals with 3 min rest between at 3:01 avg pace

2/5: 3 miles in 20:01 (6:40 pace), 2 miles in 13:41 (6:50 pace); 1 mile in 6:13 .... 8 min rest between intervals


More snow pictures


Yes, those are impatiens growing in my window in the dead of a winter storm. Those red/orange impatiens are actually more than 2 yrs old. Some people call them "annuals" ...heh.

Snow path

Picture 2 is the path through my woods on the morning of the snow.


My homestead on the morning of March 1, 2009, under a fresh snow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow sculpture monolith

Here at Bill's TN Paradise, I can't be happy just building an ordinary snowman...

No.... I have to craft a 15 foot tall sculptured snow MONOLITH.

As the snow has virtually melted around urban Murfreesboro, at 2:40pm, there is still plenty left on the ground at Bill's TN Paradise.

Tennessee Snow

The biggest snowfall in years hit parts of TN. Parts of west central TN received well over a foot and maybe as much as 2' in some isolated locations.

Here at the homestead, we got 3" to 4" in Murfreesboro ... it's sticking to everything because it was preceded by heavy freezing rain.

I just spoke to my students at a competition in Columbus, GA and they said it is snowing there. This morning it is still snowing in GA and AL.

I'll update later with more pics.