Saturday, July 18, 2009

Flowers, Fire, and cool evening weather

Flowers are looking nice by the pool here at Bill's TN Paradise.

What an amazingly cool night for mid-July. It's expected to get in the mid 50's tonight. Glad the pool is heated.

It's a nice night to light the patio fireplace.

Also a nice night to run. I pounded out 2 miles at 6:40 pace tonight. Fastest I've run in a while.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pine Creek hike from Center Hill Lake

It's one of those secret places. A place that's shady, cool, beautiful.... an undeveloped wilderness where I have never seen another person in the several times I've hike here.

It was about 95 degrees in Nashville that day, but in the deep canyon of Pine Creek, probably in the low 80's.

Iska and I arrived by boat from Center Hill Lake and started the nearly 2 hour hike to the falls. Much of the hike was actually walking in the creek. There is no trail. After a few miles, the creek is bordered on both sides by huge walls. Eventually, the creek runs dry and who would imagine there would be a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole up ahead? For about a half mile or so before the falls, the creek is dry.

Note the interesting rock formations and the mist illuminated by the sunshine near the falls.

Unfortunately, these photos are not too sharp because they were taken with a cell phone. (click on photos to enlarge)

We also visited Great Falls at Rock Island State Park. The falls were incredible. I wish I had brought my camera, but I didn't.

Stay tuned, I hope to go back next week to get some pictures of Great Falls. What a stunning place.

MTSU Guitar Student wins First Prize in Houston Guitar Competition

BJ Golden wins First Prize in the collegiate division of the Classical Minds Guitar Competition in Houston on July 2, '09. The Classical Minds Competition is part of the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston.

BJ, who will be a senior at MTSU next year, won the $500 First Prize. He played music of Mertz, Regondi, Bellinati, Morel, and his own jazz transcription of Earl Klugh's Autumn Leaves. BJ played great.

I performed at the festival and enjoyed seeing my colleagues, Doug James, Elliot Frank, Jon Akers, and festival director, Valerie Hartzell.

(photo: Doug, BJ, and I)

I also taught some very talented students. I was particularly amazed and inspired by the level of performance of the high school level students. Texas has emerged as the major 'guitar state' in America - largely through the efforts of Adam Holzman students, particularly Matt Hinsley - director of the Austin Classical Guitar Society, the largest classical guitar society in America that has developed valuable guitar education outreach programs.

I'm happy to say MTSU guitar student BJ Golden is a great example of a guitar student making a living as a performer. Just 2 days after winning this classical guitar competition, BJ took the stage on July 4th as a sideman for the country group Carolina Rain in a performance for several thousand people in Salt Lake City.

Houston was quite warm, 102 everyday and very little rain. I was amazed that it stayed so warm at night, only 'cooling down' to only about 88 degrees by the wee hours. Sooo happy to be back. See my next post.