Day Three: Crossed Eyes and Other Magic in Madrid

Day three in Madrid has been a long one filled mostly with business…but I’m in Madrid, so that is perfectly fine with me. I am so enjoying working as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the International Clarinet Association. The other Board members are completely dedicated and devoted to the organization, and it’s great to be a part of that energy and drive. The only problem after meetings that spanned almost twelve hours (with a lunch and practice break), is that my eyes were so tired from staring at the computer screen that they were about crossed when we adjourned at after 8pm. Tonight’s post will be more brief…or really wacky, thanks to fatigue. Jet lag still has its claws in me. No matter- it is all completely worth it to experience this city and its culture. 

During our break, several of us walked down to the big Conde Duque, an ancient fortress that has been turned into an arts center, and where many of the ClarinetFest events will be held.  

 (Shots from the courtyard of the Conde Duque)

We walked into the performance spaces where we will play the Board recital on Wednesday, and rehearse tomorrow evening. I am grateful to get to perform at this conference, and am looking forward to hearing many of the clarinetists who I consider my heroes from all over the globe. Conferences like ClarinetFest are incredibly important in inspiring us and helping us to network and meet great players and teachers- and try the newest and best equipment. My clarinet maker, Morrie Backun from Canada will be here tomorrow, and his special artists will wow us all with their virtuosity. Another team I am deeply proud to be a part of. 

  I am always on the watch for dogs, and they are everywhere in Madrid. Lots of little dog parks, and dogs of all shapes and sizes. So strange to sit down to lunch and have dogs walking around….well, I’m used to that at home, but not in a restaurant. I like it! Lunch was delicious….I could really get used to eating tapas for meals every day…and it was nice to take a break from walking the hills in the 100 degree temps. Sunny, blue skies…and hot. Coming from Birmingham, it just feels like home to me. 

  Lunch with our fearless leader, ICA President Maxine Ramey. 

After lunch a bit of precious practice time…back to meetings. We are coming up with and discussing some terrific changes to take the organization forward and reach more people. I love being a part of a group that embraces change and new ideas. Lots of work to do, but how wonderful to help move the organization forward. 

Sleep….sleep. Madrid is alive and hopping outside of the hotel, but this southern gal needs to recharge her batteries for another early and long day tomorrow. Send good reed thoughts….lots of them. 

 Here’s the promotional video I did for the ICA ClarinetFestnn 

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