So the first morning in Daytona started early. The jet lag to the U.S. always results in waking very early as it is five hours behind. I opened my curtains for the first look out of my room in daylight. There was a fantastic view of the pool 7 floors below, the beach and the sea trailing off over the horizon. The sun was still low in the sky and I opened the balcony door and felt a blast of heat and humidity- Now I remembered what it was like in Daytona!!! All I wanted to do at that moment was jump into the pool, but I had a busy day ahead of me so it would have to wait until later.
Sarah Quinn, Chi Mo and myself were picked up at the hotel at 9.15 by Sylvia – one of the helpful administrators of the Florida International Festival. We were taken to the Peabody Auditorium to pick up our instruments. Sarah and I were then taken to the venue of our “LSO On Call” visit – a retirement home about 20 mins drive away.
Dorothy Jane was the lady we were visiting. She had won a competition to have a visit from some LSO players as she was unable to come to a concert due to her age and arthritic condition. We arrived and were shown to the dining area and started setting up our stands and and unpacking our instruments. More residents started arriving and sitting down for our performance. We were only really expecting to play to Dorothy- Jane and a few of her friends, however in the end were had to entertain approximately 50 residents! It was a little more than we had bargained for but we really felt at home when we met Dorothy. She was a fantastic 81 year old lady who had an Masters in music education and she really let us know how much she appreciated us coming to play to them.
So we introduced ourselves and each played a short solo piece. The other pieces were a good variety of duos we had either arranged or tracked down that had been written for the Violin/Bass duo combination – There are not that many written so it took a lot of work to find enough material for an hour long concert. We introduced each piece and told a few anecdotes as we went along. Before we played Pizzicato Polka for instance, Sarah told a very funny story about a time she had played that piece in concert and her bow had fallen apart! Tee Hee!
We left time at the end to ask the residents if they had any questions for us. There was only one so we rounded things up with a favorite of ours – Bare Necessaties from the Jungle Book! Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, including the staff so we were pleased that all our hours of preparation was worth it!!!
They had made an amazing cake with an iced ViolBass and welome LSO on top so we had a big piece and a drink and headed back to the hotel for lunch.