Sunday, February 5, 2012

NYC with the Fam - January 9-15, 2012

Being in NYC with my mom and brother was pretty awesome also! It was a different experience than when I was there in 2008 with my best friends. This time we were right in Manhattan, in a fancy hotel. So we could hop back and forth from the street to our room, and back from dinner, etc. That was great.

Our room, two block north of Times Square.
Reid and I did lots of walk for the first two days before Mom got there. Lots.of.walking. Up and down Madision and 5th Ave. Going in to fancy shoe stores (for Reid) and amazing department stores. We hit Madison Square Gardens for Rangers game too, which was great!

M&M Store - super expensive, but have you every seen so many?
We found a little taste of home!
Does your library look like this?
At Madison Square Gardens. The guy beside us heard me say one sentence and asked where in Canada we were from. I guess the accent is really that obvious!

A shoot out win by NYC made for a pretty exciting game!
Look up - waaaaaay up.
When Mom got there we headed to Soho for more shopping (my kind of shopping!). Managed to snag an amazing leather jacket from this designer store. It's a long story, but basically, I went into this model store (you know all those clothes you wonder "Who would every where this?" from the runway...that store) and there was this sales guy in a fur poncho. Yep, dude with a fur poncho took me under his wing (literally, it looked like he had wings!) and made it his mission to find me a jacket. I ended up in the basement of this store where people were drawing and sewing all these strange clothes, and me in a fantastic jacket! It was great, but a little crazy!

Subway adventures
On top of Empire State - a tad bit windy

The last half of the trip I spent in rehearsals, while Mom and Reid checked out tourist-y things, like NBC Studios, 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Lib, Ellis Island, The Met, etc.

We managed to hit Wicked and Mary Poppins on Broadway and don't even get me started. Unreal. Amazing. So cool. *fingers wiggle above the keys trying to come up with words that will tell you how great it was* Yup, that good.

At the Gershwin Theatre for Wicked - So good!

Upside down, no flash, self taken family photo...awesome. 
Grand Central Station
Before we headed off to our second show (Friday night), we all went to Ellen's Stardust Diner. This is where many aspiring Broadway performers work and sing their way to Broadway.

Reid's not a huge fan of Mary Poppins, so he headed over to the Phantom of the Opera to enjoy his own show!

I couldn't get over the theatre, the sets, Bert dancing on the roof, and Mary flying off the stage. I still can't.

Uh, my only picture of Carnegie. Lame. 

After the show at Carnegie, we all went on a boat cruise down the Hudson.

 I did some major photo editing on this, just so you can see that I was actually there (um, my family is terrible, terrible at photo taking...therefore, I'm on the right of every self portrait!) 

Yup, finally a family photo!
 Our last day, the Sunday, we went to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was a fitting way to end our time there. I'm so in love with church that sing, truly sing, and don't hold back in there worship. It was great!

Again, no photos of the actual church...sorry!
And that was NYC, until next time. ;)

NYC - Carnegie Hall

How does one get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. As musicians we've all heard it, but never, ever did I think I'd get there. What an experience! 

When I was in Nashville last year at the Fine Arts Summer Academy with the Annie Moses Band, they mentioned that there would openings available to come and play at Carnegie with them in January 2012. Of course, my first thought was "Uh, I need to do that." I came home from the Academy, and life got crazy at work and I ended up quitting my job and looking for a new one, etc. So, my audition tape was sent in about one month later than the deadline. I didn't hear anything for a month, and then got this email:

"I am sorry for the delay in getting back with you. We would love to have you at Carnegie if you are able to come. I have been able to finalize a slot for you, so I hope you can work out the final details. Blessings! Annie Dupre"

Uh, I was a little shocked and definitely worked out the details. 

I really have no words for the experience. I can't describe it! If felt so normal to carry Jolie with me through NYC and be playing there. It felt right. And it also felt natural to play at Carnegie; there were no nerves or butterflies, but the whole entire experience was very surreal. It was amazing. What made it more special was playing with a group that whole-heartedly was playing for Christ -- extremely well. I felt so blessed to be playing some of my favourite songs, with my favourite group, in the most famous hall in the world. Gah, I can't really get over it!

Here are some photos from the blessed event. And I couldn't pick any favourites, so you'll just have to put up with a lot!

The lovely Annie Dupre (nee: Wolaver, of the Annie Moses Band...not confusing at all...)

Annie and Gretchen

 Hard at working during dress rehearsal. 

The hall was of course, amazing.

More rehearsal

It was also a pleasure to be conducted by the famous Camp Kirkland again, the father of church orchestrations!

The front liners: Benjamin, Alex, Annie, Gretchen, Camille

Camp and our producer, Roy Hayes

Alex, Berklee, and Miss Robin

Time for the real thing!

I can't even describe how amazing this was!

Annie giving this gentleman his first violin lesson and solo at Carnegie!

This is the whole crew!

And time for a little party at the end!

I truly thank the Lord for allowing and providing this opportunity. Make His Praise Glorious!