Whew! The Fair Trade Trio had a wonderful time on tour in the Pacific Northwest! Now that the dust has settled a bit, we ‘d love to share some details about our trip!
We got off to a slightly rocky start thanks to a pesky thunderstorm in New York City that delayed all of our flights. By the next morning, the skies had cleared and our intrepid cellist and cello duo, Jeanette and Dmitri, finally landed safely in Seattle. After some lunch and much-needed coffee, we had our last rehearsal in preparation for our Vancouver concert. Then we loaded up the car and headed north. We made it through the border with no issues (leaving some of our ivory-tipped bows in Seattle to avoid any complications!) and got to the hotel just in time to go to bed.
The next morning, we headed to the Silk Purse Arts Centre, the home of the West Vancouver Arts Council, to warm up for the concert. Some of our patrons arrived quite early and got a sneak peak of the Higdon! We performed Murray Adaskin’s Divertimento No. 9, Zoltan Kodaly’s Intermezzo, Jennifer Higdon’s String Trio, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Trio Op. 9, No. 2. We kept trying to have the windows open so that we and the audience could enjoy a nice sea breeze (we were steps from the beach at John Lawson Park!) but then our music kept trying to blow away! One of our front row patrons saved the day by picking up Kallie’s page and putting it back on her stand perfectly! But in the end the open windows felt like the perfect way to perform our Beethoven, and wind-ruffled music is certainly part of the performing during summer experience! We loved meeting our audience over cookies and coffee afterwards. Thanks to Loren Spagnulo and the West Vancouver Arts Council for the opportunity to perform at the Silk Purse Arts Centre!
After our concert and reception, we headed to John Lawson Park for a picnic. With our instruments carefully in the shade and guarded by several of Ashley’s relatives, we enjoyed having a moment to relax and take in the incredible beauty of West Vancouver. Then it was time to head to the ferry. We drove through downtown Vancouver to see the sights – such a beautiful city! We sat in the sun on the ferry ride to Vancouver Island and enjoyed the spectacular natural setting as we passed through the Gulf Islands. Smooth sailing! We had the night off that evening so we got to have a trio dinner! Our spring was so busy that we didn’t have time outside of rehearsals to visit with each other much so it was really nice to reconnect as friends outside of trio work.
In the morning, we headed for our rehearsal at St. Mary the Virgin, one of the venues for the Oak Bay Music Society. We were excited to discover that they had a platform for Jeanette to sit on so that Kallie and Ashley could stand up to perform. It’s something we discussed doing but wanted to try it a few times first before building a platform – definitely a great option for us! Ashley’s cousin-of-sorts was kind enough to stop by for a sound check and after a few adjustments and a run-through of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ String Trio, we were ready for that evening’s concert! We enjoyed a delicious and super healthy lunch in downtown Victoria and then had the opportunity to take some trio photos in the nearby Beacon Hill Park. After a quick dinner, we headed back to Oak Bay to warm up for the concert. We performed Beethoven’s String Trio Op. 9, No. 2 and Higdon’s String Trio, took an intermission (this was the only concert of the tour that was long enough for an intermission), then performed Adaskin’s Divertimento No. 9 and Villa-Lobos’ String Trio. After several bows and a standing ovation, we were excited to share the Kodaly Intermezzo with our audience. The weather was perfect and we had the chance to meet and mingle with our audience afterwards. We were excited to learn later that we received a review of our concert which you can read here. Thanks to Erik Abbink and Oak Bay Music for the opportunity to perform, and to Deryk Barker of Three’s Company (perfect name!) for the review.
Early the next day, we boarded the ferry, coffee in hand, for Seattle. We arrived around lunch time and got to spend a few hours relaxing in preparation for our concert that evening at the Puget Sound Yacht Club. The Seattle Newcomer’s group arrived early for appetizers and a tapas potluck which the trio also got to enjoy! It’s unusual for us to meet our audience before a concert, but it made things feel relaxed and familiar which was fun. We performed Beethoven’s Op. 9, No, 2, Adaskin’s Divertimento No. 9, Villa-Lobos’ String Trio, and Kodaly’s Intermezzo. It was HOT in Seattle that evening and we’re pretty sure that everyone in the audience felt like they were melting at some point! But it ended up being a fun concert, and all’s well that ends with drinks and dessert! Thanks to Brian and Victoria Windle for coordinating this Seattle Newcomer’s Soundbites event at the Puget Sound Yacht Club!
Finally, we had the chance to sleep in a bit before hitting the road to Portland! We were thrilled to be collaborating with the new ensemble, Sound of Late, whose musicians are so fun and gracious! We arrived at the Pink Palace (you know the concert will be fun when you’re playing in a house called the Pink Palace!) and were warmly welcomed before getting to work on Pauline Oliveros’ piece, Thirteen Changes. After rehearsal, we wanted to cool off before the concert so we headed over to a local ice cream shop for a treat. A line going outside the door never scares New Yorkers away and it was totally worth the wait! Bryce, violinist with Sound of Late, performed a piece by Nayla Mehdi, and then Kallie, violist with Fair Trade, performed a sneak peek from her upcoming solo tour, and then we performed Thirteen Changes with both Bryce and Andrew from Sound of Late. Then it was the trio’s turn to take over and we performed two movements from Villa-Lobos’ String Trio, Adaskin’s Divertimento No. 9, and Higdon’s String Trio. We had a small-ish but hugely appreciative audience who kindly braved the intense heat to attend this concert! Thanks to Bryce Caster and Andrew Stiefel, everyone at Sound of Late, and the Pink Palace residents, for collaborating with us and hosting us in Portland!
After a much needed dinner and drinks, we headed back to Seattle for our final performance of the tour. The KidsQuest museum in Bellevue was the perfect lighthearted way to end our tour. We had a large group of energetic children and their parents gathered in the classroom inside the museum by 2pm, and we danced, clapped, pointed, and made musical pizza together as we explored Beethoven’s Op. 9, No. 2. We finished with everyone up and dancing during the fourth movement finale! Maybe every trio tour should end with a dance party! Thanks to Alison Luk and everyone at the KidsQuest museum for the opportunity to perform!
And no tour update would be complete without a HUGE thank you to our friends and family for your support of our tour! With your help during our IndieGoGo campaign, we covered all the transportation, lodging, and food costs, which takes a huge burden off of the Fair Trade budget and will allow us to continue to present concerts during our upcoming season, including educational performances at schools and arts programs. When we say we couldn’t do it without you, we really mean it!!! Thank you for being part of the Fair Trade family!