October: A Pops Concert, Two Races, and Three Weddings

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything. Been real busy and in a slump all at the same time. I ended a 15 month relationship last month. I am not going to talk about that here. But that is where I’ve been. In the meantime, there were some really great things to write about that I just haven’t gotten to until now.

The afternoon of my breakup, I played a wedding. Not sure if that is technically irony in the Alanis Morissette way, but it was tough nonetheless. It was a beautiful wedding at a resort at St. Albans. We played outside with a gorgeous view of the Meramec River valley at the height of the fall leaf colors.

The next week, the St. Louis Philharmonic had a great concert on October 19 starring Mario Frangoulis, tenor from Greece. We performed at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL with guest artists artists Deborah Myers, soprano from London, and George Perris, tenor from New York. I do enjoy pops concerts. But we are ready to do Brahms and we are in full rehearsal now for our concert on Friday, November 19. We are doing Brahms Symphony #4, Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet, and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Are you going to be there?

October also included two races. First the 2012 Go! Halloween 10K on October 14th. This was downtown and went through Soulard. I ran this run with my friend Audra and completed it in 63:23 minutes, a full 10 minutes off my 10K PR from a year ago.
The 10K was a good pacing run for the race I did the next week, the 2012 St. Louis Rock & Roll Half Marathon on October 21. This is my third half marathon and the second time running this particular race. It was so awesome, really. We started running at around 7:30. The sun was just starting to come up behind the arch. I finished this one in 2:15:11 – a full 18 minutes off my half marathon PR. All I can say is that all the running and speed work really paid off. I am really proud of myself for that accomplishment.

The half marathon weekend was pretty crazy for me. It started with the Philharmonic concert on Friday, two wedding gigs on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday. The weddings were in Sunset Hills and the City Museum. I ended up driving downtown three separate times that weekend. By the time I got home Sunday, I was ready to just sit down and Netflix. My recovery included two grilled pork steaks, some beer, and a Walking Dead bender. It was a great time.

Breaking up was hard. But at least I had lots of activities to keep me busy. Plus, I lost 10 pounds from all the running! Oh, my other accomplishment for October was that I finally replaced my garage door opener which has been broken for 4 1/2 years.

Next up: Kirkwood/Webster Turkey Day Run 6 Mile on Thanksgiving morning.

St. Louis Philharmonic Day At The Fox Theatre

St. Louis Philharmonic Edward Jones Concert at the FoxHere’s a slight diversion from my running articles. Last Sunday, I spent the entire day backstage and on stage at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Each year, the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra puts on a couple shows at the Fox. The shows are sponsored by Edward Jones who pays for the hall and contributes a sizable donation to the Philharmonic which helps us out tremendously with our operating costs for the season.

We began rehearsal at 10:00 a.m. and then had performances at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. An estimate going around claims that we had over 3,000 in attendance for each show – and we were well received.

We were served a catered lunch in the Fox Club between performances. It is really fun to hang out with friends backstage and see all the history of the theater listening to the live music from the giant four-manual Wurlitzer organ, one of only five of its type ever built1. I’m regretting now not taking more pictures from the theatre. There’s always next year.

This year’s theme was “It’s Showtime”. The performances were opened with the “Star Spangled Banner” and a color guard from the five branches of the military. Along with the patriotic standards, we played various songs and arias from opera to Broadway. Verdi, Puccini, Webber, Ellington, Bernstein, Rodgers, etc. By the end of the day, my bow arm shoulder was all cramped up and I had tunes from musicals ringing in my head for the next couple of days. But let’s face it, I’m kind of a sucker for the “pops” concerts and I had a really great time. My only regret was missing the awesome weather and an opportunity for a long trail run!

(Come to think of it now, I don’t think I’ve ever entered the Fox from the front. I guess I will get that chance when I see Louie C.K. next month.)

St. Louis Philharmonic 2012/2013 Season

The temperatures and humidity levels in St. Louis have finally broken and we’re seeing our first sub-80’s days in a long while. The season is changing, and you know what that means? Time to get back in the flow of St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsals and concerts!
It’s going to be a good season, too. I am especially excited to be performing some symphonies by Brahms (#4) and Sibelius (#2) as well as Prokovief’s Romeo and Juliet and Strauss’s Don Quixote as well as so much more excellent works. Our first concert is Friday night, October 19th, at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL featuring Mario Frangoulis.
Be sure to check out the event calendar at the Philharmonic’s web site. I will keep you all posted as the season progresses. Hope to see you there.