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The Kent/Blossom Music Festival

Shing Ann Yeh

Located in the little town of Kent, OH, the Kent/Blossom Music Festival is where I spent the last couple of weeks.

Each morning, I’ll wake up, maybe go on a run or read or practice a little (or if I actually wake up early enough, all three!), and by 9:30, I’ll settle into a classroom for the first rehearsal.  We have a two-hour morning rehearsal with one chamber group, such as the Mendelssohn Octet or the Dahl Concerto a Tre, and then a two-hour afternoon rehearsal beginning at 1 PM.  For our lunch break, a bunch of students who pack their lunches, me included, will hang out in the hallway, where the admin conveniently placed a park bench, and we’ll chat over our sandwiches and fruit.

One time for lunch, we went to the Farmer's Market and then ate lunch under a bridge!

Twice a week, we’ll be coached by the festival faculty members: some of them hail from Kent State University and most of them are members of the Cleveland Orchestra.  It’s always great to be coached by people with such vibrant personalities and tastes.  They’ll say things like, “Sustain until you die!” or “You have to play out over the laserphone (referring to the clarinet),” and make our playing take hold of more characters.

Us playing with the Cleveland Orchestra, no big deal.

In the evenings, we’ll hang out with one another, catching a movie at $5 Mondays, practicing a while, going contra dancing with friends (which is something I am looking forward to doing upon getting back to Nashville), or watch Harry Potter in the lounge.  Sometimes we’ll cook meals together or bake a pie or watch the World Cup, but we love one another’s company.  But the majority of evenings is spent getting inspired by the faculty concerts and our student concerts.  There were so many fantastic performances put on that were a joy to attend!

For July 4, one of our sponsors invited us out to their house, which so happened to also have a private lake in the back. Greatest July 4 cookout ever.

The last week of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival was incredibly fun because we played a side-by-side concert with the Cleveland Orchestra!  We crammed all of us in Severance Hall for our rehearsal, had one dress rehearsal at the Blossom Music Center, and played our concert on the stormy night of July 26.  Wow, is it a worthwhile experience playing with an orchestra of that caliber.

The five weeks spent at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival grew me on so many capacities and I very much miss it.

Clearly, sparklers are awesome. Farewell Kent/Blossom, it was a great time!

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