The smells of grilling meats and onions wafted through the air as we played our final tune, a composition of Mexican folk songs at our last TACO gathering. Catered by Five Star Tacos of San Jose, and underwritten by a very generous anonymous donor from within the orchestra, we all enjoyed this special event. Scrumptious tacos, hot off the grill, filled with carnitas and carne asada, sprinkled with lime and washed down with horchata, fed this happy gathering of musicians, family and friends after our final session of the year.

TACO would not run as well as it does without the help of many people. We took time before dinner to thank our special volunteers, who help both at our sessions (set-up, registration, refreshments, take-down) and behind the scenes (marketing, publicity, photos, social media, board, website and scanning angels) all of whom help make the orchestra run well.

We played Latin themed music, a complete Mozart symphony and the ever popular July 4th favorite: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The music is grand, passionate and patriotic. Read why a tune written by a Russian composer has become associated with our independence day celebrations and fireworks: http://music.allpurposeguru.com/2016/06/1812-overture-and-4th-of-july-fireworks-why/

Tomorrow I leave for a week-long conductor’s workshop in Seattle. I am looking forward to learning a lot and addressing some specific concerns that will help me be more effective in my conducting with TACO. Hosted by the Saratoga Orchestra on Whidbey Island, the workshop looks interesting and challenging, with lots of opportunities for growth. You can read about it here:  www.PNWCI.

Kent (viola) and I will follow this with a trip to place ourselves in the shadow of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, the closest one to home we will have ever seen. You too, can be in the shadow on August 21st while it moves from Oregon to South Carolina. I hope you are able to see it in totality, or at least enjoy the partial eclipse, since it is an amazing phenomenon. 

While we work on preparations for our next year, you can look forward to these dates for our sessions, which are always 2 to 5 pm the last Sunday of the month:

FALL 2017 SESSIONS: Sundays, September 24, October 29, and November 26, 2017

WINTER 2018 SESSIONS: Sundays, January 28, February 25, and March 25, 2018

SPRING 2018 SESSIONS: Sundays, April 29, May 27, and June 24, 2018

Keep in mind, the November session is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We will host our annual Community Holiday Sing-Along after we rehearse. Invite your family and friends to join us for this festive launch to the holiday season, from 4 to 5 pm, with cider and cookies.

I am planning this fall that we will play 4 or 5 tunes each session, giving us more time to work on the music before we play it through. It seems that as we play more difficult music, we end up rushing through to fit it all in, rather than savoring the subleties, mastering them a bit more, and enjoying our run-throughs. We can re-evaluate in a few months. Feel free to let me know what you think and what you want to play.

If you are interested in writing a brief article about your own experience with music and TACO, I’d love your contributions to our blog posts. I can also use your comments in our applications for grants each year. Send me your musical musings.

We received this wonderful photo of Sharon (violin) and friends making music on a pontoon boat in Oregon. Whatever you are doing, I hope you are also floating through an enjoyable summer.

We’ll look forward to Sunday, September 24th for our first musical gathering of the year!