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How I Fell Head First Into September!

Well, there goes another month!

Despite this new normal, September has been filled with several silver linings that have helped keep me focused and my spirits up. Here are a few of the highlights! :)

September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month… #CAM!

As someone who was diagnosed at birth with a craniofacial difference called Goldenhar Syndrome, CAM holds a special place in my heart. CAM helps bring awareness to those who look different in the most positive way possible and highlights what it’s like navigating a world that sometimes needs a little help in the art of extending kindness, developing empathy, and saying no to discrimination.

Prior to the start of CAM, I racked my brain trying to think of a unique way to celebrate the occasion. The more I thought about it, the clearer the answer was… music! For those of you that don't know, music has played a big role in my life. As a child it was an escape from the world, and it has brought me comfort during some of the darkest moments of my life. That’s why I decided to share tracks from my CAM Playlist during the month of September. This playlist is constantly growing and it’s something that I turn to when I need a little boost of motivation, a little inspiration, and a little push to keep moving forward.

Feel free to give my CAM Playlist a listen, you can find it HERE.

I’m also happy to share that through a collaboration with the Children’s Craniofacial Association, we were successful in receiving a proclamation from the State of Maryland declaring September 2020 as Craniofacial Acceptance Month. We are so delighted that the State of Maryland has renewed its commitment to the art and practice of #ChoosingKind.

Mic Check… 1… 2… 3!

Early in the month, I had the pleasure of taking part in my first socially distant recording session alongside guitarist, LeeLee Hunter. This session was focused on capturing the spirituals of H.T. Burleigh, who has been a staple on several of our programs we've presented over the years. The selections we set out to record were arranged

by LeeLee for guitar and voice and will be featured at the 18th Annual Society for Musicology in Ireland Plenary Conference at the end of October. Side note, the conference was to be held in Dublin, Ireland, but it has been moved to a virtual conference in response to Covid-19. Even though we are bummed that we can’t present in person, we are still excited to take part. The lecture is entitled, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”: An Exploration of Spirituals and Identity. We will be sure to share details on how to tune in once we get the conference schedule.

Attention Class!

Another highlight for the month, was getting to do a presentation entitled, Getting To Know Your Virtual Space to members of the McLean High School Philharmonic Orchestra who were preparing to submit audition videos. With this move to virtual learning we are also having to rethink how we create music and audition. This presentation helped set students up for success with their virtual music pursuits. From what I hear, these students really enjoyed the presentation and their audition videos are looking fantastic!

Check out my setup!

Welcome to our Zoom Concert Hall!

Towards the end of the month, LeeLee and I joined forces yet again and presented two more Zoom Mini Concerts. The first, was our Zoom Mini Concert for HOPE, a special event, just for our friends at the Children’s Craniofacial Association. We shared a diverse program with inspiring pieces to celebrate CAM and all it has to offer. On Saturday we followed up with our usual antics with a second Zoom Mini Concert filled with raffles, Disney, Spirituals, and German. Oh, and of course, the usual banter and comedic relief that LeeLee and I are known for. Oh yeah... CJ was there for moral support. :)

Be well, stay safe, and thank you for keeping up with my antics. :)


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