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Delayed but not really

Updated: May 13

This has been a wonderful a school year. Last summer I premiered my new transcription/arrangement of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K. 299 at the Festival Suoni D’Abruzzo festival in Italy. After returning from Europe I took on a project that has become very dear to me, a professional guitar quartet in the state of Illinois. One of my friends Dr. Michael Patilla reached out with the idea and Dr. Angelo Favis and Dr. Guido Sánchez Portuguez and I met and talked about it.


We noticed that our state did not have a professional guitar quartet so we took on the challenge and things just flowed. We debuted our group at University of Illinois Urbana and followed that performance by playing at Carl Sandburg College and Illinois State University for the Mid America Guitar festival.


I can’t remember the last time I felt this happy on stage, not just because of the performance but that feeling you get when you are 15 years old and rocking out with your buds in a garage band. It is nice to know that this sense of wonder and excitement is still there and that we can bring that to our classical guitar playing and more so enjoy the experience with these wonderful friends who are amazing musicians.


Unfortunately last month I suffered an accident that will require me to take a break of 3 months from the guitar so that my injuries heal properly. I had to cancel a press release I had just issued along side with the string of concerts I had in agenda. I had to cancel even more concerts after speaking with the specialist or rather the P.A. of the specialist. Yes, that is what medicine has become in the U.S. You don't even get to see the Physician, he sends his assistants which are good but lets be real if you were coming to SIU to study with me you'd have something to say if you only studied with graduate assistants and not with the guy you came to see. It is actually worst with medicine, specially on things that will impact your future for a lifetime.


When you think about it in life nothing is ideal. This is not the part where I provide you with some seasoned advice that comes from all that positivist nonsense the life coaches, self help "gurus" like to feed the masses. There days, months or even years where life stinks, sugar coating it, denying what you are seeing won’t make it better but rather set you up for more pain. Perhaps what is worst is that people make decisions based on pain, anger or frustration which can make things quite bad for someone else. As the old saying goes "misery loves company".


The concerts, recordings, tours, these are the things I think of. My leisure activities, sports and gigs are the least of my concerns. Will I heal? Will I be able to play the same way? I do not know but I am too busy to think about something I cannot figure out anyway and is out of my control. It does not even deserve my attention.


What is under my control? That which is within my reach, that is what I am interested in. I write, compose, arrange, tend to my duties and the university, take care of my family and so on. When we acknowledge where we are and stop it with the wishful thinking or the self-pity then we can see options however we must allow ourselves the time to understand the emotions we feel. Be angry, frustrated or sad, whatever it is, just don’t stay there. You acknowledge it, wait until your calm and have all the facts and then make decision based on reason. Give your time, your focus and your very best to that which you can mold. That is how you unlock the possibilities that are in store for you. Move at the pace you can but keep on moving.


What is next? I will be playing in Brazil in the summer and in a couple weeks conducting the premiere of my new piece for Jazz Ensemble. That feels like plenty to look forward too.

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