I thought that the orchestra couldn't get any better than Saturday.
I was wrong.
Sonday morning we headed out to Washington, IA, for lunch at a great Italian place. I love me some great Italian food, so that was nice. Then, we hurried over to Ottumwa, IA, for the second show. The pre-concert talk was not full, but we still had a great talk. The concert was amazing, despite a smaller hall and a smaller audience. The orchestra and Will really played well. Also, before the concert, I was handed some CDs of the Burlington show! That was pretty neat. (We also got a review in Sunday's Burlington Hawk Eye, which was really nice! Saturday's performance was "a wowzer!"
Immediately after Ottumwa, we raced back to Mount Pleasant for Concert Number 3, preceded by a dinner with the orchestra. It was really nice to talk to the musicians and get first-person feedback on the music. I always learn a lot from working directly with the performers of my music.
Concert Number 3 was by far the best, though. The entire dynamic was different, and the audience and orchestra alike were tuned in to the utmost degree. Afterwards, Will, Bob, and I had to come back out several times to bow, and the receiving line after the show lasted about 45 minutes! We then went back to the hotel, and Bob hung around as we rehashed the show and talked about life and how much fun the residency was.
Then, early Monday morning, everyone began the journey home. I'm typing this post from Charlotte International Airport, where I have a layover. I stayed over at Will's place in Chicago last night, after driving up there yesterday, and eating some awesome pizza.
All told, this residency has been absolutely life-changing. I am so blessed to be given such opportunities, and I look forward eagerly to the next such opportunity! Big things are brewing right now, actually, which is incredible! But now I musc get back to school...