We're in our last week here at the Eastern Music Festival. This year was our 50th anniversary season, and was particularly busy. I've enjoyed myself immensely. My colleagues in the orchestra are fabulous players and the students have been wonderful to work with. I'm looking forward to returning to NY so I can do some "back to basics" work with my playing. My new English horn is a fantastic instrument, but I haven't had the time to just sit with it playing long tones and figuring out all it's idiosyncrasies. I think I need to make a few minor changes in the reed set up to really show it to maximum advantage. Playing in orchestra has been helpful and I think it will really inform the work I need to do back home. Performing Miraculous Mandarin this week will definitely lead me in the right direction. There are extreme contrasts of dynamic range and character so I'll get to figure out where to focus my attention once the festival is over. I'm particularly concerned about color and projection across the range of the instrument, and this is one piece that covers every aspect I need to hear. So in rehearsals, I'll be focused on the task at hand, but also the tasks yet to come now that I've switched brands. At least I've gone through this before. When I switched over to Howarth oboes from Lorees, there was a transition period of a few months. It's only natural and I'm excited to finally have time to explore it more with the Moennig. The instrument is a joy to play, I just want to make sure I'm playing it well.