A Winter Escape

Well folks, those of you in Chicago know how bitterly cold it’s been lately. I’m very sorry to report that I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what that has been like for you, given that Adam, Crystal, Herine, and I have been whisked away to sunny Arizona for the entirety of the week. Sub-zero temperatures be damned! It’s 80 degrees here.

We’re having a wonderful time here in Tempe working with students at Arizona State University. We presented a couple of workshops on entrepreneurship, audience engagement, and public speaking. In our discussion of psychographic profiling, Adam called me out on my personal shopping profile: “Melissa will buy anything…ANYTHING…that has Hello Kitty on it. We call this the SQUEEEEEE!!!! factor.” Imagine my delight when we came across this display just down the street:

Squeee!

We also prepped participating ASU ensembles to come to area public schools with us on Wednesday afternoon to perform our signature One-Shot! concert, Music Can Tell a Story. Along with a clarinet trio and low brass quartet, we hit the road to perform for Fees Preparatory Middle School and Rover Elementary School, bringing new instruments and repertoire into this much-loved show. These kids were sharp! Great questions, and some speech-defying artwork created as part of the concert’s activities.

After the school visits, we took advantage of the sunny weather, making a detour to the Desert Botanical Garden. Sometimes it’s challenging to keep your energy right when you’re on the road, working hard at odd hours, and constantly performing. At these moments, it’s a blessing to be able to go outside and enjoy the sunset over the rocks and cacti. I take a breath, I clear my head, I use muscles other than my fingers, and I’m ready to get back to it.

Desert Garden

Many thanks to all of the students, faculty, and staff at ASU for making this such a wonderful visit. This is a truly amazing place, we’re delighted to be here!

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