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Photos from DRHS Awards Event

Last night I participated in the annual Awards Banquet for the Music Department of Diamond Ranch High School, celebrating the students’ achievements this past year in the Band, Orchestra, and Pageantry. This was the first year I was able to come support them as their Strings Coach! Sadly, it will also be my last, in the forseeable future… It was at this event that I was able to take the opportunity to announce my departure as their Coach (for reasons I will be announcing VERY soon — I am embarking on a HUGE change in my life), after some 5 or 6 years (minimum!) of teaching there.

And the students were absolutely warm and loving that night toward me, blessing me with shouts and cries (I was the coach with the grandest adulation, every time I crossed the stage!!!) and heartwarming gifts of personal and sentimental value which I will treasure always — I will miss them greatly! 😥

I enjoy them and love them so very much!

If you’re able, be sure to catch my performance with them, as they perform my “Courage Triptych” in its entirety for the first time!

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Performing for James Franco, the Details

On February 13, I had the opportunity to play violin for James Franco as part of an art shoot!

I only just now realized (cleaning out some of my photos on file…) that I’ve never shared this amazing experience on my own site! Atrocity! I wanted to wait until more info had come out, but it hasn’t yet and it’s high time I shared my uber-cool experience!

So, a friend from undergrad, a talented guitarist in Los Angeles, sent me a message asking if I’d be interested in being a violinist for a stabbing scene in a James Franco film. Of course I said, yes! Essentially what I found out diving into this was that Franco is creating an art film for a show at a London gallery; the art shoot on the 13th took place at the Bates Motel on the backlot of Universal Studios. A friend of someone working with Franco’s production company is friends with my friend, and so that’s how I got connected.

The scene was the famous Hitchcock Shower Scene. And I was asked to play the famous music from that scene…Solo… Though it is originally composed for a full orchestra…

Having been asked if I “knew the music” I had a sneaking suspicion I might have to whip up a solo version of the epic piece. So I did, and believe me, it’s a ton of acrobatics for one violinist to pull off!! But I came up with something that not only I was proud of, but something that James Franco himself seemed pleased with when I played it for him. :mrgreen:

After that moment, when I met him and played my bit for his approval, they continued with the shoot. Franco was in drag, playing the part of the unfortunate murder-victim in the shower, Marion Crane. And he was fabulous! I enjoyed, while waiting for my turn, listening to the shower running, the screaming, the calls for the chocolate syrup– great stuff!

Finally, after several hours, I was called to the fore. Turns out, only after meeting me did Franco decide he’d like to include me in the shoot! I was thrilled and honored. 🙂

So, with a cleaned up and dried off shower — The Shower, mind you — I stepped inside the shower (yes, fully clothed) with my violin Flora and began playing my solo version of the Psycho shower scene music. We did the shot several times to get a variety of angles. From what I hear the art shoot will be a sort of collage, merging my shots with James Franco’s epic reshoot of Psycho!

Beyond this, I don’t recall which London gallery will be hosting this finished film, or what it’s called, or when it debuts. I hope to find out! When I do I’ll certainly share! Also, throughout the day there was a professional photographer taking shots of the entire experience, including plenty of shots with me and Franco, and me and Flora in the famous shower….

Needless to say, this is one of the COOLEST things I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of! Until more info is released, enjoy these few shots I snuck while waiting around…. 😉

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Photos from Anaheim Gig!

Guts&Ivory (me, Nico Marucut on piano, and guest violist Miguel Cunanan) plays a rollicking set of Celtic Tunes for fiddles, voice, and piano (including a few of my own compositions), just in time for St. Patty’s Day at the Anaheim Farmers Market! (Photos by James Huff.)

…and these are the two cute little “chibi buddies” James got for me that day, too! :mrgreen:



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Photos from Tung Private Concert

Last night, Anne Sherrill, Miguel Cunanan, Kathleen Mangusing, and I had the immense privilege of providing a two hour private chamber music concert in the home of a most generous backer of the Anima Recording Project! The audience was warm and delightfully inquisitive, and (everyone agreed) the acoustics were astonishingly beautiful — I’d venture to say, it was among my favorite-est venues in which to perform great music! 🙂

Our program was completely thrilling! We performed:

It’s not nearly often enough that I get the privilege of playing this caliber of music with such fantastic musicians! :mrgreen: What a truly amazing experience, playing some of the greatest of “later music” for a personable and enthusiastic audience, in a private home — the way chamber music was originally intended! (“Because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as ‘the music of friends.’ For more than 200 years, chamber music was played primarily by amateur musicians in their homes…” — Quote found at previous link.)

Luckily, a couple shots were snagged during our warm-up before the show… Enjoy!


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“Guts & Ivory,” Successful Performance!

Nico and I had a BLAST playing our incredible, “in-your-face” music from Prokofiev, Bruch, and Shostakovich! Wow, what a thrill! :mrgreen:

Here are a few shots James was able to capture during the performance… There may be some video going up in the future, too… 😉

Enjoy! We’re looking forward to our next violin/piano duo show!