UCROSS Trip (with Texas Detour)

As another part of my super-busy May (I was home for about 4 days of it), I had the opportunity to go to the UCROSS Arts Colony in Wyoming.  UCROSS is one of the very good artist colonies in the U.S.  It makes Oklahoma look like a bustling urban hub.  This was my first time at a creative artists’ retreat (as opposed to an all-musicians one) and I met two painters, a photographer, a filmmaker, a choreographer, and two writers.  Beautiful scenery and lots of good and interesting folks. 

My UCROSS neighbor—photographer, and generally fun person Vicky.


My cabin


The pretty-in-the-day and creepy-at-night long driveway to the main house


Endless daisy fields 

I had received a commission from Cooper High School in Abilene, one of the many incredible high school music programs in Texas, to write a wind ensemble piece as a memorial for the director’s mother, their family and mine having had a long association.  It was a challenge to write such a weighty piece and, needless to say, the pressure to write something the director likes was certainly extra-large in this case!  But he loved it, the audience seemed to love it, and I’ve rarely heard a group of high school musicians play with such maturity and skill.  As it turned out, I had to make the trip from UCROSS to Abilene and back in a very tought 3-day stretch of travel, but so glad I could go.  Our old friend Amanda, and her mom Yvonne who was our English teacher, came for the concert.  (Unfortunately, photos of the actual performance didn’t turn out but these from the reception afterward turned out well.)

abilene 2

abilene 1

Back at UCROSS:  Hoe-down night at the bar in Buffalo, WY




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