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In late 2019, I received approval to start a new concert series at the church where I used to work, First Methodist of Bella Visa, called the Curious Squirrel. My mascot is Samuel the Squirrel, a critter who attended and wouldn’t leave my recital at Central Methodist in Rogers. Although he was a nuisance during the recital, he was an inspiration towards my new marketing plan! How I got here is the rest of the story!
When I landed my part-time salaried job at First Methodist in 2012, I received the chance to participate in the professional Wesley Series as an added bonus. I performed in concerts including singers, violinists, and woodwinds. It was really the type of opportunity I had wanted my whole life.
Pivoting to Solo Playing
When funding for that series ended in early 2017, I no longer had the opportunity to participate in professional chamber music at the church. So, I decided to go solo on organ and piano. In those next two years, I offered 18 events. Most were solo recitals, typically about a half-hour in length. There also some vocal recitals with Chancel Choir members and even an Irish Sing-A-Long for St. Patrick’s Day. If you’d like to see a listing of concerts given under the Curious Squirrel banner, just look for the icon on my Concerts page.
My goal for these recitals was two-fold: One, to have a chance to build repertoire and perform it. There’s nothing like scheduling a recital to force discipline, even if that means occasionally spending 12 hours on the organ the day before to be ready for that recital! For the church, the concerts were presented as a gift for the church members and the Bella Vista community. It’s so rare in our area to have classical events available. I was happy to give them, to the extent that I had the time to do so.
The Future for the Curious Squirrel
I haven’t figured this out yet. I think that it naturally belongs at wherever my next church job takes me. However, I don’t know if that would be a good place to start or continue an existing concert series? Maybe I just need to find opportunities on a freelance basis instead?
The Newsletter Lives On
I’m still sharing information about my upcoming performances as well as highlights from my piano teaching. If you’d like to keep in the know, please subscribe below!