Friday, August 28, 2015

Convocation at SUNY Brockport

Before the first day of school starts at the State University of New York at Brockport, Convocation is held at the Serc for the incoming freshman.  This building is only a few years old and provides a perfect space for large gatherings.
For a very long time, members of Sankofa (an African Drumming and Dance Ensemble) have performed at this event.  I am not a member of Sankofa, but have been drumming with Khalid Saleem for quite awhile, and this is the third time I have participated.  A few members of our Saturday drumming group are official members and the rest of us are able to join them.
Before going there, the drummers and dancers met at the Strasser Studio around noon to get organized.  There was a brief rehearsal for about an hour as it's the first time this group had worked together this semester.  The kids were up and so talented.


It  was good to see Khalid, who spent the summer working in North Carolina.
We practiced with the shakers and bells for a short time and sounded great.
By 1:15 we were over at the SERC with all our gear.
Here's the drill.  After all the students are seated, we lead a processional into the space, followed by the college faculty and administration in full regalia.  It is an amazing experience as we sound like an explosion entering the room.  (I'm sure the new president was very impressed).

After we practiced our entrance the stage was set up and we had a run through with the dancers.

 While we were waiting in the dressing room, the dancers practiced once again.

We still had an hour and a half to go before things got started.

Khalid (on the right) is the musical director for Sankofa, and Wayne has been part of the group for years (he also plays with us on Saturdays).
These are the dancers who performed today.  On the far right is Oli, the new choreographer for Sankofa...who is going to be doing a fabulous job.  I was so impressed with her today.  Have known her for several years as she was a graduate student here in the Dance Department.
What amazes me, is the fact that there are no rehearsals before today.  These dancers are aware of what is expected, and put it together in a very short period of time.  They have all done this before and the drummers already knew the appropriate patterns.
It's just a matter of running through it a couple of times to get the kinks out.

This is the group of people I drum with.  An offshoot group was started called Umoja and we drum for various activities (cancer walks/runs, half-marathons, farm markets, summer serenades, special events, school and hospital visits etc.).  Later in September we will be drumming for a full marathon in Rochester and will probably finish the season with another cancer walk/run in October that attracts thousands of participants.  I have posted pictures in the past.  Such fun.  Many stop and dance in front of us.
This man is the most community minded person I have ever met.  We are so lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.

Unfortunately, I can't drum and take pictures at the same time.
We really rocked the house.
You had to be there.....
So much for today.
Night all.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Serenades....the Finale for this Season

 Kind of a cool grey day.
 A little before noon I met Sally and Judy down at the Red Bird as they were treating me to lunch for my birthday.

 Sally ordered a peach tart for my birthday "cake" and it was out of this world!!!!
Jo (the owner of the Red Bird) really knows her way around a kitchen.
So good to spend some time together catching up...must have talked for over two hours. 

Stopped at Wegmans on the way home and was ready for a nap by the time I got there.

 Finally, our morning glories are starting to appear.

 Sweet Sophie was sacked out on her cushie bed.
 Tonight was the last edition of Summer Serenades and the featured guest artists were
Miles Watts and his daughter Ronnie.
 He grew up in Brockport and was our neighbor when he was about 2 years old.

 Our team was present and sporting shirts.
 Didn't Gary go down and interrupt Miles so he would sing happy birthday to me!
 And didn't Sara grab my arm while I was taking the video?  Oh well, you get the picture.


 This is Michelle....proud Mother of Miss Ronnie Watts.

 Ronnie is only 14 years old and is knocking everyone's socks off with her voice.
She wrote the first song she sang.

 Miles, Jenny and Karen have been pals since they were kids.

You don't see too many fathers and daughters singing together.  This is sweet!
 After the concert we went over to Mile's mother's house for a quick visit.
 An absolutely gorgeous home.
 She has on of the biggest plants in history!  It has grown since the last time I posted it a couple years ago.
Now it's late and I still have more videos to upload.
What happened to that nap I needed 8 hours ago?
Night all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Food Truck Rodeo

 The grass is growing like crazy, so after chores I mowed the lawn.
 I use the lawn tractor, Gary does the hand mowing.
 He picked raspberries for me yesterday and I made jam today. 
Can't wait to taste it.
 At 4:15 Carol and Topper arrived and we drove into Rochester for the Food Truck Rodeo.  
This was their debut.
There were about 25 food trucks with bands playing one right after the other.
 We ran into our neighbors....Ed and Annette.
 First we toured all the options and then got several different things.  Forgot to take pictures of the other stuff.  A Pittsburgh steak sammie and some mac & cheese.  Quite a tasting.

 We got there early so we could get a parking place nearby and within a short time a couple thousand people were on the property.  It's held the last Wednesday of each month and is a free event.  Every time we have been there, the crowd has been huge.

 The second band was "Significant Other."


 They were great!  The fiddler plays with the 
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and really seems to enjoy this departure.
Who should appear, but my drumming pal, Stan H.  He is the photographer for this band.
Look forward to drumming with him on Friday (convocation at the college).

 Headed home at 7.
The sun was setting through our dirty windshield.
 Loaded up the Botts with some veggies....

 and went out to do chores.

 Almost dark when I tucked the girls in.  Cold soaked Abbe's leg...it's not too bad,
but she is a little gimpy.
 It's been a long day.
Night all.