Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop at Humboldt State University! The trip up, around 250 miles, seemed like it would take forever, but it suddenly was over. We grabbed a quick meal at the Burger King on the way, saw some fine scenery through the van windows, and enjoyed some musical selections from my orchestra conductor/friend Josh. I rode up with Josh and his wife Genevieve to save gas and automotive wear and tear--and for the companionship.
We stopped at the Solar Living Institute for a break a couple hours into the trip. It features educational displays on sustainable living and a store full of cute and interesting stuff.
There are some wineries and rows and rows of vines along part of the trip. Trees--so many--especially the wonderful Richardson Grove of redwoods. Willits is cute. Eureka is kind of a letdown after the gorgeous scenery but it's full of the urban experience--in small scale.
Once I arrived it was a quick and easy check-in. I got my decorative and useful badge at table in the dorm, went to get a king-size locker for my bass, and got a cable for my computer. Unlike last time, this year I'm blogging the whole thing!
My room is much like the one I had last time, two years ago. Two tall, natural-wood single beds with stashing space underneath. Twin dressers and desks. Cement block walls that give a little of a prison vibe--but there's nothing depressing about being here. Soon, we'll be playing music, sharing meals in the Jolly Giant Dining Hall (The J), and freelancing in the evenings.
It's summer camp for grownups, really. Away from the troubles and cares of the normal week, you can concentrate on the task at hand--rehearsing chamber music during the day with a different small group each day, sharing five minutes of it with your fellow workshop attendees in the afternoon, and after dinner, playing some more.
I was amazed when I attended the workshop two years ago that my hands never got sore, even with the hours of bass playing. It's because I was so HAPPY, I guess. I'm beaming in the group photo. So, I have every reason to expect more of the same this time.