Wood Kraft

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Principal Timpani Shannon Wood visited with William Kraft, the composer of the Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter,” in the composer’s home near Pasadena, California, this summer. Wood plays the work with the St. Louis Symphony, April 30-May 1, 2016, at Powell Hall. Wood sent me a video of their conversation, and cinematographer Joshua Dobkins put together this edition of the Video Blog, including excerpts of the timpanist practicing the work in his Grand Center studio. You’ll see a new look to the Video Blog. Swank.

Postcard Thursday

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On the blog this summer you’ve seen Principal Timpani Shannon Wood in his Grand Center studio practicing on his solo for next spring, William Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter.” Soon on the video blog you’ll see him talking with the composer during a visit to Kraft’s home and studio near Pasadena, California. But for now, the Woods are on vacation.

Carina and Shannon Wood enjoy a rooftop pool overlooking Palermo.
Carina and Shannon Wood enjoy a rooftop pool overlooking Palermo.
The Woods visited the Sicilian town of Cefalú, its Norman cathedral in the background.
The Woods visited the Sicilian town of Cefalú, its Norman cathedral in the background.

As Wood describes it, Cefalú is a beautiful old town on the Mediterranean, east of Palermo. “We enrolled in a language class there,” he writes. “I’m fairly fluent already, but it’ll help refine my skills. [Spouse] Jaci has been studying Italian for more than a year already, so it’ll be really helpful for her.”

They were in England before the month-long stay in Sicily. They head to Dublin before returning to St. Louis and then back to the basement and preparing for the season.

Next Postcard Thursday: Principal Harp Allegra Lilly.

Basement Tapes Vol. 2

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Shannon Wood needed to get in some extra practice last week as he and his family are heading to parts un-Midwestern soon. I’ll have my promised video interview up at the end of the week, so let’s call this the Monday bookend. This is also titled “Wood Does a 360,” or “Hey, Dr. J, Where Did You Get Those Moves?” William Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter,” from the first movement, shot in Shannon’s basement studio in Grand Center.

A Lot of Timpani

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Wednesday Shannon Wood was back in his practice studio working on William Kraft’s Timpani Concerto No. 2, “The Grand Encounter.” He sent me this video. As someone said, “That’s a lot of timpani,” and Wood has to play them all.

I’ll have more video with an interview next week.