A Better Monday

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The first graders at Hodgen Elementary School had a better Monday than most of us. St. Louis Symphony musicians Shawn Weil, Tina Ward and Tod Bowermaster paid a visit to Hodgen and taught the schoolchildren about how musical instruments make sounds, and then gave them the violin, clarinet and horn version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Left to right: Shawn Weil, Tod Bowermaster and Tina Ward perform "Peter and the Wolf" at Hodgen Elementary School.
Left to right: Shawn Weil, Tod Bowermaster and Tina Ward perform “Peter and the Wolf” at Hodgen Elementary School.

Maybe Symphony musicians could come to various workplaces and make grownups’ Mondays better too.

Postcard Thursday

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Piccolo and flute player for the St. Louis Symphony, Ann Choomack has some very cool parts to play this season, including in just about anything by Prokofiev. This season is a mini-Prokofiev greatest hits: Cinderella, Symphony No. 3 and the “Classical” Symphony, Peter and the Wolf and Romeo and Juliet, with Choomack’s piccolo putting its own signature on each performance.

Choomack is also an avid bicyclist and has toured much of the world on two wheels. She was slowed down recently after she “flew over the handlebars,” she told me, and cracked her collarbone.

Ann Choomack at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Ann Choomack at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, resting before her pretty solos.

She writes: “Summer music camp at Eastern Music Festival has been fun. Even playing Mahler 2 with a broken collarbone is a good challenge. I get to play the pretty solos while my awesome trusty assistant, Gabe Fridkis, plays the entire rest of the part. It’s such a gift to be able to relax and take in such amazing music while the other flutes work so hard [Choomack placed a smiley face here]! I hope I heal in time for my trek in Peru in a few weeks.”

Next Postcard Thursday: trombonist Jonathan Reycraft.