Thursday, May 29, 2008

Elton John Conquers Alaska

I've been listening to Sir Elton for over 30 years now, and he's been acceptable but no big deal. However, last night I saw this musician in action, as he did his first (of two) shows in Anchorage. The large arena where he played to a sold-out audience, is hardly noted for its acoustics, so I wasn't expecting much, when I accepted the invitation of friends to join them in the first row. Well, I was wrong . . . this was a great show as he played to the masses, and he really knew how to work the crowd of all ages. Some near us were decked out in boas, and funny eyeglasses, etc. to join the feel of this quirky guy, and he started off with "Your Song". He finished non-stop almost 3 hours later with "Crocodile Rock", the crowd of all ages (ahem!) were mesmerized. So now I've taken in by the ultimate international entertainer.

As a bonus, he did strut around the stage, wearing his "Music Magic" ornate coat, throwing kisses to the audience and waves, and at one point even signed autographs for several people who raced to the stage after what I thought was the end of the evening. It wasn't. He added "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Benny and the Jets" and it seemed like he just couldn't stop playing. Kudos to the lighting techies, as the light show behind the stage, about 40 ft. high also added a lot to this one-man show.

I don't know about him, but today, I'm still exhausted as I felt I was working right along with him. If you get a chance, spend your life savings and go see him when he comes to your town.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Busy Happenings in Alaska

Although this isn't one of my piano students, I thought I'd share this shot of a relative . . . ahem . . . my students did a non-recital at the Pioneer Home recently in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival, an annual event put on by the Women's Igloo of the Pioneers of Alaska. This relieves stress level.

Memorial Day was lovely as we had a ceremony at the downtown cemetery at the Pioneer Tract, followed by a mug-up at the Pioneer Hall. In case you wonder what all I'm talking about, the Pioneers of Alaska have been 'one hundred years on the trai' which started in Nome, and there are chapters, called Igloos, all over the state. .. this year, I'm the chaplain of our Igloo, so that's how come I did the prayers. Somehow, I also ended up as the moderator of the Presbyterian Woman, who chose to have their 3 day Synod meeting in Anchorage at the same time. So you can see that I'm glad this weekend is over.
Somehow, two of my blogs were not posted, and I'm searching to find out just why. You'd think I'd have this thing licked by now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Alaska Wedding

Following up my recent blog on the Ice "Museum" which is a hotel at Chena Hot Springs, I felt I just had to post this neat picture in the morning paper of a couple getting married there. Here's part of the article:

What would happen if Barbie came to life and got married? Oh, and she lived in Alaska and wanted a unique wedding. And she liked the idea of being a princess.
Her big day would look just like Anchorage residents Mechelle Sharp and Shawn Boquist's wedding April 26 at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
"I'm the girl playing with Barbie all her life," said Mechelle, who still has 300 of them tucked away in a trunk.
"I'm just really grateful that there is an ice castle in Alaska."
Outside of all that, this was a weekend to focus on the 'kids'. My piano students played some neat music for the residents of the Pioneer Home on Saturday for the Strawberry Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Pioneers of Alaska. . . Women's Igloo #4 . . . and the Children's School of Dance gave a great performance of the "Wizard of Oz" at West High school, with over a hundred kiddies on stage together, and no one ran into each other. I am amazed over the number of 4 - 7 yr olds. who participated, wearing great costumes, and of course, there are always a few who don't 'join the group' and wander off, but they were ably grabbed by some teen age girls who herded them back to the 'chorus line'. It was such fun to watch, and brought a tear to my eye as I was laughing at the same time. Kudos to the teachers/director.
Outside activities of the weekend included a women's triathalon that drew a number of the younger set of ably fit gals, and the newspaper gave good coverage of this event. This is really a running city, and in the winter, a cross-country skiing draw for national and international competitors. Until next time, keep planning your trip to big A! You'll love it here.