Archive for September, 2010

From Caracas to Idyllwild

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

William performed at the Redlands Bowl this past summer

By Marcia E. Gawecki

It’s not unusual for Idyllwild Arts Academy to attract music students from all over the world. Last year alone, they came from China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Venezuela and Germany. Yet, only one auditioned for the school via You Tube from the mountains of Caracas, and has studied with the LA Philharmonic’s hot new conductor, Gustavo Dudamel.

William, a flute player at Idyllwild Arts, is tall, modest, and could be a dead ringer for President Barak Obama. His English has improved greatly since his audition from the mountaintop a year ago. And, as a postgraduate senior, he stands a good chance of getting into college.

His whirlwind journey began when Peter Askim, Idyllwid Arts Music Director and Composer-in-Residence, contacted one of his friends from the Venezuela Philharmonic, William said, and asked her to find him a flute player.  However, William was up in the mountains when he got the call.

“I was 10 hours from Caracas,” William said. “There was no way that I could make a demo tape and send it.”

So he missed the deadline, but they called him again.

“So my friend videotaped me playing, and I posted it on You Tube,” William said.

When the school e-mailed him that he was accepted, William’s mother (who didn’t speak or read English) was skeptical.

“She wasn’t going to send me halfway around the world based on an e-mail message,” he said. “She thought I was going to be abducted.”

So Marek Pramuka,  Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Idyllwild Arts, asked Georgina, a music student from Costa Rica, to talk to his mother in Spanish, William said.

“She told her all about the school, and the orchestra, and she convinced my mom  that it was OK for me to come to America,” he said.

Although William was accepted on a full-ride scholarship, the logistics of getting to Idyllwild was challenging.

“First, we had to transfer bolivars (Bolivar fuerte currency) into dollars,” William explained. “But we couldn’t do that at the bank, so we had to rely on street venders.”

Then he had to get a passport and visa to leave the country. Since his mother doesn’t have a car, they relied on public transportation and a family friend to take them to the various places.

“Although gas is cheap in Venezuela, cars are expensive,” William explained. “Gas is about 25 cents a gallon, but a car that costs about $25,000 in the US, would cost nearly double in Venezuela.”

He lives with his mother (who is studying to be a nurse) and uncle in a tough neighborhood. His father remarried, and William worries that his younger stepbrother will get into trouble with gangs. According to various web sites, 30 percent of Venezuelans live on less than $2 US dollars a day.

'El Sistema' is supported by Gustavo Dudamel, LA Phil's conductor

“William is a product of ‘El Sistema,'” said one of the Idyllwild Arts patrons while talking about scholarship recipients during the Jazz in the Pines concert this year. “It’s an excellent model of how to keep young at-risk kids interested in music. They give them instruments and keep them so busy that they’re not tempted to join gangs or get into trouble.”

According to various web sites, the State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela, commonly known as ‘El Sistema,’ is a government-funded organization, founded by maestro José Antonio Abreu, aimed at music education through symphony orchestras and choruses. A link to ‘El Sistema’ is listed under “Fesnojiv” in Gustavo Dudamel’s personal web site.

William said that his orchestra rehearsals began right after school, and lasted for hours. They also kept them occupied during summer vacations.

“I was glad that I was part of the orchestra,” William said. “I had somewhere to go after school.”

He chose the flute because he’s always been attracted to the sound. And, although female flutists are common in the US, male flutists are more common in South America, he said.

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra was a great training ground and that’s where he worked with LA Philharmonic’s conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. But he didn’t say much about him.

William and Kitty (partially hidden) won $500 in scholarship money from the Redlands Bowl

“Maybe he’s sick of talking about it,” said Kitty’s mom at The Redlands Bowl. William and Kitty, a fellow Idyllwild Arts music student, won $500 scholarships and were asked to perform before a live audience in June.

“All of LA is talking about Gustavo Dudamel,” Kitty’s mom said. “He’s LA Philharmonic’s hand-picked darling. Of course, the New York Philharmonic thinks he’s too young and inexperienced, but we don’t think so.”

William and Kitty talked about the other performers that evening, including a violin player who couldn’t be more than 10 years old.

“We hate to follow her in the program,” William said. “How can you compete with that cuteness?”

The night before, William had been to the Redlands Bowl for a practice run and sound check with his flute teacher, Sara Andon, and his piano accompanist, Lara Urrutia.

William and his piano accompanist, Lara Urrutia

“Lara’s great,” William said. “She keeps up with me. Other accompanists I’ve played with fall behind, and I end up following them.”

They discussed the amphitheater’s acoustics and what to wear for the performance. Since William was playing excerpts from Bizet’s French Opera, “Carmen,” they decided to wear red.

However, William was concerned about playing in an open-air ampitheater, something that wasn’t made clear to him.

“When you play a wind instrument, you already are maxing out your lung capacity,” he said. “Now I have to project even more so that the audience can hear me. I just hope that the wind is not blowing at me, but away.”

William’s selections from  “Carmen” was a crowd pleaser at The Redlands Bowl. Kitty played two contemporary pieces, “Prelude,” and “Alternating Currents,” but wasn’t as happy with her performance. Kitty, who attended Idyllwild Arts all four years, now attends Rice University on a full music scholarship.

When William applied for the Redlands Bowl scholarship, he had to save up for the $50 entry fee.

“At school, you get $20 a week allowance, so I had to save up for three weeks,” he said.

In fact, 68 percent of the 250 students who attend Idyllwild Arts receive some sort of scholarship money, states The Boarding School Review.

When William told his grandmother about the competition, she was certain that he was going to win.

“She said, ‘You’re going to win,'” William said. “Even when I told her how many people tried out. But she’s always believed in me.”

Another person who has believed in William is Askim, who brought him here from Caracas. William said that he didn’t see Askim for two weeks after he arrived. Then when he was in the orchestra, he was annoyed by his name.

“You see, there are two Williams in our orchestra, me and a clarinet player who sits right behind me,” William said. “Whenever Peter would shout, ‘William,’ we both would answer. So he tried calling us ‘William No. 1’ and ‘William No. 2,’ but we both wanted to be ‘William No. 1.”

So Askim nicknamed William the flute player, “Baldy” and William the clarinet player, “Hairy,” for his spiked hairdo.

Hear “Baldy” playing the role of the bird during the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra’s performance of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” on Oct. 16 and 17. The show will also feature guest narrator, Harry Shearer, from “The Simpsons” fame. The show is free and open to the public and will be held in the Bowman Arts Building. For more information, visit www.idywildarts.org.

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Dolphin Pressure from 8,342 Miles Away

Monday, September 27th, 2010

In September, Jeffrey Taylor hung this dolphin banner outside Green Cafe

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Taiji, Japan is 8,342 miles from Idyllwild, California.  Yet, the distance is not stopping one Idyllwild resident from doing his part to pressure the Taiji government to stop their 20,000 annual dolphin slaughter.

It all began in March when Jeffrey Taylor, from Green Cafe, showed “The Cove,” this year’s Academy Award winning documentary, to about 25 residents, which included professors, scientists and animal activists. It was part of his weekly “Cafe Cinema” series that he’s held in Idyllwild for 10 years.  Many of his friends couldn’t bear to see dolphins killed onscreen, yet, those who went said it wasn’t such a graphic portrayal, and getting out the message was key.

“The Cove is a stunning heist-like story that is half Jacques Cousteau and half James Bond,” said Taylor. “A ‘dream team’ of activists venture to Japan to expose the secretive work of fishermen who slaughter dolphins so they can sell the meat nationally and abroad.”

Ric O’Barry, who rose to popularity with “Flipper,” the popular TV show about dolphins in the 1960s, said that he became an activist when he saw that dolphins would rather die than be in captivity.

O’Barry collaborated with Louie Psihoyos in creating “The Cove” documentary to get the word out of the 20,000 dolphin slayings that are held each year from September to March in Taiji, Japan. In a small cove, 26 local fishermen herd dolphins in from the sea by forming a line of boats and making noises with metal poles. The process is known as “oikomi.”

“Dolphins are keenly sensitive to noise,” O’Barry said in the movie. “They are afraid of the noise and swim to the cove to get away from it. There, they are herded into nets and the bottle nosed dolphins are sent to marine parks like “Sea World,” while the other dolphins are slaughtered with spears.

Since showing 'The Cove,' Jeffrey Taylor has continued the fight

Since the showing, Taylor has not been quiet about the Taiji dolphin slaughter. He regularly visits web sites dedicated to dolphin preservation, and e-mails updates to his friends and customers. Among the information that he’s sent include news reports about the toxic levels of mercury in Taiji;  O’Barry’s recent trip to Toyko; a You Tube video account of a young woman who swam in the Taiji Cove; and a slide show by Leilani Munter, a dedicated volunteer.

All of the portrayals show worldwide support of the ban on the dolphin killings. When O’Barry visited Toyko (because nationalists threatened him in Taiji) with 100 other supporters, he had a list of 155,000 signatures from supporters all over the world.

Some of the supporters are from Idyllwild, and, like Taylor, are unwilling to give up the fight.

In September, the start of the dolphin killing season in Taiji, Taylor hung a banner outside his Green Cafe office in Idyllwild. It was a birthday present from his artist girlfriend. It depicts a torso of a smiling dolphin swimming in a sea of red with the text, “Stop the Slaughter, Taiji.”

Taylor hopes to pressure Taiji from killing 20,000 dolphins

“At first, I was worried about posting a political banner outside my business,” said Taylor. “But then I realized that most of my customers agree with the message.”

However, many Japanese do not know about what is going on in Taiji, and would likely not approve of it. In the documentary, tests prove that dolphin meat has toxic mercury levels, and is not good for human consumption. In fact, in the May 10th issue of the Japan Times (another article sent by Jeffrey Taylor), the National Institute of Minamata Disease (NIMD) stated that many Taiji residents have unusually high levels of mercury in their systems.

Even with mercury poisoning, Taiji’s 3,000 residents remain defiant. They say that killing dolphins is no different than killing cows or pigs, and people should mind their own business.

But the more people know, the more they want to help.

In the comment section after an article about O’Barry’s trip to Taiji, one woman wrote: “After watching ‘The Cove,’ like many others, we felt helpless about the dolphin killings in Taiji, Japan. My daughters asked me if we could sell all of our things and go to Taiji in support of the dolphins. I told them that we would sell what we could and send the money to the conservation groups.”

In one You Tube video, O’Barry was asked by a reporter, “What can people do to help?”

“Don’t buy a ticket to ‘Sea World’ or any other dolphin show,” O’Barry said. “It’s a 1.6 million dollar business, and its all about supply and demand. If people won’t pay to see the dolphin shows anymore, then the fishermen will stop capturing and killing them.”

In his blog dated Sunday, September 26, 2010, Ric O’ Barry wrote:

“It’s with a heavy heart that I write today’s post. Despite all our efforts and despite the worldwide condemnation of the cruel dolphin slaughter, the Japanese government remains defiant and has allowed the first dolphin kill of this season at Taiji.

“This defies all logic, both because of the brutal inhumane abuse of dolphins and because it is now proved that the dolphin meat is poison — containing dangerous levels of mercury.

“Throughout the first month of the season several captures have taken place with select dolphins retained for export to zoos and aquariums. The rest of the pod were released back into the wild. However, a few days ago one group of 15 Risso’s dolphins was brutally killed and taken to the slaughterhouse.

“I can’t tell you how angry this makes me. And I know it makes you angry, too. Many of you will be frustrated, but I don’t want you to lose hope. I also am more convinced than ever that our campaign to generate worldwide pressure for an end to the slaughter is right and must succeed.

“We must be vigilant and turn up the heat. The Japan government’s defiance must not be allowed to stand.

“Change does not happen overnight, and we have only just started to get the word out to the Japanese people.

“We are working to keep people on the ground in Taiji to monitor the Cove and report back to the world. Take a look at this video done by one of our dedicated volunteers, Leilani Münter.”

“Taiji will stop their annual dolphin slaughter only when world pressure hits them in the pocketbook,” Taylor added. “One thing we can do is stop buying Japanese products. If 10 percent of Americans stopped buying Japanese products, I’ll bet Taiji would stop killing dolphins.”

For more information, visit www.savejapandolphins.org, and www.takepart.com. And if you want to receive Jeffrey Taylor’s dolphin updates, e-mail him at webmaster@greencafe.com.

Copyright 2010 Idyllwild Me. All Rights Reserved.

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‘Gold Standard’ Vans

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Idyllwild Arts just added two new gold vans to their fleet

They’re like two shiny gold crowns amongst rows of pearly whites.

The Idyllwild Arts Transportation Department has just added two new vans to their fleet. However, instead of the standard white GM vans, these vans are gold Chevrolets.

Tucker McIntyre, head of Transportation, is pleased about the new additions to his fleet of 13 vans and cars that service the Idyllwild Arts student body. Vans are used to transport students to and from LAX, Ontario and Palm Springs Airports. They’re also used for field trips, weekly music lessons and trips to the doctor and dentist–just about everything students need in a boarding school.

“These new vans are all about safety for our students,” Tucker said. “Naturally, they have low mileage and are much safer for us to drive.”

With these two new additions, Tucker gave up an older white van to the Film Department. Film students need a van at their disposal to transport cameras, tripods and other film equipment while they’re shooting on location.

“It just makes sense for them to have one at their disposal,” Tucker said.

The two new gold vans are a physical reminder of the ongoing excellent service the Idyllwild Arts Transportation Department provides.

“We’re setting the gold standard for service,” Tucker said with a smile. He often gets good comments about the friendliness and professionalism of his drivers, many of which have been with him for years.

Neil will drive number 10 on a regular basis

The two new vans will sport the numbers 8 and 10.

Neil will drive number 10 on a regular basis.

“Ten is the best number in soccer,” Tucker teased. “All the great players wear the number 10.”

Neil, who was born in Peru, is a big soccer fan, and is thrilled to be driving a new van. He’s been waiting for this day to come for months.

However, his waiting is not over yet. The new gold vans have not been road tested.

“We’re still waiting on all of the papers,” Tucker said, referring to their registration and insurance papers.

When the snow comes, rest assured these all-wheel-drive vehicles will be able to get us around, Tucker added.

Student Learns from ‘Burning Man’ Event

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Morgan, who wants to be a professional clown, learned a lot at Burning Man

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The students are coming back to Idyllwild Arts now, full of stories about what they did during their summer break. However, one student’s story stood out from the rest.

“I learned how to eat fire this summer,” said Morgan.

It happened at “Burning Man,” a weeklong arts event held Aug. 20 to Sept. 6 in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The event has a strong emphasis on pyrotechnics. Attendees bring all of their own food, drink and lodging, and must leave nothing behind. It’s considered a “commerce free event,” meaning you can only buy coffee and ice there. Everything else must be traded. According to the Burning Man web site, the event attracted 48,000 people this year.

“There’s young people and old people, kids, naked people, some strung out on drugs or alcohol,” Morgan explained. “But if you don’t drink or do drugs, that’s OK with everyone too.”

It was the fourth Burning Man event that Morgan, now a senior, has attended. This time, he went with his father.

“It’s hard to explain what Burning Man really is all about,” Morgan said, after he arrived at Ontario Airport with dusty luggage. “You really just have to experience it firsthand.”

He said that the dirt will likely last about a week. It’s coated his skin. He also burned his tongue and the hair off of his arms.

“We also played fire baseball,” Morgan added. “The ball and bat are on fire. We don’t really keep score or anything, but it was fun trying to catch a burning fly ball.”

He said that eating fire wasn’t really hard, but afterwards, he couldn’t taste anything for about a week. His tongue blistered, he said, but didn’t have any lasting effects. When he stuck it out, it looked pink and normal.

“The trick of fire eating is to make sure that it stays mysterious,” Morgan said. “If everyone in the audience knows how to do it, then no one is going to pay to watch someone do it, right?”

He said that he also learned how to breathe out fire, much like a fire-breathing dragon.

“But you have to be careful not to breathe in because the fire could go down into your lungs, and you know what a disaster that would be,” Morgan said.

Morgan approached Burning Man like a student going for an internship. You see, Morgan wants to be a clown when he graduates from Idyllwild Arts. He hopes to go to a special clown school in Australia, that he visited before coming to Burning Man.

At Burning Man, he also learned to juggle with fire, something that he cannot practice on a heavily-wooded campus within a national forest.

“At school, they frown upon anything having to do with fire,” he said.

Morgan learned how to eat and breathe fire

He admitted that Burning Man, has an emphasis on fire, and attracts many pyromaniacs.

“One year, I saw them blow up a fuel tank, which sent a mushroom cloud into the air for about 200 feet,” he said. “Only people crazy about fire would want to do something like that.”

On the Saturday night before Labor Day this year, they burned a 100-foot image of a man that can be seen for miles. Check out some spectacular photos on the Burning Man web site, www.burningman.com.

For his senior year, Morgan took a big step and switched majors from theater to dance.

“I still love the theater,” Morgan said. “But, if I want to go to clown school, I have to work on my strength, and switching to dance was the way to do it. In theater, you just don’t move around a lot.”

Part of his college clown auditions include holding up other performers, much like cheerleaders do. He practiced a little bit of his strength training at Burning Man. At 6 foot something, he says he is not too tall to be a clown, but prefers being the one on the bottom holding everyone up.

Clowning comes naturally for Morgan who “grew up in the Renaiessance Fair.”  His father played a pirate, and his mother played a witch. In fact, he was named after the famous pirate, Captain Morgan, one of the most dangerous pirates who worked in the Spanish Main.

All in all, the Burning Man event turned out to be a good experience for this would-be professional clown. After college, he wants to join Circus de Soleil, or another one in Europe.

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The Making of a Legend’s Banner

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Shown under construction, the Herb Jeffries banner will be auctioned off at Cafe Aroma

By Marcia E. Gawecki

A couple of years ago, there was an event in Idyllwild honoring a Film Noir star, Colleen Gray. Jeffrey Taylor, from Green Cafe and Cafe Cinema, hosted the event. About 200 people showed up that night to watch “Nightmare Alley,” and hear Colleen speak of her experience with making the film. It was a great time, and at 11 p.m., Herb Jeffries and Savannah were the last to leave. Herb was 95 at the time.

In Idyllwild, Herb Jeffries is like everyone’s favorite uncle. He’s talented, handsome, positive and interested in everything. And he tells great stories about all of the people he’s met and worked with over the years. You just never get tired of being around Herb.

And he always thanks God for everything he’s ever received. He doesn’t sound preachy or anything. Just a man telling it like it is.

Louis Armstrong is part of the "Jazz in the Pines" banner series

Last year, I created a 7-foot banner of Herb Jeffries. It was part of my first “Jazz in the Pines” banner series shown outside of Cafe Aroma. The other banners included Marshall Hawkins (another local musician critical to the Jazz Fest); Miles Davis (whom Marshall played with!); Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday.

I was so nervous about making the banner and wondering if Herb would see it and like it, that I made myself sick. I stayed up all night painting it over and over again with my funky colored acrylic paint. By morning, I was shaking and tired, but still not satisfied with the outcome. But I had to turn it in.

A legend was going to see this banner. A legend who played with Duke Ellington and starred in cowboy westerns. He’s visited the president and has a star on the Walk of Fame. What would he think of my humble rendition of him?

“Did Herb like the banner?” I asked Frank Ferro, the owner/manager of Cafe Aroma, almost every day.

“He hasn’t seen it yet,” Frank said.

A couple of weeks after the Jazz Fest, Cafe Aroma hosted a birthday party for Herb Jeffries, and my banner served as the backdrop. A good time was had by all, and Herb saw the banner, Frank said. But that’s all Frank said.

It took a long time to decide if Herb's specs should be pink or purple

My guess was that Herb didn’t like it and Frank was too polite to tell me. So I pressed my friends and my boyfriend for their opinions.

“I like the one of Marshall Hawkins the best, even though he looks angry,” Jeffrey Taylor admitted. “But the one of Herb Jeffries I don’t like as much.”

Daggers in my heart, but constructive criticism, just the same.

When my neighbor’s friends came to stay for a few days this summer, they asked me to fly Herb’s banner outside my house. Les and Barbara Doaks knew Herb and Savannah Jeffries. They said they had seen a picture of Herb in “Cowboys & Indians” magazine recently. Herb had just attended some big rodeo event.

Once hanging outside my house, I realized the colors were all wrong. Hot pink and orange were not right for a legend. The trouble with painting door-sized banners is that it takes a lot longer to change colors. And when you change one color, it affects all of the others.  In fact, you can work yourself up into a feverish frenzy–to the point that you don’t know if it’s even Herb Jeffries anymore.

Jackson Pollock once said, “It’s easy getting into a painting, but sometimes you have to fight your way out.”

So this year, I was lucky enough to host another series of “Jazz in the Pines” banners at Cafe Aroma. I spent a lot of time repairing the 2009 banners, especially the one of Herb. The only new banner this year was of another local jazz musician, Barnaby Finch. Barnaby’s ended up being a “bear” to complete because it was larger, almost barn-door sized.

So when Cafe Aroma sent a Live Mail notice recently announcing the 97th birthday celebration for Herb Jeffries, I was thrilled! I trusted they would use my banner as the backdrop for another celebration. Sadly, Herb may not be there to celebrate his big day. Yet, Cafe Aroma plans to set up a live link to where Herb is recovering from his surgery.

And there’s going to be a fundraiser that night too. Local artists and musicians have been asked to contribute something. My 7-foot banner of Herb that has been smiling down on Cafe Aroma diners for two years now would be a natural. Donating the banner (worth $800) to a legend’s recovery fund would do my heart good.

“Herb used to do a lot of free concerts for people in Idyllwild,” Jeff told me. “He’s a very generous man.”

My only hope is that my Herb Jeffries Banner fetches more than $200. You just never know with live auctions. But Herb has always preached a strong faith in God and mankind. So whatever it fetches, it will be enough.

I just wish I knew if Herb liked it.

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Idyllwild Jazz Fest = Student Scholarships

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

A photo of Jacob, a jazz scholarship student, was featured on the program

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Many of the jazz enthusiasts who attended last weekend’s Jazz in the Pines event didn’t know it was a scholarship fundraiser (although it was clearly written on all of the promotional materials).

“Ticket prices are a little high,” said one attendee from San Diego of the $60 entry fee. “Other jazz fests like the one in Monterey only charge $35 to get in, but it’s a great being up here in the mountains.”

When she was told by another attendee that the money raised from the jazz fest went to student scholarships for the Idyllwild Arts Academy, she was impressed.

“Well, that’s different,” she said. “There’s a lot of talented kids out there who can’t afford to go to a good school. If my ticket today helps them get there, I’m all for it.”

At least three scholarship students performed live at this year’s Jazz in the Pines event, including Jacob on sax, Caleb on trumpet and Connor on trombone. Marshall Hawkins, head of the Jazz Department at Idyllwild Arts, always invites his Idyllwild Arts jazz students (and some classical students) to play with his band, the Harry Pickens Trio.

Not only did they play with him on Sunday, August 29, but he showed them off to the crowd.

“The students were playing in the back, and he brought them up front and center, and made them play some solos,” explained one jazz fan from Palm Springs. “Poor kids, they were put on the spot, but they did great!”

She said that she saw Jacob afterwards while waiting in line for the shuttle, and asked him if he was nervous about being singled out.

Little did the fans know, but Jacob, Caleb and Connor, had been practicing all summer for that very moment in the spotlight.

Caleb was a teacher’s assistant during one of the summer school sessions at Idyllwild Arts. Jose, who lived in the same dorm and heard him play at concerts, was impressed with his dedication.

“We’d see him in the mornings, and after dinner,” explained Jose. “All the time in between, he was practicing his horn.”

Jacob knew that he’d be playing at the jazz fest when school ended last June.

“Come and hear me play at the Jazz Fest,” he told his friends and teachers.

In fact, a photo of Jacob was featured on a full page advertisement on the back of the jazz fest program. It showed him intently playing his sax.

“I was really surprised when someone pointed it out to me,” Jacob said. “That’s really cool!”

Connor, who lives in Palm Springs, and spent his summer tutoring grade school music students in his dad’s office, was also ready for his solo at the jazz fest.

For them, to be in front of a live audience, especially one that understands and appreciates jazz, was quite the thrill. For most of the year, they play before select audiences made up of friends and faculty.

Mariya, a classical bass player who had a four-year scholarship to Idyllwild Arts, also played with Marshall Hawkins at the Jazz in the Pines last year.

“It was a good experience playing before a live audience,” Mariya said. “But it got a little cold in the shade. My fingers were frozen.”

Since then, Mariya graduated and earned a full scholarship to The Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. She hopes to come back and play with the Idyllwild Arts Student Orchestra as a “ringer” (a professional player) sometime this year.

“We’re coming back!” Jacob shouted as he walked along Tollgate to his car after the show. “Caleb and I are coming back here for our senior year!”

Ticket sales at Jazz in the Pines 2010 must’ve been good this year.