It is tricky to talk about a sense of “homecoming” when I have had so many homes in recent years. First and foremost, Northern Michigan will always be my home. But I also consider Bloomington, Kalamazoo, even St. Olaf or Petoskey to be homes in some capacity. Of all of these locations, Bloomington brings back the strongest feelings. With its limestone architecture, bustling Big Ten campus buzz, and familiar eateries and watering holes (Mother Bear’s, Dragon Express, KOK, Bear’s, Irish Lion, to name just a few), I feel a rush of nostalgia even though I have been gone for less than two years.
This last weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of playing for a family member’s wedding in Btown with my friends and colleagues Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lauren Shriver, and Sonja Kraus. We all studied cello together in Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. And while our lives continue to evolve, what remains the same is our comradery and friendship. I have to say, it is one of the greatest perks of being a cellist. You’re never really just a cellist. You are a community. A cellommunity? As long as you are with your cellist brothers and sisters, you are at home.
One of the pieces we performed was the first movement of the Popper Suite arranged by our former teacher Emilio Colon. Here it is performed by an ensemble of 176 cellists honoring Janos Starker at his 75th birthday.