I was challenged by my lovely wife, Pam, to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and was more than happy to oblige. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. As voluntary muscle action becomes progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Before this challenge, the public had little knowledge of this horrific disease. So I am happy to help by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, as well as making a donation, to help in the search for a cure.
Here’s where I will challenge all of you to also take the #IceBucketChallenge by making a donation to the ALS Foundation today. You can learn more about ALS by visiting www.alsa.org. Thanks!
This year I was invited to participate in the Special Olympics Korea Music and Art Festival in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Pyeongchang has been chosen as the site for the 2018 Winter Olympics so many events and activities have been scheduled there for the coming years. 2014 was the second year for the Pyeongchang Music and Art Festival. The Pyeongchang Special Music Festival is a global musical event for the musically talented with intellectual disabilities. Young musicians with intellectual disabilities from over 16 countries participated and had an opportunity to attend Master Classes and showcase their talent. Last year, Lee Rittenour was the invited international guest. So I was honored to be asked this year.
Pam and I flew to Seoul from Minneapolis. We were met by our driver and taken on the 4-hour ride up into the mountains. The sun was setting when we arrived so we were able to enjoy the beautiful view more on our return to Incheon Airport. We arrived at the Alpenisa Resort where the festival was taking place and met our hosts. It was a delight to meet so many young, enthusiastic participants eager to learn more about music. I was awed by many of the performances. It was a short visit to Korea on this occasion. However, I look forward to returning and sincerely hope to participate in this festival in the future. Truly an uplifting and joyous event! Enjoy some photos from the event below.
In June, I was hard at work recording some new compositions at Wild Sound Studios in Minneapolis, MN. I have a few more nips and tucks to make on some of the recordings. Later this month, we will be completing the mixing and mastering processes. I am very pleased with this new project and I believe you will enjoy it as much as me.
So you should expect to see a new CD from me later this year. Make sure to join the mailing list so that you will know first when it’s available. Subscribers will have the option to pre-order first.
Below are a few pictures form the sessions. Enjoy!