On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show #214 Iowa City

Greetings from my flight back from Iowa City, where we had a taping last night at the Englert Theater. I must say I feel quite lucky to be on a plane right now! Some of my colleagues’ flights were cancelled due to a blizzard that’s about to hit the northeast. Assuming you are reading this blog, you can rest assured my plane made it safely through the slippery, sleety, windy, scary conditions and I have arrived back in Boston in one piece.

Now then… on to the show! Last night’s taping celebrated music making in the great Midwest. First up was Allan Steele, a Chicago-based cellist who was on our program fairly recently as a member of the Aurelia Quartet. This time, he was playing solo Shostakovich, and he played it brilliantly. Next up was Iowa native Thomas Burrill, a talented pianist who played a beautiful Chopin piece. Flutist Meekyoung Lee of Michigan provided one of my favorite moments from last night. Our producers surprised her by having a “person from her past” phone in during the taping, and her reaction (shocked, thrilled, and perhaps a tad mortified) was completely genuine and sweet. Fourth up was the Iowa-based duo of harpist Katherine Siochi and cellist Andrew Altmaier, who played an original piece by composer Jeremiah Siochi. Closing the show, the Bone Rangers from Chicago’s Merit School of Music brought down the house with a piece by Simon Wells that one of the members described as “going to a carnival that starts out fun but turns out to be evil.” I thought that described the atmosphere of the piece perfectly!

I have a Flip Video preview for you below. Pretty much all of it was taken during dress rehearsal except for the part at the end where you see my startled face turn around and blow a kiss. That was taken during the actual taping by one sneaky performer who nabbed the Flip cam and snuck behind the curtain during the show! Excellent work, my friend.