The Barns at Wolf Trap was a beautiful venue for the event. The kids seemed perfectly comfortable performing there, despite the fact that this was the same venue that had seen performances by Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Tom Paxton, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Nils Lofgren, in addition to regulars such as Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Stanley Jordan, and The Avett Brothers.
The evening started with drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the English barn (originally built in New York around 1791), with entertainment provided by small groups of VMA musicians. This reception before the main performance provided an opportunity for the crowd to inspect and bid on silent auction items.
Afterwards, the crowd moved to the German barn (originally built in New York around 1730) for the night’s featured performances.
After the performances by the young musicians, there was an open auction for the larger donated items.
After the auction, the musical guest, Dave Kline, from the Dave Kline Band, came out and performed with the kids.
Lastly, the kids surrendered the stage to the other members of the Dave Kline Band, and they capped off the evening with a rousing performance that sent the audience toe-tapping home.
By the end of the night, VMA had achieved their goals, and the kids had a great time showing off their skills. I think they gained a lot from the whole experience.
1. The NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4 was Perfect for that Venue
I wasn’t sure what lens I would end up using for this shoot. I knew I didn’t want to use a flash that would distract the performers, so it would have to be a fast f/1.4 lens in order to get enough light for good exposures. It turns out that I was generally able to get close enough to use my NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4 prime lens, and I like the results.
2. Musical Performances Deserve to be Photographed
There is something special about a musical performance. There is the relationship between musician and instrument, between the musician and the musical score, the leadership of the conductor, the feedback coming from the room and the other musicians, and the response of the audience. It is a sensory smorgasbord for which, obviously, a photo cannot do justice. But then you focus on the faces of the musicians, and at least in that instant, you see it all. Musical performances deserve to be photographed.
3. Virginia Music Adventures is Building Confident and Capable Young Men and Women
Some of these young musicians have been performing with this group for a number of years, and they will soon be moving on to other challenges. Others who have not been with the group as long, have been there long enough to see how the older ones handle themselves, both in preparation, and in the performances. And they know that the older ones, not long ago, were in their very same shoes. It is hard to imagine there being a more encouraging environment for honing both their skills and their attitudes.