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Updated on:

March 8, 2005

Principal Percussionist, Tony Ames waits along with 70+ NSO musicians at Dulles International Airport. We are running behind schedule. We are supposed to be leaving the DC area by 3:30 pm. Will it happen?

I try my best to entertain my friends; playing the "cowbell" skit from Saturday Night Live (Christopher Walken/Will Ferrel) on my laptop. "I've got to have more cowbell!"

Assistant Principal Percussionist, Ken Harbison is now on board our charter flight. Unfortunately, 2 cellos (and the cellists that play these instruments) have been asked to LEAVE. "Cellos do not fit the size of a carry-on bag"; says the FAA inspector. The cellists and their instruments will have to book commercial flights to Fayetteville, NC. It is now 4:15 pm as the plane taxis for take off.

Our plane finally begins to take off from Dulles International Airport at 4:35 pm. We land in Fayetteville, NC at 5:25 pm; just about an hour later than scheduled. Percussionist, Joe Connell is happy to be on solid ground.

The Band from Fort Bragg plays a nice reception for the musicians of the NSO. This is the high point of our day!!

The NSO musicians get onto the bus. We are headed for the Holiday Inn Bordeaux Convention Center in Fayetteville, NC.

March 9, 2005

I had the pleasure of working with the percussion ensemble at Fayetteville State University, under the direction of Dr. Don Parker.

The NSO also had its first performance this evening; performing for a sold out house at the Crown Theatre/Cumberland County Auditorium.

March 10, 2005

The NSO travels to Greenville today. The "movie bus" is playing Forrest Gump; a nice distraction for our 2 hour trip.

I had the pleasure of listening to some fine percussion students at East Carolina State University (Dr. Jonathan Wacker, Percussion). We created a "mock audition" and discussed the "finer points" of auditioning, etc. I had a great time - thanks Jon!!

The NSO also performed this evening on the campus of ECU. We will be performing a Young People's Concert tomorrow morning at the same venue.

March 11, 2005

The NSO travels to Raleigh, North Carolina. We will be staying at the Raleigh Marriot for the next few days. Across the street is the largest shopping mall in the state of North Carolina . . .

March 14, 2005

The NSO travels to Greensboro, North Carolina today. The O'Henry Hotel is terrific!! Ken Harbison and I walk around and discover a movie theater. We end up seeing "Sideways" - great movie!!

March 17, 2005

The NSO's YPC (youth concerts) were canceled this morning in Boone, NC due to snow. The NSO gets its first snow day!

March 18, 2005

The NSO travels to Asheville today. The sun finally came out this morning and we had a nice view from the bus. We return to DC tomorrow!!