Thursday, May 19, 2005

Pennsylvania Tour - Day Four

I'm actually writing this a few days after the fact - but things got real busy on Sunday and this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write.

Sunday morning I left Lancaster, PA and headed toward my next destination - Clarksburg, West Virginia. I was quite excited to return to West Virginia. When I was about twelve, I went on tour with a youth choir and we visited 15 states on a round trip from Colorado Springs, up through New England and back again. The only place I distinctly remember from that trip is West Virginia. I recall being in awe of how beautiful it was - so many trees!

West Virginia did not disappoint. It's so GREEN. I think it's greener than Oregon. Gorgeous!

Anyway, the reason I was going to Clarksburg was to play a house concert on Sunday evening. I was psyched about the show as over 70 people had RSVP'd for it! Finally, after a five hour, relaxing drive across Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginina, I arrived at the beautiful and spacious home of Parke and Lisa Thrush.

I think the Thrush home is perhaps the nicest house I've ever been in. They've put a ton of love and work into it and Lisa is a wonderful decorator. The house is full of color, class and charm. And outside, the spacious back yard gives way to fifty acres of woodland property behind the home. Wow!

Anyway, the piano was set in the corner of a large, "L" shaped room, with about 40 chairs in each leg. The piano make was Yamaha - my brand of choice. I saw down to play it and liked it immediately. After I warmed up, I had a nice glass of water and a shower to freshen up.

Guests started arriving about an hour before the show and by 7pm the house was full. Cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, breads, fruits and wine were the staple of the evening. Everyone was in a delightful mood. All told, there were about 80 in the house. The concert started late, but it didn't matter. It was totally casual....

I did the first half of my show, opening with The Vigil. I followed that with Home and While the Trees Sleep. Next, I did a trilogy from my "Postcards from Germany" CD, including Big Snow in Salzburg, One Night at Mozart's and The Kindness of Strangers. I can't remember for sure, but I think I finished the half with Be Thou My Vision.

Then at half-time, I ran over to the CD sales table and people were going crazy buying CDs. One person already had twelve CDs in her hands. It was nuts, but beautifully nuts! :) The person helping me sell CDs for the evening was named Lisa. Not Lisa Thrush, the concert host, but a different Lisa, a friend of hers. She looked really familiar to me, but I couldn't place her. Although I knew I hadn't met her before this evening, I couldn't get over the fact that her face was one I had seen before. But where?

And then it was time to start the second half. Because the evening was basically a house party, it took a long time for folks to get back to the piano. Everyone was having a great time simply talking to one another. I've never seen so many friendly people at a party! Rather than worry about calling everyone's attention, I just sat down and started playing. I played through several new songs, plus a rendition of Goodnight Moon from my "Sweet Dreams & Starlight" CD. I was just chillin' out on the piano and figured people would sit down when they felt like it. In the meantime, everyone having a great Sunday night chatting with their friends and acqaintances.

Eventually, folks did sit back down for the second half and I formally began. I ran through Overcome and As the Deer from the new album, and then Jesus Loves Me, The Moment Everything Changed and the title track from "Sweet Dreams and Starlight." Finally, I read a Bible passage from Revelation 21 and wrapped up the concert with a fan favorite - No More Tears.

There was an odd moment during the second half when I was playing the piano and looked up and saw Lisa, my CD sales helper, sitting near the front row. And then it hit me - I knew who she was! She was Ally McBeal! No, it wasn't the real Calista Flockhart, but she looked quite a bit like her. With that mystery behind me, I finished the concert.

When I was done, people went right back to buying CDs. I was signing them like crazy. In the end, I sold over 100 CDs for the night. The most ever at a house concert. It was a HUGE success, and terrific fun.

Afterward, people hung around for a bit longer. I signed a few more CDs and then finally, the house was quiet. A very stark contrast to an hour before.

Then I ordered a pizza, because I hadn't really eaten dinner. I don't like to eat before I perform. So Parke and Lisa Thrush and I sat up for a while, ate, and had a nice conversation.

And that was the evening. I hit the sack at about 1 am, ready for an early morning to make the journey back to the airport in Harrisburg, PA.



Anonymous Micah Watson said...

Sounds wonderful. I can tell you're truly in the place that God wants you to be for right now. It's written all over you. That's neat to see. Stay open to His move. Don't forget, you're in His will now and happy because of it, but that doesn't mean that so long as you're happy, you're in God's will. Just a word to the wise that I felt was appropriate at the moment. I hold you in the highest regard and look forward to more.

Selling 100 CDs at a concert of 80 people, that's awesome! I can imagine most bands would suffer a fatal (or at least near fatal) heart attack if they sold that ratio for their concerts. :)

I love hearing the personal touches (i.e. Ally McBeal) as well as the information. Keep writing!

1:33 PM  
Blogger David Nevue said...

Hi Micah,

Thank you for writing, and for your wise words....

"you're in His will now and happy because of it, but that doesn't mean that so long as you're happy, you're in God's will."

Excellent! You're right, of course. I've never been exactly sure what God wants me to do with my life, aside from just live it and use my gifts for Him, and so that's what I do, to the best of my ability.

I feel so fortunate, so blessed.

Thanks for your comments!


12:15 AM  

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