She appeared at my door on a cold night in January and greeted me with, “Hi, I’m Kelly, I’m here for the reception!” To which I responded, “Welcome, but the reception is tomorrow night!” I insisted that she come in, warm up and share a drink and promise to attend the reception for the recipients of the 2008 European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) Composition Prize the following evening. And that’s the reason I ended up at a heavenly concert of French chamber music on January 26 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church performed by the incomparable Kelly Hall-Tompkins (violin) and her colleagues Terrence Wilson (piano) and Briget Kibbey (harp) on an equally cold night.
I agreed to serve on the EAMA board last year because I knew that I could help the organization connect to New York City high school students who aspired to music composition. I knew it would take some time but I never realized how it would enrich my own life by reconnecting me with some of our nation’s most talented artists, composers and music educators. Philip Lasser, American composer and Juilliard faculty member and his wife Pamela founded and administer the EAMA program, which provides emerging composers with an intensive composition studio experience each summer in Paris. And last year EAMA began the EAMA Prize program to encourage and recognize new classical works. See their Web site at http://www.eamusic.org and the EAMA Prize site at http://www.eamaprize.org
The night Kelly Hall-Tompkins came to my house a night early, I was rewarded with a new personal relationship with a gifted artist and passionate crusader for classical music and a new CD, Kelly’s second (In My Own Voice). See Kelly’s Web site for future performances http://kellyhall-tompkins.com or her innovative organization that was created to bring chamber music performances to homeless shelters in NYC http://www.musickitchennyc.org.