In our crazy and wonderful music business one is never sure where or when our next performance may come to us. We will work diligently to send our publicity packets to the right people, try to market ourselves and network as best as we can. Then, what seems to be out of left field, we will receive a phone call or an e-mail inviting us to perform in a place we had not imagined.
In the early days of my Gena Branscombe project I came across the music of composer Kathleen Lockhart Manning. I considered recording a few of her songs which did not happen, yet I kept her music in mind for future concerts. In November 2008 I was again drawn to Lockhart Manning's music and began an internet search for some of her songs. Up came a website "Lanning not Manning" and to my surprise I found mezzo-soprano Rebecca Lanning was doing a project on Lockhart Manning in the vein of my Gena project. I was thrilled to find someone who had found a woman composer whose life and music needed to be brought forth and Gena and Kathleen were from the same era! How exciting!
I wrote Rebecca an effusive e-mail saying how thrilled I was for her and all she was doing to expose the music and life of Lockhart Manning. Several weeks passed before a return e-mail came and throughout that time I thought I had gone overboard in my enthusiasm and probably scared her off. Really the internet is a wonderful thing but sometimes some weird people contact you!
Rebecca wrote back that she appreciated my e-mail and was glad to find someone else who had a similar project. Thus began our sharing of project information and a friendship. We spoke via old fashioned telephone about her Lockhart Manning project, where she wanted to go and what needed to be done to achieve that.
My Gena project had brought people to me that I could never have imagined and people who gave of themselves willingly to help me fulfill my dream. Now, it was my turn to give back to someone and what a pleasure it was.
During the early Spring 2009, Rebecca called me to say that Macon State College, where she is Associate Professor of Music, had funds to bring in visiting artists. Rebecca invited me to submit my Gena show materials for consideration. What a surprise! About two months later we received word that our proposal was accepted and the funds were available! How exciting.
On November 10, 2009, Martin and I performed Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe for the students, faculty and visitors at Macon State College. What a warm, attentive and responsive audience we had.
Rebecca Lanning did an outstanding job organizing and producing our performance. Thank you Rebecca for all you did to make our trip and performance possible. We had the privilege of hearing five of Rebecca's students in Master Class. What lovely young people who were prepared and willing to take suggestions.
We are always honored and blessed to have people recommend us for performances and thankful to have the work! Thank you Rebecca for making our stay in Georgia a memorable one!