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Excited to welcome 'cellist Si-Yan Darren Li to the faculty at the UCF School of Performing Arts! Thrilled and honored to be working with such a fine musician and pedagogue. ...

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I finally have a moment to sit down and congratulate the amazing students and teachers of North Dakota who performed and prepared a concert that will have a special place in my heart for as long as I'm making music. Bear with me here, because this is a little dense. As a classical musician, I often feel like an expat, living in a foreign land of saccharine culture - let's call it fåkelund. After we played music together for a scant half hour I realized that I was in from the cold - no longer trying to dance with folks who didn't know the steps, or eating food that should be eaten with our hands with a fork and a knife - I was with my people. People who love this music as much as I do and have the patience, courage, resolve and intelligence to make it come alive. Our three days together were a blessing that I will cherish and draw sustenance from forever. I am all too aware of how rare these moments are. I'm not sure if the students knew just how serious I was when I said that what was going on was truly special, but I bet that there will come a moment when they look back with tremendous fondness at this concert and what they achieved with their friends. Congratulations to everyone - students, teachers, staff, parents - who made all of this possible. Looking forward to the day our paths cross again. #ndmea ...

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Just got done listening to three days of middle school MPA performances here in Orlando and I loved every minute of it. I was deeply moved and inspired by the dedication and hard work my colleagues put in every day to give their students a taste of the most wonderful thing in the world - making something beautiful with their own hands, hearts and minds. Bravi tutti to all of the FMEA District 8 directors for their tremendous accomplishments and best wishes for your continued success! Congratulations also to Raine Allen and Kevin D. Strang for organizing such a well run event! ...

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