Garth Newel Emerging Artist Fellow practices with unique audience

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:52 PM EDT
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BATH COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Emerging Artist Fellowships bring young musicians to the Virginia countryside for an intense month of practice and concert performances with the professionals in residence at the Garth Newel Music Center.

But sometimes a musician finds himself a special audience there.

String quartets require a lot of practice

“We spend about five hours a day rehearsing string quartets,” said Emerging Artist Fellow Megan Fisher, “or piano trios, or piano quartets.”

And there’s interaction with fellow musicians, but sometimes, you just want to get out and practice on your own.

“I think one morning, I woke up and I actually, I just walked down there and I played for them,” said Josh Liu, also a fellow.

“Them” being the cows in the neighboring field.

“I been playing for the cows for like, about four days, just in the morning,” Liu explained. “It’s when nobody’s around. I play for the cows because they don’t really judge. They just listen.”

“The first time I heard that Josh was doing that, I thought: That’s very Josh. Josh would do that,” colleague Anna Wallace said.

“It’s awesome that Josh was able to go and play for the cows,” said Hanna Rumora, who plays the cello as a fellow, “because I’m used to, when I am at home, I have a dog that will try to sing with me when I practice.”

“He was trying to get me to go over there too,” said Fisher, laughing. “And I didn’t. So …”

But in the end, it’s all about the music for these emerging artists.

“I definitely think I will be taking back a lot of things that I’ve learned from working with other people here,” Rumora said.

“I’ll definitely miss everyone here,” concluded Liu. “I’ll miss the cows.”

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