We're ALL Beautiful

The International Music Festival of the Adriatic (IMFA) takes place every summer. String players, pianists, singers, and composers in the program will experience three weeks of collaborative music making in the inspirational setting of the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy. This diverse region of Italy enjoys a blend of Italian, Slovenian, and Austro-Hungarian culture, making it a wonderful region in which to explore and to perform a wide variety of music. To learn more about the program, visit the IMFA website.

Hello everyone!

Today we have a blog from Tara, a violist here at IMFA that is about to start graduate school at the University of Utah for viola performance and pedagogy. She's in my Dubois quartet, and along with being an excellent viola player, she's known her as a beast when it comes to soccer playing. About 2-3 times a week there are "non"-competitive soccer games that faculty and staff take part in, and by this point, people have learned to put two defenders on her. Her enthusiasm is felt by all both on and off the field, and in this blog she discusses a specific musical challenge she faced in one of the first coachings.

Tara's Post

Hi ya'll, my name is Tara Hoellein (ho-lean) and am a violist here at IMFA. I was introduced to the program early on, but after seeing its price I dismissed the notion of ever taking part in such a thing. A few months later I received another email about the program saying that they needed violists (we are a rare breed of musician). I was intrigued and decided to just go for it. I have always loved chamber music and had been looking at doing a program closer to home, but who wants to pass the opportunity to live in Italy for a month? Not me, that’s for sure. So needless to say, I came, I performed, and I guess I’ll go home when the time comes. The end.

One of the hardest things I've had to do so far during the first week of the festival was telling my colleagues that they are beautiful. It sounds ridiculous but let me elaborate. My quartet is playing the Dubois piano quartet in A minor and the second movement is slow and has such beautiful harmonies in it. I was struggling with the opening and our coach at the time, Adam, stopped me and asked if I felt that I was a beautiful person. My response went something like this: “Uhhh....yeah?” He then asked why I questioned my response and asked again. When I didn’t answer immediately he then told me to tell Kelvin, our pianist, that he was beautiful. This sounds silly but it was, for some reason, hard for me to do. As I walked away from that rehearsal I realized that I lacked confidence not only in myself, but also in my colleagues. I didn’t trust them to play beautifully with me. After some extensive self pep-talk in the mirror, I decided that I needed to get over it and just tell them that they are beautiful because they are. I’ve learned here at IMFA that music is about just that—the music. Our job as musicians is to let the music speak through us. IMFA is fun, exciting, full of random adventures, way too much gelato (if that’s even possible), includes runs to the Slovenian border (and getting left at the border), “non”-competitive soccer games, beach days, good friends, and lots of laughter. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a musician and am so glad that I came here!

Yet another beautiful sky view
Tara playing soccer (she's the one in pink)
Practices still going well in Duino
Another picture from Trieste, Tara is in the middle
This is a portrait of the Dubois quartet drawn by Tara.