Hi everybody!

It’s been a hot second since I’ve written last. Thought it was time to catch you up with all my summer happenings. Hang in there with me – I’ve got a lot to share!

My biggest event of the summer was attending the International Trumpet Guild conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. While there, I worked as a reporter for the ITG journal, served as a judge for the ITG Youth Competition, recruited writers for my column in the journal – the Journal, Jr., and gave a presentation discussing my research of solo repertoire for the student trumpeter. I also had the privilege of cheering on my FSU colleagues, Daniel Haddock to a first place finish in the ITG Solo Competition, and Matt Mignardi to a third place finish in the ITG Military Excerpts Competition. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time and came home happy and tired!

Miriam Hickman and I after my clinic at ITG 2017
“Team FSU” at ITG 2017!

I spent my 4th of July holiday with a good friend and FSU colleague of mine, Eric Millard, performing in an outdoor concert with the Panama City Pops orchestra. Although it was VERY hot outside, the view wasn’t too shabby, the music was lighthearted and fun, and the people were incredibly kind and welcoming!

Eric and I at a 4th of July concert with the Panama City Pops Orchestra. Not a bad view!

I have spent many summers at some form of music camp in my lifetime. This year, I spent it as a brass coach and trumpet teacher at FSU’s Summer Music Camps. As you might notice from the photo below, this year showed record numbers of students in attendance, which was very exciting! I conducted my largest brass ensemble to date, and really enjoyed getting to know the students and hearing them progress throughout our time together.

With the Renegade Band brass students at FSU’s Summer Music Camp

I also had a little fun over the summer, of course! What’s a summer without fun, anyway? My sweet husband planned a wonderful weekend in Atlanta for my birthday, which included amazing seats at an Atlanta Braves game, incredible food at a local Italian restaurant, and a trip to a few different art galleries. It was a wonderful way to ring in a new year!

My birthday weekend – Go Braves!

Sam’s brother and his wife welcomed a new addition to their family this summer! Our nephew, Anthony Joseph Walenz IV, or “AJ,” was born on July 14th, weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces. He and his sister, Ruth Anne couldn’t possibly be any sweeter!

Welcome to the world, baby AJ!

Have I mentioned I love being an aunt? I flew home to Kansas for a week to spend time with my family this summer, catching up with my parents, as well as my sister, Mandy, her husband Chad, and their sweet little boy, Collin. While there, Collin and I read lots of books and played with his puppy, Izzy. He also gifted me with one of my favorite nicknames ever, “Aunt Bee-bee.”

Sweet time with my nephew Collin and his puppy, Izzy

The summer came to a close with a Walenz family vacation to Amelia Island. While there, Sam’s parents, Tony and Lora joined us for daily beach trips, a kayaking excursion, and many family meals together. It was HOT, but so much fun spending time together and relaxing in such a beautiful location.

Walenz vacation at Amelia Island!

Whew! There you have it – a crash course of my summer events. Another blog will be posted next week to catch you up with the start of school events, so stay tuned.