RPPF Chapter II

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Festival

RPPF Chapter II – by Rebecca Penneys

As we begin our second decade, it’s impossible not to remark on how rapidly our world has changed and how the ever-increasing prominence of social media and virtual charisma affects our lives. Until just a few years ago, the only viable path to high-quality music instruction and performance was achieved by collapsing the artificial space between people, so that human beings could breathe and share the same space and time together, to have an intimate in-person experience with shared memories. In our new post-pandemic reality, the clear delineation and difference between in-person and on-line events has disappeared. Most events are now offered live and live-streamed simultaneously. The extraordinary acceleration of high-quality technology into every aspect of our lives seems to have decreased the accessibility and craving for nuanced in-person communication. It is very easy to reach out worldwide through various technological formats and communicate wonderful snippets of fascinating words, pictures, and videos.

At RPPF we recognize the allure of this new reality but we’re resisting the now popular combo of on-line and live. Our festival is all about people – their everyday lives and needs. It’s this human connection, this caring and involvement with one another that makes RPPF such a happy festival and so meaningful to faculty, staff, and students. We value the moment, the heartbeat of life and art. We live each day in close contact, intensely, spontaneously and meet daily challenges with energy and humor. We form and cultivate relationships in real time. We focus on and emphasize catching events as they happen. We cherish and share our reactions and remembrances.

The daily schedule for RPPF 2023 will include our traditional and much-loved program format: as many lessons as anyone wants, masterclasses, Special Topic Classes, Faculty Soirées, Ambassador Concerts, Faculty Forums, and Legacy Events. We will also continue our signature fun days: Beach Day, Chihuly Museum visit, and Dolphin Cruise. To this we have added a Dreamscape Weekend, where we will host three uniquely gifted artists to share their stories, music, and visions. Together we’ll delve into the process of how to activate one’s own voice and develop a path that nurtures and creates a very personal niche of fulfillment and professional success. Finally, we will honor the life and legacy of my mentor, the great pianist and teacher György Sebők. He would have been 100 in 2023. Among a host of memories, I recall him saying in studio class, to a student who was disappointed when his performance did not go as well as it had in the practice room, “Yes, it’s much easier to drive a car that is not moving.” I hope to continue to steer RPPF through the live traffic of life!

In closing, we are coming up on Giving Tuesday, November 29, the celebrated annual day for giving. As always, funding is needed to keep RPPF tuition-free for 40 participants and to provide important honorariums for faculty artists and staff. RPPF is a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for so many. Please click around the RPPF website and visit the Artist Faculty page, Dreamscape Weekend (under Festival), and Contact/Support Page for our financial needs for 2023 and beyond. Our events will be open this summer, so we hope you’ll plan to drop in. Join the RPPF family and give a gift today!

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The Steinway pianos at USF are made possible by the kind assistance of the Music Gallery, Clearwater, Florida. THANK YOU!