I had my first set at the PA Music and Arts Celebration at an small outdoor tent sponsored by Rocking The Valley, an online organization that has been promoting the local music scene at various venues in town. This particular event was to focus on local youth talent and I applaud their effort.

It was weird though. My pop-up tent was filled with amps, piano, synth drum set and sound gear and it directed faced the sound board and camera. The audience was off to the side at tables so I felt I was playing to the sound crew ten feet in front of me. Strange. The audience was an afterthought.

Seeing how I was asked to open up the youth stage, I decided to play tunes that were co-written by students from my residencies – Cat Came Back, We Gave Names to the Animals – and that seemed to be appropriate. My friend Hub Willson was taking some photos so I asked him if he wanted to play the piano off to my left. He jumped in on Charlie Stone. I asked one of the RTV staff to come up and play thunder-tube on Giants and she also enthusiastically joined in.

Unfortunately, the attendance at the festival was sparse early on a Memorial Day Sunday, and this particular site was particularly strange that it was a struggle to perform for the half hour set. Perhaps the second “adult” set later on would be better.