One of Paul's best friends since childhood, Mark Oshida, is an amazing violist and has performed with major orchestras and in major concert halls all over the world. I became friends with Mark during the Finance core at BYU since we had all our classes together, and Mark was so nice to offer to perform classical violin at our wedding, which was amazing. We have been able to go to a couple of other concerts he has performed at over the years.
Paul got an email from Mark a few weeks back letting us know that he was going to be in town to perform at the Los Gatos Concert in the Park series and to see if we wanted to come. We were really excited to see him again and since we love symphonic music and Clara has never seen a live performance, we thought that was perfect too.
We had a nice time visiting with Mark's parents before the concert and during intermission since they have known Paul since he was really little and are good friends of Paul's family. We had anticipated having to sit at the back in the grassy area since we knew we wouldn't get there until shortly before the program was about to start, but Mark's mom waved us down and brought us up to the very front where they had saved us seats in the section reserved for family of the musicians.
The weather was a little uncooperative - the musicians had all their music pinned down so it wouldn't blow away in the wind but every now and then there were still problems of clips slipping and sheet music flapping and being almost lost, which I guess is an inherent problem with performing outdoors. But it was a lovely evening and the orchestra was incredible. It was a group of musicians brought together just for this concert - kind of like an all-star orchestra made up of the concertmaster from the San Francisco Opera, the principal clarinetist with the San Francisco Ballet, etc. We were a little concerned about how Clara would do, but she sat in her chair and paid attention most of the time and she loved clapping at the end of each piece. And when she needed extra entertainment she played with her sticker book and ate her snacks. You can see how attentively she sat in the first video below and her reaction to the first piece in the second video below.
After undergrad Mark went on to get his MBA from Harvard and Paul and I visited him there while we were in law school because we were attending a J. Reuben Clark Law Society conference in Boston. We talked about going to visit Mark in Singapore where he worked after graduating from Harvard but that just didn't work out. Now he is in London working and we are hoping that we can somehow swing in a trip to Europe next year and visit him there.
Going to this concert made us realize that we are really missing out on the arts in our lives and we want to do better about getting out to more performances since we both love the symphony, opera, ballet, and theater and we never go. We've definitely decided to take Clara to the Nutcracker this year though.