Subject: Re: Subject: [Harp-L] young artist

Absolutely, George, and Jana deserved and earned her SPAH  
scholarship--attending and playing at SO many Conventions and occasions  previously. I've 
watched her onstage with you, Val and Phil so many times and  she's come into 
her own. She's exactly the kind of young person I was  talking about as 
being in the 'right' age group (and maturity level) to really  appreciate what 
that honour meant(besides being totally focused on learning  and being the 
willing and devoted musical student/daughter of a  skilled harmonica-playing 
Dad who's been teaching her!) 
Jana's whom I had in mind as being particularly deserving of a SPAH  youth 
award as compared to a brand new kid player who might (or might not)  
continue playing or have yet decided whether the harmonica will even be their  
continued musical focus. I'd already noted that the girl in question was  quite 
accomplished on the piano.
I was still writing a response to Jerome (with breaks in between for  my 
ongoing bronchial/pneumonia coughing fits and yet another Dr. visit--so  you 
have to forgive my delayed responses) when I saw a post which mentioned  a 6 
year old female player from 8-12(could it be?) years ago seemingly to  
refute my purely subjective thoughts about this topic. Perhaps I should have  
solid capped this part of my post: "OF COURSE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY  
RULE, BUT THAT'S JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION" !!(emphasis added now, haha)  

As you and I know, George..there are much younger players who, despite  
being devoted to and absolutely loving the harmonica, find  the reality of a 
convention BOoooRING and simply too lengthy for  them so have melt-downs 
during.  I don't remotely find fault  with the kids at all nor their parents, 
especially if the parent has  no idea what a full-on SPAH is all about (and how 
could they if they  themselves have no previous involvement?) Small kids 
are small kids, have  small-kid-sized attention spans and want to go play 
outside with their  peers or siblings, not be cooped up in a Hotel for nearly a 
week in SUMMER with  a bunch of Old people! (as they think of us) playing 
and listening to  harmonica ALL OF THE TIME (that weird thing us adults enjoy 
so much). :) It's  bewildering even to a kid who loves the instrument.
I do find SPAH's idea of putting on a matinee focusing on  younger children 
for a single day a decidedly more logical and child-friendlier  idea, and 
it's worked for a long time now with the help of those terrific  volunteers 
who understand small children while the more mature 'kids'  such as Jana and 
the earlier incarnation of SPAH's Young at Harp which  she then brought to 
GSHC can appreciate getting the full SPAH experience,  including knowing not 
to talk in STAGE WHISPERS, or kick the back of my personal  chair ALL 
**Gotta give a shout out here to Hal Walker and his extremely well done  
managing of a group of roughly 12 (?) year olds from a local school at the  
last GSHC as well. The guy's a walking Pied Piper to whom young  people 
gravitate and despite the cold weather he sure ended up with a  bunch of extremely 
engaged and fascinated new harmonica fans who descended  on Danny's store 
en masse to try out all of the different instruments, including  chords and 
basses. It was fabulous watching their eyes opened up and  listening in to 
their excited chatter as they immediately took to and played  real music on 
the instruments.
As someone seriously contemplating making a fairly decent  contribution to 
the Rosebush foundation mostly due to what the  above triggered in me, I 
would personally feel more comfortable  knowing that kids who might be getting 
close to 'aging out' or who've  long since paid their dues at SPAH or even 
those whose home financial  situations might preclude them ever getting to a 
SPAH on their own (which  info would be privy only to the SPAH board, I'd 
assume), are more apt to  get their shot than a very young kid who still has 
plenty of time in  future years, especially one very new to the harmonica but 
with a  couple of very cute videos on the internet.
 There seems to be this idea that anyone who can play a  tune--especially 
if they're young and cute, should automatically be feted and  'brought to 
SPAH' immediately. I understand why folks react that way but how  about taking 
a bit of a breath first instead of reacting? Fairness would dictate  giving 
'first dibs' to those others who've perhaps been waiting  patiently. Many 
kids aren't pushy--or comfortable with posting their own videos  on youtube. 
Some parents don't care to promote their kids on video or don't know  about 
SPAH. Doesn't make them any less deserving, is my MAIN point.
I mistakenly assumed I'd put sufficient disclaimers in my post  specifying 
that it was purely my opinion but also based on my years of  observing so 
many youthful players. I do a lot of videorecording during  conventions so get 
to see perhaps a bit more than the moments others might focus  on. 99% of 
what I've videotaped has never been seen. I did  specify that I enjoyed 
Lydia's playing on these 2 short clips, think  that she's cute as can be and even 
hope whomever's working with her will  include chromatics in her repertoire 
at some point, but alas - my disclaimers  weren't emphatic enough for those 
in the peanut gallery methinks (not  including YOU as a peanut). <G>
Janalyn in particular has always struck me as being mature far beyond  her 
years and it was a distinct pleasure getting to know her on a more  personal 
level at the last Garden State Convention despite meeting her so  many 
times before. There's another kid I thought fit this category too  (being mature 
beyond his years): Nic Clark, a talented young blues player  who came to 
SPAH, Sacramento. He was the very youngest of the teenage 'young  guns' group 
we all enjoyed so much but seemed very  solitary some of the time since he 
wasn't allowed where most of the  other older group could go due to his 
extreme youth. I saw him  sitting outside alone one day and he said that he was 
alone because he was  too young to go wherever the others had. He wasn't 
complaining, seemed more  resigned than anything. There's something about Nic I 
liked immediately. Here's  some info I just found about him --written up in 
the Denver Post: 
What stood out in connection to THIS thread is that not once in the  
interview does he or his Mom so much as hint about his having gone to  SPAH in 
2009. One very late night I was chatting with Nic as he sat down at  the 
on-stage Grand Piano and we both riffed a bit, me on the high end, Nic on  the 
low..and laughed and conversed about our preference for  improv-ing. He's a 
natural musician and was extremely personable and  comfortable chatting with an 
older woman he didn't know. But his piano  playing didn't make it into the 
article either. He came across to me as a  very likeable, nice (and fairly 
reserved) kid. I was impressed by him  and rather enjoyed his take on playing 
by ear in this video.  ;) (Of course my take on things is usually quite 
unlike most others' but  that doesn't faze me). 
What I attempted to get across earlier is that just because  one finds a 
video of a young kid playing harmonica decently, it shouldn't  necessarily 
mean that they be immediately brought to the very next  SPAH--especially when 
there are undoubtedly talented and deserving kids  already in the pipeline 
who're already being considered and who just  might have been waiting a whole 
lot longer. The younger ones will all eventually  get their chance -- IF 
they continue playing harmonica. There's time.  Seriously...12/21 will come and 
go and we really will have a 50th Anniversary to  celebrate in St. Louis.
Hope this clarifies, but If this isn't sufficient explanation for  those 
misconstruing my original post, I give up.<G>
"Message: 11
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:42:40 -0500
From: George  Miklas <harmonicat@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Subject: [Harp-L] young  artist
To: Harp-L <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>

This beautiful young was  one of five recipients of the SPAH - William
Rosebush 2012 Youth Grant. Here  is a video of her Saturday night

I resist to say more as I am  very proud of my
as well  as all of the youth who won the grant in 2012.

George Miklas,  Harmonica Performing Artist  and

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