Helen Avakian

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What a Week! Day 4 Pre-Contest
September 28, 2014

The day before the Fingerstyle Championship I had to take something of a day of rest. I had a bad headache so after going out for a delicious lunch from The Purple Carrot Co-op at the WV Fest which I could barely eat (so sad) I went back to my motel room and took a nap. Then I got up, did laundry and practiced. Thanks to Brian Henke I had an appearance scheduled on Stage 5, the most "official" of the "unofficial" festival stages, located in the Pecan Grove camping area. Brian has a collection of us fingerstyle competitors take turns playing a short set; the perfect opportunity to run our contest pieces. Then I ran over to stage 3 on the festival grounds in order to see Mark Cruz, the 2013 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion. I was so impressed with his classical guitar style and performance at last year's championship! Mark played a beautiful and exciting set which included his wonderful arrangements of "New York New York", Ode to Joy," "Malaguena" (which he said he plays differently every time), and a lovely hymn. We chatted after and I picked up his CD, Hymnody Volume II. I have been enjoying it very much. http://www.markanthonycruz.com/

Then I had a chance to do a soundcheck on stage 4 with some other competitors. This is where the contest is held so it was quite the opportunity to get to do something of a preview. Then over to the camps again where I performed the contest pieces again for some kindly campers. That is how it is at Winfield. Walk by a circle of musicians in a camp and they are very likely to invite you over to jam and they will happily listen to you as well. So much fun!

Back to motel where I was up until past 2 am changing guitar strings. (As usual the night before the contest!)


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