I just realised that it's exactly a month till the big CMSA 2012 Minneapolis Convention. I wish I could be there in person to see my many American friends - and this time some very particular Australian friends too! - but it's a nice feeling that I'll at least be there in spirit, through my "Three Miniatures", which will be performed by the En Masse orchestra, conducted by Jim Bates.

I've been an admirer of Jim since we first met in Louisville (KY) a quarter of a century ago, so I know my music is in the best of hands. The "Miniatures" are proving very popular on this side of the Atlantic, and I really enjoyed hearing what guest conductor Mark Davis made of them at the international mandolin festival in Perth (Australia) a month ago. And now a third continent!

Of course it's in my interest that the musicians prepare very well, so I hope all you Convention players are practising  hard! I've already had feed-back from a number of people, who report that they are enjoying the pieces even now.

To help things along, I'd like to make a "Special Convention Offer" (and I've checked with Jim, who likes the idea very much).

The Offer:

If anybody would like a video session (completely free and no strings attached) on the music - even just to talk about it - they are welcome to contact me at <info@mandolin-lessons.com>.

This is not quite as unselfish as it may look: after all, I want the music to sound as good as possible, and I know how much more effective reheasals can be if a few people have solved a lot of the problems in advance, and can quickly show their colleagues.

This is yet another amazing use of the Internet technology. Just a few years ago, it would have been hardly practical to drop over from America to Germany for a relaxed hour or so. But with the Internet, it's not only possible, it's easy. It may not be quite "Beam me up, Scotty!", but it's awfully close.

So please take advantage of the offer, and please pass the word on to other Convention participants. And I wish you lots of pleasure with Jim and the "Three Miniatures"!