The New Standards have once again been afforded the opportunity to tour the state of Minnesota under the auspices of the Minnesota State Arts Board's Arts Tour Grant and The Legacy Amendment funds that support the activities of that board. To say I am deeply honored to have been chosen does not quite do justice to the feeling I have as a result.
I feel a part of a lineage that contributed significantly to my own artistic development. When performers from orchestras came to my school and played, when young people's concerts were held, when I was a member of GTCYS, I was actively receiving the reflected regard that our community, our state, holds for the arts. It made a big difference in my life, and continues to.
To now have the chance to not only play shows in far flung towns that we would not otherwise be able to visit, and to coordinate outreach in schools, both in classrooms and to give brief school performances is a tremendous gift, one that I do not receive lightly and one that I hope to make the best possible use of.
In some way, every citizen of Minnesota makes it possible for artists to have great opportunity here. I hope that we honor that opportunity by working hard to make the artistic and cultural life of this place the best in the country. I am humbled and full of gratitude, as I know my bandmates are.