SPRING COMES TO POLAND

  Easter comes to a market in Poznan, March 2018.

Easter comes to a market in Poznan, March 2018.

As I write this, spring has begun coming to Poland and it is welcome!  The last 3 months – January, February, and March  have reminded us of the power of wintry weather in the North.  Having grown up in a very similar climate to Poznan, but then having lived in the South for 30+ years, it has been a challenge for us this year.  Having made it to April, we are now confident in the joy of the rest of the Fulbright experience, with just 11+ weeks left.

Here are highlights from this winter:

In January, I visited a lively, creative, and nurturing primary school in Lubon, a suburb of Poznan.  I presented 2 different classes for 6-9 year olds, and 10-12 year olds (1st to 6th graders).  The students were completely charming, and wonderfully fluent in English for their young years.  I performed American music for them and taught them a few American songs, and we talked about music’s power.  I also answered their many questions in English as they “interviewed” me; for example, “Do you like strawberries?” “ Do you like blueberries?” “Do you have a dog?” and
“Do you speak other languages,?” These questions were put to me by brave and serious students!  And finally, I was gifted with a beautiful bouquet at the end of my time there, along their wonderful original art renditions of me playing the piano.

The Polish University system has a very different calendar than the U.S. system.  Nearly the entire month of February is an exam period and a holiday time. 

So, we took advantage of this for a needed 5 day vacation to the enchanting (and warmer) Portugal.  This was our first of many visits, we hope!

Portugal 1.jpg

At the end of February, I performed at the 9th edition of the annual Chopin Birthday Concerts festival in Warsaw.  Following a solo concert on February 26, I had the fun of performing some 4-hands with fellow Fulbright chemistry scholar and pianist, Jiwon Park. *** In addition, my new class on American Movie Music began, and I am able to share my love of great movie music over a chronological survey of wonderful movies/scores spanning “The Wizard of Oz” to “Dunkirk.” In late January, we traveled to Sopot/Gdansk up on the Baltic, to see a screening of  “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings,”  complete with full symphonic orchestra and 100 piece choir rendering Howard Shore’s accompanying score live.  It was a wonderful way to prepare for my class!*** Pictures from these***events appear at the end of this blog!

 

On March 8th, I gave a Distinguished Faculty Recital for the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University, Lubranski Hall.  The hall was packed with both older and younger listeners coming together to hear my combination of Chopin and The Beatles.  I was humbled and delighted by their enthusiasm, the beautiful bouquets, and the attendance of some of my little students from Lubon. What a wonderful audience!

Crowd Poznan recital 2018.jpg

 

I greatly look forward to many more exciting events for the last part of my Fulbright, but am also aware that I will be missing some parts of Poland when I return!  Stay tuned for more spring updates to follow.

Wishing you a beautiful spring,

Pam

 

 

 

Two views from our apartment in Poznan, March 2018.

Sopot, Poland - snow on the Baltic beach, January, 2018; Solo Concert, Warsaw, February 26th, 2018; Fulbright Reception after Concert on February 28th, 2018 with Jarek Cholodecki and Jiwon Park (Fulbright student scholar).

(This site pamelahowland.com is not an official Fulbright Program site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author Pamela Howland and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.)