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General Info (FAQ) for Desert Baroque – Fight, Flight, and Fantasy 2018

Who should come?  Who can benefit?

Whether you are new to the harpsichord, an experienced player, or simply an interested enthusiast, Fight, Flight, and Fantasy 2018 has a lot to offer. All participants will have significant opportunities for coaching and feedback from internationally recognized teacher-performers. Our program has been designed with flexibility in mind, to provide a stimulating experience that will further the skills, knowledge, and interests of participants at whatever level.  We believe, of course, that you will benefit most if you can prepare something to play at each of our repertoire and continuo workshops, but you are also welcome at any time to shift gears and participate as a motivated observer/auditor.

What can I expect of faculty, staff, and other participants?

Our accomplished faculty and dedicated staff are committed to providing you with a lively, expert, and welcoming experience as you further your skills on and knowledge about the harpsichord.  Participants, for their own part, are encouraged to be supportive, appreciative, and helpful to each other as they share in the various activities and experiences of the program

What instruments will be available?

A goodly number of superb instruments will be available to participants.  Flemish-, French-, and Italian-style harpsichords from various builders—such as Berak, Hill, Perez Robledo, Tkach, Zuckermann, and more—will be included.


What will the weather be like?

In January, the typical weather for the Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Desert Hot Springs area is sunny, with daytime temperatures in the 60s or 70s F, nighttime in the 40s or 50s F.  In general, light casual attire should be fine, but you also might want to have a sweater and/or a light jacket handy. Sometimes, however, it can rain and get a bit chilly in January (as it did last year), but usually the weather is gorgeous. 


Where will we be staying, and what will the accommodations be like?

Room accommodations and meals—as well as classes and workshops—will be at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center (JTRC), which is located about a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs.  The rooms are simple but comfortable, and are situated among unique structures designed by renowned architects Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd. 


What did last year’s participants take home from this experience?

Participants’ comments at the end of last January’s Desert Baroque conference/festival were varied, but they all conveyed satisfaction from days of lively encounter with the harpsichord.  Advanced players were quite appreciative of the expert insights and helpful feedback imparted by their accomplished faculty members.  Intermediate players and those newer to the instrument were grateful for the supportive encouragement from faculty, as well as for the hands-on introduction to varied styles of harpsichords. There were even a couple players who had seldom or never played a harpsichord before, but who had nonetheless prepared some repertoire on their pianos at home, so that they could play in the workshops and get actively acquainted with the harpsichord.  Some auditors were also present, who attentively followed the workshop proceedings and the performances, occasionally asking questions and contributing to the various discussions.  And of course, everyone who came was super-delighted with the exciting and uplifting concerts played by their faculty, who in the meantime had become friends as well!  At the end, people departed with a good feeling that was surely enhanced by the spirit of community and camaraderie that had grown during the preceding days.

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