Practice Makes Perfect, But Choose Wisely

Bravo! Virtuosi members Mathew Perez, Manvel High School, and Aaron Price, Ridge Point High School, with Patti at Virtuosi of Houston’s Gala 2022. Mathew and Aaron both play the clarinet and performed Clarinet Candy at the Gala. Both graduating seniors will be attending the University of Houston in the fall continuing their music education.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

You know when you stop doing something for a while, you tend to get out of practice. It’s why football coaches insist on two-a-days even though it’s 150 degrees in Texas summers. Without that level of preparation, I suppose the coaches believe the grid iron guys would be out of practice, and Friday night lights wouldn’t be nearly as successful. It’s the same philosophy of why I didn’t stop drinking during COVID. If I stopped, I’d be out of practice, and then where would I be?

The past two weeks, I’ve struggled with my schedule. Seems I’m out of practice for weeks filled with multiple events, because it’s been a minute for me to have more than one event each week living in our new normal. Thank you, pandemic. But getting into the swing of things was definitely worth it this past week, as I attended two of the most amazing events I’ve had the privilege to attend in quite a while. I was deeply inspired, so much so, that I felt compelled to share.

Our dear friends Susan and Denis DeBakey invited us to the Virtuosi of Houston Gala. Susan is on the board, and Mr. Kaminski and I were delighted to attend. Honestly, I really had no idea what to expect from this group of young musicians, but I must confess, I was beyond impressed with their talent and commitment to classical music. Virtuosi of Houston is a Premier Young Artists Chamber Orchestra that develops musicians 11 to 18 years old into true professionals. Virtuosi provides the opportunity for Houston youth regardless of race, religion or income to receive the best education in the field of classical music so that they are competitive in becoming music professionals.

To say that these young musicians played with the passion and skill of seasoned musicians is a true understatement. I was gobsmacked. I closed my eyes, and I could have sworn I was at a world-class symphony. These babies – 11 to 18 years old – are extraordinary, and many of the graduating seniors celebrated at the gala are pursuing music in college. Bravo to this organization dedicated to teaching classical music to our youth and to these talented musicians! And if you know of any aspiring classical musicians who would like to audition for Virtuosi of Houston for the 2022-2023 season, auditions begin in June. Visit

Patti and Dee Dee McDonald Derby Day ready!

Next up, it was back to the races this weekend at Reining Strength’s Derby Day, and it was just the best Derby Day ever! The gents participated in a bow tie and boots competition, and the ladies donned gorgeous hats and competed as well. Yours truly was honored to be a judge, and it was beyond difficult! All of the lovely ladies and their darling derbies were worthy of winning the Run for the Roses!

We watched the race, we consumed copious amounts of mint juleps, we ate, we sang, but best of all, led by chair Noell Myska and the amazing Derby Day committee – who did a fantastic job – we all raised money for a phenomenal organization. In fact, it was a record-breaking year for the organization!

Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship of Fort Bend County and the Greater West Houston area’s programs serve individuals with physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs through therapeutic horsemanship, providing safe, effective services that meet and exceed Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Standards. Led with passion and love by the Hernandez and Sedillo families, they are a resource to so many organizations and families in the greater Houston area.

But by far, the best part of the evening was visiting with the many clients that Reining Strength serves. Again, so many young people who just blew me away with their enthusiasm, joy and love of life. Hats off to Reining Strength, their dedicated team and supporters, and most importantly, their clients. Visit You will be inspired by what they do.

Now I am going to make an effort to step up my stamina when it comes to getting out and about more, but I must confess, I’m going to be particular, as Mawmaw would say, as to what makes it on my calendar. There are just too many things out there that matter, too many things that truly merit spending your time, your talent and your resources on supporting. Whatever those things are to you, I encourage you to seek them out because inspiration is all around us. All you have to do is look.

See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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