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The "Shoe" tradition was an accident that immediately became symbolic.  At our very first concert of our very first season, I was wearing a pair of ridiculously tall platform pumps that made walking on Vintage Paris's patio virtually impossible.  Like any good Ozarkian girl, I took my shoes off and left them off for the remainder of the concert.  However, I left them on stage and didn't realize it until about half way through the performance of Haydn's Op. 33 (No. 2) String Quartet.

I was embarrassed.  The feeling subsided, though, when several of the audience members approached me after the concert to tell me how much they enjoyed the music and the shoes.  They were incredibly stylish shoes, of course.  I realized then that my barefooted appearance actually encouraged a more casual atmosphere.  So, I decided that I would perform each concert without shoes to represent the "deformalizing" of classical music.

I attended and/or performed in each concert with my shoes on display and not on my feet.  Americanna Magness insisted on creating the lovely display to the left for our concert with the Branson Arts Council at the Old Stone Church (and I'm glad she did!).  Moreover, I fondly remember Cale Hoeflicker expressing disappointment when the shoes displayed at his Vintage Paris concert were not "as fancy as all the rest."

At our final concert of the season, I asked that each female performer join me in my barefoot endeavors.  I also requested that they bring their favorite shoes to put on display as I had at each concert.  Above, you can see me with our shoe collection. 

So, I would like to alter yet another rule to enjoying classical music as deemed by the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra: no shoes required.

Larkin Sanders, 2012. 

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