The recitals received their names by my students, who categorize them by what we have to eat after each recital.
Thus the spring recital, for which I always order a boat load of pizzas, is the pizza recital.
But the pizzas, subs or burgers are always just the gustatory center piece, to be accompanied by the copious side dishes and desserts that the students' families bring to the post-recital feast.
And so we treat the recitals, which in truth are what drive my teaching and, I believe, motivate my students, as communal banquets that open with musical entertainment. Students bring not only their parents and siblings, but invite friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, teachers, and co-workers (of my adult students). On occasion other music teachers have asked or been invited by me to "crash" my recitals with a student or two of their own whom we welcome as guest performers. I don't actually know of any other music teacher whose recitals are preludes to a potluck.
And yet the music-food combo was not my plan when when I first started teaching years ago. In the beginning I figured my recitals would be the standard cookies-and-punch affairs that most recitals are. But, alas, I now believe that, being the inveterate foodie that I am, it's my karmic fate that any event I'm involved in will have evolved into a buffet line by the time it has reached fruition.
Anyway, I had only about half- dozen students when I had my first recital, so I had the idea of asking the mother of one of my students if I could have the recital in her home. Not only did the mother agree to the idea, she offered to serve sub sandwiches after the recital. So I asked the other parents if they'd each bring a side or dessert. The recital was such a success and everybody like the food afterwards so much that I continued to have recitals in student's homes, with the host family providing the main course and the other families bringing the sides.
And so it went until I had so many students that I needed to find a bigger venue for our recitals. When I moved our recitals from students' homes to a church hall I figured the moment had come to change the format from a big post-recital chow-down to cookies and punch.
Not a snowball's chance in Palm Springs.
I almost had a revolt on my hands when I suggested that we replace our communal feast with cookies. And so a communal feast it's been every since. Like I said, I thinks it's my foodie-karma. Can't fight it.
But I guess having a big post-recital chow down is a good idea. Because, hey, if we all crash and burn on our pieces, at least we'll have pizza.