An Easter Trifecta: Jesus, Bach, and Dolly
, April 20, 2017
Happy Easter! It is unfortunate that the music of Easter has never caught on in society like the music of Christmas. Walk into any shopping mall and it’s doubtful you’ll hear orchestral arrangements of Welcome, happy morning or Hail thee, festival day blaring through the speakers. Similarly, nobody is clamoring for Beyoncé to record an Easter album with the hope that she’ll include He is risen!
On Our Way Rejoicing!
, February 23, 2017
About five or six years ago, Christ Church began a program entitled “Kids of Note.” Using the financial offerings donated at Lessons and Carols each December, we began supporting a marvelous group of young junior high students who had shown strong abilities in both music and academics. These young individuals were all former band students of parishioner Kristi Thomas. Over the years we’ve been able to purchase instruments for these students, provide support to allow them to attend school activities, and participate in other opportunities that would have been financially impossible for them.
A Warm Welcome
, January 4, 2017
I am not a morning person. And those who know me well know it’s best to avoid interaction with me before 10:00 am (and sadly, coffee doesn’t make any difference). Thus, each week, it’s a challenge to be “ready to go” on Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. A former rector of mine in Alabama, who shared my dislike of mornings, would often complain about how “Holy Mother Church somehow got confused and forgot that it’s the Last Supper we are remembering, and not the Last Breakfast.”
Listening More Carefully
, November 2, 2016
When I was in graduate school, one of my organ professors was part of a panel of judges adjudicating an organ competition. One player after the next would perform the same repertoire. With but a few exceptions, I thought all of the players sounded alike. In my lesson the following week, I made this comment to my professor. He smiled and said, “Yes, it could all sound alike.”
, August 31, 2016
In early August, I was fortunate once again to attend the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) training course in Newport, Rhode Island. Every summer these weeklong courses are held throughout the country. Each course has its own make up – some are for boys only, some for girls only, some are just for trebles, and some, like Newport, are for both trebles (boys and girls) and adults. I’ve attended this same course the past five years, and each year I return invigorated and optimistic for the future of church music.
, July 28, 2016
A friend shared this video last week, and I’ve watched and listened to it numerous times over the past few days. In a time of extreme heat, and non-stop political rhetoric, I’ve found this performance of Schubert’s Impromptu by Vladmir Horowitz to be a welcome respite. I hope you might take a few minutes to just relax, “chill out,” and listen to a breathtakingly beautiful musical offering. (Warning: children learning to play piano, don’t try to copy Horowitz’s “flat finger” technique. He had extremely large hands and also had his pianos adjusted to be very light to the touch.)
Weeping spends the night - again
, June 21, 2016
The murder of 49 innocent people in Orlando has been weighing heavily on my heart. And I know I’m not the only one.
Thoughts and Prayers and Honesty
, June 8, 2016
I had a high school speech and drama teacher who shared with me that one of her biggest annoyances was the casual greeting people offered of “How are you?” As she pointed out, people seemed to just say that as an alternative to “Hello” because in fact, people really didn’t want to know how someone was doing.
How Can I Keep From Singing?!
, April 28, 2016
The past month, I’ve had a couple of occasions to be a singer in a choir rather than the director. I always find this to be helpful to me – what is the director doing that I like/don’t like? What can I take away from this experience to make me a better director? Additionally, I enjoy singing. I always have; even though I’m not exactly a voice you’d want to hear singing a solo.
All You Need is Love
, February 23, 2016
It’s a big election year and all the media and online chatter seems to be focused on who is best qualified to be our next leader. I won’t risk getting political here, but I am more than willing to boast that, as an Episcopalian, I am thrilled with our church’s leader – Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop. Recently, I had the good fortune to hear him speak at the National Press Club. He was there thanks to the generous invitation/work of Christ Church parishioner, Susan Hahn.