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Teacher's Pet

Posted by Jason, September 11, 2013

One of the most foolish decisions I have ever made was when I agreed to accept a job teaching at a private nonsectarian school. I was interested in earning some extra money, and the newly appointed headmaster at the school made a convincing case to me that I’d be a perfect fit for the part-time job they had to offer in music. I accepted the job, and before long was busy teaching high school music history and music theory, and conducting the 5th grade chorus, 6th grade chorus, junior high and high school choirs.

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Saints, Angels, Singers

Posted by Jason, August 14, 2013

I had the great joy of attending the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) course in Newport, Rhode Island last week. Each summer, there are RSCM camps at various places throughout the country. The weeklong camps are geared towards boys and girls, but adults come along as well and fill in the gaps needed for the alto, tenor, and bass parts. I was thrilled to take five of our own choristers to this camp.

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My AAMish Family

Posted by Jason, July 17, 2013

I returned last week from the annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) held in Denver. I belong to a number of professional organizations, but AAM is the one that is most near and dear to me; its annual conferences are often a highlight of my summer.

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Here She Comes!

Posted by Jason, June 19, 2013

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Till Death Do Us Part

Posted by Jason, May 22, 2013

I recently was having dinner with a group of friends and the conversation turned to what we had all done at work that day. I mentioned that I played a funeral in the morning before getting on with other normal routines of work. Suddenly I was being peppered with questions – “Do you find it difficult to play for a funeral?” “Isn’t that depressing?” “Do you see the body?” “What are funerals like at your church?”

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Giving Thanks

Posted by Jason, March 26, 2013

I encourage you to thank members of the choirs when you see them, whether on Sunday mornings at church or an accidental encounter at the grocery store. And, I ask that you do this to both children and adults.

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The Beauty of Holiness

Posted by Jason, February 27, 2013

My friend and colleague, Michael Smith (organist-choirmaster at Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, PA) recently wrote the following article for his church’s newsletter. I was inspired by his article. I have removed the section where he writes of the architecture of his parish, because it is quite different from our own. Nevertheless, I concur about the need for our liturgy to be true to its environment.  I commend it to you to read as we ponder what we do, and why we do it, in worship. And, I extend thanks to Michael for allowing me to share this.

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I wonder what’s next

Posted by Jason, January 31, 2013

I went with a friend last week to see the movie Quartet with a friend. The movie was quite good, and I recommend it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to give any spoilers away in this post. The setting of the movie is a retirement home which caters specifically to musicians, and the movie centers around the retirement of a notable opera singer (played by the incomparable Maggie Smith) to this home. The plot features the typical struggle of old age, and the acceptance that one can no longer do what one could at a younger age. This is especially true of singers.

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A Memorable Mississippian

Posted by Jason, December 26, 2012

After the exhaustive schedule of Christmas Eve, I was prepared to spend most of the remainder of my Christmas day with my brain turned off. Shortly after noon, however, Ann Gillespie called to tell me the sad news that Bishop Jane Dixon died overnight.

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Excited to sing for Advent

Posted by Jason, November 28, 2012

I don’t know why some people give Advent a bad rap. I’ve listened to people complain about having to sing “those boring Advent hymns, almost always in a minor key” for years. Seriously?

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