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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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All tricks, no treats?

Posted by Jason, October 31, 2012

Growing up, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I forget at what age, but at some point my father had to issue the rule that I was not allowed to decorate the house for Halloween until after October 1.

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Not quite the field of dreams

Posted by Jason, October 3, 2012

I’m on a kickball team this fall. It’s lots of fun and I’m amazed at how popular this is in DC. In my league alone, there are nearly 600 players. There are leagues all around town who all play games on different days. In short, kickball in Washington is HUGE.

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The Sacred and the Beautiful

Posted by Jason, September 5, 2012

September 5 marks the three-year anniversary of the death of one of my most beloved teachers, David R. Davidson. David left this world far too soon due to cancer.

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Dwelling Places

Posted by Jason, August 8, 2012

I have just returned from a wonderful week at the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) summer course in Newport, Rhode Island. Every year, the RSCM sponsors several camps in different locations around the country. It’s a week of intensive singing and preparation for services. The Newport course was amazingly successful. With over 100 participants (mostly children – treble voices), the sound was thrilling and finely polished. It was a delight to have some of our own choristers present and participating.

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The Advantages of a Regular Routine

Posted by Jason, July 11, 2012

I'll be honest -- I often have wondered if I didn't work for a church, would I go to church regularly? I'd like to think I would, but I can't really be certain. It doesn't mean I have doubts about my beliefs, rather, I'm just not sure how active I'd be on Sunday mornings.

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Replacing the 1982 Hymnal?

Posted by Jason, June 13, 2012

A little over a year ago, the Episcopal Church undertook a detailed study to consider publishing a new hymnal to replace the Hymnal 1982. Episcopalians around the country took part in a lengthy on-line study. The results of this study may be found on the Church Pension Group’s website:

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