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Mid-Day Musicale

Posted by Jason, 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.) 

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How Can I Keep From Singing?!

Posted by Jason, 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.

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Should We Still Sing This?

Posted by Jason, November 4, 2015

It recently was revealed that a deceased Bishop in the Church of the England had committed a terrible offense during his time as Bishop. He was much beloved by many and quite popular at the time of his death. In fact, he has the equivalent of a Feast Day in the Church of England. The latest news is likely to result in the removal of his Feast Day.

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Kids of Note: Making a Joyful Noise

Posted by Jason, October 6, 2015

Several years ago, Jason and the Christ Church choir made a commitment. Instead of using the offering from Lessons & Carols for the church music program, they wanted to donate it to support young musicians. That led to a partnership with Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary School, where parishioner Kristi Thomas directed a band that included every fifth and sixth grader. 

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And just where do you think you’re going?!

Posted by Jason, April 29, 2015

On Monday evening, I attended a master class taught by Olivier Latry, the principal organist at Notre Dame in Paris. As one of the students was playing, he kept asking her “Where are you going?”

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Striving for Excellence

Posted by Jason, January 21, 2015

I have just returned from Chicago where I attended a conference hosted at St. James' Cathedral. The title of the conference was "Cultivating Excellence in Liturgy, Music, and Preaching: A Conference for Musicians and Clergy." This concept came from an inspiring sermon delivered by The Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, last summer as part of the annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Bishop Sutton spoke of the need for the Episcopal Church to return to its identity of being known for its excellence at worship. He urged us to create a new three-legged stool for our church based on liturgy, music, and preaching. Strength in all three of these, not just one or two, but in all three, he believes, will stop our membership decline and help us reach more people with the great news of the Gospel of Jesus.

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Summer Music

Posted by Jason, August 20, 2014

In her blog, Maddie Waldhoff, parishioner and choir member, gives us an inside look at the music and experiences at the Newport Royal School of Church Music this summer. 

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Sing an Easter Song!

Posted by Jason, April 16, 2014

I’ve often wondered why Easter music hasn’t “caught on” with the public like Christmas music has. Walk into any mall during December and you’ll hear a continual medley of sacred and secular carols being piped through the speakers. But it’s not the same for Easter. It can’t be due to the fact that it’s a distinctly Christian holiday since Christmas is too. It’s also not due to the fact that Christmas music might be older, because most Easter music is older than most Christmas carols.

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Caroling Thanks

Posted by Jason, January 1, 2014

At the conclusion of the 10:30 service on Christmas Eve, I noticed a gentleman hanging around upstairs by the console as I finished the postlude. I sat down to switch from my organ shoes to my regular shoes while I noticed him apprehensively approach me a few times, and then walk away. 

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Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding

Posted by Jason, December 4, 2013

It would not bother me at all if Advent lasted significantly longer that it presently does. A friend and colleague asked me last week if I was ever able to really do the music I want during Advent. I told him that I didn’t because of the time crunch in preparing for Christmas, the reality that many choir members are gone during the month of December, preparing for Lessons and Carols, etc. He stated that he felt exactly the same way.

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