Commencement 2022

Commencement 2022 is now history.

Three of my voice students graduated, as did three of my advisees in the Music Direction for Musical Theatre program.

Honors Convocation was Thursday afternoon.

Recipients of Departmental Honors in Music, bestowed by the faculty.

One of my colleagues pointed out that some of my legacy as Chair is the people I hired. I could not agree more!

The Department of Music leadership team.

Photos with my students:

Our Commencement speaker Friday was Djibril Diallo, president and CEO of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN). Diallo has a distinguished career in international relations, diplomacy and human development, particularly in advocacy for issues affecting the African continent and victims of the AIDS epidemic.

Candids from the day:

Juries

We are at the end of the semester. Ten of my Webster voice students sang juries this week. I got pics with nine of them, but I’ll include the tenth from the recording session last week.

Three departing seniors are here. COVID-19 has made their college years a mess. I’m so glad we were able to keep making music together.

Here’s two of the seniors in their first year:

#TBT: 13 years ago

From Finals Week 2009, thirteen years ago, this photo of me with three of my first-year voice students at Webster University:

Yes, that is Jake from State Farm to my right. And Audrey and Kyle.

4.15 a.m.

For the second time in a week, I was wide awake at 4.15 a.m., with nothing to do but give in to the wide-awakeness.

So begins my Tuesday.

I dreamt of Janon Cairns last night. Janon was the mother of my first voice student. Costumer for Blue Springs Civic Theatre. A kind and warm soul. She’s gone now. I have no idea why she showed up in a dream, but I bless her memory. She put a lot of trust in an unproven young voice teacher!

Morocco beckons. Not any time soon, sadly, but I’ve been watching Morocco travel documentaries and dreaming of a return.

Berber ladies selling their veggies.

We are in the midst of the last week of Spring 2022 at Webster University. Voice juries commenced last week and continued yesterday, with two more days yet to go. I’ll spend part of the afternoon listening to singers, and then all of tomorrow morning. Yesterday I had my last jury with Phil Solheim, who I will miss terribly. But this is the nature of what I do — we send them on, surely singing better, and we hope better for knowing us as well.

With Phil yesterday.

The news this morning (for I turned on NPR at 5 a.m.) includes updates from the Philippines (another Marcos), from the Capitol where polarized division is the unending tragedy, from an international environmental and climate group (we are doomed). Grooming and abortion were topics in the 5 o’clock hour as well. Some days I just want to read a book and escape into my own fictive world of perfection, filled with mango and passionfruit and pineapple and musical theatre.

In the garden

Saturday. After recording session and a visit to the circus ring, yard work beckoned.

So did the flowers in the garden.

The first iris of the season.
One lone daffodil still hangs on.
The lemon tree has bloomed, and is promising some fruit.
The first nasturtium.

UPDATE: a damned squirrel chewed right through the stem, and this morning I found the lone nasturtium face down on the steps, severed from its stem. Damn squirrels.

And on the front porch, five baby finches.

In the studio

I took some of my private students and some of Webster students to the studio on Saturday, and we recorded a song apiece.

The songs are theirs to share, although I’ll likely put together a demo reel just for fun.

But the photo of each at the mic is mine to share!

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