Monthly Archives: August 2018

21st Century Choral Festival

Today is the National Day of Malaysia.

I’m mindful of my own nine days in Malaysia earlier this century, when I was the North American jurist at the 21st Century Choral Festival at the Genting Highlands north of Kuala Lumpur.

This was my first visit to Asia, and it whet my appetite for many more.

From the print program for that competition:


Part of the competition setlist.

Photos from that visit:

More posts about Malaysia . . . .

25 cents

I’m at Aldi, stocking up on some essentials (sweet peppers, green onions, shredded cheese, ghee . . . stuff like that).

$55 and change later, I load the two bags of groceries into the trunk of my car.

And I turn around to see a woman just close enough that I ask her if she’d like my cart, and don’t worry about the 25 cents.

I swear that she goes moist-eyed on the spot.

“This is the first time today that anything nice has happened to me. I guess the day is going to be okay after all.”

Sometimes all it takes is 25 cents to make a difference.

That and a smile, and a kind gesture.


Wednesday evening.

I find no better way to relax after two days of faculty meetings, totaling nine hours of time with colleagues, than to listen to choral music of Herbert Howells.

Tonight, it’s the Requiem, perhaps my favorite work by HH.   I have this newish recording by Conspirare and Craig Hella Johnson, and it’s delightful indeed.

Our faculty meetings were fruitful.  Tiring.  Enlivening.  Productive.  Nine hours of meetings over two will never be fun, but enough humor allowed us to break and laugh, and we spent time charting the next few years of the Webster University Department of Music.

Meanwhile, I fell on Sunday.  In my yard.  On my tush.

And while nothing is broken, I’m sore, and all this sitting today has left me feeling poorly tonight.

Alas. The joys of getting older.