Monthly Archives: June 2020

A holiday

I’m privileged.

One of the great joys in my life is travel, for business or for relaxation.  I am privileged that I can afford this travel, and that I have a job that often sends me somewhere.

My last overnight trip was to the state music education convention in January.  The Spring Break in NYC was canceled.  A conference in Pittsburgh last month was canceled.  Puerto Rico next week, canceled.  A conference in Virginia next month, canceled.  A quick trip to Vancouver, canceled.

For the first time in at least 15 years, and probably longer, I have nary a single hotel reservation or airline ticket in the queue.

On Tuesday, I decided I had to go somewhere this summer.  And that somewhere needs to be near water.

So it is that four weeks from Monday, I will make my way to southern Illinois, and stay for four days (with Nelson!) on a farm in the cutest little four-room farmhouse.  I’ll have a change of scenery and a bit of escape.  And quiet.  And a lake right outside the door.  And a porch for sitting and reading.


Morning Prayer

With the moderate weather this week, I’ve been reading Morning Prayer outdoors in the garden.

Nelson is usually checking out the lawn and the flowers for any new scents from overnight.

But Wednesday morning he was fast asleep on the patio.

This boy loves the outdoors, being content to spend hours sitting on the top step sniffing the air and barking at anything or anyone that dares move through the alley behind the house.


The big end-of-fiscal-year Variety fundraiser ends this week.  Here’s your last chance!  Join me in giving today or tomorrow.  Friday 26 June is it!!

You may know that I am Director of the Variety Choruses and a proud supporter of Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis. Variety has provided unparalleled access and opportunity to children with disabilities for nearly 90 years.

During this time of uncertainty, I invite you to join me in providing some certainty to Variety Kids and their families because they are facing even more serious challenges.

Variety was forced to cancel their most successful fundraising events – Runway Lights Fashion Show and Dinner with the Stars – so I’ve teamed up to help support essential Variety programming.

You can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life by donating to my Variety fundraiser page here:

  • Your donation made through JustGiving is simple, fast, and secure.
  • Or – if you would like to give a special gift to Variety through other means (stock, family foundation, etc.) we can work directly with my contact at Variety.
  • Remember that your company may match your charitable gift.

I hope many are able to donate generously today. Help me meet my personal goal of raising $5,000 for Variety Kids.


Monday evening.  I’m working on Circus Harmony music, and my phone pops up a notice that DenDen is live on Instagram.  I hop on to see what he is drawing, because that’s what he does when he is live.

He had the shell of this drawn.  I started calling out colors.

And here’s the result.  Talented guy.  Too bad his color artist was wacko.

Social distance, day 100

Day 1 was Monday, March 16.

I had been to the office on Sunday, since we knew that campus would be pretty vacant on Monday, and I would be teaching from home.  But I really should have started counting on Sunday, March 15.

Or perhaps on Tuesday 17th, since I actually hugged my circus nephews . . . briefly in a fly-by-the-house way . . . on Monday 16th.

But at this point, what does it signify?  Many of us have spent the last 100 days, give or take, in a physically distant buffer zone, or a small bubble with others observing the same protocols.

Me?  I’ve had one and only one faces-turned hug in the last 100 days . . . a few porch and patio visits . . . and that’s it.

I’m ready to feel and touch and be human again.

Having now reached this symbolic milestone of 100 days, I am going to be more selective about what I post and when.  I’ve posted every single one of these 100 days, and I’m tired. The daily will be more sporadic, but not gone completely.

For this 100th day of physical distance: a song I wrote in early 2014, about Jason, the one who I knew was going to slip away and go home to China.  The melancholy was already real.

And a live version from two years ago:

Thanks for sharing these first 100 days with me.

[And oh, how my voice has aged in the last six years . . . .]

June travels

Since I’m not traveling this summer, I’m posting some previous travel photos from this week of June over the last 15 years.

Nebraska State Capitol, 2019:

NY, NY, 2017:

Lee’s Summit, Father’s Day Weekend, 2016:

International Thespian Society conference, Lincoln, 2015:

International Thespian Society conference, Lincoln, 2014:

ACDA meeting, Oklahoma City, 2009:

The 2009-2010 ACDA Repertoire & Standards leadership team.