Category Archives: Choral Music

Scenes from the week

From the last week . . . .

Bedecked for the Variety Children’s Chorus concert.

The bells before they rang so beautifully.

Detail, Saint Louis Public Library historic central location.

Detail, Saint Louis Public Library historic central location.

Detail, Saint Louis Public Library historic central location.

With Jett Blackorby after recording his pre-screens for college auditions.

This needs no comment, so I shan’t.

Mmmmm. New eyeglasses are arriving soon. This was part of the menagerie I showed to my consultant this last week.

Auggie. And flowers.

With my friend and former student Josh in Chicago.

Variety Children’s Choruses

The Variety Children’s Choruses go live tomorrow night with a holiday concert at the Sheldon.

I get to don my tuxedo and have some fun leading these wonderful singers in some holiday cheer!

We are joined by the Junior League Larks, and by the Gateway Ringers.  I’m told someone special may make an appearance too.

I’m hoping to see friends in the audience!

Holiday greeting

Webster University’s annual holiday greeting is posted today, and I’m one proud professor.

The concept for this started to take shape in August. Our friends in Global Marketing and Communications wanted to feature a Department of Music ensemble. I pitched some ideas.

And then I wrote some scratch lyrics for one the ideas, using the tune PASSION CHORALE by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612). We know this tune best in the 21st century as “Because all men are brothers” or “O sacred head, now wounded.”

The idea stuck, and we enlisted Nathan Rauscher (BM ’19), a jazz major, to write a score for Jazz Singers. Several iterations later, we had a brilliant approved product.

Then our genius vocal jazz teacher, Debby Lennon, started to work with Jazz Singers. And the visual storyboarding started. And then it was time to record in the studio. Then came video recording. And editing. And final product and approvals.

And today? A fine little greeting card, thanks to Karen Burch and her staff; to President Beth Stroble and others in the group who green-lighted the project; and to Debby and Nathan and all the students along the way who made this project sing.



“I change people’s lives”

27 July 1996.  An email to my parents, who were living abroad in Argentina.

Summer session at the community college has just ended.  The 1996 Atlanta Olympics were under way. 

Doctoral study was less than a month away.  And I was coming to terms with the enormous responsibility one assumes as a teacher.

My father had printed this email, which we found in his boxes of papers.  I’m glad to have it.


I’m journaling this sabbatical.

From Wednesday:

That boat ride into the horseshoe of the Canadian falls certainly ranks as one of the top ten experiences of my life.

Could I name ten?

  • Standing on the Great Wall of China
  • The boat in the horseshoe of the Canadian Niagara Falls
  • Ozawa conducting the War Requiem in Boston, with Bostridge and Quasthoff as soloists
  • My first visit to the Lincoln Memorial
  • Singing Herbert Howells’ music at Westminster Abbey, just feet from his grave
  • Cantering Evensong at Ely Cathedral
  • Seeing Les Miserables the first time
  • The Parthenon in Athens, the second time I visited
  • That one-and-only visit to the Three Choirs Festival
  • Singing Britten’s Peter Grimes at Carnegie Hall on Britten’s 100th birthday

Are there ten more? You bet!

But that’s another blog entry.