Category Archives: Circus Harmony


Thursday. I came home from work at 4 because I kept getting interrupted. And instead of doing another hour of Webster University Department of Music work at home as planned, I set about doing some cleaning and tidying. (Flat surfaces were loading down again.)

Christmas Eve. The Baileys gave me a lovely handmade gift of my family name, with a different photo for each letter. These photos each relate to some aspect of my relationship with this wonderful couple and their 3+1 boys (Rykardo is the circus student from Puerto Rico living with them this year).

One of the photos (R) is of the Webster University campus sign. The E is from Ted Drewe’s, which the boys love. The T comes from the Circus Harmony Fluente show poster. The A is from the City Museum, the initial R from the Circus Flora logo. I don’t recall where the initial letter (C) came from.

The beautiful handmade piece now hangs in my kitchen, above the door to the hallway. I’m delighted indeed!  I spend a great deal of time in this room, and I’ll see this gift, made with creativity and love, regularly.

I still didn’t get my Webster University work done, but the house is tidier, and my walls are happier.

The week . . . and a big change

Friday —

Well, it’s been a week.

(Read that with a sigh and a whimper.)

My body called off after Circus Harmony closed.  I crashed hard on Monday, with mold allergy issues really getting the best of me.  Perseverance was the motto, but Monday night was a rugged and toss/turn sleep.

I stayed home and slept a good chunk of Tuesday, finally going to the office to teach a few lessons before returning home to go to bed early.

This was supposed to be the first normal week of the semester, and it has been in that I’ve seen all my Webster University voice students, most of my private students, taken all the meetings, powered through the to-do lists, and such.  But the allergies (wet weather, not dipping below freezing = mold) have held sway.

And the impeachment tribunal is just making me grumpy.  I know who in my estimation the traitors are.  And I just don’t understand a good 40% of this country.

Muny auditions are coming up, and for the Webster kids have already taken place.  That’s been the focus of lessons this week.

I booked this week a music-directing gig for next year.

Friday and Saturday are audition days at Webster.  We’ll see a dozen prospective new students before this weekend is over.  Audition days are always exciting, bringing promise of new faces and voices and a superior freshman class.

I wrote two songs this week!

Projects and events this past week:

  • continuing preparation for the NASM visit
  • academic program review
  • prepping and giving a NASM briefing to Webster students
  • the annual Arts & Education gala at the Chase
  • finishing a capital funding request
  • booking tickets for shows whilst in NYC in March (Company, Diana, Moulin Rouge)

The beard is now gone.  My face appreciates being clean-shaven. Mariele the Volvo is a delight!  And I paid bills this week, with a few shekels left over. Apparently some big football game is taking place Sunday evening?

And Great Britain Brexits today.  Good lord.

This announcement was posted Friday to faculty and staff in the Department of Music:

So, big changes are in the offing…..

Just like that

Just like that, it’s over.

Fluente is in the books as history.

I actually shed a tear before the show. I just don’t want this one to end.

The hugs and thank-yous and kindnesses are always heartfelt, but especially so today.

Here’s the final pose, as snapped by my brother-in-law:

I’ve already sketched some music for next year’s show, so I guess I’m coming back!

My youngest sister and her husband and daughter were in the audience on Sunday:

One day more

Circus Harmony closes the ginormous January show with one final performance today at 2 p.m.

Are you in Saint Louis?  Within a two-hour drive?  Trust me — this show is the place to be this afternoon.

5 Things To Do in St. Louis This Weekend | January 24 – 26

The acts feature flying seagulls, juggling fishermen, a contorting octopus, hoop-diving deck-hands, mermaids, lobsters, jellyfish, and so much more.  The theme — Fluente, an underseas circus adventure  — is amply carried out on stage.

This show has been such a joy to compose and rehearse!  And I am more and more a believer in Circus Harmony.


What I witnessed

Circus Harmony opened their January show yesterday to enthusiastic audiences on a full day at the City Museum.

And near the end of the matinee performance, we had a fall. A performer left the show, with one act to go.

What I witnessed then, and what I witnessed in the evening performance, reminds me of just why I love this organization so much.

The final act is the partner acrobatic act, in which almost every member of the troupe is on stage for multiple highly-choreographed partnerings. These kids had to figure out how to fly — how to work around the loss of one person — with no direction. All had to be fixed in the moment, with the collective smarts and wit.

And they pulled it off perfectly.

Then they coalesced with concern about their injured friend. The love was palpable.

And then, with minimal practice between shows, they put a different act on stage that evening, and re-staged other acts. They had to re-block scene changes, assign new responsibilities, and be alert to what might have been missed in the quick-but-thorough fixes from the director.

The evening show was lively, happy, uneventful in a good way. It spoke volumes of the can-do spirit, of the professionalism that Circus Harmony develops in these kids. I witnessed Circus Harmony’s mission last evening: Through the teaching and performing of circus arts, we help people defy gravity, soar with confidence, and leap over social barriers, all at the same time.

These kids soared yesterday, both literally and figuratively. Oh that so many others I know would soar with confidence, and defy the gravity that weighs them down in their own lives.

I am so, so very glad to be a small part of this life-changing organization.

We have a show today at 2 p.m., and three more next weekend.  Check out the website  Don’t miss this very special show!