Category Archives: Song

#TBT: Jason’s Song

From last week, this performance of “Jason’s Song,” written in 2014.  The video is from the Facebook Live feed.  Apologies for the camera angle at the back of the room . . . .

The entire cabaret performance from 27 February 2018 is posted on my Facebook page!


The week

What a week this was . . . !

I could barely summon the energy for a dog-walk Saturday morning, so tired was I.

This past week was my first full week at the office in the last month. We had a power outage, a canceled afternoon & evening of classes thanks to the threat (unrealized) of ice; I had a couple of days away for illness and a day away for travel.

And so this week felt grueling, but I like gruel.

I sang a cabaret show on Tuesday evening, and as usual felt the weariness 36 hours later on Thursday.

District solo & ensemble contest was this weekend. Aaron and Ronan received ratings of 1, and Isaac a 2. These ratings are accurate reflections of what the adjudicator heard, I think. (And then I found out that Grace went to contest unknownst to me, and also took home a 1 rating!)

Between their sings on Friday, I spent more money than necessary at Costco; bought some Lucky Brand jeans and a couple of pairs of socks at Nordstrom Rack; and enjoyed some Tex-Mex. But their bookends of the schedule meant a late arrival home on Friday.

And after Ronan sang on Saturday, I dropped by the shoe repair store in Ladue, then lunched on Thai noodles at Pei Wei, then went to see my niece Anna as she started her shift at Barnes & Noble.

My living room is under repair and renovation, and things are a mess. I don’t like mess.

We had our fifth audition day in the last 29 days on Friday. And orchestra concert started the week, and a choral concert will finish it this afternoon.

My Messing Award was announced.

And we received unexpected news that our assistant professor posting was approved and is now live, so I spent part of Friday evening sending emails far and wide about the suddenly-available position. We need a skill set and background that is somewhat extraordinary, so this search will be a fun one!

I saw all but one of my students this week, both at Webster and at home.

The decennial accreditation process with the National Association of Schools of Music has begun in earnest. Hours fly by when having that fun!

I closed on the refinance of my house, and am now in a shorter mortgage with happier terms.

So, after this litany of why I’m beat, the thanksgivings —

I am thankful for, and recognize that I am blessed with:

  • A home
  • A dog
  • Job security
  • A salary that leaves me comfortable
  • The promise of money in the bank when I retire in a few more years
  • Joyous anticipation of several international trips in the next few years
  • A voice with which to teach and enlighten and entertain
  • Faith
  • No worries about where my next meal is going to be found, or how I will get someplace
  • Good and talented students who wish to learn and grow
  • Family that is well-knit and gets along
  • The promise of Spring, since my daffodils and tulips are now emerging from sleep
  • The luxury of burning candles for mood and scent, and not out of necessity.

I was here

I have no sons, at least none I can claim,
And no patience for carving in stone.
All that I have are my skill and my name
And this chance to make both of them known.
This is my key to the portal,
How I can leave something immortal . . .
Something that time cannot make disappear —
Something to say ‘I was here.’

~from The Glorious Ones by Ahrens & Flaherty


My little cabaret concert is over. I am relieved. The audience seemed to have a good time, and I certainly left some of my soul on the stage.

My youngest sister and her youngest son came to visit from Lee’s Summit.

Here are some photos from Tuesday.

Downtown Rotary

Two wonderful Webster students and I appeared on Thursday at the weekly Downtown Rotary Club luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club.   We were the post-Valentine’s Day entertainment in a lighter program.  I’m grateful to my colleague Beth Russell for inviting us!

Some Strauss, Puccini, Novello, Lerner & Loewe, and Kerrigan and Lowdermilk filled the room.

Thanks to club photographer Doug Russell for permission to post some of photos from the day:






My soundtrack

I’ve had an eclectic soundtrack running through my brain over the last 36 hours as I’ve been demonically possessed by a stomach bug.

Much of time has been spent prone, with eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep.

And I’ve become increasingly aware of the low-level, deep-brain soundtrack of songs that have been on auto-play in my subconscious.

Chief among them is “I’m Home” from Captains Courageous. I keep hearing Spencer sing it, but I’ve also been working with Declan on this song. I don’t know why it’s on auto-repeat in my brain, but I’m not unhappy that this is so.

Other songs on the playlist are almost all from things I’m currently teaching in my studio.

Years ago, when I was in college, I realized that I knew the lyrics to a lot of pop songs — I did not listen to pop music very much — simply because of the time I spent hearing this music in the dorm office and at Pizza Hut.

NEVER underestimate how things can sink into your brain, and how much we pick up –text, visuals, sounds, ideas, attitudes — simply by exposure!