Category Archives: Webster

Random thoughts

Thursday luncheon at Union Loafers, and then dessert at Chouquetteis an STL delight.

Taking a day off in early August is also a delight.


The work of Inbox KP never ends.  I have unsubscribed recently from so many mailing lists . . . a healthy minority of them things for which I never signed up.  Damn third-party resellers of email information.


Credit card fraud is real.  This past week I apparently spent money in Boston and Seattle. Thank you, Fifth Third, for healthy fraud detection software.


Anna the Niece and I went to see the movie Lady Macbeth on Tuesday evening.  Dark dark dark.

Then we walked down the Delmar Loop for ice cream.  Overpriced and not that tasty, but fun presentation, Thai style.


I booked a major Webster-related trip this past week.  Athens/Vienna/Moscow. September and early October.

The Moscow airport is a 45-minute drive from the city center at 4 a.m., and a 90-minute drive at 4 p.m.

This will be a whirlwind trip: less than two days on the ground in Athens, 36 hours in Moscow, but a blessed weekend in Vienna to do some work with adjunct faculty.

 

My kids

Since I had so many of my former Webster University students to see in NYC this trip, I decided to pull a bunch of them together for dinner.

And I think we all decided that this endeavor was incredibly worthwhile and fun, and a most wonderful reunion.  Several of the students did not know each other when we sat down, so long have I been teaching now.

The final tab was outrageous, but the conviviality and memories are priceless.

Holiday

My 2.5-week summer holiday has commenced, as of the close of the work-day yesterday.

Unlike other summers where I’ve taken a full four weeks away from the office, I’m departing for a shorter term this year, since I am music-directing two different shows and only have 1.5 weeks off between the end of The Sweet Smell of Success and the start of rehearsals for Out on Broadway: The Third Coming.

But summer holiday is filled, as usual.  I’m off to NYC next week, for a short visit and some research.  Then I have a dash over to Lee’s Summit and on to Des Moines to see Billy Budd at Des Moines Opera.


The next few weeks, until August 10 or so, are still three-days-in-office, and some long weekends.  I still have reading to do, and music to compose, and local tourism to do!


But I wish I were abroad this summer . . . .

A day in the life

Friday, June 2.

A day in the life.  Three different hats, each of them delightful and satisfying.

Morning.  Final audition day at Webster University.  Meet and greet ten students who wish admission to the Department of Music’s various majors. Hear auditions, and meet with various faculty.

Afternoon.  At home for 3.5 hours of voice lessons, and some real success in making modifications in tonal quality and breath management.  I love teaching voice, and am delighted for the six new private-studio students who started lessons recently.

Evening.  At New Line Theatre.  Opening night of The Sweet Smell of Success.  Black clothing but warm hearts as I lead the ensemble in this witty, wicked show.

The end

The end of another school year is here.

After Commencement Saturday, I spent the afternoon cleaning, mowing, scrubbing the dirt and pollen from the front porch, and generally being spring-clean productive.  Tasks deferred for weeks were on the day’s agenda, and continue to be for a few more days.

Busy semesters come screeching to a sudden halt.  We finish classes, start juries and finals, and then suddenly I’m putting on full regalia for a commencement ceremony.  Hugs, a few tears, scores of smiles, kind words . . . And then silence.

The cycle is ever the same, and ever new.

Meanwhile, in my own little neighborhood, the folks in the house immediately north of me are moving out, and the landlord is moving in. And the house to the south of me sold last week, with the new young couple moving in directly (he’s in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Washington University, so they’ll be here for a while).

Things change at home too.

I’ve finished my ninth year at Webster University.  We’ve added eight new members to the full-time faculty in that time.  This year we programmed and hosted 178 events in total.  We’ve mourned one death and celebrated five retirements over the last nine years.  And we’ve educated hundreds of music majors, and introduced two new degree programs to the mix.

And now summer begins.  I have stacks of books to read.  A bit less travel to do than in some other summers.  Sunny mornings and long evenings to enjoy.  Two shows to in (June and August).  Three days a week at the office, at most.  At least 20 cultural events on my agenda this summer here in the area.

And a cute dog to love on.

Commencement 2017

Various shots with students today, and at yesterday’s Honors Convocation: