After the transit dramatiques yesterday, I am even more delighted to be home and have slept in my own bed. The flight landed last evening around 10.30 p.m., and I was home by 11.15.
I don’t know what was going on with American yesterday, but some of their system seemed to be a magnificent and bloody mess.
For my last day in NYC, I visited on Monday the Federal Hall on Wall Street (more of which later) and the Merchant House Museum, an NYC row house from the first third of the 19th century. It’s very similar to Campbell House here in Saint Louis, except not as interesting. i saw inspired by the master bedroom, though, and have decided to consider these options on my next remodel.
And now, after 27 days away, I am back work today!
The 11 a.m. choral Eucharist at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue this morning was superb — divine, stately, orderly, filled with visual splendor, perfumed with sounds of angels in the form of the men’s voices from the St. Thomas Choir. This was a good day to be in church!
I met up with Eden and her family for a while. Eden is a recent Webster alum, one of my voice students, and a soon-to-be resident of NYC.
Fun Home, the 2015 Tony winner for Best Musical, was by far the best show I’ve seen all year. I was mesmerized the entire journey, and like others in the audience audibly choking back tears during the last 20 minutes.
And then I did what any other sensible person would do: I walked the long walk back to my hotel and sat down in the hotel lobby bar and sipped a glass of Prosecco.
Ben, a Webster student now living in NYC, joined me for dinner at a nearby Mexican place.
And that was my Sunday!
Here are some shots from today on my perambulations:
8.30 a.m. Out the door. Subway ride to Astor Place. Walk past Cooper Union.
9 a.m. Meet Kyle Acheson for breakfast. Spend 90 minutes catching up.
10.30 a.m. Walk to Broadway. Bus Downtown.
10.50 a.m. Short shopping trip at Century 21.
11.35 a.m. Back on 6 Line heading north.
Noon. Brief stop at hotel. Walk over to 49th and Broadway.
12.30 p.m. Meet Jake Golliher for an hour of conversation.
1.30 p.m. Start walking throug the Times Square mob and throngs and hordes.
2 p.m. Belasco Theatre for Taye Diggs in Hedwig. A show that should run 90 minutes runs two hours. He’s a mess.
4.05 p.m. Cab to Lincoln Center.
4.20 p.m. Finally in the special collections research room at the New York City Library for the Performing Arts. Spend 90 minutes in nirvana. Come home with ten new songs.
6 p.m. Dinner at a restaurant across from Lincoln Center.
8 p.m. The King and I at the Beaumont at Lincoln Center. Sher. Sumptuous. Stunning. But without Kelli O’Hara, who is on vacation. $175 ticket. At least the cover was fab-fab, and the new King (Jose Llana) a real delight.
11.05 p.m. Cab back to hotel.
I love catching up with former students! And I love finding music that is new to me! And I love seeing high-quality shows in NYC!
President Beth Stroble spoke today in an interview with Saint Louis Public Radio!
At 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday, after a final flurry of emails and activity, I left the office. Vacation has commenced.
I will return to the office on Tuesday, July 28.
A friend joked on Facebook that this is not a vacation, but a sabbatical. I beg to differ. The day job requires 70-80 hour weeks many weeks, nine months a year. Two other months I put in 40 hours a week. I add creative and scholarly activity to that each week, with gigging and composing and writing and reading.
This one month off is a delight as I check work email only once daily, and as I travel and refresh and relax.
So this morning I will check work email once, and then be done with the job for the rest of the day as I run errands and prepare to leave the country. Samson will get a bath. I’ll do laundry.
And vacation will be glorious, I hope! It was on Tuesday evening as I saw Hairspray at the Muny . . . .
Europe begins on Friday. I’ll be in Berlin by the end of next week.
Sunday, June 28. En route from Lincoln to Saint Louis, on I-70.
Traveling in a van with three colleagues from Webster University, we have just crossed the Missouri River for the third time today (this time east of Boonville). About 100 miles ahead lies on more river crossing, and then the final jaunt home.
My mother would have been 77 years old today. How often I made this trip with her and Pop when I was younger . . . and what I wouldn’t give to make it once more with her in the car.
June has been a good month, on balance. We celebrated my father’s 80th birthday anniversary a few weeks ago. I saw a most moving and celebrated opera the next day, with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Emmaline.
At Webster, the punch list has not gotten any shorter, but summer is moving along appropriately. We received word this week that our replacement voice professor position has been approved.
At home, the office remodel is now totally completed. Sadly, the basement flood is going to take a bit more cleaning up. I entertained Erie Mills and colleagues earlier this month in a meal at home. Beth and Anna came to visit as well.
This last week the Supreme Court of the United States issued two rulings that will ensure that love wins, and that those less fortunate than I am will have access to affordable health coverage. These are positive things indeed.
I spent the month surrounded by talent – wonderful voice students, a winning cast of The Threepenny Opera at New Line Theatre, a presentation at the regional conference of the American Guild of Organists, last week’s Thespian conference in Lincoln.
And this week I depart for a European vacation, but not before seeing Hairspray at the Muny!
I was poking around in iTunes this past weekend, working on the Herbert Howells talk set for this afternoon. As I was looking at musical examples, I ran across the first-ever performance of my own anthem “Donne’s Hymn,” sung by the Webster University Concert Choir under the direction of Trent Patterson. This piece is holding up well now, several years later.
Here’s the recording:
The text is John Donne’s “A hymn to God the Father.”
And here’s a bit of the anthem:
I am winding down, I think.
The Threepenny Opera is now history, at least for New Line Theatre and our production. We played to excited and engaged houses on our final weekend. A final review last week said “The band, under the direction of Jeffrey Richard Carter, is consistently excellent, complementing the vocalists in intensity and volume, and never overplaying.” Another second-weekend review stated “New Line customarily features a tight ensemble, showcasing some of St. Louis’s shrewdest musical theater performers, while also debuting a few new artists. Their strong voices tackle the masterful jazzy score under Jeffrey Carter’s expert music direction.” The critical acclaim for this little show has been very gratifying.
I am teaching a class on creative vocal etudes today at Webster University (for our Vocal Pedagogy Workshop), and lecturing tomorrow (for the American Guild of Organists) on one of my favorite topics, Herbert Howells. My topic? “Flatted Thirds, Lydian Fourths, and a Tuba.” I have repackaged some of my earlier talks and ideas about HH for this august body, and I’m told I should have 80 or so folks in attendance!
And then I dash directly from the Clayton Sheraton to the airport and fly to Lincoln, Nebraska for the annual thespian conference and some student recruiting work. I’ll spend the rest of the week in Nebraska, returning to Saint Louis on Sunday. Connor Sam-sits.
My office time this week is therefore limited, as is my Samson time.
After today, I have 2.5 more days in the office and 3.5 more days in town before leaving for Europe!