Category Archives: Webster

A full Sunday

Sunday, November 10.

A full day!

Phlip was all chalked up at Circus Harmony today, and he did a somersault and then two back flips that left perfect on the carpet in the ring.

I headed to school for a fabulous faculty composers showcase concert featuring music by four intensely talented colleagues.

And then I went to the J to be part of Todd Purdum’s talk about his book Enchanted Evenings. The book is about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s collaboration. Purdum was at The J as part of the Jewish Book Festival that continues this week.

I’m grateful to Edward Coffield for asking me to provide the piano music for Purdum’s talk!


I’m in my final few months as President of the Missouri Association of Departments & Schools of Music (MADSM).  We held our annual fall meeting on Friday this week, at Mizzou.

The day was perfect in so many ways until the drive home, when in a five-mile stretch I witnessed three increasingly-ugly automobile accidents.  Traffic was moving very slowly east of Warrenton and west of Wright City.  No one appeared to be critically hurt, probably because traffic was moving so slowly because of the number of cars mangled by the side of the road.

I ended up arriving home 30 minutes later than planned, then deciding to take a nap, and then awakening an hour later than I had intended . . . and completely missing opening night at the Rep.  And standing up my theatre-going international friendship-family student.

That strange sensation of “Why does my clock say 7.45 and it’s still dark outside?”?  Yup.  That was me on Friday evening.  Even now as I write later in the evening, I’m headachy and groggy.  I guess my body needed some rest.

We got to tour the new Mizzou music building, still under construction.  And our discussion sessions were held at the new State Historical Society building adjacent to the Mizzou campus.  The daylight hours of Friday were a delight!

Rants and raves

If I survive this semester . . . .

New eyeglasses are better than new clothes.

I hope that man who so precipitously and rudely cut me off on Kingshighway on Thursday (in a red van-ish SUV of some indeterminate sort) is proud of the words he made spew from my mouth.

Electronics are made for obsolescence.  I had to replace my 5.1 receiver this week.  These things are ‘spensive!

Even in the midst of such busy days at the office, and full days of teaching voice lessons, finding some time to whip up a meal is a sheer delight.

Quiche makes me happy.

I gave a talk this week about my sabbatical, and provided a nibble of babkas at the conclusion.  The students seemed happy.  So did a few faculty with a sweet tooth.


Acquaintances enrich my life in so many ways.  So do students, and the circus kids.

Fall Break and NYC cannot arrive quickly enough.

Teaching the Ernst Toch “Geographical Fugue” to my applied musicianship class may be the death of me, but we are going to lick this thing and have fun along the way!  (You should have seen them rapping this week.)

Is anything more fulfilling than teaching voice lessons?

I’m ramping up my expectations for several of my students, who are showing they are ready for more push.

The current president of the United States of America is one dumbass.  There.  The emperor has no clothes.  Someone said it.

I can’t wait to start cooking out of my new Moroccan cookbook!

Some days I miss having a dog.

Teaching begins

Tuesday.  NOT my longest day.

But my longest day so far.

I plowed through paperwork and emails and agendas and notes.

Department chair meeting took up a chunk of the morning.

And I taught a wonderful sophomore his first voice lesson of the year.

Lunch at my desk.  Dinner at my desk too.

A scholarship grant arrived today, so I had the happy task of walking that over to Development.

We hosted a study abroad in Vienna meeting.

I planned the host of faculty evaluations that must take place in the next six weeks.

And taught three voice lessons for the private studio, starting off the new contract year with fun kids.

And at nearly 10 p.m., I’ve just finished grading video submissions for the music theory class I see at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Welcome to the semester from *%@~+)@#.

Random musings

. . . that moment when you realize it’s your parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and they only made it 38 years before Mom died, and you just start crying because you forgot the anniversary, and suddenly you miss her more than your father, and years of grief wash over you again . . . .

That was my Friday about 12.45 p.m.

I find it odd.  The optometrist can mail me my prescription, or fax it to me, both of which can be intercepted by others, but because of FERPA laws cannot email a PDF copy, even though that is likely the most secure way to send my scrip to me.

Thank you to students who helped move furniture on Friday as we got some new/used items for Thompson House!

All the best-laid plans of chefs and cooks go out the window during the first week of school.  Other people have been doing my cooking.

And speaking of the first week of school, we exceeded our expected music-major headcount.  Significantly exceeded. My expectations for slippage were inaccurate.  Rejoicing abounds!

Second-highest total number of music majors in two generations of students . . . .

The number of cars driving around Saint Louis with expired temporary tags — some expired for months — astounds me.

I may or may not be making a surprise visit somewhere south of Saint Louis today.

Tornado sirens and green-gray skies on a Friday afternoon make for an eerie end of the week.

love my new office configuration.  And my new desk chair.

And I love teaching voice lessons.  One new Webster student started Friday. The light bulbs popping on above his head were copious and a balm for a weary administrator’s eyes.  I still have my teaching chops.

Beware.  More new eyeglasses are on their way.

Open for business

With yesterday’s Department of Music Convocation, we are officially into the new school year.

I wish I didn’t have RBF all the time…..

Department of Music Convocation
Music Department Convocation — celebrating three of our five Presidential Scholars.

We feted the recipients of endowed music scholarships too: