Tag Archives: choral music

21st Century Choral Festival

Today is the National Day of Malaysia.

I’m mindful of my own nine days in Malaysia earlier this century, when I was the North American jurist at the 21st Century Choral Festival at the Genting Highlands north of Kuala Lumpur.

This was my first visit to Asia, and it whet my appetite for many more.

From the print program for that competition:

 

Part of the competition setlist.

Photos from that visit:

More posts about Malaysia . . . .

Euro18: and home

I woke on Friday morning to the iPad NOAA warning about extreme temperatures at Rienosslsgasse 3 in Vienna.

Fortunately, I was home in Saint Louis with moderate weather, but more humidity.

At some point my iPad will figure out that I’m in the USA. I certainly know that I am! Witness:

  • Iced tea!! I went for three weeks without it.
  • Taco Bell. I went for 3.5 weeks without it.
  • Airport staffs who are not multilingual (except in Spanish). Such a change from Europe.
  • Air-conditioning everywhere.
  • Cellular service everywhere without having to think of turning the phone on and off.
  • A fridge and a freezer. (Small fridge only, with no freezer, in Vienna.)
  • Loudness. Americans just talk so damn loudly.
  • Diet Pepsi! I went for 3.5 weeks without it.

But as my friend Alice said on Facebook last evening, she has little compassion for the slight frustrations, given what I was able to see and do. And I expect no boo-hoos for the cultural differences and the weariness because of the seeing and doing.

And DO I did.

The research grant proposed outcomes are essentially complete. The draft report is 75% there, with some details and nuance to ponder and finesse. In other words, I accomplished the stated goals. The grant outcome was successful. Now we move to implementation.

Along the way, I was a tourist nearly every day — in fact, save for last Sunday, every single day of the sojourn in Europe.

What did I not do? Well, I skipped the Salzburg and Venice/Dolomites excursions because I just was not feeling well. Summer allergies are, I’m told, quite severe in Vienna this year. I did not make it to all the art museums I would have wished, and since concert season was over, I attended only two musical performances.

What DID I do?

Enough art to keep me happy for months. Less-frequented locales such as the Snow Globe Museum, the Freud Museum, the Schnapps Museum, the Imperial Crypt, and the old Jewish cemetery at Zentral Friedhof. Anglican Church services in Florence and Vienna. Florence. Choral concert by a British choir at the British Embassy Church. A cruise on the Danube. Cooking class. Visited Mahler’s grave. Walked in the steps of Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Haydn and so many others. Melk Abbey. Heurigerabend. Organ recital at the Jesuit Church. Churches and parks and the Naschmarkt and gelato and beer and bubbly and schnitzel and . . . well, the whole five-senses experience indeed.

And I kept up with the daily office work. My email inbox is only marginally more crowded now than it was when I left, and no decisions have been punted to next week.

Now home for a few days, and with days off this weekend with few obligations, I can rest and recharge before the onslaught of the run-up to August 20 when contracts begin.

And I can love on Auggie, who apparently did indeed miss me.

Of all the pleasures of travel, returning home is the greatest joy.

Gerontius

I attended a performance last evening of The Dream of Gerontius at King’s College Cambridge. The soloist was my one-time student Brenden Gunnell. Here we are after the performance, both happy as can be.

Cambridge, like most of southern England, was rainy and dreary, but a joy-filled place to be last evening!

New choral work

Here is video of the first performance of ‘Donne’s Hymn,’ a setting of the Hymn to God the Father text by John Donne.  I composed the work last summer; the first performance was April 28, 2013 by the Webster University Concert Choir, led by my friend and colleague Trent Patterson.

Eve of the First Day

‘Tis the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break.

I have worked every weekend since well before Thanksgiving.  Between church services on Saturdays and Sundays, concerts, lessons, events to attend at school, international travel, and most recently a round of final concerts then Commencement Weekend, life has been exceptionally rich.

Even this past Saturday was an eight-hour day, with Sunday a five-hour day of events that kept me ‘on.’

I was in the office on Monday for ten hours, Tuesday for nine, and today for eight.

Leaving the office at 5.45 today, I left a pile of things I was going to bring home, but then decided not so to do.

(None of this is complaining, mind you.  I love my job, and I don’t regret doing it, or doing it well.  But I’m due for a bit of down time, since my last day ‘off’ was one day in Spring Break.)

And just like that, with a simple pasta dinner, I am celebrating the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break.  Tomorrow begins the first of an annual series of three- or four-day weekends.  I’ll read Evening Prayer in a few minutes, then orgy on Modern Family (the first season on DVD arrived today),the faithful Samson by my side.

To celebrate, I have closed up the house and turned on the air conditioning.  Sweating and this damned boot don’t meet happily.

What is in store the next few days?

I’ll celebrate my First Day of Summer Break with a brief meeting at church, then Noonday Prayer and a noon-time organ recital at Christ Church Cathedral. Then I’ll continue work for a while in the afternoon on my operetta project.  Friday is a cooking & cleaning day (the home office is in dreadful state), with T arriving for dinner of coq au vin.  Saturday brings two private voice lessons, after which I intend to catch a movie.  Sunday, after church, is not one but two different auditions, one for a show, the other for a chorus.  And then I’m back to work on Monday and Tuesday next week.

So let the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break continue, and LONG LIVE SUMMER.