Tag Archives: dream of gerontius

The year 2018

Greetings to friends and family around the world. I write on the day of the winter solstice, and note with sadness that this world seems particularly darker than it did a year ago. I pray for light and truth to again be kindled in the hearts of those who lead, and who alone can set to the tone for this world.

May it be so.

Even with the death of my father in the waning days of 2017, my own 2018 has been significantly brighter than national and international news might allow!

Winter. A solo cabaret act. Loads of teaching and concert-going and the robust time of the year at the office. A quiet winter without any significant travel except for a quick trip to Naples, Florida to see Spencer go on as Prince Chulalongkorn in The King and I.

Spring. Begins with a trip to Moscow to discuss collaborations. Attend a concert in Tchaikowsky Hall. Tourist for full, long day in Moscow. Holy Week in London, with services at St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey. My former student sings Gerontius at King’s College Cambridge. Wrap up the school year with a sizable graduating class. Pack up and finish work on my father’s estate. A week in NYC, and confirmation of a budding relationship. Solo/ensemble contest brings solid results. Senior recitals with three voice students. Attend the Tony Awards. Celebrated the completion of 10 years at Webster University.

Summer. Begins with a week in Lincoln at a conference. Then to Vienna on the Messing Faculty Award for three weeks of research and curriculum development. Side trips to Stockholm and Florence. Allergies abound in Vienna! Wept copious tears at the sight of Michelangelo’s David. Start the new school year with days of meetings, and a robust new-student class. Yufei visits Saint Louis. Start work with Variety Children’s Choruses as the new conductor. Celebrate my 57th birthday with a day of museum visits in Vienna, and a screening of The Third Man at a kino.

Autumn. Auggie turns 8. Sabbatical begins in mid-October. Accept a gig with Circus Harmony as composer and music director for the big January show. Start traveling immediately. Chicago with Yufei. Toronto and Niagara Falls with my nephew Luke. Washington, D.C. (pandas!!) and NYC with Yufei. Chicago again. And Christmas at home in Lee’s Summit with my sisters. Attend multiple Circus Harmony classes and practices. Conduct a holiday concert with the Variety Children’s Choruses. Attend Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Over the course of the year I’ve witnessed powerful live concert performances. Viewed some of the world’s greatest artworks. Learned more about cooking. Kept up the slow renovations on a 100+ year-old home. Enjoyed some stunning meals (Stockholm, Vienna, Chicago, NYC all were gastro-delight locations). Worshipped in grand and beautiful spaces. Composed some decent music. Shot loads and loads of photos (I’m starting to understand light much better). Whipped up homemade plum jam and blood orange marmalade. Taken various architectural tours. Read more books than the year before, and also a big chunk of the Bible. Extended my cufflink-buying spree with a dozen new pairs. Imparted lessons about singing, and about life, with students. Loved on my dog. Caught up with friends in far-flung places. Bought more new eyeglasses. Fallen in love.

Not a bad year indeed.

May 2019 bring us comfort and joy and challenges that we can together address.

Heading back to London

This is my last day in Gloucester.  I’m attending an organ recital at 11 and the evening concert (Gerontius!!) at 7.15 p.m. I may make an afternoon trip to Berkeley Castle, but if I don’t, I will also attend Evensong at 5.

The central panel of the great West Window.
The central panel of the great West Window.

The festival ends this evening, so I’m back to London in the morning via bus and train.  I’m finishing my UK sojourn with a couple of plusher nights at a Doubletree on the edge of Hyde Park.  My plan tomorrow is to wander for a while, and then hit one or two Evensong services before dinner.  I may or may not take in a movie on Sunday evening.  I’d thought about Tannhauser at the Proms, but think that a five-hour opera on a Sunday evening may be a bit too much.

Monday, of course, is the guided tour of the Houses of Parliament followed by the private guided tour of Buckingham Palace.  I’m trusting that this will be a glorious way to end my little excursion to the Motherland.

I am beyond ready to be home.  Even here in Gloucester, as I look out my window at the garden, I can feel Saint Louis slipping back into my thoughts.  I’m ready for some regularity of days, and I’m missing my bed, my dog, my cooking, and the folks I love.  Five weeks is enough. These last few days are just a tease, but what a wealth-of-riches tease with two major visits yet to go, and my beloved Dream of Gerontius this evening!