Tag Archives: #TBT

#TBT: Jacomo Chorale

I’ve been thinking some recently about my decade with the Jacomo Chorale.

So much of my musical life and learning is thanks to that group of singers in Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, and Independence, Missouri. (And Grain Valley, and Kansas City, and Odessa, and cities on the Kansas City . . . but mostly eastern Jackson County.)

The Jacomo Chorale was my first choir. The first group that was mine to mold and grow and pour my heart into. The members of that choir in turn gave me their hearts and voices. What a grand decade we had.

The gift here is not lost on me. How many young musicians get a call at age 28 to come lead an ensemble? And how the Jacomo Chorale spurred me on the path is a valued part of the story. I don’t know that I would have pursued choral music as much as I did for two decades if it were not for the Chorale.

The sound file is from 1993. The choral sound changed markedly over the next few years, especially as I worked on my doctorate at the University of Kansas. But this was a piece we commissioned for our performance at the state music convention that year, and as such was special to me, and to us.

The composer, Robert Wykes, is still with us.

Jacomo Chorale, ca. 1995. I’m in the white tie.

And this photo is from my final concert with the group in February 1999. We had nearly 90 people on stage that night.

#TBT: Danny Boy

Danny Boy, a traditional song arranged by Joseph Flummerfelt.

From 2004, with the Ball State University Chamber Choir.  The year with these incredible voices lives with me as one of the most artistically satisfying I’ve ever had.

#TBT: My Favorite American

Having now found my first scrapbook, I am in possession of a faded, scrawled speech I gave in fifth grade.

My teacher was Miss Mann.  The school was Pleasant Lea Elementary in Lee’s Summit.

And in that oration contest, I won first place.

[In this photo, notice the comb in my shirt pocket. This was the first year I had hair that was not a buzz-cut.]

Here’s the speech (and some commentary), delivered on Sunday, 19 July 2020, nearly 49 years after its first delivery: