ad libs 2

I’m about to head off to church. In the middle of the week. We (musicians, clergy, other church staff) actually do work more than one hour on Sunday. I’ve a meeting before staff meeting. Then staff meeting. Then a working lunch planning music for Lent. THEN I get to make music: some practice time, followed by an accompanying session (I’m working with a vocalist who is preparing for a competition). A few things have happened since I last wrote…

…I heard my cousin Michael play several selections from my Norwegian Suite at the dedication recital at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in San Francisco. Nice. What was even better, both he and the audience liked the music. I’m quite pleased. He goes back to Norway in a day or two.

…I wrote a contemporary piece for church, to be sung/played by our Praise Team (guitars, bass, drums, solo and ensemble vocal parts). Basically not unlike the pop music I played earlier in my career, but with a strong spiritual bent. It’s been a fascinating project, particularly since, as soon as I write for voices, I start thinking chorally, rather than solo voices at microphones. Even though they are both ensembles, they’re different. More about that in an upcoming post.

…I received an email from a former student, Andy Toomey, who recounted my (virtual) presence in a recent dream. It’s rather comforting to think that former students might see their former professors as having saintly aspects…

…I gotta stop writing hard music! I’ve been practicing the piano part to my Christmas Toccata, written for piano and organ. In December Kymry Esainko (a wonderful pianist) and I (on organ) premiered the piece at a WomenSing concert. This time around I’m learning the piano part. It’s HARD. I feel like I’m back learning my scales. There are a number of scale passages which are nice and flashy. I wrote them because I knew Kymry would make them sound wonderful. I guess you gotta watch what you write, because you may end up having to play it! On the plus side, it’s doing wonders for my piano technique.

…I hit the golf links twice in a one-week period. Or should I say, the links hit me. Scores higher than I wanted. But great excercise (18 holes walking through the mud. Lots of walking as wayward shots went…wayward…). Can’t wait for my next round!

…I’m off to my first meeting. In the long run–

it’s music to my ears.

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