Monday, November 23, 2009


Been fairly professionally busy for once since the last posting. For one thing, am enjoying our small Episcopal choir that is improving weekly, I think--incrementally, but improving. I really enjoy the people. The sopranos chewing and grinning at [i] vowels, especially up high, still present problems but we are working on it slowly. Other vowels are improving immensely as is breath control.


Went to the third NCCO conference at Yale. Never been to Yale: home of most of the early recruits for the beginning of Dulles's CIA; home of the Whiffenpoofs; home of the Legacy education of the troglodyte Shrub; home of damned fine music making and scholarship. Was great to see Aya Ueda, who got her Master's there and is more of a feather in their cap than Shrub. Was also great to see and have dinner with USC alums Buddy James, Lisa Graham, James Kim (whose ensemble gave a stellar performance), Charley Jurgensmeier, Keith Whitlock and TJ Harper. Also saw Hugh Davies and too many colleagues from around the country to remember. Bill Bausano got an Honorary Life Membership for being the organization's Godfather.


Closer to home, took a rehearsal of Erin's fine community chamber choir and had loads of fun with them, i.e., they laughed at all my jokes and worked very hard. Days later, started rehearsals with the First Ever UAH High School Honor Choir of 45 local kids. After the first eight seconds of Mozart Regina Coeli, wanted to go home and hide my head but couldn't because Erin is my wife and I had seven hours, fifty-nine minutes and fifty-two seconds of rehearsal to go. Sigh.

In the end, amidst much of my sweat and hair on the floor, the kids pretty much came through in a somewhat difficult program--even the Trash was a bit tricky. The main thing is that the kids enjoyed it and second, Erin scored some points with colleagues and local teachers. I got a lousy $37.50/hour, for which I am grateful because it was more than I expected. Following the Honor Choir, Erin's group gave a spectacular performance for the full house. She is doing truly great work here. The kids love her to death; colleagues respect her, one only grudgingly but that's normal.

So then to some Bama conference in Tuscaloosa come January, and finally to Memphis for ACDA southern division in March. Then no more. Enough with this Conference Ca-Ca for a while; it costs beaucoup bucks and you can't really get anywhere from here if you fly. We'll drive to Memphis.

So professionally, I'm really looking forward to working with that fine Taipei chorus and maybe a few good conductors at the Varna workshop in Bulgaria. Also looking forward to New Years in Green Bay; we can't leave until Xmas Day because of my church job. Sicut erat in principio . . .


xn said...

... is now and ever shall be ...

Glad to see you are keeping busy. Thanks for the posts!

Dan Johnson said...

Ah, I didn't know you were in town! I was startled to spot Lisa across a crowded lobby at the Philharmonia concert, and didn't get a chance to say hi before she disappeared! Glad the conference went well—did you get a chance to hear the symphony?

william dehning said...

Didn't know you lived there, Dan! Sorry to couldn't grab Lisa and say hey. Yes, heard the Phil and the massed choral forces in Kernis's new (LONG!) piece. Was extremely impressed. Good to hear from you.***** Thanks for being so faithful, Xn. Hope you are doing well.

william dehning said...

"Sorry YOU couldn't . . ."

m said...

I echo Xn's sentiments! I miss you and Erin very much, but I'm thankful that you're both still sharing your gifts with people.

Really had a hankering for those ol' jazzy Xmas arrangements the other day. *SIGH* Happy Winter Solstice!

-Matt Brown