a little something extra

Sunday, March 30, 2008

we made it

Last night's concert went better than most of our rehearsals would have led one to expect. We premiered two pieces, one of whose composer (Michael Eglin) came up onstage after hearing his piece. I knew that the other composer (Zachary Wadsworth) is only 25 years old, but it turns out that Eglin is a young dude too! If he's over 35, I'll eat my hat.

Aha. It also turns out that Pacific Chorale's composition competition (say that ten times fast) was specifically a "Young Composers" competition. Somehow, that fact never made it into my brain.

Here's a review -- it's from the Orange County paper. Doesn't look like the L.A. Times covered us, since young Maestro Dudamel is performing with the Philharmonic this weekend. Worth noting -- Carver Cossey, the soloist who gets the lion's share of the reviewer's praise, deserves every bit of it. Carver is my friend, and directs the church choir I used to sing in before I moved up to Long Beach, but I believe I still hear him sing with an unbiased ear. He's just a stunner.

I thought I was going to have to miss the first rehearsal for our May concert, since I have an immovable work obligation on Monday night. But Monday night's rehearsal agenda has been revised to work on Daphnis et Chloe, which I bowed out of because of work conflicts with the performances. So, tomorrow night I still won't be there, but it won't matter. :-)

I expected to have to go to work today too, because it's the last day my current production will be in the rehearsal hall. They're off tomorrow, then Tuesday they start working onstage. Usually that last day involves a run-through, but the director decided to devote the day to scene work based on notes from yesterday's run-through. So, I decided not to go in today. After an intense meeting at the Church of What's Happenin' Now, I came home to do laundry, cook and lie low. I was in a terrible mood earlier today and I think its root causes were the usual matter/antimatter combination of not getting enough time alone, and feeling lonely because I'm with other people all the time but it doesn't feed my soul because it's a working context rather than a context in which my companion(s) choose to be with me for my own merits.

In other news, I scheduled a week of vacation in July! Cleverly timed to follow the three-day Independence Day weekend, it will mean I have a good-sized chunk o' discretionary time to play with.

In the comments, brainstorm with me some ideas for what I might do with that time! Keep it cheap if you can, since I'm working away at my goal of paying off the last of the backlog of debt that built up in the financial maelstrom of my move to CA a couple of years ago. I should be free and clear of all non-mortgage debt by the end of the year... but not if I take that luxury cruise through southern France that you're thinking about. :-)

Let the Cheap, Creative Vacation Fantasizing begin!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Frankly, Horatio Parker's music isn't hard enough to be this hard.

(Yes, I expect that didn't make much sense.)

We're less than a week away from the next Pacific Chorale performance, and true to form this year, we are not ready. I do not know what is up with us, our act seems persistently to refuse to get together.

Among the many (many, many, many) pieces on our program of music by American composers, we find Mr. Parker's Jam sol recedit.

It's not a difficult piece. So WHY will it not stay in my brain?

In every rehearsal, I open the piece and it's as if I've never seen it before. The pencil markings are all in my handwriting... how is that possible?

And there's so much else on the program that also refuses to settle firmly into place in my mental space...

Oy vey.


Extra caffeine helps. A LOT. :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Senator Obama's speech on race

Here is a link to the prepared text.

I don't know how far he may have strayed from it in live delivery, but it's a Very. Worthy. Read.

(Two New York Times links in a row -- I swear, I'm not on retainer to the Grey Lady!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Pat's!

It's already St. Patrick's Day on the east coast, where most of my darling readers live. So, happy St. Pat's, darling readers!

I wanted to share this article from the New York Times in honor of the day. Make sure to watch the video -- it's delightful.

It tells the story of Caroline Duggan, a young Irishwoman living in New York and teaching in a public school in the Bronx. She introduced traditional Irish dancing to her mostly African-American and Latino/a students a couple of years ago, and not only have they become terrific dancers, but the cross-cultural experience has taught them much more about how big their world is. They have worked hard, and have every reason to be proud of their achievements.