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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Some thoughts on making music

In just a few days, The Helios Ensemble will begin rehearsals for its sixth season. This is an amazing thing in and of itself, that is, that we have been able to stay around for this long and still find the meagre resources to make music together.

As I approach our sixth season, I am still disappointed that we don't have a strong enough board, and that the eternal task of fund raising takes up more of our time than rehearsing and performing wonderful music. But we stay with it, and with the help and generosity of the great people who have been there for us year after year, and with the superb musicianship and dedication of our wonderful singers, we will continue to be a force for good in the world.

Since returning from Oberlin, I have learned a few more valuable lessons. Did the experience of BPI change my life? Certainly. And perhaps it's a good thing that I only do one conference like BPI per year, lest my life be changed more often than my clothes!

It is however, a good thing to share your work with your colleagues, and it is even better to be surrounded by people who are better at it than you, and to be able to encourage those who are less experienced.

Anytime that I spend with Leif, who numbers amongst my dearest friends in the world, sharpens me both as a person and a musician.  He makes me understand the value of hard work and dedication to my craft. He points out, in a very kind and gentle way, the shortcomings that I might have in my approach to my art. He re-teaches me patience, and the value of consistent, hard work. To have spent two full weeks with him in a purely musical atmosphere was great medicine for me, and I have approached my work with a new resolve.

There are others too. Nancy Zylstra has been an inspiration to me not to take this gift for granted, and has taught me that to do anything less than maximize what I have been given through consistent and persisitent struggle for perfection is to waste something precious and irreplaceable: the gift of singing so generously given to me.

Thank you to all of you who have and continually do inspire me to keep on. Thank you to all of the singers in Helios who continue to show up, and to give well beyond what is required of you to make this venture work. Thank you to the great musicians that want to work with us in the future. And thanks be to God for such a gift as music.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

A pleasant day

Some Sundays are just meant to be ideal. Church first this morning, which, for a change I actually enjoyed. Except for the music, Incarnation can be drudgery! Then off for lunch by myself and a trip to the local Borders Book Store.

After which, a splendid, undisturbed three hour nap! Sublime.

Then snacks with Bob and Patsy Brooks and off to a concert featuring five female opera singers. On the whole quite fine, with Bob and Patsy's daughter, Natalie and a mezzo named Julie stealing the show.  Note to other performers: seek fashion advice.  After concert, much reception socializing and then back to Bob and Patsy's for champagne, ice cream and the customary first rate conversation.

Some music listening and web surfing left for the afternoon, and then off to bed. Would that every day could be this pleasant!


Tenor Leif Aruhn-Solen, violinist Timothy Schwarz and me in the all night kitchen at the Baroque Performance Institure, Oberlin 2004. Posted by Hello

Renowned baritone Max van Egmond and tenor Jeffrey Rich at one of the infamous porch parties, BPI, June 2004. Posted by Hello

The Three Tenors. Leif Aruhn-Solen, Me and Jeffrey Rich. We had a blast doing our Three Tenors go B'roque concert.  Posted by Hello

Me in Leontyne drag as Lynfea in Cavalli's La Calisto. This is known as opera under duress! Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Tim Schwarz and John "Guy's Guy" Hanifin at one of the notorious porch parties. Posted by Hello

Some new photos

Thought you might like to see some of the fun things that we did at Oberlin this summer at BPI (the Baroque Performance Institute.)

Tim and Leif at the Baroque Performance Institute Posted by Hello

The non eventful Saturday

There isn't really very much to report today, except that I taught two voice lessons, did a little practicing, recorded my radio show and edited down some material from live concerts to use for demo purposes.

Nice peaceful dinner and an evening by the Chiminea (known to the in-crowd as "the bong") with the Ockelmanns, and tomorrow brings the tedious task of double church services. Maybe I'll get lucky and Fr. Price will be preaching, which will be enough to at least keep me awake for most of the service.

Tomorrow evening brings dinner with the Brookses and then out to hear their daughter and my colleague Natalie in a summer concert in Mesquite. That should be an enjoyable evening since any time spent with Bob and Patsy is fun.

Glad to hear that Mother Judy Bowman is checking out these pages. Coolest woman this side of Venus that lady! Not to mention one of the most courageous. Everyone could learn a lesson from Mom Bowman about how to live life gracefully in the face of what to most people would be insurmountable challenges.

Things are coming together for my Euterpe projects.  Now if we can chase down the bastard accountant who has all of my back records and has fled the planet! Go Marsha!

Enough of my rambling.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Free lancing is Hell

The problem with starting new missions in life is that you create more work for yourself by so doing. Oh well. Some really exciting things are coming out of my new company to be, with hats off to Pat "the Bone" Gary for suggesting the name for the enterprise. (See his comments under last posting, and check out his blog, which can be found here:

Patrick is one of the deeper thinkers I know, and discussions with him can get really serious really fast. He's a fine musician and fellow music critic for

If you want to read our profound thoughts on recent cds go to:

From there, click on the MUSICWEB tab. To read moi, type [KS] exactly as shown here with the square brackets in the search engine to find my list of reviews. To view Pat's, substitute his initials in the square brackets [PG].

The next new venture for Euterpe Music Projects after Lucas and Dan and then the Nancy Z weekend, will hopefully be a visit by the brilliant British violinist, Jack Liebeck.  Visit his website, and check out this incredible musician's work at .

This guy is the next Josh Bell, and he's very cool and friendly too. Stay tuned. More on his probable Dallas debut later.

Meanwhile, life is grand, I am busy, and had a groovy time exercising with Greg and Regina, then going back and putting it all back on in the form of Dos Equis!!!! Viva beer!

Have fun everyone, and be sure to post comments!!!!!


Sunday, July 18, 2004

The New Grand Scheme of Things

Announcing the birth of my new musical enterprise, Euterpe Music Projects. Within a few weeks, when all the legal bs is finished I will actually have a business through which to put on concerts and make and market recordings of projects that lie outside the realm of Helios.
And, I will be able to hire myself and avoid nasty self employment tax rates!!!
By the way, everyone needs to come to hear Lucas and Dan in their duo lute recital on September 11. These guys are nails! Don't miss it.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Announcements and stuff you need to know

On Saturday, September 11,  my buddy Lucas Harris and his buddy Dan will be in Dallas to play a duo lute concert. 8:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Nativity in Plano which is at the corner of 18th street and Jupiter Road. Tickets are $10 general admission, call me at 214.893.1573 to reserve a ticket or to purchase in advance.
On Saturday October 2, The Helios Ensemble will present Menotti's The Medium at the home of Bob and Patsy Brooks as a fund raiser for the choir. Tickets are $50 for individuals, $85 for a couple, and the price of admission is tax deductible, less $15 per person. Call the number above for further information.
From October 22-24, Nancy Zylstra will be here to conduct a vocal workshop and master class. Registration fee is $60 for auditors and observers, $75 if you wish to sing in class. A limited number of private lessons with Nancy are available at an extra charge of $50. Again, contact me above if you need registration information, etc.
Have  a great day all!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Today's thougts

How very cool. Someone has responded already. Of course, the invitation to visit my friend Hildigunnur's blog will be interesting, since it's all in Icelandic! For those of you who have an interest in such things, Hildigunnur Runarsdottir is not only a really cool lady, she's one hell of a composer. I am not sure if she has her own web site, but she rocks as a composer!

Well, it's late, and I need to get some sleep. Lots of students and rehearsals tomorrow.

By the way, today is John "guy's guy" Hanifin's birthday. Send him good vibes!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Day's Thoughts

Having just returned from the incredible experience that was the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institue, I find myself being at a very strange disconnect at the moment. Still reeling from the great times I had in Ohio, it is rather difficult to return to a workaday routine. It seems as though I have left something undone in the midwest; that perhaps I didn't take full advantage of what was there to be had, or that perhaps I took undue advantage of the generosity of a few people.

For all of the great things that happened to me there, I feel perhaps that I missed some important opportunities, perhaps let some potentially wonderful relationships slip through my fingers or took others for granted and didn't express my full appreciation.

Whatever happened to me, I know that I am changed and I can't wait until next year to continue the journey. That's the glory of BPI, there's always next year to do better.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Some exciting news

It appears that we are a go for two great cultural events here in the big D. First, in September we will be bringing Lucas Harris to Dallas for an evening of Lute music. That's gonna rock!

Then, in October, we'll host famed soprano Nancy Zylstra for a weekend workshop and master class. Details to follow.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

This would be me. Posted by Hello

The first crack at a new experience

Ahhh. So this is a weblog. Never wanting to be outside of the technological loop, and since I am partial to long winded musings, I guess it is appropriate that I start this thing and see where it goes. Since it's late and I have to get up in the morning, I will perhaps be but brief for this first posting, and say only that I welcome discussions, contradictions, disagreements, huzzahs, and raspberries all in good stride. If you come here, do be civil and polite though, as I have a strong distaste for mean people.

Welcome aboard the tenor diaries. There will be much to contemplate as we travel.