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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things Neglected

Wow, it sure has been some time since I have posted. Blogs for me are kind of come and go. I get into it for awhile, and then I forget about it. It's kind of like my reading habit. I read a lot, then go dry for some weeks at a time. I guess that's just my inconsistent life.

Things are gearing up for the holidays, I am booked to the nines and have even had to decline a gig or two to make everything fit in this year. That's a good feeling, that is, to be busy enough to have to pick and choose.

Since my last posting, I have been appointed to a permanent position on WRR 101.1 FM in Dallas. I host the Saturday daytime show, bringing you eight hours of wacky and wonderful classical music to suit every taste. Join me online at to check out the goods.

A couple of private personal matters have me very stressed and distracted now. A prayer or two from the .0000000014723 readers of this blog would be most appreciated. Meanwhile, Madame Z comes tomorrow for a visit, and I am looking forward to it.

That's it for now.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Time for Change

This past week a large handful of my students left for college. That should be cause for rejoicing, of course, but for me it was a painful reminder that relationships can be so very efemeral. These eight kids had in many ways not only been my students, but also my legacy. A couple of them had even been my friends.

They are off to a great new adventure now, spread to all parts of the country.

Will they forget me? Perhaps they will. I know that from my high school days I remain in touch with but a single friend. Even my "best friend" and I haven't spoken for more than two years.

Lives change. We move on. Old friends pass into memory, new ones take their places. For my nine, well, I should be thrilled. Alas, that thrill is tempered by an emptiness that I cannot explain, and even though there is a new crop in the studio this year...those that have gone were my first class to go since I started teaching full time.

Good teachers care and remember. They stay abreast of what their charges have gone on to do. I hope that my students do the same for the old man.

Andy, Robert, Alex, Brian, Will, Michael, Montgomery, Tasha, Rachel: Good Luck, Godspeed, Bon voyage. Do well. Make me proud. And I hope that some future success will have had something to do with some little thing you might have learned from me.

I miss you all already, and I am delighted that a new and exciting adventure awaits you. Keep me posted. I know it will be great!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Catching Up

It has been some weeks since I have posted. A goodly amount of travel and a lot of on air duty at WRR have kept me very busy, and tomorrow I head out once again for Seattle to spend a week with the ineffable Madame Z to learn all about Baroque Opera at the Accademia d'amore.

Meanwhile much has been going on. BPI was an interesting experience this year. Not exactly the mountain top that was 2004, but a growing (if somewhat painful) experience nonetheless. I learned much about myself this time and interacting with others.

September will have me back in Amsterdam to work with Max van Egmond. I can't wait to get back to this fabulous city and to spend some quality time with Schubert and Schumann under the tutelage of a master.

This morning's Dallas Morning News front page prompted a letter to the editor when there was a big article on the front page about "Justice Sunday" a rally of foaming at the mouth evangelicals who want to advance their political agenda by disguising their cause in the clothing of morals and standards.

Imagine my vicious delight when I read that their keynote speaker would be that paragon of virtue, House Majority Godfather Tom DeMoney, er, DeLay. Let's see, just how many investigations and inditments are swirling around the head of the most Rev. Mr. Bombast at the moment? I've lost count.

How funny that the very people who want prayer in schools, the ten commandments on the courthouse lawn and judges who hate gays and moms put up the most corrupt congressman in decades as their standard bearer. I guess though that it is completely appropriate. It shows that the agenda of the so-called Christian right is anything but Christlike. Why don't they just come out and tell us what they really really want (to quote the Spice Girls)?

C'mon neo-con-men, why don't you spare us all the self-righteous Jesus rhetoric and tell us all what you're really up to? You want power, and you know that from time immemorial, you can gain power by playing on the fears of the ignorant and the afraid. It's been going on since the middle ages. Threaten the plebians with eternal damnation, convince them that you know better than they do what's best for their immortal souls and you have them in the palm of your hand.

Well, that's enough for today. Tune in later for a report from Seattle and the Baroque Opera Workshop.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The great thing about musicians is...

Well, that they are musicians. This has been a fantastically musical week for me, and one that will not soon be forgotten. First, I got to know two superb musicians that I am now happy to call friends. Jack Liebeck, the brilliant British violinist, and Inon Barnatan, a pianist of the first order, were here in good ole Dallas as my guests for concerts last week.

Not only did they play the living hell out of a Mozart, Brahms, Bloch and Prokofiev program, they are two of the coolest guys in the world. We had a blast, and I can't wait to find an excuse to bring them here again.

Helios gave and excellent concert last night too, if I do say so myself. They really sang their hearts out, and I really appreciated their efforts.

My broadcasting hobby took on a new dimension yesterday as I was live on the air for my first shift at WRR. It was a blast, and several very nice listeners called in to say hello and to welcome me to the airwaves.

That's it for now, nothing really profound other than a very rewarding, gratifying and I must say, exhausting week!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Croaking in Amsterdam, or, Why Alcohol and Tenors Shouldn't mix. I am in the the sin capital of the world. So what does little Kevy do but go out on the town, meet up with two really cool natives at a bar and take the bar tour of Amsterdam until 4 am. Even had to take a cab home for fear of getting lost!

It was fun though, except for the last place, which was a loud crowded disco and I almost lost my friends.

I have leared. I sounded like dog crap this morning...again! Same thing that happened in Sweden.

Well, there was lots to see and do. Max is out at a dinner party, so I am having a quiet evening alone after having gone out to explore the town a bit. Will definitely NOT go out drinking tonight.

More later.

Friday, April 15, 2005

On to Amsterdam

Arrived safely today at the lovely 17th century home of Max van Egmond. What a charming and wonderful house this is. We had a splendid chat over tea and will be having the first of our three lessons tonight.

Alas, the auditions which I had hoped for will not be happening live, but I prepared a nice package for the conductors in question.

Max has stepped out for a swim, and I have been catching up on email and practicing while he is out. Thank God he has a PC. After using Leif's all week, I am definitely sticking with the PC!!! (Sorry Leif, but I don't get along with Macs.)

Meanwhile, la voce mia is giving me a bit of grief. My chords have been kind of swollen all week, and it's getting annoying. Have been careful about my alcohol intake.

As for Amsterdam itself, I will have to tell you more about that tomorrow after I have seen more. So far so good though. It's very impressive. Lessons tomorrow and Sunday and then to the states on Monday, drat it...I thought I was to be here all day Monday too, but I misread my ticket. Oh well.

More later.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Stockholm Diary

Day two in Stockholm and I am finally over my jet lag. Leif and I got pretty plastered last night and I paid for it today when I went to take a lesson with his dad. I sounded like buttered dog shit. I woudn't have tied one on had I remembered that we were lessoning...oops.

As always, I love this city. It's such a beautiful place and it's filled with so many interesting and stunning people. We went shopping today, and as always, I bought a bunch of clothes. Leif took me to a shop that was very inexpenive. It was fun. We spent the rest of the day at Leif's dad's house, a beautiful place overlooking the water.

He made pancakes, Swedish style for us and they were to die for.

Not much else going on this evening. We are both pretty sleepy and are going to hang out and watch tv and get a good night's sleep.

That''s it from the foreign desk!

Monday, April 11, 2005

I got dem Schiphol Airport Blues

Good morning all.

For you, it's about three a.m. I have arrived safely in Amsterdam, gotten my boarding pass to Stockholm, schlepped the luggage to where it needs to go and spent some cash in the cd store, as if I need any more cds.

Schiphol is a"that seventies show" kind of airport, but it has miles of cool shops and lots of very American places to eat.

The flight from the US didn't seem too terribly long really, and I got in a couple of good naps on the plane. So, except for feeling the desperate need to take a shower, I am doing great. At $13 an hour in the internet cafe, this entry will of necessity be short. I will have lots of time to write when I get to Stockholm. Leif has a virtual office in his house.

Meanwhile, I get to learn to navigate Amsterdam by myself, as Max has a gig and can't come get me at the airport when I come back. That's ok though, I love a good adventure and everyone here speaks English, so I won't be lost.

If all else fails, I will just spring for a cab.

That's it for now. Post some responses you people. There will be much news.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday in Montana

This has been a great week so far. Our concert went rather well last night, and the great folk in the volunteer choir pulled off some pretty fine Monteverdi. They have worked very hard on it, so it's great that they had a good show.

Off to Misoula today for a repeat. Hoping for another good show.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Montana day two

An easy day yesterday of shopping, and going to concerts. Our other three soloists gave a recital last night as part of the festival. Evanne Browne, our soprano soloist is from Dallas originally, and has studied with Max van Egmond. Small world.

Brian Chu, our baritone is quite excellent and we hit it off well at the pub after the show. Marje, our mezzo is also very fine, but I have not had much chance to chat with her and get to know her as yet.

Rehearsal in one hour....gotta get ready, get warmed up and go.

It's so very peaceful here in Helena, and this would be a groovy place to have a summer home.

More later.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Day one in Montana

Last night's rehearsal went as well as could be expected considering how long I had been up and how tired I was. Can't say that I sang my best, but it was accurate and in tune. Took a walking tour of Helena, passing up the hike up the mountain for fear of wracking up my voice by talking too loud and being too cold.

Helena is a beautiful city, and we have wonderful, interesting hosts here. They are such fun to chat with and are great about not expecting us to be "on" all the time. They have opened their wonderful home to us to come and go as we please, which is really nice.

There is a concert tonight that neither Erich or I will be involved in, so we get to have a free day to relax, practice and hang out in general. Our hosts, Becky and Paul are fixing us a big dinner tonight. The are vegetarians, and they are really going out of their way to make us comfortable.

On a sad note, Terri Schaivo died today. Let's hope that this whole sordid mess will encourage people to legally and emphatically make their wishes known as to the kind of extreme care they desire. I pray that no other family has to go through the horrific public nightmare that this family did. Terri, may you rest in peace, and thank God that your terrible ordeal has finally ended.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

New entries are a comin in

Greetings all,

Stay tuned to these pages as I will be doing a great deal of travelling and performing in the next month, and I will be documenting my experiences in these pages instead of by my traditional travel diary emails. As for now, I have just arrived in Helena, Montana to do two performances of the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers with Musikanten Montana.

My bassoonist friend Erich Heckscher and I are staying in this wonderful house, built by the couple who lives here (Becky and Paul). They are delightful people, and we have been made to feel right at home.

I have never been to this part of the country before (except for Seattle) and it's really exciting to be in someplace so totally different from where I have ever been before. There is so much open space out here, and for a state capital, this city hosts only 28,000 residents.

We are off soon to rehearsal and I will be back later to tell you all about the ensemble and so on.

Till then.....

Monday, February 21, 2005

Thoughts on the Day

Hunter S. Thompson is dead. Killed himself yesterday. Great loss.
Sandra Dee and John Raitt are also dead. Sympathies to Bonnie and the rest of John's Family.

Spent the day teaching and rehearsing. Hoping the voice is completely back to normal by the time Madame Z gets here next week.

Tomorrow is my 41st birthday.

My mom is in the hospital and not feeling so well today. Kidney infection. Warm thoughts and prayers on her behalf are appreciated.

Long day tomorrow. Six students and a recital to attend. Helios program needs to get done and I need to start seeking out donations for the wine auction.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

I know, I know, I need to write more.

So, since bloggers are taking over the world of journalism, undoing TV anchors, making and breaking political candidates, etc. etc, why, you ask, am I such a sporadic blogger. Well, the answer is pretty simple. I'm a busy guy, and I write anywhere from 750-5500 words a day for publication as it is. And writing is my hobby for Chrissakes.

Nonetheless, there are a few interesting things happening in my life if any of you, my dear and loyal readers indeed care. First, my mom is in the hospital. She's doing better, but she got a nasty little kidney infection which laid her up for a few days. She's expected to be out by Tuesday. Tuesday, by the way is the forty-first anniversiary of my debut on the planet. Cards, well wishes, presents and such are always welcome.

We just finished recording the Durufle Requiem and the Widor Double Organ Mass at Incarnation. CDs are due out in the fall. The sessions were pretty damned good if I do say so myself, so it should be a good disc.

Helios has two concerts this weekend, and then in early March, Madame Z comes back to town to teach lessons and such. It's always a pleasure to have her around and I am eternally grateful to Bob and Patsy Brooks for all of their help in making my little creative event life happen. I couldn't do it without them.

The Anglican Primates meet to talk about gay people again. I am sure that the right asshole James Stanton of Dallas will have another homophobic field day with this one.

Well, that's about all the news for the moment. My computer is locking up on me and it's time to reboot. What a piece of crap. Time for a new machine.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Some news

Been a long time since I posted, so here are some updates from the life of this tenor.

Was sick for two weeks with the creeping crud and subsequent laryngitis. Finally close to normal singing again after almost a month. Grrr.

New music to check out: The Duhks, a fantastic acoustic band from Canada. Their new record came out yesterday, and it is beyond fantastic. Produced by Bela Fleck, not to be missed!!!

Come hear me sing!!!!! On Saturday the 12th, I will be singing in a small group concert with the Dallas Bach Society. Rep is English and Italian Love madrigals in honor of Valentine's day.

Sad loss to music this week, when Karl Haas, ubiquitous host of "Andventures in Good Music" radio program died at the age of 91. Karl did lots to turn people on to great music. His warm humor will be sadly missed.

Hope everyone out there in blogger land is ok. Stay healthy and don't catch this crap that's going round!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Some things of interest, perhaps

Movies to see:

Les Choiristes: Went to a preview showing of this splendid little film about a teacher who wins the hearts of some troubled youths through, what else, music. Well done all the way round. Opens in Dallas on January 28.

Coach Carter: Took nephew Paul to this another "how a good teacher changes troubled kids' lives" flick starring Samuel L. Jackson. Wasn't really expecting much, but it turned out to be very good. Thankfully devoid of gratuitous violence and language, it gets the message across although SLJ's monologues get a bit overly preachy.

Concerts you'll want to attend:

Tuesday the 18th:

Kevin Clarke presents "The Mystical Organ" at Church of the Incarnation, 8 pm start time. Music of Messiaen, Durufle, Tournemiere and others. Should be pretty exciting stuff.

February 24 and 26:

Helios Ensemble. Church of the Annunciation Lewisville, and Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Plano. 8 pm. Hassler Missa Secunda and Monteverdi Missa in Illo tempore, Madrigals by Pallavicino and Monteverdi and motets by Marenzio and Gombert.

Should be tasty. See to order tickets.

Other News:

The golden throat has been temporarily silenced by a nasty cold, resulting in a nastier cough, resulting in an even nastier case of laryngitis. Arrrgh.

Five of my high school students gave a splendid little recital on Saturday evening, making me very proud.

We all went to Dave and Buster's afterwards for merry making which was fun in spite of the long wait for a table.

That should do it for now.

Oh yeah, and Patrick, ten pounds eh. I'll see what I can do.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Day one

Check it out! It's New Year's Day and I don't have a hangover! Go figure. This is my last day to be lazy though and tomorrow starts the routine of three services a week, and, most importantly, a trip to the gym. Gotta be svelt by BPI!