Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s not that Hot Cross Buns. It’s not the Hot Cross Buns that you thought we had gotten past by now, those four measures of ignominy that haunt the deepest recesses of your early instrumental music education memories. It’s not that inane ditty that you practiced, repeating those three notes over and over, tormenting your parents and your siblings until finally, after what seemed like a very long time but probably was not very long at all, it was burned into your memory, burned into the memory of your fingers, those three notes:
B, A, G
B, A, G
B, A, G.
No, it’s not that Hot Cross Buns. It’s a different one.
It has been about 46 years since I first read those initial ten words. Tolkien was still a figure of the “literary underground” in 1976 – none of my friends or classmates knew of him – and I was only ten years old.
Tolkien’s name is now a household word, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings now appear near the top of every all-time bestsellers list of books in English, and Peter Jackson’s film franchise based on the books is one of the highest-grossing in history.
The books are still the same today as they were when I first read them, but I am not.
Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 6 pm
The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Avenue, Nashville 37206
$10 / COVID restrictions apply
Although the upheavals of the last two years have brought many difficulties and challenges to my life, as they have to everyone else’s, there have also been some silver linings. Any major dude will tell you.
This is the story of a silver lining.
The Forest, our band formed initially in 2018 to perform Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, reunites for a double bill with Hooteroll? at Nashville’s The 5 Spot on November 13, 2021. This will be the first time I’ve performed with The Forest since we performed with Hooteroll? at The 5 Spot on July 20, 2019, on the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk. (more…)
Our house stands in the midst of a small grove of mature oak trees. A family of white oaks and a family of willow oaks intermingle: more than a dozen of these giants share the little suburban forest on our property with many smaller post oak, holly, cedar, sweetgum, tupelo, maple, crepe myrtle, dogwood, and pine trees. Squirrels and songbirds, rabbits and deer frolic about under them. I’ve also seen a raccoon, chipmunks, and signs of moles underground. Owls and crows are regular visitors and there is a giant hawk’s nest in one of the white oaks in the front yard – she can be heard screaming there from time to time, terrorizing the smaller birds.
Chances are good that if you’re a choral director, you already have a choice selection of canons in your bag of tricks, ready to be brought out at a moment’s notice to fill out the last few minutes of a rehearsal, or to keep the students from getting too restless and rowdy on a long bus ride – or simply because “we haven’t sung this one in a while”.
It’s been some time since I posted an article to Off The Podium – exactly ten months today, the longest break since I began publishing my writing here in March 2015.
Although he is little recognized today, the English composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 – 1924) was one of the most prominent musicians in the English-speaking world at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and he had considerable influence on the work of many composers and musicians whose work is better known.
Thursday, November 12, 7 pm
A discussion with Walter Bitner, Dr. Ronald Crutcher, and Alex Laing
Music plays a unique and important place in our culture and an understanding and appreciation of music is a hallmark of the educated person. Beyond the content of the music curriculum however, there is something fundamentally different about the process of music-making from the way most other subjects are taught in school that is of immense value to the successful education of dynamic, flexible, and responsive individuals. Music students must simultaneously perform a complex set of operations that call on more aspects of the human being than any other activity they face in school.
At its best, musical performance demands a wholehearted attention from the participant, a complete absorption in the moment in which all other thoughts and concerns disappear.
Read the original article here.
It’s a rainy October Saturday. This week under the pandemic has been insufferably dystopian, with all kinds of preposterous news. After slowly making my way through Saturday morning I manage to drag myself out of the post-workweek daze for a walk under the trees, despite the rain.
I’ve taken some time away from posting to Off The Podium. It’s my habit to do this each summer in any case, and these times have brought great challenges to all of us. I have been busy working with my colleagues in Richmond to adapt to our new situation, and respond.
And now the time has come to share what we’ve been working on.