collaborating at work and counting bach trios

team teaching at work

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I met with my boss, Jen Adams, yesterday. As usual it was a good meeting. I had several things I wanted to talk to her about. One of them was the worship commission meeting on Monday evening. At that meeting, I talked more than usual. We met in the basement to discuss how to do Sunday Eucharist there while the church was being refurbished to accommodate the new organ.

Jen had arranged the chairs and set up a table so that we could think about how to do Eucharist there. She stood in front for the most part. I kept brainstorming ideas and talking about meaning much the way I do in our private meetings. I was allowing the rest of the committee to see how intentional and thoughtful Jen can be.

In our weekly meeting yesterday, she agreed with me that it was a kind of team teaching. My liturgical understandings come to the fore in this kind of a conversation. Usually I don’t do that much talking at Worship Commission. But it was good to hear that it had been effective.

performing bach trio sonatas on the organ

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Yesterday I counted. I have performed over half of the 18 movements of Bach’s 6 trios for organ. This surprises me. But I’m also glad. It helps me understand that my technique on the organ is not as bad as I often think of it as being.

I played through trio 5 yesterday. I will probably work carefully through trio 6 today. These pieces make excellent etudes this way. I am regaining an appreciation of their musical value as well. Peter Williams remarks (I believe) that in these piece Bach establishes a relationship between the lines in the left and right hand that is uniquely keyboard in its design and meaning. This is in contrast to emulating instrumental writing slavishly.

I often think of the independent lines in Bach’s keyboard music as transcriptions of instrumental lines. I love hearing these piece actually performed in instrumental ensembles. Regaining an appreciation for their uniquely keyboard attributes is fun as well. I’ll have to look up that quote in which Williams makes this observation.

No time, now, though. I have to have breakfast and drive away to see Dr. Birky my shrink this morning.

Here’s what I’m listening to this morning. I love this music and the movie, Tous les matins du monde Soundtrack:


just another brain fried thursday


sooprise! sooprise!

It’s Thursday and I amuse myself by noticing that I woke up feeling desperately inadequate and exhausted. Oh, that’s right. Choir rehearsal was last night.

Eileen’s Mom is ill. Eileen’s sister, Nancy, accepted Eileen’s offer to come up and spend a couple nights with her Mom to relieve Nancy. Eileen got up early and just left so that she will be at her Mom’s when the people coming to fix the phones arrive.

pronouncing “bade”

We are learning William Walton’s beautiful choral anthem, “What Cheer?”

It’s a bit tricky but doable I think. Last night as I was working on it with the choir, a chorister asked another how to pronounce the word “bade.” Instantly (in the middle of working with these choristers on learning the notes and rhythms), there was a discussion of how to do this  with one chorister being particularly emphatic (dare I say angry?) in his insistence that the word was pronounced to rhyme with “mad.”

He was right.

However, I misunderstood his reasoning. He was trying to say that in any situation this is the correct pronunciation. I thought he was trying to make the anthem rhyme properly due to the way he explained himself.

I pointed out that I was under the delusion that I was the choir director and that for now we would pronounce it “bayed” so that we could concentrate on learning notes. I probably did say it that clearly or even that diplomatically.

I promised the choir a couple of links to pieces we are learning including the Walton, so I came home after rehearsal and sent them off, pointing out that the chorister was insisted the word was pronounced to rhyme with “mad” was correct as could be clearly heard in the recording.

I was still smart a bit this morning after last evening’s rehearsal so I got up and researched it. This is how I proceed. I rarely make decisions just on the advice of choristers no matter how learned they are.

There was an entry in Garner’s Modern English Usage which was helpful. I also checked it out in the OED.



I have to meet my boss today. She was too busy yesterday. So that’s all for today. Here’s a play list I made this morning of another wonderful Bach piece I played through several times this morning to restore a semblance of sanity to the old Jupe brain.