choir and new books



I did quite a bit of prep for last night’s choir rehearsal. I contacted the piano tuner and had him tune our piano for the rehearsal. I thought carefully about how to build on Sunday’s good performance. Our anthem for this Sunday is pretty easy so instead I concentrated on extending the skillful way we sang Sunday’s sixteenth century anthem a cappella. I had the choir sit in a circle and mixed up the parts so that no one was sitting next to someone in their section. Then we sang several things that I expected them to know a cappella working up to repeating Sunday’s anthem. Then we worked on some of our more difficult upcoming things constantly trying to work a cappella when possible.

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I’m being influence in a small way by reading what Paul Hilliers has to say about choirs and singing Renaissance music.

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I was intrigued to read the other day that singers in Renaissance choirs had no conductor. Of course they didn’t, conducting as is thought of today originated in the 19th century.  Having thought that, I wondered if I was right and ended up reading the Groves Dictionary of Music’s entry on conducting. Sure enough I was right.

Anyway, I felt pretty good about last nigh’s rehearsal despite some negative energy from one less experienced singer.

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Today I have to madly clear away my mess in the living room because I have invited my trio to rehearse here today. I do this when the church is hosting Feeding America. The parking lot starts to get crazy hours before the doors open for this food give away.

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I checked out and started reading two books yesterday. The first is A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haas. This book was quoted by David Sanger in an article last month in the NYT.  Haas is described by the book bio as president of nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. He also worked as senior Middle East Adviser to G. W. Bush and director of Planning Policy Staff under Colin Powell.

Published this year, the Foreword mentions the Trump Presidency, the Introduction mentions Brexit.  The book grew out of lectures he gave as Humanitas Visiting Professor of Statecraft and Diplomacy at the University of Cambridge. Basically he discusses how we have abandoned “the rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since WWII.” The first third of the book is about history to the end of the Cold War, the second about the last twenty five years or so, the third suggests four critical elements needed  for the US in what he calls World Order 2.0: 1. a new approach to sovereignty; 2. a new approach to multilateralism; 3. a less fixed approach to relationships with other countries; and 4. a change in our approach to terrorism address root causes especially within our own borders. It will be interesting to see how he ends up filling in the details on all of this.

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Sam Shephard has a new novel out. Who knew? I admire this man’s plays and spotted this book on the new shelf at the library. Started it last night when resting for rehearsal. I skipped the foreword by Patti Smith. Maybe I’ll read it after I read the novel.

Yemen Withdraws Permission for U.S. Antiterror Ground Missions – The New York Times

Not announced publicly but is obviously in response to the first raid under the Trump Administration which looks to have been a bit of fiasco.

Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable | The Huffington Post

Huffington Post strikes me as echo chamber stuff for Jupe. Nevertheless this article fills in some background on Bannon’s ideas and critiques the generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe who seem to be a bit nuts to me.

American Universities Must Take a Stand – The New York Times

by Leon Botstein. Bookmarked to read.

How the Anti-Vaxxers Are Winning – The New York Times

Another bookmarked to read. Anti-vaxxers make me crazy.

I’ve been watching Mark Shields for years and always wondered who carries his syndicated column. I never read one before this that I recall. He makes a nice grammatical distinction that I hadn’t actually thought much about.

Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican – The New York Times

Bannon lining up with brain dead crazy right wing Catholics.

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