mostly shop talk

Yesterday went remarkably well for me. A meeting at church which I was more anxious about than I realized went splendidly. We are designing a Wednesday program which combines a meal, adult and youth education and music rehearsals. Last week my boss told me how they were looking at it. The design looked to me like it would sabotage my planned fall attempt at resuscitating the flailing kid’s choir. I dismayed my boss by raising some objections to the direction they were heading.

She presented a trimmed down proposal to a committee yesterday. The whole thing looks more workable to me.

I chose a couple of low impact pieces for the prelude and postlude next Sunday. I’m not sure many people notice whether I am playing what I think of as repertoire versus lighter stuff. I usually begin with the hymn tunes we will be singing that day to see what has been written based on them.  If I’m lucky I find things that are substantial but learnable in a limited amount of time.

Our opening hymn Sunday is “In boldness, look to God” by hymn writer Mary Louis Bringle. We are singing it to the 19th C. tune called Morning Song. My index pointed me to a setting by George Shearing, the Jazz musician, that I own. It’s nothing breathtaking, but it will do for this Sunday.

Our closing hymn will be “O for a thousand tongues to sing.” The tune for this hymn is called  Azmon. I will be using a John Ferguson varied hymn accompaniment setting as though it were a set of variations on this tune. His work is always thoughtful and attractive so this will be good.

It took me two weeks to get last week’s prelude and postlude in shape. It’s time for some easier music.

My grandson was very active via online chat and email for about 48 hours.  I haven’t heard a peep out of him for a while. I do hope that we can continue to connect online intermittently. I could tell that the novelty of it attracted him so I expected him to move on a bit.

I read a fascinating article about young people online yesterday.

Software Helps Parents Monitor Their Children Online –

Being a parent is pretty complex these days. At least that’s the way it looks to me. Balancing being invasive and protecting your children has always been complicated. Throw the Internet into the mix and it makes my head spin.

There is an interesting tool that allows a parent to set up a dashboard that will present him/her with a synopsis of a child’s online activity.  It was mentioned in the above linked article, called I think I would be looking at this if I had a young preteen child right now.


Singing about leaders fine: Zuma – Politics | IOL News |

Music in the news. South African government telling people what songs are okay to sing.


Fears Accompany Fishermen in Japanese Disaster Region –

I’ve read some pretty hysterical comments about radiation and fish and the recent Japanese disaster. Surprise, they are only just beginning to fish the ocean nearby.


Supreme Court Declines to Revisit Citizens United –

The Court – Citizens United –

I think we can use the past tense and say the “Supremes” have ruined our political system.


The Power of the Particular –

David Brooks and Bruce Springsteen. Fun online comments as well.


New Play About Dr. Ruth Westheimer –

One woman show. Dr. Ruth is played by an actress I recognize from TV.


Music – The Devil Made Him Do It –

This is an article originally published the month after 9/11. Apparently composer Karlheinz Stockhausen made some pretty stupid comments about art and disaster in the wake of it. I wasn’t aware of this until it was mentioned and linked in a recent NYT music review.


Cities Consider Selling Ads as Economic Lifelines –

Commericialism of our communal life marches on. Somebody has to govern I guess.


The Great Abdication –

This article about the failure of our leaders to heed our economic past reminded me of Gertrude Stein’s couplet: “Let me recite what history teaches. History teaches.” from “If I told him: a complete portrait of Picasso.”


America’s Shameful Human Rights Record –

Clear thinking from President Jimmy Carter.


Stuxnet Will Come Back to Haunt Us –

Thinking about the web as a battlefield.


Japan’s Inept Guardians –

Interesting critique of Japanese police.


Alternatives to Long Prison Terms –

Letters in response to an editorial. The surprising thing for me is see Grover Norquist, the Southern Poverty Law Center and NYT on the same page. Wow.



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