Wishing everyone peace and joy throughout this holiday season and beyond.
Coming soon: guest posts from two readers about improvisation and motivating students!
Thank you so much for reading my blog.
And now… back to packing!
My colleagues and I were asked to be available during our regular Tuesday schedules. The voice teachers had different students at “our” times, but it all worked out. We juggled.
As it turned out, the other pianists and I saw each other in our “office” more than usual. We have no office, so we talk, look at music, make phone calls, have lunch, etc., in the hallway.
Sometime during the afternoon, Matthew, one of my colleagues, took a seat on a bench near me. He asked, “What are you doing on May 27th?” His question surprised me, because I live in MA, not CT.
I said, “Nothing,” without looking at my schedule. School would be over for the summer, so I was pretty sure. Then I inquired into why he was asking.
“I need a sub for a children’s choir dress rehearsal.” “I live in MA, you know.” He gets it. His sister just graduated from UMass. He has been here many times, and knows it involves time to commute.
“How much is your transportation?” So I told him.
“I’ll send you the music ahead of time, and pay your transportation plus the rehearsal fee.”
Of course I said “Yes!”
THE ACCOMPANIST I've always worried about you-the man or woman at the piano bench, night after night receiving only such applause as the singer allows: a warm hand please, for my accompanist. At concerts, as I watch your fingers on the keys, and how swiftly, how excellently you turn sheet music pages, track the singer's notes, cover the singer's flaws, I worry about whole lifetimes, most lifetimes lived in the shadows of reflected fame; but then the singer's voice dies and there are just your last piano notes, not resentful at all, carrying us to the end, into those heartfelt cheers that spring up in little patches from a thrilled audience like sudden wildflowers bobbing in a rain of steady clapping. And I'm on my feet, also, clapping and cheering for the singer, yes, but, I think, partially likewise for you half-turned toward us, balanced on your black bench, modest, utterly well-rehearsed, still playing the part you've made yours. Dick Allen Originally published in North Dakota Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3, 2007
GretchensPianos has scored some nice stats along the way:
readers from 84 countries since 2/25/12 (as far back as the stats go)
My intention is to continue to share things that catch my interest, elaborate about my thought process, and communicate with readers.
Thank you to everyone who has commented, made suggestions, and taken the time to read my posts and the links I have included along the way.
There are fascinating thoughts about creativity in this review from last Sunday’s New York Times (4/1/12).
Thanks to every reader who helps keep this going, and to those who leave provocative comments. When I started this blog two years ago, I didn’t know how things would turn out. The interaction with you, the readers, makes all the difference.
When I was little, we had a kids’ record with a song called “It Depends on How You Look at Things.” Each person has her/his unique perspective, and it’s so important to listen to everyone. Where someone is coming from informs everything they say, and must be taken into account.
92 – The Churkendoose (1947).
The orchestra is conducted by Mitchell Miller (HA!). Gotta love it. I hope you’ll click to listen and see the cover art. After all, do you know what a churkendoose looks like? I have the biggest grin on my face right now!
How about “The Happy Wanderer“? We sang it often as an encore on the Norman Luboff Choir tour, and it still applies to what I do. No two consecutive rehearsals are ever in the same place, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This video is from live television in the 50’s, Fred Waring conducting. Watch now and put a smile on your face! In the “Made for TV” category, Fred Waring is conducting from behind the singers, facing the camera.
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