Saturday, December 28, 2002

From the good folk (I think there's only one) at Enetation:

We have found that a the comment count settings for blogs with more than one comment may be corrupt in several users settings. We are working on a global fix but individual users can fix this themselves by updating thier comment settings themselves.
UPDATE All comment count settings have been reset however the captions that go with the comment could not be recovered. It looks like a single user has been able to apply their incorrect comment count caption to every users account.

So I fixed the comments, but now have to go back and fix my spelling. Where's my @#$% coffee?
Wow - did I get hacked? Or is Enetation having yet more glitches? Anyhow, sorry about the "poseurs" thing. I'll fix it right up. Or try.

Friday, December 27, 2002


You've been warned.
A Heartwarming Family Tradition

Well, maybe not heartwarming, but a great story, and an insight into how we form and attach ourselves to such traditions, however silly or infuriating their borning moments.
The Report Card is In

Music History I - A
Organ - B+
Chorale - A

GPA 3.77, and Dean's list. Interesting, because I thought you needed to be full time to make the Dean's list. Also pretty cool: organ grade was better than I expected.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

BTW, that link in the prior post is to a recording of my college choir singing that song. I knocked the resolution down to 64kbps, and mono, so it's only a meg or so.

Give 'er a listen, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

What's a Catholic Christmas...

...without a Song to Mary?

Hail Blessed Virgin Mary

"Hail blessed virgin Mary,"
For so when he did meet thee,
Spake mighty Gabriel,
And thus we greet thee.
Come weal, come woe, our hymn shall never vary:
"Hail blessed virgin Mary,
Hail blessed virgin Mary!"

Ave, ave Maria,
To gladden priest and people,
The Angelus shall ring
From every steeple;
To sound his virgin birth, Alleluia,
Ave, ave Maria,
Ave, ave Maria.

Archangels chant, "Osanna",
And, "Holy, holy, holy",
Before the infant born
Of thee, thou lowly;
Aye maiden child of Joachim and Anna,
Archangels chant, "Osanna,"
Archangels chant, "Osanna!"

Traditional Italian Carol, 18th century.
Performance copyright Madonna University Chorale, 2002. All rights reserved.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Going Local

Finally, NINE years after moving to Emmett, Kim and I went to mass this past Sunday in Emmett, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We were trying to get to the local Christmas tree farm when it opened.

I'm not sure what I expected - I'd heard there was no music program, but also had heard a neighboring DM was trying to help juice some of the other parishes in the vicariate to improve their liturgies and music.

Here's what we found:

Missalette from "Our Daily Missal", with a lot of public domain music, a few homegrown pieces, and a few copyrighted Catholic classics.
Hardbound "Glory and Praise" hymnal, the old NALR one.
WLP's "Voices As One" was also in the pews, but we didn't use it.
A cantor with a very good voice, though I'd like to give her some "how to use your arm to invite the assembly to sing" lessons. Either do it or don't - sticking your arm out sideways doesn't cut it.
An organist with limited chops, playing very simplified arrangements.
A spoken psalm, but gospel acclamation (Walker's Celtic) was sung.
Introductory remarks to the first two readings, read by the lector.
Prayers of the faithful ended with the famous prayer to St. Michael ("...defend us in battle..."). Rousing (!!!) participation from the pews.
A spoken Sanctus, followed by sung Memorial Acc, Amen, and Lamb (Creation).
The cup was withheld.
The priest was VERY hard to understand. Homily touched on pro-life points, but difficult to make out anything coherent.
Assembly had very minimal participation on sung parts, except the Lord's Prayer.
Except for opening with "O Come O Come Emmanuel", the readings, and the priest wearing purple, the only sign that this was Advent was use of Haugen's Ps. 25, "To You, O Lord" (appointed common psalm for Advent), at second communion. A very nice touch, but organist was unprepared, and we weren't invited to sing. I did anyhow (refrain only).

We're not really "in parish", I don't think. I'm pretty sure we're in St. Nicholas parish in Capac instead (another home of lame liturgy).

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Our Teeny Tiny Christmas Concert

Elyse, my fellow organist, and my only real school bud so far, has dubbed the chorale women "The Rhinemaidens". When there are odds-n-ends music needs, they assemble the Rhinemaidens and throw something together.

I had the honor of being invited to accompany them in their performance at the Madonna staff Christmas party. We rehearsed Monday, played Tuesday. They warned me about the state of the piano in the dorm dining room, where the party was held, so I dragged along my Kurz SP-88 and guitar amp.

It was fun! Got some free food out of it, and the ladies were very kind about my accompaniment style. Elyse was thrilled that she got to sing instead of having to play.

Here's what we sang:

Christmastime Is Here (Guaraldi) - piano solo
Deck The Halls (arr Willcocks)
Star Carol (Burt/Hutson)
What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby (arr. Willcocks)
In the Bleak Midwinter (Holst/Rossetti)
Away In a Manger (the "other" melody)
Do You Hear What I Hear (arr. Simeone)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (our own arr. - trad version segues into the Spector version)
Linus 'n Lucy (Guaraldi) - piano solo

SP-88 didn't sound bad, nor did my cheapo little guitar amp. And the choir sounded nice. We didn't embarrass ourselves, anyhow.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Check out my pal, fellow composer and barbecue expert Bill Grabbe, at ADD in Action. He's kind enough to link me, so I thought I'd return the favor...

Friday, December 13, 2002

Elf Girl in the City swiped (from an unrevealed source, apparently) a great list about newspapers. Go read it. Fun for all guaranteed, or your monkey back...

Thursday, December 12, 2002


Last exam - Music History I - and orgellesson last night. Exam was a bit tougher (or I was a bit less well-prepared), but I think I got all the listening questions right (40%), and 75-85% of the rest, so, probably a B.

Got an A on the paper, but awash in a sea of red ink. He'd like me to tighten up my writing style - drop the conversational tone, make sentences less complex - or at least use fewer commas. He LOVED the paper though, said with fixes it was potentially publishable. I'm not sure I would - I make some assertions that are not well-substantiated, and cut a lot of corners, due to the prescribed length. It was supposed to be 15 pages, came in at 26.

Without the final (25%), I've got a solid A, so I could weather a B on the final, I think. A C would drop me, though.

Lesson was interesting, too - we tried elevating the organ bench (I'm 6'4", with 36" inseam), and a whole lot of my balance, posture, and pedaling issues resolved themselves. I'll be working on Grosser Gott over the break, though I kinda wish I'd picked a Christmas Carol or two. Absolutely no idea what the orgelgrade will be. Chorale should be an A - strictly attendance-based.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Would you buy a pillow with the Last Supper on it?
What if it played Hey Jude?

It's clever.
It's horrifying.
Yes but in a really clever way.
Get thee behind me, little voice on my shoulder.
You know you want it.
My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.
That's it, I'm gone.
"Hey Jude, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better"
Y'know, it's only one pillow. I could leave the battery out...

Monday, December 09, 2002


REALLY stank up the place with my first organ juries. Just awful. Mittens and bozo shoes. Got better toward the end - I was so miserable I didn't care anymore, so I relaxed.

They were really nice about it, but it was WAY worse than my prof has ever heard me play these. I am so angry with myself! Another psych battle lost!
We've been linked!

at Links to St. Cecilia.

Thanks to Pat, and to Gordon, Gerard, and the rest of you who've previously linked us.

Those hits are rolling up by the dozens!

Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Madonna University Chorale... which I belong, will perform in concert this weekend at the venues below. The program will include carols by Alfred Burt, Vivaldi's Magnificat, and traditional carols arranged by Rutter and Willcocks. Director is Dr. David Wagner, organist is Elyse Penzato. $5.00 admission at the door.

I'm in the tenor section, and also in charge of recording. Sadly, my SoundRoom-matched-pair Oktava MC012s will probably not arrive in time, so I'll either be using a pair of Behringer ECM-8000s or a pair of SM-57s.

Friday, 7:30 pm, St. John's Episcopal Church, 26998 Woodward (SE corner w/ 11 Mile Rd.), Royal Oak, MI. Schantz pipe organ (43 stops?).

Sunday, 3:00 pm, St. Clement's Catholic Church, 25320 Van Dyke (N. of 10 Mile Rd, on E.), Center Line, MI Casavant pipe organ, 17 stops.

If you come, stop and say hi. I'm the tall guy with the potbelly and ponytail running back and forth between the choir and the recording console.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

I know I say "wow" a lot. Maybe too often.

But, wow.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

And the results are in:

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Y'know, I swore I'd never do these stupid polls. I give myself such very good advice...
This is just wrong. Somebody has some real issues.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Somebody keeps coming here looking for a "cubase hack". I do use Cubase, and made some crack somewhere about my "hack" playing ability.

Hacks, for the uninitiated, are methods for defeating the copy protection on software. Cubase, for the other uninitiateds, is a software music recording and sequencing program, one of four industry leaders (others are Sonar [fka Cakewalk], Logic, and ProTools).

First, that kind of hacking is theft. Buy the software. If you can't afford it, use a freebie - ProTools Free, for example.

Second, I'd be surprised if you COULD hack Cubase. Steinberg (developer) sets it up with a "dongle", a piece of hardware that plugs into your serial port or your USB port, depending on your version. That's about the most secure type of copy-protection. It's possible someone left a "back-door" for troubleshooting, but I'm guessing it's not reachable.

ANYHOW!!! This is a church music site. Thou shalt not steal. Hacker go home.
Chris Ward interviews his Thanksgiving turkey sammich. Maybe more like a dialog - but at the end, the sandwich begs to be eaten. I've had conversations like that.

I'll be lobbying for next Thanksgiving to be somewhere without our wacky relatives. I NEVER want to relive that.