Sunday, 11 May 2014

Making music in Michigan (and waiting for spring)

I've gotten quite passionate recently about the idea of investing in our local musical communities as artists - the impact we can have as local musicians, and the many benefits, both for us as individual artists, and for our greater communities, when we do so. In that vein, here are some vignettes of what's been going on musically in Holland, Michigan in the last months: nothing earth shattering, and no one's gotten famous or wealthy, but I do believe we've…
Saturday, 10 May 2014

New York City in February - Snow in the City

I spent a week in New York City this February, and as with many things in life, it didn't quite go as I'd expected, but was still a good time. I had some concerts, teaching, performing, and recording lined up to do during the week I was there. One of the many crazy snow storms of last winter blew in after I arrived and changed the teaching plans, and schedule conflicts canceled the recording plans, but instead I saw some…
Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fall 2013 - California, New York, and everything in between

Non-musicians who hear I travel to play concerts sometimes assume that I'm enjoying travel to exotic locations, and seeing the local sights during my concert trip. This is partially true. I have had the opportunity, because of a concert I'm playing, or an organ I'm visiting, to be in places I never would have otherwise gone, and I also try to grab chances, while there, to appreciate local attractions and beauty. Unfortunately, most of my time on a tour (when…
Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Spring into Summer in Holland

Spring into Summer in Holland, MI: tulips, berries, the beach, and organ conventions May in Holland, Michigan means Tulip Time, the festival of all things Dutch – Pigs in a Blanket, traditional Dutch dancing in costumes and wooden shoes, and many, many Tulips. The kids and I checked out all three parades this year during the festival, and they wore their costumes. Maybe I should get a costume for next year... The organ concert for kids that I presented this…
Saturday, 02 March 2013

Singing the winter blues

Winter 2013 – Treasures close to home: snow, local gigs, and (of course) organs.   Well hello again. It's been a long midwestern winter here, filled with much more of this   than this or at least it seems that way sometimes. However, when I sit down and think about it, I certainly can't complain.   The winter started in Advent, I think it's safe to say, and I was pleased to be back in Chicago to visit some old…
Saturday, 03 November 2012

My Summer 2012 Germany Tour

Berlin - Magdeburg - Verden - Bremen - Worpswede Long before we left Germany last October, I was busy making plans to return.  I eventually was able to line up 5 concerts to play within a two week time span, both in the region around Bremen, where we lived, and also in a couple other cities.  My non-musician friends were almost incredulous to hear that one could, in effect, pay for one's vacation this way.  As you will see, it's…
Thursday, 30 August 2012

Dedication of the Wahl organ in Chicago

April 19 - 21 This was an exciting weekend for me – my first organ dedication! Wahl Organbuilders, from Appleton, Wisconsin, and Daniel Schwandt, the cantor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Chicago's Hyde Park, asked me to dedicate this new instrument. Dan, as well as Christoph and Ron Wahl (of Wahl Organbuilders), are all people I always enjoy running into at organ conventions and other organ-related events, and I was honored they asked me to play. The Wahl organ is…
Thursday, 30 August 2012

July 8-11 Organ Historical Society Convention in Chicago

I got back recently from one of those work/fun kinds of trips that I'm lucky enough to be able to enjoy now and then. This was the annual convention of the Organ Historical Society, which took place this year in Chicago, one of my favorite cities. I was there to play a recital, but also to see old friends and talk organ-talk with like-minded people, as well as hear some inspiring concerts. My expectations were pretty well met. As with…
Monday, 16 July 2012

Beaufort, South Carolina. March 28-31

My host, the organist at St. Helena, Pat Gould, was gracious (as Southerners seem to know how to do so well!), as she drove me around, pulled stops for me, cooked me delicious dinners, and put me up in her lovely house. The organ was a breath of fresh air – sensitive and beautiful. The church space was Episcopalian through and through – elegant, understated, reverent – and old! - they had gravestones in the cemetery for soldiers from the…
Monday, 16 July 2012

Staunton, Virginia - a Taylor and Boody weekend

Feb. 24-26 On Friday, I awoke very early in the morning to a small blizzard in western Michigan, making my drive across the state to the Detroit airport a little longer and more adventerous than originally planned. I made it with no major problems, but had a delay and missed my connecting flight. The tiny plane that I eventually took from Charlotte, NC to Charlottesville, VA, combined with more turbulence than I have ever experienced on any flight in any…
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