I’ve enjoyed these for a while now and here is a new one:

From the YouTube page:

The Stay At Home Choir presents ‘Locus Iste’ by Gareth Malone, performed by 1500 singers from around the world, accompanied by Gareth Malone on piano and Gabriella Swallow on cello.

‘Locus Iste’ was specially written by Gareth Malone for the Stay At Home Choir to perform. This moving but optimistic piece is a new setting of a traditional Latin text used to consecrate churches: “locus iste a Deo factus est (this place was made by God)”. Written during lockdown, the song inspires us to find the sacred in our everyday spaces.

Our global choir took part in the ‘Locus Iste’ project over four weeks in April-May 2021. This final video is the culmination of online rehearsals, masterclasses, and global socials led by Gareth Malone, choirmaster Graham Bier, and Stay At Home Choir co-founders Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright.

JOIN THE STAY AT HOME CHOIR

The Stay At Home Choir is a global community of 27,000 members from 75+ countries around the world. Our mission is to make high quality music-making accessible to a worldwide community of musicians. We welcome all singers with any level of experience.

To learn more and join our next project with The Swingles, visit https://www.stayathomechoir.com.

We provide opportunities for our members to learn from, and perform with, some of the best artists in the world. We’ve collaborated with I Fagiolini, Gareth Malone, The King’s Singers, The Swingles, VOCES8, John Rutter, Marin Alsop, The Sixteen, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @stayathomechoir

SUPPORT US

Our projects are Pay-As-You-Feel and, thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters, we’ve provided hundreds of free places to those who need them.

You can support the Stay At Home Choir by donating here:

We had our two Symphony Silicon Valley concerts this past weekend. They were outdoors, so I wasn’t as apprehensive about playing them, but I must admit I was quite surprised at the number of unmasked audience members. Of course it was outdoors, and odds are it was safe, but it still just was jarring to see nearly 3,000 people and so many with no mask.

After the second concert two students came down front to say hi. It’s been ages since any of my students have come to one of my concerts, so I was quite pleased. One even brought me flowers! What a surprise that was, and I was able, then, to send a thank-you card made using one of my flower photographs. (If you haven’t visited my photography site please do go enjoy some flowers there.) I’m always quite diligent in sending thank-you notes to students. Many are very good at saying (and writing) thank-you, but not all. So I teach more than just oboe sometimes. (When did sending thank-you notes … or even saying a simple thank you … go out of style, I wonder?)

Next up is our opening set for our regular season. I play very few notes, but every one of those notes will be heard: we are doing Dvorak’s New World Symphony and I play the English horn for that. I honestly can’t remember when I last played a symphony concert on which I had a big solo.

And yes, I get nervous.

From the Symphony Silicon Valley site:

Two glorious concerts — absolutely FREE — on San Jose State’s Tower Lawn

Symphony Silicon Valley and Opera San Jose team up to present a free outdoor musical extravaganza to celebrate Labor Day weekend, and to welcome Live Music back to our community. These 75 to 90-minute programs will feature full symphony orchestra, operatic soloists, and the piano instrumental magic of San Jose’s very own Jon Nakamatsu, Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The programs, under the baton of conductor Peter Jaffe, will present the music of Gershwin, Sibelius, Mozart, Puccini, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and more. There will be some chairs and water bottles provided, but you can bring your own lawn chair or blanket, as well as a picnic dinner.

WEARING A MASK IS ENCOURAGED.

Saturday: 7:00 performance. Sunday: 5:30 performance, both south of the library on the corner of 4th and San Fernando at San Jose State University. Highly recommended!

My friend Pam brought this young player to my attention. This is his latest video, posted in November of 2020. At the time he was 16. WOW! I’m not exactly a huge Pasculli fan, but he plays it SO well, and I could possibly change my mind after hearing this!

Bravo, Spencer Rubin!

No words necessary. (I can’t sing and play at the same time … not sure how folks do that!)

Sad news.

A friend and colleague, along with her husband, lost their home and nearly everything in it in the horrendous Bear River fire. I can’t even imagine dealing with that. They are now living in a motel.

If you can help, click this go fund me link. I know every little bit will help!

Dr. Aaron Hill, a fabulous oboist and instructor, has a new series! Check it out. I highly recommend his videos. (If you recall he also did Ferling Fridays!)

Well, for me it’s been since my last opera on March 1, 2020. How ’bout you? I haven’t played with any colleagues since then. I’ve played with a few students, but even that has been rare, and we are now back to Zoom only, so no more of that for now. If things go as planned I’ll be back to work next week. Will it really happen? I do wonder, due to the Delta variant.

Meanwhile, I listen to a ton of music. Some of my friends said they haven’t been able to — that it makes them cry. I don’t react that way. Music still feeds my soul!

Maybe because people like this are just so darn good … and what a fabulous work!

Akropolis: Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott

From the YouTube Page:

0:00 I. Ghosts of Black Bottom
8:34 II. Hastings Street Blues
15:53 III. Roho, Pumzika kwa Amani (Spirits, Rest Peacefully)
20:24 IV. Paradise Theater Jump!

Homage to Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott can be heard alongside the original poetry of Detroiter Marsha Music on Akropolis’ 4th album, Ghost Light, here: https://akropolisquintet.org/ghostlight/

Homage to Paradise Valley was commissioned by Akropolis and Chamber Music America, made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2019).

About Homage to Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott:
The historical content of these notes by the composer is provided courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society (detroithistorical.org) where one can find a wealth of information on Paradise Valley and Black Bottom. Poetry by Marsha Music—a lifelong resident of Detroit whose father, Joe Von Battle, was a record producer for Aretha Franklin and owned Joe’s Records, central to the Black Bottom community—was commissioned by Akropolis in 2020 to create poetry to accompany Jeff’s music.

Black Bottom was a predominantly Black neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. In the early 20th century, African-American residents became concentrated here during the first wave of the Great Migration to northern industrial cities. Informal segregation operated in the city kept them in this area of older, less expensive housing. Black Bottom/Paradise Valley became known for its African-American residents’ significant contributions to American music, including Blues, Big Band, and Jazz, from the 1930s to 1950s. Black Bottom was eventually razed and redeveloped for various urban renewal projects, driving the residents out. By the 1960s the neighborhood ceased to exist.

Hastings Street ran north-south through Black Bottom and had been a center of Eastern European Jewish settlement before World War I, but by the 1950s, migration transformed the strip into one of Detroit’s major African-American communities of black-owned businesses, social institutions, and nightclubs.

From the Bantu language of Swahili, “Roho, Pumzika kwa Amani” (Spirits, Rest Peacefully) is a lullaby, my humble offering to the many souls who came before me and persevered through the middle passage, decades of slavery, disenfranchising laws, and inequality. I am who I am because of those who stood before me. May their spirits rest peacefully.

Orchestra Hall closed in 1939, but reopened in 1941 as the Paradise Theater. For 10 years it would then offer the best of African-American musicians from around the country. “Paradise Theater Jump!” is dedicated to the famed theater and harkens to the up-tempo style of “jump blues,” usually played by small groups and featuring saxophone or brass instruments.

This video was filmed in 2019 at Central Michigan University. The exclusive Web Premiere of this video was given during the summer of 2020 at Akropolis’ Club Paradise Virtual Soirée, which honored these neighborhoods and their cultural legacy. Read more here

03. August 2021 · 8 comments · Categories: CovidTimes, Oboe · Tags: , ,

Okay, okay, I thought I wasn’t going to post in August, but I did a little thing with a mask I ordered. It isn’t pleasant. It makes me want to cry, honestly. But if I have to use one, at least I own one now.