Happy Summer! I want you to know that I’m moving information about my seasonal reading lists over to the book page. As many of you know, I’m focusing on the music side of my enterprises these days by promoting the sales of my choral music and producing some commercial recordings of the same. I am still actively involved in my reading lists, as a matter of fact, yesterday on the plane I completed my 2016 Spring list just in time for Summer! To keep up with this information and read along with me, either click on the books page in the banner menu or, go to www.jamesshrader.com/books.
One of the reasons for this shift in focus is that I am retiring on July 1, 2016 – just a few days away! There will be some other big announcements about what I’ll be up to in the future – keep checking these pages for details. It will take a while to get everything in place, but there are exciting things on the horizon!
Meanwhile, for today, I’ll continue to drive the time machine and work through the excitement of the month of May.
We were excited to see Daniela continue with her emerging career, this time singing Da Falla’s Three Cornered Hat with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Charles Dutoit (May 12).
While Daniela was rehearsing in Chicago, I flew to Philadelphia and met Alek and Eva. The three of us and LOTS of luggage jammed into a mini-van and drove to Morgantown, West Virginia. Alek was recording some Nadia Boulanger songs for a CD to be released later this year. Daniela, meanwhile, was in Montreal participating in the Opera America National Conference, singing excerpts from JFK. Alek and I watched the live stream in Morgantown. Daniela finished up in Montreal and flew to Pittsburgh where Alek, Eva, and I took the mini-van to pick her up, then it was back to Morgantown to complete the recording. The next day, we all jumped in the mini-van and drove to Cincinnati where Alek began rehearsals for Die Fledermaus with Cincinnati Opera, Daniela was Mommy, and I flew back to Valdosta! Whew! You see, the lives of international opera stars are not always as glamorous as one might think!
The beginning of June saw some significant family birthdays including my darling Aija and the amazing first birthday of granddaughter Eva!
Last week I returned to Cincinnati to resume my grandpa duties because Daniela had to fly to San Francisco to sing in the Gala for retiring intendant David Gockley and Alek was in rehearsals for Die Fledermaus. Fortunately, Daniela returned in time for me to see the final performance of Fledermaus. Alek, as Alfred, was marvelous, both vocally and with his amazing gift of comic timing and physical humor.
Late last night, I returned home and now I’ve caught up and can get off this time machine.
In closing, as I said, I am concentrating on promoting my published choral music. Having been a full-time church music director of many years, I know that this is the time to begin planning the Advent and Christmas music. I hope readers will share my music with those who are responsible for this planning and programming. Response to the ads and publicity has been good and I want to continue to compose and record as a major part of my oncoming retirement activities. You all can help by spreading the word and by replying and commenting to the posts on this site, especially the choral music page.
In that same light, the compilation CD, Dashing has been mastered and will be released very soon. It includes my In the Bleak Midwinter and Balalulow. I will provide more information when the release date is official. It will be available on Naxos as well as streamed on Spotify and others sites.
Lots of stuff happening – including high heat in Southern Georgia! So, I think I’ll go jump in the pool! Stay cool and Cheers! -Jim
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