The heat goes on …

Greetings all!

IMG_0814Well, I’m one week past 67 and surviving! Thanks to many of you for FB birthday greetings. I must say I’ve enjoyed my summer and contemplated, several times, what it will be like to retire to this life. Not bad, I must say!

I’m toasting you with a cup of delicious Swiss coffee! This is from a cafe in the heart of Crans-Montana, Switzerland which we visited last summer on the Georgia Ambassadors tour. I’m afraid it may be bad news for next year’s tour. The numbers are quite small for this time in the recruiting period and the trip itself is in doubt. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll try to talk Mrs. Dr. Shrader into a European excursion on our own. I’ll be disappointed because we had a really fine staff and we all became good friends. I’ll miss hanging with them. Keep your fingers crossed …

On to the categories –

READING: I’m still into Donna Leon’s Beastly Things. I love the Guido Brunetti series that takes place in Venice. Leon, although American, lives in Venice and manages to impart descriptive sentences that maintain the flavor of the Veneto and still be perfectly understood by the rest of us. Brunetti is the benevolent detective who always manages to outwit the bad guys. This one goes a little dark, especially in the description of the goings-on inside a typical Italian slaughterhouse! Yuck! Anyway, I’m about to the denouement and, when I’m finished, I’ll post my review on Amazon.

WRITING: I’m making some serious progress on Cedar Key. Of course, not as much as I had hoped, but the plot is unfolding. It’s turning out to be a bit more complex than in my original outline. I’ll try to take a research trip down to CK in a few weeks just to re-encounter the vibes and atmosphere of the village and the island. I’m about to begin chapter three of a proposed twenty-seven, so a long way to go.

TEACHING: I’ve been consumed lately with setting up a variety of classes for the fall term. Just today I finished my online music appreciation class. The online rock and roll class is almost finished. I’ll be re-doing my Honors Leadership class with a new text book (that’s for next week). Finally, I have everything I need to design the vocal literature class, except students! We have a very small number of vocal performance majors, so I’ll wait until the students actually return to make a decision about offering this class. Then, of course, I need to select repertoire for my voice students.

COMPOSING: I’ve given up on Colla Voce in regards to When Christ Was Born of Mary Free. I think it’s one of my best works but obviously the powers to be at CV don’t agree! They ran a “Christmas in July” promotion online and there was no Shrader. I’ll keep submitting to them hoping to strike the right nerve, but it’s probably time to diversify a bit. I have a website called Donaldson Music where I could self-publish but I’m not sure I want to do that yet. We’ll see …  Meanwhile, if you click on the music page on this site, you’ll find some pieces that are available directly from me which might be of interest to you or your choir director friends.

TRAVELS: I’m off to Santa Fe in eight days, ostensibly to see some operas, but really to see Alek, Daniela, and the darling Eva. She’ll be almost two months when I’m there and I can’t wait to see how she’s grown! I’m seeing Rigoletto, Cold Mountain (premiere), and, of course, Daughter of the Regiment, featuring all nine high Cs of my tenorish son! The reviews have been excellent and I love the Santa Fe venue. Down the line will be Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Fort Worth, and others. There’s San Francisco, but I may skip that one. You can always follow the singing kids on opera base.

That’s a full 700 words or so for today and bless you if you’ve made it this far! I’m actually in my home office today (not the gazebo!), but now we’re all going for a dip in the pool which, yesterday, felt like a sauna! The rain usually arrives around 4 pm, but that’s summer in South Georgia!

I crave your comments, replies, likes, shares, subscriptions,et al. Take care, stay cool and have fun!  Cheers!  -Jim

PS. I do have some political thoughts coming into my head, bu I’ll save them for a later post (God help you!).  Bye …

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