June is here and I’m still driving this blog-darn time machine. I’ll try to chew up a large portion of the May hijinks in this issue.
First, some family business! In chronological order:
May 5 – Our 38th anniversary! On this day in 1978, Aija and I went to the store, bought shoes, and then got married!
June 2 – Happy Birthday to the love of my life, Aija! Perhaps older in years, but definitely younger and beautiful in looks!
June 11 – The FIRST birthday of super granddaughter Eva! She brings so much joy into our lives!
Now to continue the travelogue:
A few years ago Alek sang the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. It was in Lille, France. Way back in 1975, I appeared in this show while finishing up my masters at The Cleveland Institute of Music. Tony Addison directed and Tom Bricetti conducted. It was a real treat for me to know Alek was going to experience this great work. Unfortunately, I could only see the photos and a few clips uploaded by the company.
Therefore I was thrilled when Alek was cast as the Rake this year with Pittsburgh Opera. Early in the morning of May 6, still groggy from anniversary celebrations, Aija and I flew to Pittsburgh to see the show and spoil Eva. Pittsburgh Opera owns the famous David Hockney production and it was a pleasure to see it. It was a wonderful cast and a special moment for us. On a side note, Eva captures my heart every time I’m around her!
We returned to Valdosta late in the evening of May 9 and the next day, I finished and submitted the edits to my new publication with Colla Voce Music – On Christmas Night. I originally published this as an SATB/keyboard piece for small choirs. This latest arrangement is for men’s ensemble (TB) with flute and harp accompaniment. You can find out more about it over on the choral music page.
In the next installment, I’ll finish up the May time machine with my travels with the singers and Eva from Philadelphia to Morgantown to Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday I’m off again to Cincinnati to do my grand-nanny thing with Eva and to catch a performance of Alek as Alfred in Die Fledermaus as part of the Cincinnati Festival.
As we move through June, the only other announcement I want to share is that, after 17 years as a full-time church musician, and 26 years as a university professor and administrator, with a little opera singing, directing, and conducting thrown in for good measure, I will be retiring on July 1, 2016. The future is bright and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Cheers! -Jim