Quote of the Week "Let us remember..."

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
~Theodore Roosevelt


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy turkey day to you! I hope you are preparing to share in a thanksgiving meal with your friends and family. I know I can't wait to eat my homemade pumpkin pie. It makes me want to never eat store bought again it's that good.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

My favorite Thanksgiving Song


Beethoven's 5th Symphony

Beethoven's 5th Symphony is one of the most well known symphonies in all the world. Throughout the work is the famous motif of short, short, short, long. Check out Wikipedia's Symphony No. 5 page for a great breakdown of the many parts of this great work and to study the full score check out Indiana University's School of Music, Music Library. Today's clip is the piano arrangement that was made by Franz Liszt. Enjoy and happy practicing!


Quote of the Week "So once in every year..."

So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song

In thankfulness of heart.

~Arthur Guiterman,
The First Thanksgiving


Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Completed in 1824, Symphony No. 9 was the last symphony of then deaf composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. The 9th Symphony incorporates a well known German poem by poet, Friedrich Schiller entitled, 'Ode to Joy.' This is the first time that a composer used soloists and chorus in a symphonic work and gave them as much musical importance as the orchestra it self. At the time of its creation it was unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. For information about the 9th Symphony of Beethoven check out Wikipedia.

I had the pleasure of singing the last movement of the 9th Symphony while studying at the University of Kansas. It is quite a demanding piece and we didn't have much time to learn the German but it was a memorable experience. Several of my students in the studio have been studying the Ode to Joy melody in their piano studies. It has become a classic especially since it was arranged for hymn singing and given an English sacred text. I hope you will enjoy these excerpts.

Excerpts from Beethoven's 9th Symphony


Quote of the Week "For each new morning..."

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Mongolian Overtone Singer & Past Life Melodies

I learned to overtone sing in high school while learning a song called, "Past Life Melodies. It has a haunting, earthy sound that I haven't heard anywhere since. The overtones are created by manipulating your mouth and in this case using an 'er' sound on a single pitch. You will have to ask me to do it for you sometime. It's pretty neat. This recording of "Past Life Melodies" comes from an all male a cappella group called Chanticleer based out of San Francisco, California. I saw them in concert several years ago in Lawrence, KS and was amazed at their flexibility and musicality. They are a must see if they come to your area.

I haven't heard overtone singing for some time so I was glad to come across this video by a Mongolian overtone singer. The addition of instruments adds a nice texture. Enjoy!


Imago Dei: Friends of Christianity and the Arts and the Transfiguration Vocal Ensemble

The Transfiguration Vocal Ensemble of Imago Dei: Friends of Christianity and the Arts is a professional vocal ensemble with members from the Kansas City area. The group's mission is to model and teach music in churches and the community. Membership in the ensemble requires a strong commitment to Christianity, the arts and your colleagues in the group. The core of the performance season runs from September through May, with several performances throughout the year including worship services, concerts, dinner entertainment, retreats and workshops.

I am happy to announce that I have taken the position of director of this ensemble. We have been working together for the past couple months and I look forward to many great performances. Our first concert will be in December and information is at the end of this post. We are looking for additional venues to share our music. If you or anyone you know might be interested we would love to hear from you. Email us at vocal@imagodeiarts.org.

Songs of the Christmas Season
First Annual Holiday Concert
Friday, December 5th, 2008

7:00 pm
One Spirit United Methodist Church

th & Blue Ridge Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64138

Join us as we create a new Kansas City holiday tradition. Celebrate the Advent and Christmas season with the Transfiguration Vocal Ensemble as we share some of our favorite holiday songs and carols.

$12.50 general admission
Tickets are available at the Imago Dei Arts Center.
Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available.
Call 913.233.0266 for reservations
Tickets also available at the door.

For scheduling or booking information for the Transfiguration Vocal Ensemble please email us at vocal@imagodeiarts.org.


Create Your Own I Am Statement

I wrote an I Am poem at a writing workshop in junior high school ages ago. I am not sure I took it very seriously at the time considering that it was only a simple writing exercise, but now that I am older I am revisiting creating I Am poems. I Am statements are strong statements of purpose and creation that can help give direction to who you are right now and your goals for the future. I was excited to find this I Am poem creator. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and the poem is formatted for you (see mine below) These poems should grow and change as we do and can be recreated as many times as you want. Who are you aspiring to be? Make sure to share your creations in the comments of this post. I would love to see them. Here's an additional format you can explore. Just fill in the blanks.

I am:
I think:
I know:
I have:
I wish:
I hate:
I miss:
I fear:
I hear:
I smell:
I crave:
I search:
I wonder:
I regret:
I love:
I ache:
I am not:
I believe:
I dance:
I sing:
I cry:
I fight:
I win:
I lose:
I never:
I always:
I confuse:
I listen:
I can usually be found:
I am scared:
I need:
I am happy about:
I imagine:

Here's my recent I Am creation. Enjoy!

I Am

I am a musician and teacher
I wonder about being truly secure
I hear God's small voice keeping me focused on my purpose
I see out from behind my director's stand
I want so many things
I am a musician and teacher

I pretend to be calm and pulled together when I am stressed and tired
I feel my life growing and changing
I touch simplicity
I worry about my family
I cry about loss
I am a musician and teacher

I understand that I can be the grandest version of the greatest vision I have ever had of myself
I say I am grateful
I dream about not worrying about money
I try to better myself every day
I hope for recognition and true success
I am a musician and teacher


Quote of the Week "A thankful heart..."

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues."


The Ever Expanding World of Music Tech

I have seen so many cool projects in the field of music technology recently that I have decided to make it a regular addition to my blog. I wish I was an inventor but I am not so I will stick to teaching and interpreting music and leave the music tech inventions to the professionals. This week's music tech offerings come from the MAKE: Blog which hails from the people of MAKE Magazine. Their current magazine is all about DIY music and is on newsstands right now. These people blow my mind. How do they think up some of this stuff?

Making Music with Your Iris

Each person's iris is unique almost like your fingerprint. So, why not make music with it? This guy has built a computer program to read your iris and create music based on what it sees in your particular eye. He says at the end of the video that he apologizes about the quality and limit of the musical sounds he had available but I was still amazed at what the program was accomplishing and didn't really notice. Overall a great result.

Ocarina on your iPhone
I don't have an iPhone, but if I did this would be a cool addition. My husband has purchased two ocarinas in the last couple years at Kansas City's Renaissance Festival and is starting to make music with them now. It's such a neat sound. This program takes that to a whole new level while using the sensitivity of iPhone technology. This thing not only picks up on touch manipulation but also your breath. For a second there I thought the guy in the video clip was just blowing for the heck of it but no, I was wrong. It actually plays like a real ocarina would. Just amazing.


Quote of the Week "If the only prayer..."

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,
"thank you," that would suffice."

~Meister Eckhart


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