• January Concerts

    Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra January 13 & 15, Heinz Hall Beethoven’s Seventh Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists January 21, 24, 27, 29, CAPA Theater Handel: Richard the Lionheart

  • Soundbreaking Stories on PBS

    PBS presents Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music. Produced in association with the late Sir George Martin, the series features more than 150 artists, including Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt, RZA and many more sharing behind-the-scenes stories in a music-driven celebration of the art of recording. Watch the Trailer Beginning November 14 @ 10:00pm on PBS Episode One: The Art of Recording Episode Two: Painting with Sound Episode Three: The Human Instrument Episode Four: Going Electric Episode Five: Four on the Floor Episode Six: The World is Yours Episode Seven: Sound and Vision Episode Eight: I Am My…

  • Unbelievable Performances

    The first time I had the occasion to watch a broadcast of The Kennedy Center Honors was in December of 2012 when, among others, Led Zeppelin were recipients. Wow! Since then, I’ve watched every award broadcast (this year, Martha Argerich, The Eagles, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, and James Taylor will be honored) and researched back many years – many performances are available on Youtube. In short, The Kennedy Center Honors are the finest produced award shows you will ever witness. I have listed below my favorites, some are artist introductions, most are wonderful, heart-stopping performances. Please watch all of these…

  • The Music of The Beatles

    Did you know that Ringo Starr is left-handed, or wonder how that might affect his drumming style? Ever wonder who wrote more Beatles songs – Paul or John? Or who wrote the Beatles song based solely on a circus poster? All the above are topics for discussion in the course, The Music of The Beatles, which I will be teaching again for the Butler County Community College (BC3). We will be studying the music of the Beatles across their 13 albums from 1963 to 1970 exploring the group’s writing style and creative approach to recording. Classes will be held on…

  • On the Passing of Robert Page

    Three men contributed to my development as a singer and choral conductor; John Elliott, my high school choir director, Elmer Thomas, my college choir director, and Robert Page. With the recent passing of Bob, they’ve all left us now. Bob’s influence on me as a singer and composer of choral music cannot be quantified. I spent ten seasons singing for Bob in the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. For all but my first season, I was a member of the professional core and for my last season, was privileged to be one of his conducting assistants. For several years, I was…

  • Discovering Wild and Wonderful Jazz

    When asked to name their favorite kind of music, many folks will say they listen to mostly one kind; be it country, hip hop, hard rock, rap, etc. I, and most of my musician friends and acquaintances will tell you we listen to many different styles of music and our current favorite changes often, frequently triggered by a chance hearing of some new piece of music in concert or, as in my case in many instances, on TV. My recording collection is pretty eclectic: it contains classical music from the Renaissance to the avant-garde, lots of choral music of all…

  • PSO – J.S. Bach: St. John Passion

    Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra March 6, 2016 J.S. Bach: St. John Passion Manfred Honeck, conductor Sam Helfrich, director Vocalists: Martin Lattke, Paul Armin Edelmann, Sunhae Im, Andrey Nemzer, Thomas Cooley, Lucas Meachem, Alexander Elliott, Jeffrey Klefstad, Amelia D’Arcy, Jonathan MacDonald The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Bach, Beethoven and Brahms – the classical music triumvirate, the original killer B’s. I have been a huge fan of J.S. Bach’s music since I had the opportunity to sing his B Minor Mass as an undergraduate music student in Cincinnati. Universally acknowledged as a genius, his music is not programmed by symphony orchestras as much…

  • On the Passing of David Stock

    It’s that time in my life when one by one, the teachers, musicians and friends who influenced me most are starting to pass away. Some time ago, my undergraduate composition teacher, Dr. T. Scott Huston passed. More recently, in 2014, my high school choral director, Jack Elliott passed, and the choral composer I admire most, Stephen Paulus, succumbed to the effects of a stroke and left us. Yesterday (November 2, 2015), David Stock, my graduate composition teacher unexpectedly passed, as well. When I enrolled at Duquesne to begin my Masters degree in 2007 at the age of 56, I had…

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