edschweppe: Karl Jenkins "The Peacemakers": Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (karl jenkins peacemakers)
The Worcester Telegram has a brief article about yesterday's concert. While the article text doesn't say very much, there is this nice picture showing the orchestra and adult chorus in front of the 150-year-old Worcester Organ:
cut for the bandwidth-sensitive )
WORCESTER — The Master Singers of Worcester in collaboration with the Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists presented the Massachusetts premiere of "The Peacemakers" Sunday at Mechanics Hall.


Mar. 30th, 2014 08:43 pm
edschweppe: Karl Jenkins "The Peacemakers": Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (karl jenkins peacemakers)
Back from my big concert debut, Karl Jennings' The Peacemakers at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

That was fun. Tiring, but fun.

I hadn't realized how much stamina it was going to take to get through a seventeen-movement, seventy-two minute work standing up and holding a hundred-twenty-plus page score, and I suspect I'll be feeling it for a day or two. That was certainly the largest audience I've ever been in front of. OTOH, it was also the largest chorus I've ever been part of, with over a hundred adult choristers and fifty youth.
Plus it was an excuse to get all spiffed up )
edschweppe: Karl Jenkins "The Peacemakers": Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (karl jenkins peacemakers)
Specifically, the final dress rehearsal for Karl Jenning's The Peacemakers. The actual performance (one time only!) will be at 4:00PM this Sunday, March 30, at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. I think things went well, all considered, although I found myself almost almost completely unable to hit the D above the bass clef (of which there are several in the baritone part).

Tickets are still available online through either the Mechanics Hall or Master Singers of Worcester websites. You'll get to hear some great music in a wonderful venue and see me all spiffed up in suit and black bow tie!
edschweppe: Karl Jenkins "The Peacemakers": Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (karl jenkins peacemakers)
The Master Singers of Worcester and the American Guild of Organists Worcester Chapter present The Peacemakers: A Musical Celebration of Peace by Karl Jenkins, for one performance only on Sunday, March 30 at 4:00 PM at Mechanics Hall in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 72-minute work is based entirely on the theme of peace, utilizing a wide range of texts from a variety of languages, religions, and authors including texts by Rumi, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Shelley, Terry Waite, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Bahá’u'lláh and St. Seraphim of Sarov, as well as quotations from the Qur’an, the Bible and the Ordinary of the Mass.

This concert will be the New England premier of this work, and is part of a series of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of Mechanics Hall's 3,504-pipe Hook Organ. Performers will include the Master Singers of Worcester, the Worcester Children’s Chorus, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Orchestra, and the massed choirs of many area churches, including First Unitarian Church of Worcester, First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, Wesley United Methodist Church, Trinity Church of Northboro, First Parish Church of Berlin, St. John’s Episcopal Church of Sutton ...

and the choir of the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton.

Including me, singing baritone.


In all seriousness, this is an impressive piece of work. And Mechanics Hall is a fantastic venue, originally built by the Worcester Mechanics Society before the Civil War. And I promise not to suck badly. So if you're interested in choral works, or in peacemaking, or in awesome concert halls, or even in hearing me singing as part of a massed choir, check it out. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors/students), and available online at http://www.mechanicshall.org/tickets/concertdetail/peace03302014.html
edschweppe: A picture of my church (church)
I'll be singing as part of the 9:00 PM service at the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, in the center of Stow, Massachusetts. We're doing several particularly cool pieces, including Distler's "Lo How a Rose" and an arrangement of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" in which the bass and tenor sections get almost all the melody. (If you're not a chorister, you may not realize how rare that is. Or how much a baritone like myself appreciates it!)

The music actually starts at 8:45, and all are welcome to attend!
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Last week pretty much stank. Particularly at the Current Paying Gig, where one of my1 units suddenly stopped working in production. It runs fine on my desktop, in the common development environment, and in the unit test environment. In production, though? Kaboom. I suspect the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned Microsoft Jet database drivers. However, there was plenty of other Bad Stuff going down elsewhere, including one of my fellow choristers being rushed to the hospital only to discover she had advanced leukemia. And let's not forget the folks on my friends list who are having issues of their own. Or the fact that the next episode of Shadow Unit was postponed "[d]ue to a personal emergency interference from the network relating to an ongoing news story in the public media."

The weekend, though, has been pretty darn good. Friday night, David Surette and Susie Burke played a gig at my church's coffeehouse, and I had a blast. Saturday night was the church services auction; the congregation made a boatload of money, and I bought a lot of seats at dinners over the next year. Plus, I got to be part of the impromptu group of folks leading the crowd in singing excerpts from The Pirates of Penzance while the auction volunteers tallied up the bills. Finally, today was a beautifully sunny and not-too-chilly day, which meant I had the moonroof open throughout my day's driving.

This upcoming work week may or may not contain suckitude. But this? Was a good weekend.

1 It's mine until the Powers What Be find somebody I can turn it over to. Based on historical trends2, the expected date for such turnover is somewhere around 2015.
2 Over the last year, said PWB have graciously permitted me to hand one such unit off to somebody else.
edschweppe: A picture of my church (church)
For this morning's service, my choir (and I) sang a choral introit, a sung meditation and an offertory, plus the three hymns, affirmation and sung benediction that the entire congregation sang.

And, once again, not only did people compliment the choir as a whole, but I personally received praise for how well I sounded.

Maybe I'm getting good at this singing stuff after all ...
edschweppe: (music)
One of the members of my church choir found this; I just have to pass it on.

From the description:
On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers.
edschweppe: (shadow unit)
In honor of the season, and in particular honor of the highly-anticipated Very Special Holiday Episode of Shadow Unit, scheduled to be aired Christmas Day, I present to you a filk, to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Cut because we care )
(Easter eggs? Would I do that?)


Dec. 19th, 2009 10:18 pm
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
While waiting for the Snowpocalypse1 to strike, here's the latest from Muppet Labs ... er, Studios: The Carol of the Bells, as "sung" by Beaker, the Swedish Chef, and Animal.

Of course, letting Animal anywhere near bells is a bad idea:

1 Actually, we're only supposed to get a foot of snow at best; the true Snowpocalypse is staying south of here. Still, it will do nicely to cover up the bare spots on the ground.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Or, in this case, the Muppet Studios channel on YouTube:

"Mama? Mama!" Poor Animal.

(Link snarfed gleefully from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala)
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Today rather sucked rocks for most of the day. Apart from various crappy news stories and several members of my f-list suffering from awful situations, a particularly unwise non-developer on my project decided to "fix" a broken SQL query in a module I originally wrote. Not only did the "fix" break things even more, but said non-developer also managed to:
(a) not test the "fixed" query
(b) not notice that the SSIS package that uses the query errored out when executed
(c) not notice that the output file that the SSIS package is supposed to generate didn't get generated
(d) declare that the "fix" worked
and (e) request that the "fix" be promoted to the pre-production environment!

However, this evening made up for today, for I got to see and hear Bob Franke perform live at the coffeehouse run by my church, the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton. He's a splendid singer-songwriter, well known for tunes like "Hard Love" and "For Real". He's also a tremendous performer, with a gorgeously smooth voice and complete comfort with his material.

And that's just what I needed after a truly crappy day: really good live music.

There's a hole in the middle of the prettiest life
So the lawyers and the prophets say
Not your father nor your mother
Nor you lover's gonna ever make it go away
And there's too much darkness in an endless night
To be afraid of the way we feel
Let's be kind to each other
Not forever but for real
edschweppe: (music)
I've been singing with my church's choir for a few years, now. Over those years, our music director has been gradually increasing the difficulty of the works we perform for the annual Music Sunday service. This year, in conjunction with the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (Massachusetts), we put on Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.

This, folks, was a bear and two thirds. The Wikipedia article linked above calls the Chichester Psalms "noted among performers for their musical difficulty", and that author ain't kidding. But we rehearsed them for the entire winter and spring. Judging from the congregation's reaction, we did pretty darn well.

We'll be singing them again on May 31st, at 10:00AM at the Arlington church (630 Mass Ave, and MBTA-accessible), in case any Boston-area folks are interested.

And I really have to wonder what our music director has up her sleeve for next year ...
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
- I think the clearest sign yet that the US auto industry is in trouble is the fact that I didn't see a single GM or Ford ad during the Super Bowl. I saw one Dodge ad, and all the rest of the auto ads were foreign brands such as Toyota, Lexus, VW, Audi and Hyundai(!). And the only pickup truck ads I saw were from Toyota.

- I'm impressed with my church choir. Our music director has been out for several days, which meant that we didn't have any choir practice last week and we had to get a replacement organist / choir director for today. Despite the almost total lack of practice (and despite some real flubs during warmups), we pulled off Copeland's "The Promise of Living."

- Today's Boston Globe Magazine included a long article on sex education, Let's Talk About Sex, which featured the Grades 7-9 version of the Our Whole Lives curriculum. And, yes, we do work hard at making OWL a safe enough place for youth to ask questions like "What is sex" without being ridiculed by their peers.
edschweppe: (Eve from Wall-E)
A really neat Flash game, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] txanne:


You'll need headphones for this if you're in a public area, as music is a key part of the gameplay. But it's gorgeous.

And this is apparently just the demo version ...

(edited to fix link. Need moar coffee.)
edschweppe: (UU chalice)
Or, at least, a new record coming into the world!

My church choir just wrapped up our recording sessions for a CD full of Christmas music. It's a wide-ranging repertoire, including tunes from medieval times, Africa, Spain, England, Germany, Bohemia and the US. And I'm one of the basses!

I am really looking forward to this. It was my first time making a "professional" recording, and was a lot of fun even though we had to stop every once in a while and wait for motorcycles to pass by. The one downside to singing in the choir is that I usually can't hear what the whole piece sounds like, since I'm buried in the back with the rest of my section.

The CD should be out later this year, simplifying my Christmas shopping no end ...
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
But I'm starting, at least. Guitar lessons, that is.

So far I'm the proud renter of a Fender DG-7 six-string acoustic guitar, and the grizzled veteran of one (count it, one) half-hour lesson at the local music shop. As a result, I can with some accuracy pluck an "E", and with rather less accuracy an "F" and "G". And I've got five more strings I haven't even touched yet (on purpose, at least)! Whee!

All joking aside, I think this is going to be fun. I know it's early days, and I know everybody else starts out at this level of incompetence. (Except perhaps Menolly of Half-Circle Sea Hold, but she's a fictional character and thus Does Not Count.)


edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

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