raystrobel47: (WMS sing)
The winter concert is tomorrow. I *just* finished the accompaniment CD this morning, and had to juggle auditorium time again because we can't go a year without two performance classes being scheduled against each other. This year it's HS choir vs. African drumming. I did get some time with the choir today in the auditorium, and tomorrow I'll get the whole class. Did I mention the concert is tomorrow night?

I feel better about it, in general. Today helped. The MS choir has a lot of enthusiasm, now if I can keep them from spazzing out, that'll be perfect. More absences in the HS choir both hurt and helped things. It's all about who was absent. I wish I'd've been more prepared, and had more time to prepare, but it all should go fine.

So, this picture that made my eyes water from teh funny kinda reflects how I feel about the whole thing: LOLcat time! )


Sep. 16th, 2007 12:04 am
raystrobel47: (Driving)
I just had a lovely evening, alone, with my wife. Thanks to our friend Naomi, Lake is spending the night with her good friend Elizabeth tonight, and we got to go out! We had a nice dinner at Red Hot and Blue, browsed at Borders (wish I'd brought my gift card...) and went to Dave 'N Busters for the first time in years! I got my ass whooped in Space Invaders, of all things, but did play the new Pump It Up game. I'm really glad they still have the classical music selections. We'd've gone to a coffeehouse, but Jenn had homework to do, so I played a bit of Guitar Hero, again, for the first time in months. It was fun.

Tomorrow is Rally Day at our church, and our first choir practice. We'll pick up Pookie after church, and after we (Me, Jenn, and Tim) sing for a special tour happening at our church after the service. Then, to watch football! And retro jerseys!!!
raystrobel47: (Music)
I have finally finished the piano part to my new church anthem. I was trying to fit this ├╝ber-complex sixteenth note pattern in one steenkeeng measure, and it wasn't working. I tried three different variations, and they all sounded out of place, not quite right, or forced. The left hand was good, which was a start. So I approached it simply- what chords really worked going from where I left off to where it picked up a measure later? And that was it. I just used chords, no rhythmic fru-fru or hype. That has allowed me to put what conscious effort I have left this evening (just got back from [livejournal.com profile] rapier1's wedding reception. AWESOME!! That requires a separate post.) to working on string parts, because the concert for this is in two weeks!!!

What sucks about the work I'm doing now is that I can't email it to my work address. At home I'm using Finale '06. At work it's only '01, and it don't work. So, while I have to duplicate my efforts, it's still work getting done with orchestration and stuff, so that it's just retyping when I'm at work and not creating.

With all of this going on, I have one huge regret that spans nearly 10 years now: Why, why, why did I not email myself a copy of every music file I ever wrote while a student at CMU? I am praying that [livejournal.com profile] sk4p can somehow access my archived account to get those files back (or contact someone who can), but if the account is deleted then all that work is gone. And all it would've taken is to email myself a copy, open it in my new spiff version of Finale, and reconfigure anything that's wonky. As it looks now I have to input it all in, all over again. *sigh*
raystrobel47: (Music)
1) A deadline.
2) A dollar sign.

I got both. Today at church our director asked if I'd be up for writing another anthem for the Sunday after Easter. That Sunday is going to feature all premiere material, because Tim (said director) is writing an anthem, too. And our director of education is going to write chant as well. He will even pay me! Woo-hoo! There's no time limit, I have a string quartet at my whim, and the theme is "Joy". I think I can manage this one. :-)

Busy day

Dec. 9th, 2006 10:44 pm
raystrobel47: (Driving)
I haven't had a Saturday like this in a long time. First was Candlelight service rehearsal starting at 9am until noon, working with the string quartet. We're singing the 10 minute Vivaldi Magnificat, which is a neat little piece, and not that long. Amongst other anthems is William Byrd's "Hodie," which, after hearing the whole thing and singing it, I could so totally see performing with the Debatable Choir (nudge, [livejournal.com profile] ariannawyn) or even the Pennsic choir. It's really neat.

After choir rehearsal, it was over to [livejournal.com profile] drbonez's new place to help him and Lynette move the heavy stuff from the POD. There was plenty of help, beer and pizza was acquired, and [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar and [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel showed up later in the afternoon. They brought baked goods of delight, including really nice green tea muffins, the mix bought from Trader Joe's, and Christmas tree sugar cookies.

Then it was home, no dinner needed thanks to the pizza and cookies and muffins, and having to risk my life and sensibilities to try homemade brownies that my sweetie baked with- get this- mini-York peppermint patties baked in them. *wipes drool* No, they're horrible. Eh, don't ask about 'em, cuz we...uh, had to throw them out. So they're gone. None left. Really. Would I lie??

Tomorrow is the church candlelight service, which will be nice, except for the absence of my sweetie and pookie. But, before all of that is a playdate with [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel and one of her friends from school, which should be great, so long as the little darling isn't acting like a complete and total monkey. Another busy day, but this kind of weekend is nice for a change.
raystrobel47: (Music)
So, things are going noticably better at WHS, and the HS choir is not excluded. I am now excited, because I just got off the phone with Thomas Douglas, notable tenor and vocal instructor at CMU. He's agreed to come to see my HS choir and give something of a master class, as well as some advice for me. Oh, he's also a Wilkinsburg graduate, so it's helping his alma mater. This is great. The steps seem like small ones, but I hope it will pay off in the future. He even mentioned the concept of a side-by-side concert with the Bach Choir, which would rock my Baroque socks off, cuz you know I'm gonna be all up in that m'self. Just sayin'.

So. Make the change, because it won't happen by itself.


May. 18th, 2006 10:12 pm
raystrobel47: (South Park teacher)
The Spring Concert is over, and everyone survived. The kids pulled it off pretty well, despite my best male middle schooler inexplicably not showing up, and my problem high school soloist showing up. I'm glad it's over. The rest of the concert was nice. There were two elementary groups performing, one recorder and the other African drum. The steel drum portion sounded good. The high school band sounded better than I expected, but still has a long way to go. I need to get more out of my kids. A lot more. But that's a goal for next year. Now I just need to get them to hang their damn robes up on the hangers, give them a vocal test, and work on material for next year.
raystrobel47: (Feh)
And because of this, the band and chior concert has been postponed until Tuesday evening.

Yay for more rehearsal, boo for missing Tue. night.

More later.
raystrobel47: (Lake not happy)
Just getting online now, and already time for bed. Ah, working with no computer access. Day Camp proves to be part fun, part challenge. Gotta think of another project for "Knights and Castles" for the wee ones. And what to do with a "percussion enseble" that will have no more than 3 kids in it at a time. *sigh* Wouldn't be so bad if Chatham weren't blindly greedy for any money they can get their hands on.

BMDL choir practice went really well tonight. I think our performances for the next two events, which include Pennsic, should be spot on. We're only eight strong, but are singing well with lots of new material.

I get to go to a baseball game tomorrow! My brother-in-law is taking me to see the Pirates face the Nationals. That should be cool, in part cuz I've never seen the Expos/Nationals, and it'll be my first baseball game in... three years, and I really like PNC Park. What I really can't wait for is when the Astros come to town in July. I hope they rebound from their woeful start by then.

I haven't even started reading y'all's entries yet... I reckon I'll need a lot of catch up time this summer.
raystrobel47: (Music)
Things I need to write/arrange in order:
- "Hit the Road Jack" for J. elem. band.
- finish "Survivor" for clarinet quartet in elem band.
- finish transcribing "Imagery" on Finale for tpt solo, to play for church.
- jazz piece for [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar and piano.
- finish "Miserere" for FUMC Chancel choir women. (must listen to Durafley's! sayeth Tim)
- sketch and research for Gloria. (waaaay down on the prioirty list, but there nonetheless)

Is that it? Dear lord, I hope so.
raystrobel47: (Default)
Today was the Faure Requiem and I Seek Your Face day, and all went well. It sounded really good from my standpoint. I even botched my solo a bit but recovered swiftly. I got a lot of good feedback about my men's piece. I'm really happy with it. Can't wait to hear the recording of it!
raystrobel47: (Music)
This is a general announcement for all in the Pittsburgh area:

On Sunday, March 20, at 3pm, the First United Methodist Church's choir will be performing Gabriel Faure's "Requiem." There will be a 20 piece orchestra accompanying the choir and organ in this very passionate work, and yours truly has one of the solos. Also being performed beforehand will be my piece, "I Seek Your Face" for men's a capella choir. It will be an afternoon filled with truly beautiful music. Anyone who's reading this is invited. This is a free concert, donations accepted. If you don't know how to get to First United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh or have any other inquiries, please leave in a comment or call/email me (gmail).

P.S.- My piece will actually be premiered during the 11am service on Sunday, in case that would be prefereable (but no Faure for you).
raystrobel47: (Music)
Projects to complete in the calendar year 2005, in order of completion:
  • Arrange a traditional hymn for women's choir at my church, in the style of Anonymous 4's version of "Amazing Grace." (simply breathtaking)

  • Find and transcribe "Imagery," the trumpet and piano piece I wrote as a sophomore(?) to be worked up by me and Tim as a church prelude or offeratory. I think it's in my briefcase, which I think is still on [livejournal.com profile] sk4p's 3rd floor. :-)

  • Write an a capella trio for [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharper, myself, and Tim to be performed in the fall.

  • Have an idea of the form of my Candlelight work- Gloria? Latin or English? If not a traditional form, what text do I use and how many movements? I already know instrumentation- 2 vln, vla, vcl, 2 tpt, 2 F hns, tymp. (yes, this includes choir and organ. smartass.)

  • Probably some arrangement for the Chatham band/orchestra to be concieved and completed during the six week summer camp.

  • Considering what I've already done this year, this doesn't seem like too much, provided I have access to Finale (got to get the upgrade for the eMac...) and a printer. I like it. I like it a lot.
    raystrobel47: (Music)
    So, after finishing the men's piece, I've decided to assist in the rehearsal of this piece by using oh-most-wonderful GarageBand to do my bidding. So, what Tim will do is record the music on the keyboard and save as an mp3. I'll take the file or CD of this and plop it right into garage band as it's own file, where I can then record each voice over the piano part. Once all four parts are recorded, I'll save four different files, one with each part and piano, for each voice. Then, as an extra bonus, since I'll have all four parts recorded anyway, I'll include a track of all four parts (sans piano) to give the others an idea of what the whole piece will sound together.

    But is that enough?? NooOOOoooo... See, I arranged a men's acapella version of the contemporary Christian song "Sanctuary," which Tim would like to do as a quartet. I'm having him include that piano version as well, where I'll do the same thing as with "Seek". Each CD that I burn, then, will include each rehearsal part of "I Seek Your Face" along with the acapella version, [edit- forgot this part last night]*and* each rehearsal oart of "Sanctuary" along with *it's* acapella version. (I've already fooled with it- it's wierd to hear a four-part piece sung only with your own voice. Cool, but wierd.)

    Yeah, that'll keep me busy. NOT. I've also decided to continue writing more "Amen"s, of which I already have 10 and our church choir has performed two of them. What I want to do is write enough to make a collection that can be used for many different purposes, prayer responses, benedictions, or whatever. They can be sung as one-, two- or four-part pieces, with accompaniment or acapella. The top part can even be printed in the church bulletin for congregational participation. I figure 30 total will be enough, and as 10 are already in 4/4 time, I'll write 10 more in 3/4, and 10 in 6/8. I'm also writing them in the fine tradition of J.S.Bach- steal from yourself. I'll write two or three with similar motives, with subtle melodic or harmonic changes, so all I need is three or four ideas for each batch.

    It feels good to write again. Since I'm not playing in band again, just yet, this wonderfully fills a creative void. Can't wait to hear how this sounds.

    Holy cow...

    Feb. 8th, 2005 10:10 pm
    raystrobel47: (Music)
    I think "I Seek Your Face" is done. I mean done. As in I finished the layout, measure markings, page numbers, and all the other little fru-fru stuff. The only bug that appeared was a word popped up under note that needed a different word, and there was no reasonable way to delete said word. So, I printed the copy, physically cut the word I needed from another earlier printout, and taped it over the offending text. Bam. Done. I could possibly even make copies tomorrow (oh yeah, and finish those lesson plans that are technically late at this point) and drop them off at the church for Tim to use at choir rehearsal. For Thursday night. This would effectively making my earlier "nigh-brilliant plan" obsolete and d.o.a. Oh well, I guess I can live with that when everything else is... two weeks ahead of schedule.
    raystrobel47: (Default)
    I just wanna take a nap right now.

    The weekend was busy, but nice. Saturday was the AEthelmearc AEcadamy (SCA event), and I taught my knotwork class and trumpet class for the first time in a couple of years. They both went well and were well attended. I'm hoping to recruit more members for the trumpet heralding- that would just be cool.

    I also attended [livejournal.com profile] blackpaladin's Batard calligraphy class, which I enjoyed. Eventually I'll get more into that, but right now I'm neither ready nor desiring of it.

    The choral performances went well, both at lunch and for the concert. It was nice to sing for Their Majesties directly, since I know they can't make our concerts the way we schedule them. Trumpeting and the choral processional also went off without a hitch. Yay! Oh, and Seton Hill is just beautiful.

    Sunday was dinner with friends of ours from church, originally from Germany. That was nice. Jenn made a fantastic dinner and it was a good evening.

    Wish I could ramble on further, but it's too close to teaching my next class. Gotta get lesson plans typed in soon now.
    raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
    While not 100% just yet, I'm over the fever that plagued me for four days. Now my throat needs to calm the hell down and return to it's unsctratched, unswollen state. But I'll take that over the fever. I'm glad I didn't have to worry about if it were strep or not.

    Let's see, Pennsic. It was a strange one this year, but a deliberate strange as opposed to last year's stranger-than-planned. I didn't get to see or do as much as I wanted, but then again, as my sweetie put it, we weren't gonna be there anyway. So it was all bonus. We all did weekends, and I showed up Monday for the choir concert. I noticed that many of the fighters were out on the field when I went for a parking space. Then, when I got out of the car, I heard the drums. I asked myself, "Why does this smell like the field battle?" Then I reached the field. It was the field battle!! WTF?!? This'll teach me to check the Pennsic battle schedule every single year from here on out and never trust tradition. So, I got to drum with Yama Kaminari, but no conch shell since the battle was well underway and the shell was still at camp. So, no Also Sprach Sama-thustra, or Jeapordy-dess. Alas, next year.

    The rest of the day went very well. It was fun seeing everything and hanging out with friends that I haven't seen in a long time. The concert that evening went well. I see areas for improvement, both on the choir's part and on mine as the director. I need in increase my scope on our performances and any new music for them. Changes in personell will just have to be dealt with as they happen.

    Fortunately, our tent survived the flood. The carpet remnants didn't, but those were the only things we had to chuck. Everything's dry, and we can't wait to use the yurt again and not have to deal with the nylon again.

    I'm really hoping that next year we can do the full second week. It'll be so nice to be able to stay up for longer than 24 hrs at a time. A trip home or two will be needed, but that won't be bad at all. It was just so great to be there and see everyone.

    Hm, preparation. School starts next week. We're in the midst of in-service days, and I'm still without a room. It's not that bad since 75% of what I ordered in my budget hasn't shown up yet, either, so there you go. I do feel that the beginning of this year will be far less stressful than last year, for obvious reasons, but I hope that I can gain ground on these kids. I don't just want it to be easier, I want it to be better. I have many new ideas that I want to try, so here's hoping.

    Ok, got that out, feel better now. ;-)


    raystrobel47: (Default)

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