raystrobel47: (Music)
I have been given a side project before I need to focus nearly all of my creative energy to the tuba recital piece. My church choir director, Tim, who I love, showed me a hymn and asked if I'd arrange it for me, him, and [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar. "I don't care if you change the melody or the harmony. I want it 'Strobel.'"

That honored me, and was a feeling I hadn't had in a while- he wanted to hear whatever I wanted to do to/with it. I think I have nearly all the melody of the hymn (Methodist hymnal #250, "Once in Royal David's City") and much of the harmony sketched out. I've changed the melody and harmony considerably, though it's still recognizable. Instead of being in F major it toggles between F dorian and F minor. The last verse seems more wispy and dreamy than the first three, so I'm considering making that verse slower and 'sweeter', but I don't want to lose the character I'm building in the first three verses. That's a worry for later, after I flesh out the harmony parts for the first three verses.

I need to finish this soon because Tim wants to perform this for Candlelight service, December 9th (Sunday afternoon). It is a free concert if anyone else in the area is interested in attending.

Date!

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: (Default)
I have to say that quite a bit got done today. Among the list:

-I graded all the pre-activities I'd brought home with me, and trimmed and labeled the folders of my first three classes (all but my choir classes). That will help me organize student work and pull out proof of grade come parent/teacher conference evening next month.

-Got to sing at church today, Jenn, Tim, and myself, on now standards of ours. It was so enjoyable to spend a Sunday morning with bagels and coffee, socializing in our choir director's office, with our daughter there, and rehearsing for about 10 minutes. It made the whole morning.

-I managed to put my car in the shop for a trunk that wouldn't close and a tire that was deflating, bring it back the same day, and have the total less than $30. Oh, if only they were all like that. I was told that my rear tires will need replacing soon, so I think we can budget winter tires to be put on in October or November.

-Since our entire routine is changing as of tomorrow and Jenn will be driving my car more, we cleaned the piles of trash and ...stuff... that's been accumulating for a number of months now. We even vacuumed it out with a mini-vac we have in the garage. It's sooo much better now.

Oh, much is still on the 'to do' list, but overall today has been a nice day. And I can't help but enjoy a day where I get to hear from another room, "I love you daddy! You're cute!" :-)
raystrobel47: (Default)
I am at work early, because the pooky is sick at home, and [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar is home with her. The poor girl is just extra congested and not feeling well. The kicker was that when we were shopping yesterday she wanted me to carry her and she fell asleep on my shoulder. That hasn't happened in... forever. I hope she gets to feeling better today.

What sucks is that I have a little bit of the same thing. Some sinus pressure, congested, little sore spot in my throat. This is the wrong week to get sick, bucko. I'm taking daytime gelcaps, hopefully that and a boat load of fluids will, as Benny Hill said, cut short its visit.

Yesterday was busy. Church was good, finally working on the Ellingboe Requiem during Sunday morning choir practice (haven't been able to make it to Thursday evening practices for a long time), and since we're performing it in two weeks it's nice to start reading it. When I came home it was spring cleaning! Lots of laundry, fridge and freezer cleanout, and bedroom fixin'-uppin'. Our bedroom, thanks to my wonderful wife, looks clean and great now. So does the kitchen. It looks and feels really nice.

[livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar, when you read this, know that I love you and can't wait to see you this afternoon. Kiss the punkin on the head for me. Hope you both have a good day.
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)
    Last night on Adventures In Good Music (radio program hosted by the late Karl Haas) I heard snippets of Francis Poulenc's Mass in G Major, which he dedicated to his father. The Mass is a capella. And I really like Poulenc's sonorities. I think I need to acquire this little sonic morsel. Mmmmmmm....

    Part of why this strikes me so is that after a couple of small-ish composition, arranging, and transcription projects, I would really like to write the Candlelight anthem for my church, possibly for 2006. This may wind up being a Gloria (like Vivaldi's and Rutter's), but I'm not sure yet. I'll need to do much listening, research, and soul-search. It'll be my biggest work to date, and I'm gonna do it right.
    raystrobel47: (Music)
    Well, that's my self-imposed deadline for this men's acapella piece I'm writing for Palm Sunday at my church. With the move and all, I haven't had much time to just sit down and write. Yesterday afternoon and this morning have been the first opportunities to do so. I *really* want to finish this on/by Friday so I can start putting it on Finale and have that done by the 20th. After further thinking, having it done and ready to hand to Tim by the 17th would be better because of Thursday evening choir practices.

    I don't know how far I'm done yet, really. I could be half done, but it could be more if I can work thse ideas further. I also have sketched ideas for further in the piece, yet some earlier parts need to be fleshed out. I'm thinking I won't be done on Friday. Feh. I'll know better by Thursday.

    I like what I'm doing so far. I'm adding more complex chords where I feel they fit, because I'm trying not to be too cut and dry. I guess I'm doing what I feel best at, and people seem to like it. Thank goodness I had the words written in one shot. I'm seriously thinking about asking to hang in Tim's office during next Sunday's sermon to continue writing this thing.
    raystrobel47: (Whoa!!)
    Put your vibrating cell phone in your chest pocket. WHOO!! That gets your attention.

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