Saturday, December 30, 2006

Movie Negotiations

Alrighty, just got off the phone with a nice manager at Rave Theaters, Vestavia.

The movie deal looks like it will be a go (although the exact negotiation will take place with the corporate office). Movie will be determined around Tuesday--I'll let you know what the possibilities are and we'll take a vote.

Dinner that evening will most likely be Pizza in honor of the Italian composer VERDI. I'll do my best to get a salad there for Katie M. and other interested parties (via a trip to COSTCO).

Movie $$$: Price will be around $10 for a drink, popcorn, and ticket.

Possible movies:

We are Marshall
Pursuit of Happiness
Night at the Museum

I like the idea of a comedy after an evening of rehearsals but Rocky, Marshall, and Pursuit are all shows that I want to see (and haven't yet).

Response has been good from the choir . . . I think it will be a great evening and possibly something that we can do at the beginning of every semester. What would you think about that?

So . . . that's the latest.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Answering questions

What's it gonna cost us?
Very little.

Do we have to pay for dinner?

Can we have salad too?

Do we also have to pay for the movie?

Can we skip out on the movie if we're exhausted?
Yes. But don't.

what movie will it be?
I don't know.

Can we vote?

How many classes are we exchanging this for, and what days will they be?
Probably 4 classes. At least two Fridays.

Update: Katie will be in charge of the lockin

October 2006 090, originally uploaded by philipco.

Katie asks excellent questions. I'm putting her in charge of the details.

A Quasi Choir Lock-In and Late Nite Movie

The UAB Band Director, Sue Samuels, is a very bright woman. She came up with the idea of having a band lock-in a few weeks ago and I've been interested in the idea ever since. I used to love lock-ins . . . it was a real Baptist thing that I did growing up and even led a few in a brief stint as a full-time church musician.

I'm no good past 2:00 in the morning, however, and I don't like the idea of rehearsing on a Saturday morning. I like the FIRST part of a lock-in and not the end.

We've got the Verdi Requiem coming up, you see, and it will take quite a while to learn it. Instead of spreading it all over January, I'd like to get the bulk of it under our belt at the very beginning of the semester.

My basic idea is to rehearse on the first Friday evening of class (January 5, 2007). At the end of the night, go en masse to a movie. I'm going to call my favorite theater today to see what sort of deal might be available at midnight. (movie, drink, popcorn)

I did the movie thing with a jr. high lock-in once and it was a great experience. I'm not sure what it is that is so fun about it, but I love taking an entire group of people to the same movie. I did it for the first time with Leigh's medical school class . . . the 100-member class went to see Gross Anatomy and it was quite fun. (at least, I think that was the movie)

Possible timing of our Quasi Lock-In:

Friday, January 5
5:00 - 6:30 rehearsal
6:30 dinner (Verdi seems to dictate pizza)
7:30 - 9:00 rehearsal
9:00 break (ice cream?)
9:30 - 11:00 rehearsal
Midnight: Movie

Reading through Christmas

Books I've read since Thanksgiving (highly recommended):

1. Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis.
I don't typically read Chick-Mysteries, but I'd downloaded this one for Leigh to listen to on her new Ipod Nano. That was one of Leigh's Christmas presents and she loved it. Her other favorite thing that I put on the Nano? Andy Gibb. Read about the book here.

2. Next by Michael Crichton
A fascinating book that is quite alarming in its description of the dangers of genetic research. Read about it here. A review here.

The Los Angeles Times had this to say:
On a more abstract level, however, Crichton is surely on to something: That world is changing so fast that public education, the media and the legal system have failed to keep up, and we risk being blindsided by tomorrow's challenges to our notions of what's possible and moral.

3. Night Room by Peter Straub.

An incredible read. There is a unique twist in the opening third of the book that I will never forget. A review here.

4. The Taking by Dean Koontz
This was a good read, but not a great one. Koontz can always make things scary, that is for sure, but I didn't think this was one of his best. This review captures it well:
If you’re a Koontz fan, you’ll want to read this book even though it’s not up to his usual standards. The first half is a powerhouse of creepiness with a story line build-up that showcases the best of Koontz's storytelling abilities. But the second half will likely let you down, unless your favorite theme in Koontz's books is the transcendence of horror by uplifting spirituality.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Little Peach

Little Peach, originally uploaded by BooBear.

We are fortunate to have a photographer that helps us around our house. She gets a great photo of Claire right here.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Rest in Peace, President Ford

Today we honor the passing of President Gerald Ford with his favorite hymn, Eternal Father, Strong to Save (a link to a description of his presidency is here):

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

and kiss the feet of God

"Who knocks tonight so late?"
the weary porter said.
Three kings stood at the gate,
each with a crown on head.

The serving man bowed down,
the Inn was full, he knew.
Said he, "In all this town
is no fit place for you."

A light in the manger lit;
there lay the Mother meek.
This place is fit.
Here is the rest we seek.

Come, come.

They loosed their latchet strings,
so stood they all unshod
"Come in, come in, ye kings,
and kiss the feet of God."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Choral Works for Lent (church)

I'll post a little work here that I did over on the Choralist list:

My Short request:

1. work for church
2. lasts about 20 minutes and
3. have 6-7 different movements
4. along the lines of two Vivaldi works: Gloria (2004)and Magnificat (2006).

Short answers from the community:

Bach: Passions
Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri
Caldara: Stabat Mater
Charpentier: Le reniement de St. Pierre
Dubois: Seven Last Words of Christ
Faure: Faure's Requiem
Gawthrop: Dan Gawthrop's "Behold What Mystery"
Gretchaninoff: Alexander Gretchaninoff's "Passion Week", opus 58
Handel: Passions
Haydn: Seven Last Words of Christ
Hopson: 'Tenebrae - A Service of Darkness' by Hal Hopson
Martin: "Song of the Shadows" by Joseph Martin
Mignemi: "MYSTERIUM INCARNATIONIS" Giuseppe Mignemi
(You can free download or direct
Mozart: Requiem
Rutter: Requiem
Schutz: Seven Last Words H. Schutz
Smith, Lani: A Service of Shadows Lani Smith
Stainer: "The Crucifixion" (John Stainer)

Full Original Question:

The big Christmas service is complete for this season. Our biggest
successes over the years have come with two Vivaldi works: Gloria (2004)
and Magnificat (2006).

I'd like to do something along those lines during Lent and I'm looking for

My ideal work for church lasts about 20 minutes and have 6-7 different
movements. Three or four would be accessible works for the choir and the
other 3-4 go to solos, duets, trios, etc.

I've already consulted the ChoralNet archives and I'm interested to see what
other recommendations there are out there. I'd be glad to do a compilation.

Previous suggestionsfrom
this list include:

"The Crucifixion" (John Stainer)
'Tenebrae - A Service of Darkness' by Hal Hopson
Dan Gawthrop's "Behold What Mystery"
various passions by Bach, Handel
Alexander Gretchaninoff's "Passion Week", opus 58
"Song of the Shadows" by Joseph Martin
Seven Last Words H. Schutz
A Service of Shadows Lani Smith
A Service of Darkness Lani Smith
Faure's Requiem
Stainer's Crucifixion
Rutter's Requiem
Mozart's Requiem
Dubois Seven Last Words of Christ

Thanks to all who contribute.

Full answers from the community:

I have composed a suite of 5 pieces to chapel "MYSTERIUM INCARNATIONIS"
You can free download
or direct
Merry Christmas
Giuseppe Mignemi
Via G. Grasso, 20
95013 Fiumefreddo Sic. (CT) - Italy

Scott Gillam to me
show details Dec 21 (18 hours ago)
Dear Philip,

How about Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ? This is probably an easier
setting to learn than the Schuetz setting of the same text, although I'm
personally not familiar with either work. We rent up to 42 copies of the
Haydn (G. Schirmer edition) (a) $1.50 per copy plus postage.

Another outstanding possibility is Charpentier's Le reniement de St. Pierre,
a haunting 11-minute work with solos and keyboard and basso continuo
accompaniment. We rent up to 76 copies of this piece (Presser edition) (a) 75
cents per copy plus postage.

We also rent both the Vivaldi Gloria and Magnificat that you mention in your

Check out our on-line catalogue, which has added over 60 selections in
recent months, for more possibilities.

If you wish, I can put your name on our list to receive once-yearly advance
notices when the catalogue is revised.

Best wishes for the holidays,

Scott Gillam
NAS Choral Music Rental Library

MLycanclef(a) to me
show details Dec 20 (2 days ago)
Buxtehude, Membra Jesu nostri

Best wishes,

Mary Lycan

Instead of some 'work' - - put together a work (as long as you are not using orchestra - - which would be then a nightmare!)

Do a movement that fits your group from different masses or works.

For instance:

Kyrie: chant
Gloria: Schubert
Credo: Haydn
Sanctus: Faure
Agnus Dei: Robert Ray (Gospel - slow)
Benedictus: (some Renaissance composer)

you could throw in:
Dies Irae: Mozart
Lacrimosa: Mozart
Dona Nobis Pacem: Bach b Minor

etc. etc.

This way, you could pick and choose those that are accessible to your choir and they'd have the benefit of learning the music and styles of different composers/eras.

Happy Holidays.
Richard Garrin

Just a brief comment. Requiem settings are to remember the deceased, especially in the Fall, beginning with All Souls Day on Nov. 2. I would suggest not doing them during Lent...
the theology just doesn't fit.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

For the singers of songs

Don't miss this story.

The composer stumbled across Neruda's poems in an airport bookstore and found their tender and searching stanzas to be a perfect gift for husband and wife. Sadly, just over a year after the songs' May 2005 premiere -- and less than eight months after this live recording was made -- Hunt Lieberson died at 52.

The set's final song, "My love, if I die and you don’t--," offers a clear-eyed tribute to everlasting love. But it's hard not to be moved listening to Hunt Lieberson's gorgeous, smoky voice, as well as her unsentimental approach to music that already aches with yearning and loss. Neruda's last line -- "But love, this love has not ended: just as it never had a birth, it has no death: it is like a long river, only changing lands, and changing lips" -- perfectly complements the composer's gently rocking rhythm. His descending four-note theme feels like a gentle lullaby, as he slowly rocks his dear wife to sleep.

Download Chopin Nocturnes Free

The story I found here:

"You don't have so much of a career now," I say, when I meet the Russian pianist Andrei Gavrilov. In 1974 Gavrilov was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky piano competition, aged just 18. He was a protege of the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, and a superstar in the 1980s. In 1990 he had a recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon and the world at his feet - or, rather, his fingertips.

That was then. It's been all downhill since - a story of abandoned concerts, loss of confidence, the end of the DG deal, a broken marriage. It was a personal and artistic implosion, though which fed which is hard to say. I asked a friend, who knows his musical onions, what Gavrilov meant to him. Nothing. He was too young. Gavrilov hasn't made any recordings since the mid-90s, and he hasn't played many concerts either. He was history.

From today's Guardian interview with fallen superstar Andrei Gavrilov, and the article allows you to download new recordings by him of seven Chopin Nocturnes.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A newer new look

Ok, after two somewhat negative comments on the new blog look I'm trying something else. This one retains the structure of the old but gives some new colors. I was getting tired of that other look.

Comments, anyone?

(and please, notice that we have the ability to do LABELS now)

Triplets say Merry Christmas

December 2006 046, originally uploaded by philipco.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A new look

Blogger finally allowed me to make the switch to the new version. I'm pretty sure I was one of the last group because I have over 800 posts . . . so it was a bit more complex. Let me know what you think about the new version (I can always switch back to the old look). Expect some more changes as I get used to it.

Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006)

Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006)

From his website:

Dan passed away peacefully on the morning of 18 December, 2006.
A memorial service will be at 2 pm on Saturday, the 20th of January at King's Chapel, 58 Tremont Street in Boston.

There will be a reception following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Pinkham Endowment for Music
King's Chapel House
64 Beacon Street
Boston MA 02108

Daniel Pinkham Scholarship Fund
New England Conservatory of Music
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115

Monday, December 18, 2006

Suspect Detained--Let's Hope He's Not a Music Teacher

I don't know if you've heard about the horrific murders of prostitutes in England lately, but they are now holding a suspect:

Police hunting a suspected serial killer following the murders of five prostitutes in eastern England arrested a 37-year-old man on Monday and cordoned off a group of houses.

The man was arrested at his home in Trimley St. Martin, near the port of Felixstowe, Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said in a brief statement to reporters. He declined to say where the suspect was being held.

I'm waiting for the news that he is either a music teacher or minister any day . . .

Sunday, December 17, 2006

God smiled upon me yesterday

I was driving along yesterday morning not expecting anything and I saw it: a new sign beside the construction project very close to my neighborhood. At first, I couldn't believe my eyes . . . it was too good to be true . . . yet it was.

A STARBUCKS is coming to my neighborhood. Less than a mile from my house.

And there's more . . . .

It will be the biggest in Birmingham . . . and it will have a fireplace.

I already have a name for it: my new remote office.
Bill Clinton Kills Santa


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Festivus for the Rest of Us 2006

You only THINK you know about Festivus. Here's a video explaining more.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Striving for Excellence

Here's what we'll try to add to our recording today:

Ave Maria:

  • Women making the warmest sound we can make, especially at the beginning of the piece. It sounds a little thin.
  • Everyone but the sopranos singing with more meter at the beginning. Translation: softer on b. 2.
  • Men, more precision on every entrance during the Womens Choir vs. Men's Choir section.
  • Pull more on the words "ventris" and "sancta"
  • Men, think eighth notes at the "ora pro nobis" part
  • Sounding phrases that end with "MMM" or "NNN" more (only a couple of places)
  • Sing with emotion on "Sancta Maria". It isn't just a volume, it is a feeling--one of great need and great salvation.
The Three Kings
  • I'm hearing a problem with every O vowel--I am hearing a spread sound in the men. Tenors are still slightly under pitch.
  • Men must work on these words: SO, TOWN, NO, PLACED, LOOSED
  • Men, we can't be too loud on the word "bowed."
  • The women's incredible E major chord on MEEK must be perfectly reproduced in the men's E major word SAID.
  • A woman's voice breaks every time we sing "And kiss the feet of God." I've previously written it off as a once in a lifetime thing but I've heard it on the last three recordings. If your voice does something funny there, don't sing!
  • Men, we will strive for a rhythmic release on "This place is fit . . . . here is the rest we need"
  • The second time we sing KING at the end, we are dying away too quickly, we need to keep it stronger. I'm going to reinterpret that today.

Mother Malia

Click the picture for more documentation of the blessed event.

The Real Group in concert

Buy it here:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our work today

The Three Kings
Ave Maria (Busto)
Ave Maria (Biebl)[men]
O Magnum Mysterium [chamber singers]

Let's do it again


I'd feel better about the recording process if we did it one more time tomorrow. I'm going to keep working on what we have tonight and will post in a little while. For posterity, however, let's do it again at Bluff Park tomorrow at 2:00. There may be a SLIGHT chance that we can't get in there tomorrow, but I will determine that first thing tomorrow. Plan on showing up there unless you hear from me (and check your email tomorrow).

Thanks for today and a wonderful semester.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

You may enjoy my brother's post here. He's always a little bothered because I absolutely own him in our Age of Empire battles.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Trial by Choir, 3rd post

Some of you may be interested to follow the discussion of the show on the ChoralNet blog. I seem to have gotten caught up in it.

Discussion thread here.
Another discussion thread here.

Lots of posting from me lately. What is it . . . Christmas?

Looking ahead: The Coolin

The Coolin
Music by Samuel Barber
Text: James Stephens (1880-1950)

Come with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat,
Or wine if it be thy will

And we will talk, until
Talk is a trouble, too,
Out on the side of the hill;
And nothing is left to do,

But an eye to look into an eye;
And a hand in a hand to slip;
And a sigh to answer a sigh;
And a lip to find out a lip!

What if the night be black!
Or the air on the mountain chill!
Where the goat lies down in her track,
And all but the fern is still!

Stay with me, under my coat!
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat,
Out on the side of the hill!

Fantastic recording on emusic here (Dale Warland Singers: Reincarnations) Itunes link here.
About James Stephens.

The following notes come from this website.

The text of Reincarnations has a double history. James Stephens (1882-1950) was an Irish author writing in English whose output was dominated by nostalgia and melancholy over lost traditional Ireland. Two of these texts are "after the Irish of Raftery," i.e., they are translated and reworked from songs in the Irish language – what we call Gaelic – by the musician/poet Antoine O Reachtabhra, transliterated as Anthony Raftery. Raftery (1784-1835) was among the last of the great blind Irish harpists. Irish culture had a great bardic tradition with no meaningful distinction between song and poetry, and many of the greatest bards were blind. (The traditional self-accompaniment for the bard was the harp.) Harpists wandered from court to court, performing and improvising songs, taking maximum advantage of the elaborate code of aristocratic hospitality. Among the most common genres were songs of praise, the lament, the extended poetic insult, and the vision song. In setting these words to music, Barber restores them to their original purpose, not as poems to be read but as lyrics for song.

Two of the songs in the Reincarnations cycle – "Mary Hynes" and "The Coolin" – fall into the traditional category of love song or praise for a beautiful woman. Note in "Mary Hynes" the repeated use of visual imagery by the blind artist singing of the woman's beauty, and the concluding line "no good sight is good until by great good luck you see the blossom of branches walking towards you, airily, airily." The irony of this line would not have been lost on Raftery's original audience. The second piece is a tribute to Anthony Daly, a martyr hanged in 1820 for leading an agrarian terrorist organization. He was also accused of shooting at another man, a charge he vehemently denied: "If I did, though I have but one eye, I would have hit him." Nonetheless, he was convicted and sent to the gallows. Raftery, who witnessed the hanging, composed a bard's curse on those responsible for the death. Thus the mood is more of retaliation than of mourning, and legend has it that calamity did befall those whom he cursed! Barber makes expressive use of the ancient device of pedal point, with the note E sounded below or above the melody for all but four measures of the piece. The insistence of that pitch and repetition of Anthony's name heightens the impact.

The word coolin, used as the title of the third piece, refers to a lock of hair or "curleen" that grew on a young girl's neck and came to be used as a term for one's sweetheart. Stephens wrote: "I sought to represent that state which is almost entirely a condition of dream wherein the passion of love has almost overreached itself and is sinking into a motionless languor." Barber uses a gentle siciliano rhythm for this old Irish love song, filtered through Stephens's romantic poetry.‡

ACDA Invitational Festival

I just found out what choirs are singing for the Alabama ACDA Invitational Festival held at UAB. (We'll be singing for each concert)

The Choirs:

Birmingham Boys Choir Senior Choristers
Ken Berg, Director

Enterprise High School Concert Choir
John Baker, Director

Faulkner University Chorus
Lester McNatt, Director

Hoover High School Junior Honors Choir
Diana Mayhall, Director

Jacksonville State University A Cappella Choir
Patricia Corbin, Director

Jefferson State Community College Jefferson State Singers
Jessica Hall, Director

Mortimer Jordan High School Chamber Choir
Margaret Heron, Director

Saint Paul’s Episcopal School Chamber Singers
Jody Powell, Director

Shades Crest Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir
Tim Mann, Director

Simmons Middle School 8th Grade Choir
John Kincaid, Director

More MP3's from last night

Ave Maria (Biebl)
Deo Gracias (Leininger)
There is No Rose (Stroope)

Catherine can outsing an entire choir

I was not the only Copeland in performance mode yesterday. Check out Catherine and Caroline in their feature performance of "Jesus Boy" at last night's church service.

I didn't realize that the "loud kid" was my Catherine until the end. Caroline gets tired of the performance about 60 seconds into it . . she leaves to go look at the manger scene behind the choir and then comes in for the big finish. Maybe she didn't like the middle part of the song.

Claire wasn't present during the performance . . . stage fright. She did a fine job of it later that night (at home).

MP3's of last night

Get them while they are here:

Ave Maria
The Three Kings
Choose Something Like a Star
Jingle Bells

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ramblings about tonight

How I felt:
  • the "afterglow" of the concert was certainly a high one. it seems to me that this was our best Christmas at the Alys since I've been here
  • each set by UAB choirs seemed to be of high quality and fine musicianship--i thought each group sang very well--great concentration, excellent individual musicianship, fantastic corporate musicianship
Dr. Jordan was at the concert and I didn't see him until the end. A few words from him:
  • "I'm very proud." (of course, that made me feel great)
  • "Everything was good and especially the Women's Choir." He was particularly taken with "There is No Rose." (I thought we really rose to the occasion on that one, women."
  • "Erin did a great job." (my opinion, exactly)
Maybe I'll get more comments from him later in a future conversation.

Other thoughts:
  • All soloists did outstanding jobs, and that includes Aaron Glenn.
  • We're lucky to have Ms. Dale Reynolds to keep us straight, to prevent mistakes, to help us look good, to help us put our best foot forward, to play some notes just a little bit louder when they have a tendency to go flat
  • Jingle Bells rocked. It's never gone that well. It's never gone that fast, either. That's the speed that it has always needed to go! I actually had to hold you back a bit . . . what a night to rise to the occasion.
  • A former Clay Chalkville tenor came up to me after the concert and wants to start singing with us next semester. I'm excited about him . . . a very nice young man . . . I feel like I watched him grow up because I met him as a freshman in the CC Chamber Choir. Making the Chamber group as a freshman is quite an accomplishment and I'll be glad to get him in our choir. Here's to hoping that it works out . . .
  • Another from Doc (dr. jordan): He really liked Choose Something . . . said "well sung and wonderfully interpreted" or something like that.
  • Nick said "Jingle Bells" went much better than last night.
  • O Magnum went really well, Chamber Singers! Meter was definitely a part of our interpretation and I think Shades Valley really did a great job.
  • Some of you don't believe me, but "Of the Father's Love Begotten" really is an effective piece. Chris called it a death cult song . . . but lots of people told me afterwards how moving it was. Two girls who performed it with us two years ago remarked that it was their favorite piece and so much more effective than they knew when they sang it.
OK . . . your turn for comments.

Early Praise from Lindsey (Wooley) Tuller

I found this email when I got home tonight. I'll write more when I have a moment to reflect on a great concert. Now, Lindsey's email:

Dr. Copeland,

The concert today was great! Wow! Ya'll sounded wonderful. What perfectly, in-tune cadences! The program as a whole was very warming and enjoyable. I particularly liked THE THREE KINGS!!! It gave me chills! Of the Father's love begotten was quite the experience as well. Rachael sounded lovely. Erin conducting was pretty impressive. The men's Ave Maria sounded very good as well.

The program was put together very well; with the short carols in between. It had a nice effect. Wish I could have been up there. : (

I sat in the back balcony and the choir resonated beautifully through out the Jemison. Your wife and three little daughters were a few rows in front on me (with their cute, red bows!) They behaved so well to be so young.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

And the Grammy goes to . . . .

A cappella Grammy nominations announced

(from A Cappella News) As usual cappella music has garnered several nominations for Grammy awards which were announced today. “Blessed” by The Soweto Gospel Choir has been nominated as Traditional World Music Album and “Long Walk to Freedom” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo was nominated for Contemporary World Music Album. “Padilla: Sun of Justice,” Peter Rutenberg, conductor (Los Angeles Chamber Singers' Cappella) is nominated in Small Ensemble Performance category.

In the Choral Performance category are “Part: Da Pacem,” Paul Hillier, conductor (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir); “Requiem,” Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (Conspirare); and “Whitacre: Cloudburst and Other Choral Works,” Stephen Layton, conductor (Polyphony). Congratulations to all.

My vote: “Requiem,” Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (Conspirare)

It's outstanding, it really is.

Get it here. Or here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Looking ahead to 2008

Something I saw as possible this evening:

54th Cork International Choral Festival, Ireland, 30 Apr - 4 May 2008. Opportunity to compete in the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition. Open to any choir of international standing (except specifically children's choirs). Apply before 1 Nov 2007. Contact: Cork International Choral Festival, Festival House, 15 Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland. Tel: +353-21-4223535, Fax: 353-21-4223536, Email: - Website:

UAB Academic Calendar

Spring 2008

Jan 7 Classes Begin
Mar 9 - Mar 15 Spring Break
Apr 24 Weather Make-up Day
Apr 25 - May 1 Final Exams
May 3 Graduation/Diploma Date

It's possible.

Chamber Choir Visited Hoover on Day of Murder

I saw this today on a website I frequent:

Killer's mom sues high school

Birmingham, Ala.: "Felicia Reynolds, the mother of former Hoover High School student Ricky Reynolds, has filed a $5 million claim against the city of Hoover, saying her son would not have fatally stabbed classmate Sean Joyner had her pleas for help been heeded. Ricky Reynolds is in a Louisiana prison serving a 20-year manslaughter sentence for the November 2002 incident at the high school."

UAB's Chamber Singers happened to be performing at Hoover High School on the morning the murder occurred. We couldn't figure out why they wouldn't let us leave--or even go to the bathroom, if I remember correctly. Sometimes, bad things happen. And sometimes, a choir is near them.

When You Need To Be Where

Saturday: Be in the ASC Jemison Concert Hall at 7:00 p.m. (DRESS REHEARSAL)

Sunday: Be in the Hulsey Recital Hall at 1:40 (dressed)

Download Movement Instructions

Movement Instructions: Download here. Description: UAB Movement Plan for Christmas at the Alys 2006.

Compacted Program: Download here. Description: Compacted form of music/choir order, Christmas at the Alys.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Life with beautiful women

November 2006 002
Originally uploaded by philipco.
Leigh and the girls made cookies tonight. This is before I started the bath!

From the left:

Caroline - Claire - Catherine

Europe a NO

I pulled the plug today.

We weren't going to have a balanced choir, so I stopped everything.

The good news: no deposits will be lost from students and our $500 tour deposit can be carried over until next year.

I'd like to begin planning for a May 2008 trip. We'll discuss when the new semester begins.

As for this year, I'm going to talk with Dr. Reynolds about a recruiting trip in Alabama and a fun concert trip to someplace like Chicago.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tour Update


We are a borderline GO on Europe 2007. It breaks down this way:

1. If we go with the DEFINITE YES crowd, we can't go.
2. If we go with the DEFINITE and PROBABLY YES crowd, we can go if we get a few more key people on board.

I'll try to discuss this tomorrow in choir and I need to have a couple of serious conversations with a couple of people . . . primarily first tenors--we need more of them to go.

More soon, I promise.

Beta Testing Is Worth It

Got this email from Microsoft today:

We're pleased to announce that we will be sending you one licensed 32-bit retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate as a thank you for your participation in our program.

Pretty cool, eh?

Going Beyond Words

I met the President of Colleguim Music and Founder of Clarion Records at the recent NCCO convention in San Antonio. He told me about a radio show he hosts, "Going Beyond Words" every Sunday at 7:00 a.m.

From the website:

"Through Going Beyond Words, Stan Schmidt enriches lives every week. His program educates and entertains, intellectually stimulates and touches the spirit. It provides breadth of experience and furthers depth of understanding. With a thematic approach served by its host’s through knowledge, unique insight, genuine enthusiasm, and gentle strong presentation, Going Beyond Words advances the cause of choral music and classical music as it speaks to the human condition."

You can catch it at if you are ever around at that hour. I'm sure it is very good, and I hope he puts recordings of archived shows on the website sometime soon.

Off-topic bizarreness

"Flatulence brought 99 passengers on an American Airlines flight to an unscheduled visit to Nashville early Monday morning."

(it was a woman)

More here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Good Movies

Caught two good movies in a Friday Night Doubleheader this weekend: Stranger than Fiction and The Queen. I expected to like the "Queen" movie better than "Stranger than Fiction" but it turned out to be the opposite. Neither, however, were the kind of movie that will ever enter my top ten (or twenty) (or fifty).

Katie M. and Joey/Johnny/Christopher saw us after the second movie. Both looked a little stunned to see Leigh and I in a non-school setting that was nearly social. After a couple of minutes, they recovered.

Birmingham Southern Christmas Concert

I am headed to this in a couple of hours--feel free to join me --- plc

The 70th Annual Service of Lessons and Carols, featuring three Birmingham-Southern College choirs, will be presented Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4:30 p.m. at Canterbury United Methodist Church, 350 Overbrook Road, Mountain Brook.

This Birmingham-Southern tradition, begun at the former McCoy Methodist Church near the college campus, will include traditional Christmas carols and seasonal selections by both classical and contemporary composers.

Performing will be BSC’s Concert and Alumni choirs, under the direction of Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music Lester Seigel, and the Southern Chorale, conducted by Professor of Music David Smith. Professor of Music James Cook will be the organist. A selection of French Noël settings, performed by organ students of Cook, will precede both services for those who arrive early.

Choral works will include carols from many national traditions, including an extended excerpt from Benjamin Britten’s monumental work A Boy Was Born; an original arrangement by Seigel; and works by David Conte, Ned Rorem, Mendelssohn, and Renaissance composer Josquin Deprez.

The services are open to the public, and admission is free. A nursery will be provided at the Sunday service. For nursery reservations, please call 205/874-1546.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Same Old Lang Syne

I had a very Dan Fogelberg moment in Costco today--I met one of my first bestfriends during a shopping trip to pick up some things. It had been many years--probably 20 since we'd last talked face to face. The experience had several things in common with a Fogelberg song that I've loved for many years, Same Old Lang Syne. If you don't know the song, you should! (I learned some things I didn't know about the song and tune when I was looking up the lyrics.)

She didn't recognize my face at first . . . and we didn't talk for long (and we did not go out and "buy a six pack at the liquor store" like the Fogelberg song) but it did take me back to my sixteenth year in life. To me, my friend is still sixteen (the years have really been a friend to her) . . but I'm nearly 40.

I had a few insights that I felt the need to "journal" about . . . and since this is the closest thing I have to a journal, you get to read about it!

First, I was reminded that the person I was at 16 was very much like the person I am today. I've experienced alot and I'm sure I've changed in some important ways . . . but in my brief conversation with her I realized that much of the script for my life was already there at 16. I didn't know that until today.

I don't know about you, but I've had very few people in my life that I'd call a "best" friend. If you've got one now, treasure the relationship. In my experience, they don't come along that often.

Thinking about the Fogelberg song reminded me of the guy that introduced me to D.F., a guy named Paul who is now some very successful medical malpractice lawyer in Mississippi. Paul sat beside me in band and was an incredible trombone player. He is also the guy that first got me thinking about the University of Mississippi . . . where the crucial events of my life took place: college choir and Dr. Jordan, meeting Leigh. Without Paul's influence on me as a seventh grader in band, I doubt I'd never gone to Ole Miss, never met Leigh, never been the father of my incredible children and the director of any college choir.

I hadn't listened to Dan Fogelberg's music in a long time . . . I'd nearly forgotten how much I loved it (it's playing on the ipod now).

And so, today, just for a moment, I was back at school . . . . and felt again the old familiar joys and pains of that part of the past.

Life is good, and it's a great life.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fun with Latecomers

This is the article I referenced in choir today. Great job with the verbal abuse of Linc, Clay. Quite creative.

Men's Choir, soloists and ensemble

On the Christmas concert, the men are singing Biebl's Ave Maria, one of the great works of this century. The work was written for choir and trio with three solos.

Here's how we will perform it:

Solo #1: Chris Josof
Solo #2: Steve Hakim
Solo #3: Lincoln Parrot

Ensemble: Tyler Henderson, Kiyoshi Scissum, Anthony Concepcion, Michael Evans, Charles Henry, Clay Rector.

It's going to be a great work for our group. Congratulations to the guys who will be singing the solo and singing in the ensemble. (soloists will sing their chant from the choir, ensemble will come out of the choir)

Leather Jacket Found in Choir Room

There was a leather jacket left in the choir room several days ago . . . it has been in Nora's office for a week or so. Erin told me it might be Patrick's . . . is it yours, P?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Three Kings

Found a nice recording of The Three Kings tonight on Itunes. Get it here. Found another one that is interesting in the same place (I bought it, too). Lots of shaking going on.

Biebl Ave Maria - Chant for Bass and Tenor

We'll pick solos for the men's "Ave Maria" (Bieble). Here are some examples of how other recorded soloists have done the chant lines.

Example 1
Example 2

Example 1
Example 2

Trial by Fire, part 2.

Reviews are not good for the young choir teacher featured in Trial by Fire:

A comment left on this blog:

I watched "Trial by Choir" last night, and not 15 minutes in to the program I recognized Jerome as a Berklee graduate. Not for also being an graduate myself (1983), but for him carrying forward a hostile and nasty manner of "teaching", if you dare call it that, that is common at the college. Not only was it painful to view, but it angered me to see him badger these kids "What chord is this?" when there was no evidence he had taught them the difference between major or minor. Good grief, he appears to fall in to two of the more common Berklee categories - "I can't make it big so I can always teach - bitter" and "I have to tear someone else down to build myself up - insecure". I've sung in my fair-share of choirs and was an original member of the first Gospel choir at Berklee. I know you can lead a group of singers without being a terror, and have a wonderful and cohesive group. If there is a turn-around in his awful attitude I hope to see it by the close of this series.

I was a little surprised at that reaction, but saw a similar response from Charles Henry, who watched the show. (I'm recording it on the DVR but haven't watched it yet)

Then, today, I found these responses on ChoralNet:
  • I wish the program featured a real teacher instead of someone who lacks the leadership skills.
  • About half-way through the show, I've decided that no remote connection with actual musical education exists. The format exists purely to set up as much tension (it's what substitutes for an actual plot today and relieves the networks of paying writers) as possible between singers and director. The director (I use the term loosely) may be a high flying hot shot at Berkeley but teaching does not seem his forte. I'm really disappointed with this and very glad I didn't recommend it to my singers and students. These kids have been brought together musically with zero success. Most good teachers can accomplish more one hour of "real time" rather than the many days this one-hour show covered. . . A good teacher can communicate every bedrock vocal technique a beginning choir needs with Happy Birthday in one hour. The following hours go toward making it better and better and transferring it to the next song. You have to start as a teacher where they are. He isn't where they are. Not only that, he isn't WILLING to go where they are. (He prefers a bunch of teens on their first field trip out of the city to be quiet on the bus, and when they aren't, he whines. Hello??)
  • Call me old fashioned but perhaps setting the "ground rules" BEFORE you take them out for a weekend retreat would have been more successful? Name this chord-major, minor, augmented, or diminished-with no explanation at all? What was the purpose of that? It did nothing but put them on the spot and make them feel even more inadequate than they already did. This made me want to run out and start teaching high school again just to show the public what a good high school choral director is supposed to act like. Very disappointed in this!
More here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas at the Alys 2006 - the program

Our Christmas concert with correct titles, composers, composer dates, and texts.

Why am I posting this again? Google does a great job of picking up blogger blogs (probably because they own blogger). Anyway, I'm putting this 'out there' on the internet so that choral conductors will be able to find this information for their own programs in the future.

Valley Singers
Heather Cantwell, conductor

Fum, Fum, Fum
Mack Wilberg
(b. 1955)

On December five and twenty, Fum, Fum, Fum!
On December five and twenty, Fum, Fum, Fum!
On, a child was born this night,
So rosy white, so rosy white.
Son of Mary, Virgin Holy,
In a stable mean and lowly, Fum, Fum, Fum!
On December five and twenty, Fum, Fum, Fum!
On December five and twenty, Fum, Fum, Fum!
On December’s most important day,
Let us be gay, let us be gay!
We go first to church and then
We have the sweetest buns and candy, Fum, Fum, Fum!
God will send us days of feasting, Fum, Fum, Fum!
God will send us days of feasting, Fum, Fum, Fum!
Both in hot months and in cold,
For young and old, For young and old,
When we tell the Holy Story,
Ever singing of his glory, Fum, Fum, Fum!

O Magnum Mysterium
Tomás Luis de Victoria

*combined with UAB Chamber Singers

O great mystery and wonderful sacrament
That animals see the Lord born
Lying in a manger.
Blessed virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear Lord Christ. Allelujah.

Carol of the Bells
arr. Peter Wilhousky

Hark! how the bells, sweet silver bells all seem to say, "Throw cares away."
Christmas is here bringing good cheer to young and old, meek and the bold.
Ding, dong, ding, dong, that is their song with joyful ring all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer from ev'rywhere filling the air.
Oh how they pound, raising the sound, o'er hill and dale, telling their tale,
Gaily they ring while people sing songs of good cheer. Christmas is here.
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send on without end their joyful tone to ev'ry home.

UAB Women's Choir
Dr. Philip L. Copeland, conductor

Deo Gracias
Jim Leininger
(b. 1942)

Kristina Howard, percussion
Erin Pair, conductor

Deo gracias!
Adam lay ibounden, Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter, Thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple, An apple that he took.
As clerkès finden, Written in their book.
Ne had the apple taken been, The apple taken been,
Ne had never our ladie, Abeen heav'nè queen.
Blessèd be the time That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen.
Deo gracias!

There Is No Rose
Z. Randall Stroope
(b. 1953)

Dale Reynolds, piano
Aaron Glenn, oboe

There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu; Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space; Resmiranda.
The angels sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis deo: Gaudeamus.
Now leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth; Transeamus Domini.
The angels sungen the shepherds to:
Transeamus, Gaudeamus, Resmiranda, Alleuia.
There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu; Alleluia.

Jefferson State Choirs
Jessica L. Hall, conductor

Jefferson State Choir

Gloria from Missa Brevis in F
Giovanni Palestrina

Glory be to God on high,
and on earth peace, good will towards men.
We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee,
we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ;
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord;
thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost,
art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Jefferson State Singers

Ave Maria: A Choral Prayer
Jessica Franchi
(b. 1977)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus [Christ].
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Jefferson State Chamber Singers

Wassail Song
R. Vaughan Williams

Wassail, Wassail, all over the town,
Our bread it is white and ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the green maple tree;
In the Wassail bowl we'll drink unto thee.

Here's a health to the ox and to his right eye,
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie,
A good Christmas pie as e'er I did see.
In the Wassail bowl we'll drink unto the

Here's a health to the ox and to his right horn,
Pray God send our master a good crop of corn,
A good crop of corn as e'er I did see,
In the Wassail bowl we'll drink unto thee.

Come, butler, come fill us a bowl of the best;
Then I pray that your soul in heaven may rest;
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
May the Devil take butler, bowl and all!

Then here's to the maid in the lily white smock,
Who tripp'd to the door and slipp'd back the lock;
Who tripp'd to the door and pull'd back the pin,
For to let these jolly Wassailers walk in.

UAB Men's Choir
Dr. Philip L. Copeland, conductor

Ave Maria
Franz Biebl

Hewitt-Trussville Singers
Nicholaus B. Cummins, conductor

The Glory of the Father
Egil Hovland
(b. 1924)

The Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us,
We beheld the glory of the Father,
Full of grace and truth.
In the beginning was the Word,
The Word was with God.
In him, in him was life,
And the life was the light of men.
He came to his own,
And his own received him not.
The Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us,
We beheld the glory of the Father,
Full of grace and truth.

Silent Night
Edwin Fissinger

Sing We Now of Christmas
arr. Fred Prentice

Sing we now of Christmas, sing we all noel.
Of our Lord and Savior we the tidings tell.
Sing we noel, for Christ the King is born.
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we all noel.

Angels from on high say, "Shepherds come and see.
He is born in Bethlehem, a blessed lamb for thee."
Sing we noel for Christ the King is born.
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we all noel.

Shepherds found the child lying in a manger stall.
Joseph standing by and mother Mary mild.
So now sing we noel, for Christ the King is born.
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we all noel.

Magi oriental journeyed from afar.
They did come to greet Him 'neath the shining star.
Glory to God, for Christ the King is born.
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we all noel.

UAB Concert Choir
Dr. Philip L. Copeland, conductor

Ave Maria
Javier Busto
(b. 1949)

The Three Kings
Healy Willan

"Who knocks tonight so late," the weary porter said.
Three Kings stood at the gate, each with a crown on head.
The serving man bowed down, the inn was full, he knew.
Said he, "In all this town is no fit place for you.”
A light the manger lit: there lay the Mother meek.
Said they, "This place is fit: Here is the rest we seek."
They loosed their latchet strings, so stood they all unshod.
Come in, come in ye Kings, ye Kings, ye Kings.
Come in and kiss the feet of God.

-Laurence Housman

Choose Something Like a Star
Randall Thompson

O Star (the fairest one in sight), We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light. Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn." But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade. Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend. It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end. And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere, It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height, So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far, We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

-Robert Frost

Jingle Bells
arr. Ben Parry
(b. 1965)

Combined Choirs
Dr. Philip L. Copeland, conductor

Of the Father's Love Begotten
arr. Paul Wohlgemuth

Rachel Hicks, soprano

Of the Father's love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!
O that birth for ever blessèd,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bare the Savior of our race;
and the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!
O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
angel-hosts, his praises sing;
powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!
-Aureliss C. Prudentius

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Final Exam for Concert Choir

Our choir covers two class periods: 1g and 2e.

Exam times for each of these sections:

Section 2E, 5Q Thursday, December 14 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Section 1G, 6D Friday, December 15 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Plan on attending both exam periods at Bluff Park Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. We'll begin right at 2:00 and dismiss by 3:30 p.m.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Have you heard of the child prodigy?

Have you heard of this guy yet?

"We are talking about a prodigy of the level of the greatest prodigies in history when it comes to composition," says Sam Zyman, a composer. "I am talking about the likes of Mozart, and Mendelssohn, and Saint-Sans."

Zyman teaches music theory to Jay at the Juilliard School in New York City, where he’s been teaching for 18 years.

"This is an absolute fact. This is objective. This is not a subjective opinion," says Zyman. "Jay could be sitting here, and he could be composing right now. He could finish a piano sonata before our eyes in probably 25 minutes. And it would be a great piece."

This choir really complains

Check out this video.

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

This came across my desk today:

UAB has the opportunity to nominate two students for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
competition. This year the Foundation will again award 45 to 50 scholarships to outstanding students who will begin graduate studies in fall 2007. Scholars may use the award to attend any accredited graduate school in the US or abroad in pursuit of a graduate degree or professional degree including medicine, law or business.

Scholarship amounts and length will vary by student, depending on the cost of attendance, other scholarship or grants received and the time needed to complete the graduate degree. There is a maximum award per student of $50,000 per year and a maximum length of six years. The award is based on academic achievement, unmet financial need, leadership and public service, critical thinking ability and appreciation for or participation in the arts and humanities.

Since only two students can be nominated to represent UAB, the selection committee would like to have at least one student from each school for consideration. Dr. Philip Way, as the faculty representative, will then make the nomination on behalf of the institution.

To be eligible the student must:
(1) Be enrolled at UAB as a senior who will graduate no later than August 2007 or a
graduate of UAB (since May 2002)
(2) Have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average in academically rigorous courses
(3) Have an acceptance to a graduate or professional program (by April 2007) for fall 2007

Each student you nominate should complete a packet that includes:
(1) The Application Form and Essay,
(2) A resume (2 pages maximum)
(3) Two evaluations from faculty members in the nominee's field of study or from
individuals who have supervised the student's work,
(4) A copy of college transcripts, and
(5) The appropriate student financial form (only the Applicant Form at this stage)
Students may download the information and application materials from

Completed packets should be submitted to Nelleke Bak, Director of Graduate Fellowships (Academic Programs, Hill University Center, 470G) by Wednesday, January 17.

The two selected nominees will work closely with the Director to finalize their applications due for submission by March 15,2007. This opportunity is one of great potential for our students and for UAB. I appreciate your participation in the process. If you have any questions, please call me at 934-6135 or Nelleke Bak at 934-1 259 (or email

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What? Overcharging for Textbooks?

You'll enjoy this article:

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that could affect thousands of college students who think they are overcharged for textbooks, two Daytona Beach Community College students have sued the nation's largest collegiate-bookstore chain and their school.

The class-action suit, filed in Orlando's federal court, alleges unfair and illegal pricing practices and seeks to recover at least $5 million in damages. It accuses the Follett Higher Education Group and DBCC of overcharging students pennies on each used-book sale and underpaying them when buying books back.

Though that may amount to only a few bucks each semester, the students argue that, when multiplied by thousands of students at each of the company's more than 750 bookstores, it adds up to millions.

Co-plaintiffs Thomas Rebman and Danny Brandner also say the college is "complicit" in the textbook company's actions because through DBCC's contract with Follett, it receives up to 10.5 percent of all bookstore revenues annually. In a recent 12-month period, the college reported collecting at least $400,000 in commissions from Follett's operations on the school's five campuses.

"This isn't about me or Mr. Brandner," Rebman said. "It's that still to this day, students are overcharged . . ., and they [DBCC administrators] refuse to enforce the contract."

The suit -- filed in late September -- is unique, according to attorneys and industry experts, and may have implications for thousands of students nationwide if a judge allows it to go forward as a class action.

Textbook prices have rankled college students for years. Student-government coalitions and advocacy groups in 14 states launched a campaign in 2003 that included a push to persuade colleges to negotiate better prices with book publishers.

Trial by Choir

Found this on Choralist today:
Dear Friends,

If you have not heard about it, a new reality TV show begins to air this evening on TLC, entitled "Trial by Choir". According to the reviews it is:
.... a six part documentary series that premieres on TLC Sunday, November 26 at 10:00 pm EST. It attempts to turn a diverse group of Boston teenagers into a choral ensemble. Jerome Kyles, a musician and a vocal instructor at Berklee College of Music, takes on the task of mentoring 24 Boston teens with a passion for music - but varying levels of talent - by turning them into a traditional choral group. Youth counselor Kate Benjamin works side-by-side with Jerome to provide emotional support to these teens. TRIAL BY CHOIR follows Jerome and Kate as they strive to make a difference in the lives of these teens. As individuals, they must learn to make the most of their natural voices - and, together, they must learn how to sing as one chorus.

While "Trial by Choir" is not the same as "The Singing Estate", which
aired on Channel Five in the UK this past summer - - it is hoped that it will, like that earlier reality choir about choirs and singing, spark some interest in what goes on within the confines of our craft, our art, and our profession.

I'm interested to see what kinds of music is used to "hook" the kids and whether the same music is used to educate them, both vocally and musically. I am certain that we will all see and hear things that we have strong opinions about. I urge the ChoralNet community to visit the ChoralNet website, where there will be a blog during the series and also to use ChoralTalk to discuss various viewpoints regarding the series. Pro or con, we can certainly find some comfort in the fact that what we do will be aired to a larger public.


Dr. James D. Feiszli, Director of Music Activities
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

It was a great trip, but good to be back

Greetings, all.

Leigh and I returned from our Thanksgiving trip yesterday. We have spent the last week in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Leigh's family makes the trip every October and wanted to do Thanksgiving there this year. Although a bit apprehensive, I enjoyed it very much.

The best part was the hiking (a.k.a. walking through the woods) but it was also good to "just get away." I'm not the type to take vacations but I really enjoyed this break before the Christmas madness.

Will post pictures of the trip soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A response to Charles

Charles Henry, has finally blogged for the fourth time this semester. The subject? Stupid drivers.

In honor of his prolific efforts, I've dedicated this blog to him. First, a few words from Charles:

For the better part of six years, I have owned and operated my own vehicle with no blemishes on my driving record, except for a wreck which occurred while driving very carefully in heavy rain.

I'm a perfect driver . . . um . . . except for that one time . . . and it wasn't my fault then . . . it was the incredibly heavy rain . . . yeah . . . that's it . . it was the rain's fault.

Anyway, I noticed this morning that some European cities are doing away with all traffic signs:

European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.

Welcome back to the blogging world, Charles.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

But why?

The girls ask the question "but why?" after nearly every answer these days. Today, that question was asked again:

Me: Girls, time to get dressed!
Claire: But why?

I realized I didn't have a good answer, so we've been in our pajamas all day . . . and it feels so good.

A thumb to fear

Found this on the Iron Bowl Forum:

I love college football . . .

Say It Isn't So . . . .

MiniVans aren't cool anymore?

And I find this hard to believe:

One reason the minivan segment is falling is that its models, despite more aggressive styling and touches such as leather seats and rear-view cameras, are simply perceived as uncool by many drivers, said Bob Holmes, dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Business.


Even longtime minivan drivers acknowledge the vehicle has a low hip factor. April Guin of Liberty Park said her kids joked that their Plymouth Voyager looked "kind of frumpy" when she bought it after having her second child in 1989.

The article closes with great wisdom:

Some minivan drivers say they love the vehicle, despite its unexciting reputation.

Darryl Jenkins of Huffman, who has driven a Chrysler Town & Country for four years, thinks it is the perfect vehicle for families with young children.

"I like the space and the fact that it drives like a car and is easier to handle than a truck," Jenkins said. "Since we have four kids, I love the extra room so I don't see myself trading it in for anything else anytime soon."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We Will NOT Meet at Bluff Park Tomorrow

Take note:

We will NOT meet at Bluff Park tomorrow but will meet back at UAB. The church has another function (All State Auditions, I think).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Recording Session Thursday @ Bluff Park Methodist

A reminder to Concert Choir:
We have a recording session Thursday at 2:00.

Location: Bluff Park Methodist Church

Church website

Directions to church

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dr. Reynolds sent congrats

Dr. Reynolds sent us a very nice letter of congratulations on our fall concert. Take a moment to read it and say thanks to him, please!

A portion:

Thank you all for a wonderful evening of music-making last Saturday on your fall choral concert. Birmingham has come to expect great things from you and you continue to deliver - even managing to raise the bar every time you sing. Your love of the art is contagious and your reputation for being THE choirs to be a part of is known throughout our state.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Europe payment info

I've not said much about this summer's Eruope plans lately, but we've been working hard at it in the background.

The new payment schedule:

Deposit of $300 due on December 1, 2006
Payment of $900 due on February 1, 2007
Payment of $900 due on April 1, 2007
Balance due on receipt of final invoice sent approximately 30 days prior to departure

Christmas at the Alys 2006

Hewitt-Trussville High School
“The Glory of the Father”- Egil Hovland
“Silent Night”- Edwin Fissinger
“Mary had a Baby”- William Dawson

Shades Valley High School
Fum, Fum, Fum (Mack Wilberg)
O Magnum Mysterium (Victoria)
*combined with UAB Chamber?
Carol of the Bells

Jeff State Choirs:
Gloria (From Missa Brevis in F) Palestrina
Ave Maria: A Choral Prayer Jessica Franchi
Wassail Song R. Vaughan Williams

UAB Concert Choir:
Choose Something Like a Star (Randall Thompson)
Three Kings (Healy Willan)
Ave Maria Javier Busto
Jingle Bells arr. Ben Parry

UAB Women’s Choir:
There Is No Rose (Z. Randall Stroope)
Deo Gracias (Jim Leininger)

UAB Men’s Choir:
Biebl: Ave Maria

Friday, November 10, 2006

For those of you recently married

I couldn't help but think about those who are
  1. recently married
  2. soon to be married
  3. acting like you are married
The link.

The quote:

Many loving relationships turn sour just because of the fact that acrimonious words are said during outbursts of anger. This does not mean that the couple does not love each other. These angry exchanges result from differing motives, varied interests and philosophies. But if you truly want to try and make things better between the two of you, there are some solutions that you can try. Neither of these solutions is all-encompassing. No human relationship is identical and what may work for one pair may not work with another couple.