Saturday, September 30, 2006

Info on choir competition, summer 2007

Here is some information on our competition this summer, thanks to Martin who noticed that the site was updated earlier this week.

The information is quite voluminous, so it will take me awhile to wade through it all. When I pasted it into a word document, it took 142 pages.

FWIW, I'm in Jackson, MS this morning at a place called Beagle Bagel Cafe. (free internet, nice spot to spend the morning, maybe the day). Leigh is in a medical meeting today, the girls are at the grandparents. I'm slaving away for my students at a bagel shop.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well done, Chris.

You have to admire creativity in all its forms. Well done, Chris.

Advertising Europe 2007


Today's Poster

Band and Football

Click here for full size.

Friday and Monday Rehearsal

On Friday, September 29 only the Concert Choir MEN will rehearse.

On Monday, October 2, only the WOMEN (from both choirs) will rehearse.

In other news, click here for your chance to make a Motivational Poster like the one below.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by philipco.
Chris gets hit by the big time!

Student Graduates College in One Year - with a Double Major

It's true.

From the article: He was helped by the fact that U-Va., as a public school, costs a lot less than most private colleges. And that the university accepted many of his Advanced Placement credits from high school; many of the most selective private schools wouldn't. As it was, he doubled up on course credits and took more physics over the summer to finish his second major.

Happy Birthday to Glenn Gould Yesterday

Enjoy this master play Bach's Goldberg Variations. Special thanks to SoundsandFury for pointing me to this video.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney on choirs:

“I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.”

I used that McCartney quote in last Spring's ACDA newsletter. Today, I was pointed to this article about the singer/composer.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he was thrilled to switch to choral music from pop in his new album, as singing with a top choir was his lifetime ambition.

McCartney says that his classical record 'Ecce Cor Meum', which was commissioned by Oxford University's Magdalen College, gave him a great chance to prove a point to the local choir that refused him entry as a child.

"I love choirs. I tried out for Liverpool cathedral, and sort of got to the last stages. But I was not musical enough, obviously," Contactmusic quoted him as saying.

McCartney says that during his school days he used to score zero marks in music, as he along with some other students used that class for playing cards and freaking out instead of concentrating on the records played for them by their teacher.

"At school, in terms of musical education, I got zero. We'd all go into the classroom, about 30 Liverpool boys, and the teacher would put on a record - Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, something like that - then he'd leave the room," he said.

"So of course we just took it off, posted a guard on the door, got the ciggies and the cards out, and when he came back, we put the record back on for the last couple of bars. He'd go, 'What did you think of that?' And we were like, 'Oh, really good, sir. Fabulous,'" he added.

Monday, September 25, 2006

This Just In: Church Job

From My Friend Larry Hardin: A Good Paying Church Job

My church, Southminster Pres. (Vestavia Hills), is now offering choral scholarships in order to augment the choir. I need 1 singer for each part - SATB. The scholarship is for 1 Wednesday evening rehearsal per week and 2 Sunday services (8:30 and 11:00). The scholarships will be paid in monthly installments and work out to $ 65.00 per week - running from ASAP through Pentecost Sunday, 2007, and will be renewable as long as the singer is in school.

If you have any singers that may be interested, please have them get in touch with me at 664-5527 or 432-9428.

They can also reach me by email at either or

Friday, September 22, 2006

Europe Interest Result

I plan on going on the UAB Choirs trip to Germany – Austria – Italy this summer.

6 16
5 15
4 9
3 5
2 10
1 11


There is strong interest in the trip. If everyone with interest level of 4 and higher goes, we've got a 40 member trip.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Night Video


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Health Tips from Dr. Pomfret

Dr. Pomfret suggested I pass along these health tips for the UAB singers:

Health Tips for Performing Singers
  • Sleep – 8 hours for top form
  • Diet – eat healthy and take a vitamin/mineral supplement
  • Exercise – 30 min. per day
  • Water – 8 glasses per day (64 oz.)
  • Practice – daily warm-up plus repertoire
  • Avoid drying agents: caffeine, alcohol, antihistamine, decongestants
  • Avoid anti-clotting agents: aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
  • (Tylenol is okay)

Fighting the Common Cold
  • Rest is the only cure
  • Zinc (ZiCam or Cold-eeze) reduces severity of viral infections
  • Fluids – keep up intake
  • Mucinex and Guaifenesin keep thick mucus flowing
  • Conserve the voice by reducing range, volume, and talking
  • Hand-washing/hand sanitizer will prevent spread of germs

Thanks Dr. Pomfret! We are glad you are here.

Upcoming Friday Plans

Upcoming Friday Plans:

September 22
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

September 29
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

October 6
No Rehearsal for Men or Women

October 13
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

October 20
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

October 27
No Rehearsal for Men or Women

November 3
No Rehearsal for Men or Women

November 10
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

November 17
2:00 - 3:30 Women's Choir Rehearsal (Room 308)
2:00 - 2:50 Men's Choir (Room 307)

December 1

Creativity gone bad

This is a great example of creativity gone bad. Can you imagine the embarassment of the "veteran teacher" who made national news?

I occasionally search the internet for creative fonts. Is that what happened here?

Note: this picture of the ABC's isn't the one they are talking about.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a "lapsus linguae"

To the sweet people that I mistakenly described as still dating:

Leigh is employing all of her medical knowledge to help me extricate my foot from my mouth.

And remember this
: quidquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur.

Gary and Manny

Gary and Manny
Originally uploaded by philipco.
Leigh's partner, Dr. Gary Bullock and wife Michele have adopted a young 6-month old baby from Guatemala. Young Manny will join their three daughters in a very loving home.

Gary arrived yesterday and will return home on Friday.

We are proud of them and wish them both safe travels back to Birmingham.

A great post from Chicago

Check out this blog if you haven't seen it yet.

A few snatches of interesting comments:

Regarding vibrato:
Also, like the great English choirs and many early-music groups, I insist that CAC singers be able to completely turn off their vibrato if a particular piece or passage calls for it. This technique enhances the tuning of every chord. Readers familiar with Renaissance music will know the term “just intonation,” which is what we mostly strive for in our singing – to line up the harmonies with the overtone series created by the singing of pure intervals, which is a totally different harmonic “groove” from what you’ll get on a tempered keyboard.

A suggestion from a workshop:
Rogers is one of my heroes. I’ll never forget taking a masterclass from him in 1988, when he just suggested the slightest upward pull in pitch on all the rising lines that my pickup student group was singing… and all of a sudden, we sounded like one of those hot English choirs!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Handout about Europe 2007

A pdf file. Here.

Sometimes I undersell things

I've noticed that I sometimes undersell projects that I really believe in.

I do it for a couple of reasons, I think:

1. I don't want to pressure people into spending their hard earned money on something that I think would be good for them.
2. I don't want people to feel guilty for choosing "not" to do something that I want them to do.
3. I like the option of backing out if it doesn't seem like the right thing to do.

The downside in underselling:

You don't show the proper passion or commitment you have to a project that you really want to carry to completion.

What is the (probable) obvious message in this post?

I think I may have undersold the Europe trip today.

Know these things from me:

1. Choir trips, especially to Europe, are incredible experiences. You will have a tremendous time on this trip if you choose to go. My memories of previous choir trips are some of the happiest in my life.
2. We'll have a good chance to win this competition. I feel very good about our chances.
3. The cost is higher than I would like, but most things are these days.

Is it worth it? I say yes.
Can you afford it? That's what you need to figure out. I hope so. Beg, plead, borrow, but don't steal. Give me names of people that I can contact on behalf of the choir. I'll follow up on it.

Time for me to return to triplet bathing . . . .

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Superb Scholars Symposium

It was a fabulous first step this year.

You did a marvelous job . . . very musical, very dynamic. I'd say that you responded incredibly well to what we were trying to do and that you made a very favorable presentation of yourselves this morning.

UAB Administration types complimented your performance; many had heard you before but some were new. They were impressed.

Several parents of students attending the event mentioned words like "incredible, marvelous, and fantastic." I didn't get an opportunity to interact with many people after the performance, but I know that we made a great first impression.

While it is important to make good impressions on our audiences, it is more important to how we compare to our own standard. My early impression is that we are on track to be the best UAB Concert Choir since I've arrived. We have outstanding leaders and talented people throughout the group.

Today was an awesome beginning. Feel good about yourselves and come to class ready to work.

Upcoming: talking about the summer trip, attacking the double choir Bach motet and double choir Rheinberger Kyrie, finishing Miskinis "Nunc" and working up the Whitacre "Sleep."

The future is bright. Come ready to work.

Update: This is the graphic I almost used:

Friday, September 15, 2006

ACDA Reverberations

I received the nicest email today from Will Breytspraak, director of the Vocal Division at Pebblebrook High School outside Atlanta. (website here).

I posted on his church choir blog a few days ago and it garnered this response:

I have been meaning to e-mail you since I saw your comment on our church choir blog a few days ago. You don't know me, but I definitely know of you. We had the GREAT pleasure of hearing your choir in West Virginia last year. I raved about your choir to everyone I talked to about the convention for MONTHS. I rarely get to hear a cappella singing of the greatest music, and it was a real treat. I felt like I was hearing the Swedish Radio Choir with Eric Ericson (a sound I have never forgotten after hearing them on that tour back in the spring of 2001).

Editors note: Eric Ericson is one of the premier choral conductors in the world. I'm astounded and very proud of the comparison. You can read about the Swedish Radio choir here and here.

I am the director of the Vocal Division at Pebblebrook High School outside Atlanta. We are the perfroming arts magnet program for the Cobb County Schools (16 schools). We have hosted the College of Charleston Chamber Choir, Cantus, and the St. Olaf Choir over the last three years. If you can ever manage to come by on on a tour, we would love to have you perform here for a concert.

Here is a little more if you are interested in our school (I think a lot of our students need to be looking at your program):

Our website:
Our blog:

I also have to tell you it was so neat to hear from you because it was your blog that inspired me to do ours this year at school. I had gone to yours occasionally last year, and it is such a neat way of building community and scrapbooking.



Will Breytspraak
Vocal Director

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tallis and the 40-part Spem in Allium" - The Exhibit

I found out about the exhibit here. (hat tip)

The Tallis work: Spem in Alium

The Musical score(s) can be found here.

About the exhibit:

Canadian artist Janet Cardiff (b 1957) is best known for her numerous audio works and films, often created in collaboration with her partner George Bures Miller.

Thomas Tallis, one of the most influential English composers of sixteenth century, wrote Spem in Alium nunquam habui, a choral work for eight choirs of five voices, to mark the fortieth birthday of Queen Elizabeth I in 1575. This piece of music deals with transcendence and humility, both important issues to a Catholic composer during a time when the Catholic faith was suppressed by the Sovereignty.

Using this piece of secular music as a starting point and working with four male voices (bass, baritone, alto and tenor) and child sopranos, Cardiff has replaced each voice with an audio speaker. The speakers are set at an average head height and spaced in such a way that viewers can listen to different voices and experience different combinations and harmonies as they progress through the work.

A few moments before the music begins the choir's preparations can be heard along with fragments of conversations and the choir leader's encouraging comments to the performers. All of this builds up to the sublime moment when the first solitary and plaintive voice is heard.

With Forty-Part Motet Cardiff offers a very personal and intimate engagement with the Tallis music, but one that is experienced in an open and public way:

Even in a live concert the audience is separated from the individual voices. Only the performers are able to hear the person standing next to them singing in a different harmony. I wanted to be able to 'climb inside' the music connecting with the separate voices. I am also interested in how the audience may choose a path through this physical yet virtual space.

Janet Cardiff: untitled statement in Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize at the National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, 2001 (brochure)

Free & Foreign and about a choir

UAB Foreign Film Series – Tuesday, September 19th
8PM, Hulsey Recital Hall, free admission

The Chorus(French, 2005, Christophe Barratier, Director) – A memorable entry in the genre of inspirational pedagogical films, The Chorus is an uplifting tale of a masterful teacher who put his heart into his work and changed the lives of his students forever.

With a soundtrack of boys' singing, the music of this film is the glue that will stick to viewers long after watching it. Set in 1940s rural France, at a school for poor boys who are delinquent or orphaned, the story feels timeless in the way that it captures a crucial moment in the lives of the boys involved. Ranging from early elementary school level to junior high, the boys struggle for independence and self-expression. They defy authority, especially when it comes from their brutally unfair and abusive headmaster. And in general, because they feel neglected by their families, or don't have any family at all, there is something disjointed and sullen about the boys.

Only after their teacher, Clement Mathieu (GĂ©rard Jugnot), shows them that he will guide them, befriend them, and teach them by peaking their curiosity, not by insisting or punishing, do they begin to change. The choir he forms, and the songs he teaches the boys, become a source of pride for them, allowing them to rise above the confines of their meager and stifling school, and dream of a bright future. –In French with English subtitles

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This is funny

When you search for UAB Band on Google, guess which website tops the list?

Isn't that funny?

Three things

Three things make me happy and fulfilled in this life.

1. My wife
2. My children
3. My choir(s)

Occasionally, I have the presence of mind to realize how lucky I am.

Today was one of those days.

Paid to sing?

Paid to sing? As a professional?

Here's a blog about Chicago Acapella and ChorusAmerica. It's from the director of the group, and their website is here.

In this post, the author discusses a little about the popularity of choral music:

More people participate in choral music in the USA than in any other art form. A full 10% of Americans report singing in at least one choir, based on a recent study from Chorus America. I can only suppose that this fact has some connection to Americans' religious fervor: we attend houses of worship far more regularly, and with far more conviction of belief, than do our counterparts in any Western European nation. We actively "do" our church or synagogue, and we "do" it partly by singing in the choir. Clearly, choral singing is something that Americans love ... 28 million people can't be wrong! Yet very few of us sing professionally in choirs that are all paid.

Here's a little about their pay scale:

Chorus America now defines a professional vocal ensemble as one in which all singers are paid at least triple the national minimum hourly wage. Chicago a cappella pays better than that in rehearsal, and substantially better in performance and recording.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Daniel C. Lewin

Those remembering victims of 9/11 have been asked to post their memorial a little early.

Remembering Daniel C. Lewin

We pledged never to forget them, and so now we take a moment to remember.

This is Daniel C. Lewin, who was 31.
Place killed: American Airlines Flight 11. He was a resident of Charlestown, Mass.

American Airlines Flight 11, from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center with 92 people on board.

Daniel C. Lewin was co-founder and chief technology officer at Akamai Technologies Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts, company that produces technology equipment to facilitate online content delivery. He is survived by his wife and two sons. He founded Akamai in 1998 with scientist Tom Leighton and a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists and business professionals. Lewin was responsible for the company's research and development strategy.

Those from his company remembered him this way:

First and foremost, Danny was known for his brilliance. He published and presented several breakthrough papers at top computer science conferences and received several awards, including the 1998 Morris Joseph Lewin Award for Best Masterworks Thesis Presentation at MIT. His master's thesis included some of the fundamental algorithms that make up the core of Akamai's services. He was a Ph.D. candidate in the Algorithms group at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science.

Previously, Danny worked at IBM's research laboratory in Haifa, Israel, where he was a full-time research fellow and project leader while simultaneously completing two undergraduate degrees at the Technion, Israel's premier technology university. In 1995, Technion named him the year's Outstanding Student in Computer Engineering. At IBM, he was responsible for the development and support of the company's Genesys system, a processor verification tool that is used widely within IBM and in other companies such as AMD and SGS Thompson.

On a personal note, he had a deep affinity for speed and freedom, maintaining an avid interest in motorcycles, fast cars, and skiing. Everyone who knew Danny knew a man who was always on the go, deeply driven, and incredibly competitive. He inspired everyone around him to work at their very best, never taking no for an answer, and calling anything that got in his way obstreperous, his most favorite word.


If it happened today

If it happened today, I'd be watching TV with my wonderful children. On that day, I was in a music faculty meeting.

Michelle Malkin chronicles the day five years ago with exactly what happened - evidence from a compilation of reports.

My person to honor, Daniel C. Lewin, probably tried to stop the hijacking. He didn't know that one of the evil men was sitting behind him.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Caroline's Favorite YouTube Video

Caroline loves this video . . . she especially cracks up when the little girl removes the chair and the monster in the toilet. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Letters from a music professor

TerminalDegree, one of my favorite blogs, has two letters from the instructor to the class.

One is to the students in her class about not taking notes and the other is to the freshmen plagiarist who refuses to meet with the professor after several requests from the instructor to do so.

It's great insight to how professors think.

My favorite line:

To the students who e-mailed this week to tell me how much you are enjoying the class, and to the student who walked up and gave me a hug (even though I don't like hugs, I appreciated the gesture), and to the student who whistled when I walked on stage in the auditorium, thanks. I needed that.

Check it out.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The UAB Marching Band looks like . . . .

UAB BAND Fall 2006
Originally uploaded by philipco.
An incredible marching band!

Congrats to Sue Samuels and the UAB Marching Blazers.

You look incredible. We know your hard work will have a big payoff tomorrow night.

Here's the large version of the picture.



This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

i took the quiz

the quiz.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tenor needed for church job

Are there any tenors looking for a church job?

A local choir director emailed me today looking for someone.

New tenors? Kyoshi? Steve?

Spotted today

I spotted a blog today promoting Finnish choral music.

Algirdas Martinaitis and an Emusic journey

Journey with me . . .

Algirdas Martinaitis was the composer I couldn't think of yesterday in the Chamber Singers rehearsal.

It's his Alleluia that I heard.

Some background:

1. I've mentioned to several my recent exploration of EMUSIC, another site for downloading music. The model is different from Itunes, and I'm strongly considering joining. Instead of paying .99 a song or 9.99 per album you pay a certain amount per month and get a certain number of downloads per month. It looks like a good deal and I like their selection for classical works. They seem to have a good deal with NAXOS, and I like their recordings.

2. Choral music is what I typically buy on CD . . . one has to be dedicated to one's life's work, you know. (The other music that I buy is from the crooners . . . people like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, etc.). Anyway, I've signed up for 25 free downloads at EMUSIC and one of the albums that I found was BALTIC MUSIC 3 by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Hillier.

3. On that album is the Alleluia by Algirdas Martinaitis. I've not heard of the composer before but I loved that piece. When I searched on the composer, I found him on the Lithuanian composers website, which is the same place where another of my favorites, MISKINIS, resides. On that site, I can view every other page of the music score . . . and I like what I see. (you can also see what the published version of Nunc Dimittis No. 2 looks like).

4. That's all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's more real to me now than it was then

Somehow, the September 11 tragedy is much more real to me today than it was then. Maybe it is the five year anniversary, maybe it is because I've recently been to New York.

Maybe it's because I'm one of the bloggers that will be participating in a recognition of the 2996 people that died on the actual day of the anniversary . . . I don't know.

I saw this video tonight. It's another haunting reminder of what happened that terrible day.

Look for my tribute to Daniel C. Lewin on 9-11-06.

A Full Measure of Devotion

A website I visited today made me think about Lincoln's address at Gettysburg this morning. I don't know if you had to memorize the speech in high school, but I did. It is a speech that is remarkable in it's brevity as well as it's power.

Read it again, and marvel at Lincoln's gift for writing, his powerful ideas, and his incredible passion for our nation:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln

November 1863

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Happy 2nd Birthday to my blog.

It began two years ago on September 3, 2004.

My first post contained three goals for the blog:

1. My primary intent is to thoroughly reference some of the things that I talk about in rehearsal. I don't like to take alot of our precious rehearsal time to chase rabbits and tell stories even though a certain amount of that is important.

2. With the "comments" section, you can talk back to me (and discuss with others, of course) about the subjects I bring up.

3. I hope to use the vast online resources as well as my own webpage to help all of us learn more and reference information to make our music more meaningful to us.

I've made 672 posts since that first day. I'd say that the blog has done the job I envisioned and quite alot more. At the beginning, I thought it would primarily be a conversation between me and a those in the choir. It's broadened quite a bit. These days, I'm getting about 115 hits a day from all over the world.

The counter says that I've had 46,982 visits to the site. That's pretty good, I guess. Many blogs get that many a day, though, so I'm under no illusion that I'm speaking to the world. The thing is, though, the world can drop in anytime. In fact, composer Eric Whitacre dropped by one day.

So . . . happy anniversary, mr. blog. Enjoy your Labor Day holiday.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thinking ahead for the summer

Thanks, Meredith, for this information:

Hey Dr. Copeland,

My mom just sent this to me so I thought I would pass it along to you.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 10:19 AM
Subject: Passports

Hi Meredith,

I have been on the phone with a travel agent for Heather’s senior trip. She told me that anyone needing to get a passport for a summer trip needs to apply ASAP. Since Katrina, the office in New Orleans has been closed and there is a back log. So, you might want to share this with Dr. Copeland. Also, if someone already has a passport and it will expire within 6 months of the travel date, the airlines can refuse to let these passengers board the flights. So…..the ones with passports will need to have them updated if they are set to expire by December 2007.

Here is the link for passports: They cost about $100.00.

See you later dear!
Love you

Downloading files

For those having trouble downloading music files, change the setting on your web browser for MP3 files.

(You are likely having problems if you use ITUNES because QUICKTIME takes over many of the web options for your browser)

I use firefox. For that, I went to TOOLS - OPTIONS - DOWNLOADS and then picked "View & Edit actions." From there, I first selected the MP3 file association option and then changed the action that the browser took. You need to select "save to disk."

Other solutions here.

Let me know if that helps you.

Mitch Miller gets it.

I'm impressed with Mitch Miller.

I've outed several freshmen blogs over the past couple of years through the wonder of Google Blog Search or Technorati or some other search tool. Never have a been so impressed and so complemented with what I found when I got there.

A portion:

My high school director, Dr. Carl Davis, is also an alumni of University of Mississippi, like Dr. Copeland (my college director), and they were both taught and mentored by Dr. Jordan, who I got the pleasure of meeting last Spring.

Isn't it amazing that, even though I've never been personally taught by or performed under Dr. Jordan's direction, that I can feel like I too was influenced by him?

Dr. Jordan changed my life.

He doesn't know me....He probably never will. He's only met me once and with only mere small talk... Yet he's taught me how to experience what choral music is all about. He's showed me a world I never knew.

How can it be that he has done all this and doesn't even know my name?

Through teaching. He has passed on his passion and knowledge of music to his students which in return they have passed on to me.

Dr. Davis discovered me when I was just a simple Band Geek trying his best to sing the lead in a school musical (very horribly I might add - I had not developed any formal concept of falsetto or chest voice, the switch between the two I was not aware I could manipulate).

He discovered me and planted a seed in me. A seed that changed my life.
Changed the way I viewed music....and my future.

He goes on to leave me with a challenge to develop him to his full potential.

Let me tell you this . . . that is almost a curse, and I mean that in the nicest way. I start every rehearsal knowing that I have a very short time to make something better than it is; I feel a huge burden to do my absolute best that day. Mitch is right, I've been taught by the best. I know that I've got to do the best job I can to meet my potential . . . and help Mitch reach his.

Choir, know this: when I snap you back in line (like I did yesterday) it is to help us be the kind of choir that will give you a noble pride for the rest of your life. That's what was done for me twenty years ago and what I am passionate about doing for you.

Thanks, Mitch, for one hell of a first post. Thanks also for associating me with two professionals I greatly admire, Dr. Jordan and Dr. Davis.