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?