One of my favorite services is the Festival of Lessons and Carols. To me it doesn’t seem like Christmas until I have attended at least one service. I have an academic fascination with carols, and I love traditional settings, as well as seeing the way composers and arrangers have brought new life to these ancient texts. This weekend I was privileged to participate in two services in two different settings. This time, though there were some fascinating twists to the traditional service. Continue reading “Lessons and Carols, Theme and Variations”
Last winter we discovered that Laura’s mom responds well to my banjo playing. Her memory returns and she claps along. I’ve started bringing it every time we visit, and despite my limited skills she seems to like it. This Thanksgiving has been very difficult, with Mrs. Wright battling infections as well as Alzheimer’s While the banjo hasn’t worked miracles, it has brought some relief. More importantly, I’ve discovered that this therapy isn’t limited to Mrs. Wright. Continue reading “Banjo Therapy”
Monday night Stephen and I decided to head back to Perryville. Stephen would be in the midst of moving mid-state in a couple of weeks, and I would be picking back up with summer Chorale rehearsals, so this would be the last opportunity for awhile. Continue reading “Return to Perryville”
Yeah, I guess it’s getting to be a habit. It’s Wednesday and I was back at the Pickens Flea Market. I had gone specifically to listen to the musician’s corner and see if someone was playing the banjo this time. What I found was music of another type entirely. Continue reading “Flea Markets and Weird Songs”
This past week Furman University and First Baptist Church of Greenville have played host to composer Morten Lauridsen. Lauridsen taught several master classes at Furman, then worked with the choir from First Baptist and the Cantus Chamber Choir from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. The weekend culminated in a performance of Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna at First Baptist Church, under the direction of Vivian Hamilton and accompanied by members of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading “A Weekend with Morten Lauridsen”
I’ve made one more pass around old Sol. Laura says that this is an auspicious birthday because my age is divisible by both five and eleven, two of her favorite numbers. Last year was complicated by family matters, so I spent the day by myself climbing a mountain. This year was complicated by singing engagements, … Continue reading Birthday Banjo
On our way back from Ireland Stephen asked me what my favorite thing was about the trip. I had to say that it was the pubs and music that impressed me most. I loved the atmosphere and life that radiates from those places. While they all seem similar and familiar, each is unique. If I could do one thing over, it would be to spend more time in the pubs listening to traditional music. Granted, we did quite a bit of that anyway. Continue reading “Pubs and Music”
Saturday was one of those busy days where I needed to be about five people. Between potential paddling trips, Artisphere, Furman graduation, and other local festivals, there were lots of choices. I decided to head over to Furman for the 2015 Nan Herring Shape Note Singing.
The Nan Herring Singing is held each year on “the Saturday before the Second Sunday,” using the parlance of the singing community. This year and last year the date conflicts with Furman Graduation. This was not the case before Furman went on a semester system and graduation was in early June. The last time I came to this singing was in 2008, before the change, and we were able to use Herring Hall, where we rehearse for Chorale. This time, due to conflicts with the Furman Singers needing their home space, we held the singing on the stage of Daniel Recital Hall. Continue reading “Nan Herring Shape Note Singing 2015”
Each month a Sacred Harp singing is held just around the corner from my house at the First Christian Church. The singing takes place on “the Friday before the third Sunday of each month,” using the parlance of singing organizers. This singing has been going on since the 1990s, and as close as it is to where I live, I’d never attended. I decided that needed to change, so this past Friday night I decided to pay them a visit.
It had been a long time since I’d participated in a singing. I think the last one I did was the William Walker Memorial Singing in Spartanburg way back in 2009. I’ve always seemed to have conflicts with the big singing days, usually a paddling trip with my friends. I had planned to do a podcast episode on shape note singing, so I knew I wanted to take part in another one soon. Continue reading “Sacred Harp in Greenville”