It’s that time of year. Between concert schedules, Christmas parties, and a frantic work schedule I haven’t been able to post much. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off for winter break to catch my breath a bit. Here’s a quick update on what’s been happening, though…
We did our Christmas Concert this year at McAlister Auditorium on the Furman campus. The concert last Friday night was well-attended. The music was more challenging than we had anticipated. We did Paul Patterson’s Magnificat, in addition to our standard fare of carols, etc. The Magnificat had difficult rhythms and strange jazz harmonies that didn’t resolve as expected. However, we made it through, and I’m sure the audience had no indication of the difficulties we had.
The Chamber Ensemble was asked to promote the concert on the local Fox TV station. We appeared on air Friday morning as part of the Fox Rocks segment. An octect from the group recorded in a fantastic new studio on Augusta Road, and we got some great audio tracks. Even though we recorded four songs, only about fifteen seconds actually aired. Here’s a link to a full song that they put on their website.
We’ve got one more gig with Fox this week to sing for their Christmas luncheon (they’re big donors for the Chorale) and we have a brief time off before we start rehearsing for the Ensemble concert in February.
The past couple of weeks we’ve been rolling out our new student database system called PowerSchool. We’ve been preparing for it since last year, putting servers in place and getting our folks trained. And now the time is upon us. The first day we were supposed to go live we had a network outage that prevented the schools from connecting to the system. However, slowly things are beginning to stabilize.
The new system is completely different from our old one, so there’s quite a learning curve. It’s a more robust system – our old student system was designed for the school level, and the state had to cobble something together to make it work for an entire district. The new system is based on an Oracle database, and is designed for district-level management. I think it will be much better once we get past these growing pains.
On the Home Front
We got the house decorated – somewhat. As soon as we put up the tree our kitten, Cosmo, started climbing it. We’ve only put up plastic and non-breakable ornaments, and even so, he knocks them all off. We even caught him chasing his tale around and around the tree about five feet off the ground.
The weather is yucky this weekend and not suitable for getting outdoors. So Laura surprised me with an early birthday present – a WII gaming system! I played Saturday afternoon, then that evening we went over to some friends house for a WII tournament.
While the technology of gaming systems fascinates me, I haven’t had an interest in owning one until the WII came along. The games are fun and physically active. In think Nintendo really got this one right.
We have one more week of school before our break starts. It will be a bit crazy, as I try to get last minute shopping done and get last minute work items finished before the break begins. However, I think I’m ready for a couple of weeks off.