I lost two of my mentors this past week, one from high school and one from college. Both inspired me as instructors, and both had an impact on my career as a Presbyterian church musician Continue reading “Remembering Musical Mentors – Ramon Kyser and Anne Sheppard”
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock it would be hard to ignore the fact that in a couple of weeks a total solar eclipse is going to cross the United States. The hype has been amazing and huge crowds are expected to gather all along the path of totality. Here in Greenville we’re fortunate to live in the path of totality. I’m making preparations for our own eclipse event, and will be posting some of those preparations over the next several days. However, the first thing one needs for such an event is a good playlist. Here’s mine… Continue reading “An Eclipse Playlist”
I have been participating in several musicians’ circles lately, playing either the banjo or my melodica. Through this participation I’ve discovered even more circles, each with their own flavor or emphasis. Last Thursday I joined up with yet another group of musicians, this time focusing on old time Appalachian folk music. Continue reading “Musicians’ Circle at Claussen’s Bakery”
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Before I do another paddling post I thought I’d do a quick update. Lots of family stuff going on, new instruments, and a bit of travel have occupied my time recently. Continue reading “Quick Update from Florida”
NOTE: I’m running a bit behind with the blog posts and I’m trying to catch up. This was from last weekend. Also, this is the first post since making some changes to the site, so I’m hoping this goes smoothly.
The Scots were back in town! That meant parades, weird music, weird athletics, and even weirder food. This year we participated in the Great Scots Parade, as we usually do with the Upstate Minis, and I made the Saturday trek up to Furman to see the games. Continue reading “2017 Gallabrae”
Say the words “drinking songs” and what pops to mind is probably a group of swaying revelers, mugs in hand, slurring away off-key in an Irish pub or German biergarten. Asked to name a drinking song, most could probably only come up with “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Lately, though, a new phenomenon seems to be popping up – drinking beer while singing hymns. Sounds kind of strange, a bit sacrilegious, and right up my alley. Continue reading “Beer and Hymns”
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”
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”
This conversation started on Facebook, and the results were entertaining enough that I thought I would summarize it here. If you’ve already read it and commented there, then just skip this post.
It all started when a friend directed me to a site that had a slowed down version of Dolly Parton’s hit “Jolene.” It was as if someone had taken the 45 single and played it at 33 1/3 RPMs on a turntable. The result was a slow, haunting version that sounds amazing.
I reposted this on my Facebook timeline and got lots of comments. One commenter doubted the veracity of the record, and thought that it had been faked. I suggested taking the original audio file and importing it into Audacity, then slowing it down by 27% digitally. Rather than wait, I decided to do it myself. Continue reading “Altered RPMs”