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On That Note… – October 2013

When I was a kid thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, one of my greatest concerns was finding a profession that would provide enough variety so that I would not get bored. I worried that any sort of routine would mean stagnation and inevitable tedium. As I enter my second...

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On That Note… – September 2013

A month ago I had the opportunity to attend the UU Musicians’ Network conference (my first time) in Dallas,Texas: 4 days more joyful and inspiring than I could have imagined. The variety of the workshops, the amount of new choral music, and the positive energy (not to mention the abundance of sheer talent) from the...

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On That Note… – Summer 2013

Greetings from the West! I am spending a month in Helena, Montana, where I am conducting a production of the musical “Big River.” It’s my second time here, and no less magical than last summer. At the end of July, I’ll be headed to the annual UU Musicians Network conference in Dallas,Texas (I sure hope...

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On That Note…- June 2013

“We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I’m an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”  –Pope Francis Recently I told a friend about my work at UU Montclair and how much I was enjoying it. He seemed surprised. “You’re not particularly religious, are you?” he asked. Of...

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On That Note… – May 2013

Let’s try a mental experiment: think of your monthly salary. Now double it. Then double it again and imagine what your life would be like. And then double it one more time (you could just take the original amount and multiply it by 8, but it’s more fun to go in increments). Now, how do...

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On That Note… – April 2013

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” –Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) When I was younger, I struggled with my professional identity. Here I was – composing songs, playing piano, conducting ensembles – while the news were full of war, pollution, people living in horrible...