Monday, March 31, 2008


It was spectacular to hear Joyce DiDonato Sunday in Philadelphia. She sang with everything in her power, not just the notes with beautiful color and phrasing but with her heart and soul.

We go way back, to August 1988 when we were at Wichita State University! Joyce and Katie (her roommate) were in Brennan 2 and I lived in Brennan 3. We also were in Benson Headley's sight singing class 3 (I had skipped 1 and 2 the summers before, along with theory and violin lessons!) - which was interesting to say the least. We later were in Bertil H. Van Boer's Music History classes together, sang in Concert Chorale under Bob Glasmann, and in lots of operas - I in the pit and Joyce either in the chorus or with a role, often directed by George Gibson.
But that was many years ago!

We've stayed in touch, and even run across each other - once in Richmond, VA where she was a soloist for the Messiah, and I at National Public Radio, and another friend, Sara Avery, the principal 2nd violinist. Last time I saw her I had been engaged and just back from New York City to hear a friend's Carnegie Hall debut (this was 1999 - and I never got married, long story, ask me sometime!) and my then fiancee and I stopped to visit Joyce at her home in Kansas City.

Yesterday it was like no time had passed - in fact, Joyce came out on stage smiling, but as she saw me in the 2nd row (I was in her line of sight off to the right) she smiled even bigger - later I got a wink, and when she mentioned singing Copland at WSU, gestered towards me with her left hand. It was sweet. Her husband, Leo, teased me afterwards about being jealous, mentioning the smiles and wink, and even the WSU nod. It was awesome to meet him, and spend a brief few minutes reconnecting. I took five friends from around the area (and even my ex-fiancee!), who all just flipped over Joyce.

She has a link up on her blog (for ClassicallyHip) for one of my posts about performing Rossini back in Wichita, oh so many years ago. Take a look, she has wonderful insights and photos on YankeeDiva!

Final Four

Vote through tomorrow morning for the Wingnuts!
Go Wichita!

In Philly

Had a delightful Sunday in is my friend Jann and I before a concert we caught.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sweet 16

and you know what I for the Wingnuts!
(thanks everyone who voted last round!)

Monday, March 24, 2008


Nice trip so far with the 'rents. The central time zone feels good.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Go nuts voting

Er, that should be Vote for the Wingnuts, a baseball team in Wichita, and their awesome logo.
But just as the deadline for registering in PA primary is looming, this deadline is tomorrow - so go vote now!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You’ve never really lived

Derek Hale has started a list, and it's a good's my contribution off the top of my head:

A list of things that would cause me to say, “I had never really lived until I ________________.” Here is what I came up with.

I had never really lived until I:

Saw the Grand Canyon.
Arrived late to a wedding and fell for Andie MacDowell, saw her at another wedding, went to her wedding, went to a friend’s funeral and then left my wedding for her – oh wait, that was not me, but Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, sorry!
Took a chance for love.
Heard Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (live!).
Saw a tornado pass by.
Stood up for what I thought was right no matter what.
Taught a student to enjoy music.
Gave time to spend with others who needed friendship and company who were alone.
Watched the sunrise with a loved one.
Conducted an orchestra.
Heard the applause of an adoring audience after a musical performance.
Made loved outside under the stars.
Went backstage at Carnegie Hall to congratulate a friend after a performance.
Smoked a Cuban cigar.

Anyone else care to chime in?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Karma Kameleon

I laughed looking at my most recent facebook notifications, and it is indeed karmatic:

John Nasukaluk Clare -- you have been given good karma by Brandi P.
You have been given good karma by Jann.
You have been given good karma by Derek.
Cecily called you a beslubberring, bat-fowling skainsmate!
You have been given good karma by Katherine.
John Nasukaluk Clare -- you have been given good karma by Jennifer.
John Nasukaluk Clare -- you have been given good karma by Brandi H-B.

You see, I sent some "karma" to friends and also pulled out ye ol' Shakespearian Insult Generator, so I was very amused to see a friend reply within all of my karma...too funny!

Monday, March 17, 2008


In the city and looking for somethin' to do?
Settlement Music School AnnouncesSummer Camps Schedule and Six-Week Summer Instruction Offering
Philadelphia, PA - The largest community arts school in the country is currently enrolling students for a variety of summer camps for children ages 4 -18 along with a six-weeks of individual lessons for continuing student and those who "just want to get their feet wet" and explore music lessons in a more relaxed time of the year. For details, call 215-320-2600 or visit
Financial support is available for all camps which include:
SUMMER JAM Ages 12-18, June 23 - July 3, 2008 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday Cost $530. Germantown Branch, 6128 Germantown Avenue, Germantown 215-320-2613 andKardon Northeast Branch, 3745 Clarendon Avenue at Knights Road, Philadelphia 215-320-2623.Audition dates are Saturday, April 26, 2-4pm at either branch. This newest camp is for teen musicians and garage band members looking to hone their skills, record a CD or learn about the business of making music. Summer Jam emphasizes practical playing experience through clinics by professionals in the field. Participants will record their work and perform live at a local club.
Ages 4-7, July 7 - Aug 1, 2008 9am to noon, Monday through Friday Cost $620.Mary Louise Curtis Branch, 416 Queen Street, Queen Village Call 215-320-2603 andGermantown Branch, 6128 Germantown Avenue, Germantown. 215-320-2613. This arts camp provides daily activities in music, dance and visual art. Families are invited to a presentation of the students' work. Healthy snacks are provided. Students must register for full four-week session.
Ages 7-14, June 16 - July 27, 2008 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday Cost $590 Jenkintown Branch, 515 Meetinghouse Road (in Alverthorpe Manor.) 215-320-2633June 23 - July 3, 2008 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday Cost $530. Mary Louise Curtis Branch, 416 Queen Street, Queen Village. 215-320-2603.This training camp includes music theory and appreciation classes, supervised practice time, sectionals and two full ensemble rehearsals for beginners and chamber music coaching for more advanced string players. Healthy snacks are provided. Children must pack own lunches.
Ages 6-12, July 7 - August 1, 2008 9am to noon, Monday through Friday Cost $170.Camden School of Musical Arts Branch, 531-35 Market Street, Call 856-541-6375.The 4-week session will provide singing, dancing and acting activities. Students will be grouped according to age and families will be invited to an informal presentation of the students' work during last week of camp. A healthy snack will be served each day. Principal funding is provided by the Campbell Soup Foundation. Additional funding by the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Settlement Music School, founded in 1908, is the largest community-based school of the arts in the United States according to the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Settlement is dedicated to providing children and adults with the highest quality instruction and activity in music and the related arts. With six locations in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Jenkintown and Camden, NJ, the School serves about 15,000 students of all abilities regardless of age, race or financial circumstances, and awards close to $2 million a year in financial aid. Settlement is the largest employer of musicians in the region, with more than 325 qualified and dedicated faculty.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I'll be blarin' the green on WITF from 12 to 3pm today, including the Celtic Symphony and Michael Torke's Green from Color Music.
Friday I caught up with coworkers and past coworkers at LBC before hearing the California Guitar Trio and Adrian Belew Power Trio at the Whitaker Center. It was sweet seeing my friend Bert Lams jam with his group, I have all the the California Guitar Trio cds, but hadn't heard them live. I enjoyed Adrian's group as well (and found great blogs about them, including the drummer and bass player's mom's blog!) but after a long day, needed to get rest.
Saturday found me working on some projects and then at Cornerstone Coffeehouse in Camp Hill, jammin' with my friends Paul, Hank and Zach. Lots of new tunes and no Irish music (the nice sized crowd didn't call for any!) and it felt good.
Sunday was more independent work and rest.
Tonight I'll lift o' pint with friends at a Mexican restaurant I've never been to, Herbies. I'll let you know what I think.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Six Secret Fears

Recently there have been several comments about self criticism creating music, and even Yahoo has had features about "secret fears."
I thought I'd share after the hundreds of interviews I've conducted with composers, the top six fears of composition.

#6. Cleftomania, the fear that you'll steal the attention of the ensemble from having written the wrong notes in tenor clef for upper register cello or wrong notes in viola clef (although only Paul Hindemith would really know if the notes were right or if the violists were just missing them!)

#5. Hollandtosis, the fear that Bernard Holland will review the world premiere or NY premiere of your composition.

#4. Influtenza, the fear that flute choirs will continually commission you for flute choir works - often with bass flute candenzas.

#3. Scorrevolephrenia, the continous flowing or gliding of musical ideas, often found in great American composers born on December 11th, 1908.

#2. inNANESity, the fear that Richard Nanes will write more works, or that your composition will sound like Richard Nanes. (Related to Jenkinsdice or the sounds of Karl Jenkins)

and the #1 secret fear of composers: Chronic Fugue Syndrome, the fear that you will write too fugually OR wind up in one of John's silly blog posts.

Composers suffering from the above symptoms show consult an ASCAP, AMC, ACF or BMI professional immediately as well as book a taping on Dr. Philharmonic (seen right).
I'm sure there are more fears and diseases (let's leave Schubertian VDs out of it, too Spitzer-esque) that composers suffer - leave your fears/suggestions in the comments!

Meanwhile in Sin City

Now hear this: "Go hear this!"

Las Vegas, NV, March 12, 2008. The Las Vegas Chamber Music Society announces a special presentation of Las Vegas flutist and Nevada Artist Fellow Karen Haid in a solo recital at Las Vegas Clark County Library's Performing Arts Center, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd. on Sunday, April 6th at 2 p.m. Inspiring her audiences "with style and fire" (American Record Guide) and with interpretations "gorgeously lyrical" (The Scene), she will perform works by Bach, Telemann, Ibert, and Paganini.

Lauded as "a chamber music superstar” (Richmond News Leader), Karen Haid has performed extensively as an orchestral player and has served on the faculties of Florida State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Alaska. Laurels include the Coleman Chamber Music Award, a Certificate of Excellence from the Vienna International Music Competition, and top prizes in competitions sponsored by the National Flute Association. Karen Haid holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Boston University, a Diploma from the Juilliard School, and doctorates in both the flute and piano from Florida State University. Upon the release of her solo compact disc, The Music of Walter Gieseking (NI5696), the BBC
Music Magazine praised her as being "equally gifted on the piano and flute."

The Las Vegas Chamber Music Society was established in 2003 to meet the growing local need for quality chamber music concerts featuring local artists as well as an international array of the world's finest musicians.
In addition, the society is dedicated to establish opportunities for the young people to participate in master classes, perform in concert settings and attend performances. The Las Vegas Chamber Music Society is excited to produce and set new standards of performance for Las Vegas audiences.

The concert is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Las Vegas Chamber Music Society, Nevada Federal Credit Union, and has been funded, in part, by an Artist Fellowship award from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency.

Latest from Janine


International release date of March 18th coincides with appearances in New York, Los Angeles and Cincinnati

"Janine Jansen is the most exciting violinist of her generation - an artist for the iPod era." Der Spiegel

Violinist Janine Jansen has created an exclusive download session EP for digital music audiences. The all-Bach program called Live Session: Bach (Cat. No. 4780526) will be the first ever classical recording in the iTunes Sessions series. Janine Jansen has tailored the program specifically for digital download by selecting powerful chamber pieces, having already proven that their combination of intimacy and immediacy is particularly appealing to the digital music audience.

Janine Jansen has been dubbed "Queen of the Downloads" (The Independent, UK) following the breakout success of her chamber-sized performance of The Four Seasons in 2005, which broke into the US Top 20 albums on iTunes, becoming that year's top-selling digital classical album, and it remains a digital best-seller three years on. Her latest album Bach Inventions & Partita once again topped the iTunes classical charts around the world. The digital success story of artists such as Janine Jansen illustrates a trail-blazing dynamic for marketing and selling classical music online. Janine's prior recordings have already succeeded in building a digital audience beyond the traditional classical record buyer. The new recording Live Session: Bach presents a sensational new stride towards developing the audience even further.

Janine Jansen's iTunes exclusive Live Session: Bach, recorded in Berlin on 29th February 2008 includes the following repertoire:

- Gamba Sonata BWV 1027 for violin, viola, cello & harpsichord
- Violin Sonata BWV 1017 Siciliano for violin & harpsichord
- Violin Sonata BWV 1019a Cantabile, ma un poco Adagio for violin & harpsichord

The session also features Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Torleif Thedéen (cello), trio colleagues from Janine's recent Bach album Inventions & Partita, and her father Jan Jansen on harpsichord, who played with Janine in her best-selling album The Four Seasons.

Janine Jansen Upcoming North American tour dates:

March 14th-16th 2008 / Cincinnati / Britten Violin Concerto
March 20th-22nd 2008 / Los Angeles / Tchaikovsky Concerto


I want to hear from my friends about this one...
"After a while, you kind of get used to it."' That's what Kory McFarren says about having his girlfriend live in his bathroom for so long that her body became stuck to the toilet seat.
McFarren says Pam Babcock had a phobia about leaving the bathroom. After she went in, he says "time went by so quick'' that he can't pinpoint exactly how long she was in there.
He says Babcock wasn't sitting on the toilet the entire time. He says she moved around, bathed and changed clothes. He also brought her food and water and they talked.
But she wouldn't leave, and McFarren says he finally called police for help last month when Babcock began acting groggy and disoriented.
McFarren says he should have gotten help sooner, but Babcock's an adult and made her own decision.
Babcock is reported in fair condition at a Wichita, Kansas, hospital. McFarren says she has an infection in her legs that has damaged the nerves and she could end up needing a wheelchair.

In other news, Wichita is the 2nd best city to find a job in according to ABC News (via Dr. Dick)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Get out the vote

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania's primary election next month is Monday, March 24, 2008.
This deadline also applies to those registered voters wishing to change their political affiliation. Currently, voters registered nonpartisan or independent cannot vote for party candidates in the primary election, but can vote on ballot questions.
To be eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 on the date of the election, a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the election, and a resident of the election district in Pennsylvania in which you register at least 30 days before the election.
Registering is easy. You can register in person, by mail or even fill out an application online and print it off. Click on or cut-and-paste:

Monday, March 10, 2008

But wait there's more

You can see alot of Composing Thoughts LIVE with Jennifer Higdon here. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


A good time was had by all and all were had by the good time yesterday at Composing Thoughts Live! At the right is Jennifer Higdon and myself towards the end of the program.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Caption Contest

Please leave your suggestion for caption(s) or a story in the comments for these four pictures. After enough entries, I'll explain the story behind the pictures. In the meantime, have fun!

At rehearsal

Last night the Harrisburg Symphony rehearsed the Percussion Concerto by Jennifer Higdon at the Forum in Harrisburg.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Visitors: Old York to New York

Looking at my stats for the last few visitors, its pretty cool to see Europe, Asia, and even folks here in PA.
Korea, Republic of Seoul, Seoul-t'ukpyolsi
Spain Tarragona, Cataluna
Belgium Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelij...
Belgium Hron, Liege
Netherlands Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts
Berkeley, California
Charleston, West Virginia
Austin, Texas
East Brunswick, New Jersey
Neptune, New Jersey
Hackensack, New Jersey
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Tucson, Arizona
Cedars, Pennsylvania
Reno, Nevada
Canada Red Deer, Alberta
Reno, Nevada
Chicago, Illinois
San Antonio, Texas
Mexico Mexico, Distrito Federal
Reno, Nevada
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Las Vegas, Nevada
United Kingdom Wolverhampton
South El Monte, California
Lexington, Kentucky
Germany Berlin
Austin, Texas
Reno, Nevada
Buffalo, New York
Cordova, Alabama
United Kingdom York
Franklin, North Carolina
Germany Berlin
Hamburg, Michigan
New York
Sharpsburg, Maryland
Maricopa, Arizona
Concord, California
New York
Finland Valkeala, Southern Finland
France Courbevoie, Ile-de-France
San Francisco, California
Reno, Nevada
Columbus, Ohio
Oakland, California
Nevada City, California

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I'm so excited about this weekend. It's the first Composing Thoughts LIVE at WITF's Public Media Center, Saturday afternoon at 3pm.
My guest is Jennifer Higdon - who has performances with the Harrisburg Symphony this weekend and in a few weeks with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra.
Take a look at Dr. Dick's excellent post here, and be sure to stop by and meet Jennifer Saturday.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

And so it starts...

Chelsea Clinton is hitting the campaign trail in Pennsylvania today to speak with college students about her mother's presidential candidacy.
The former first daughter is slated to appear at the University of Pennsylvania for an afternoon event called ``Our Voice, Our Future.''
Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign says this event is expected to be the first of many Pennsylvania appearances for Chelsea.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Five Things about Ten for Carter

Network for New Music presented Ten for Carter Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

1. Composers were commissioned for piano works ni honor of Elliott Carter's upcoming 100th birthday in December 2008. They included Milton Babbitt, Uri Caine, Jeffery Cotton, Alvin Curran, Jennifer Higdon, Jeffrey Mumford, Augusta Read Thomas, Maurice Wright, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Jeremy Gill. Babbitt's was not completed and instead pianist Marilyn Nonken included Carter's Retrouvailles from 2000.
2. Most striking was Bells by Augusta Read Thomas, played by pianist Steven Gosling and inside the piano by Marilyn Nonken. The work was colorful and inventive, truly capturing the spirit of Carter.
3. Mumford's a celebration of Elliott was brilliant, with stellar and facile playing from Gosling.
4. Higdon's Mr. Carter's Notes and Zwilich's A Poem for Elliott were entertaining and fitting, with care and panache from Nonken's musical playing.
5. Thomas Kraines was passionate in his reading of Carter's Figment #2, and was joined by other members of Network for Con Leggerezza Pensosa (from 1990 - the oldest work on the program!) and played it not once, but twice, before intermission and at the end of the program.

Afterwards, a reception followed with a q&a with the pianists and composers. The concert was also played Friday night in NYC. Hear an interview with Jeremy Gill here about his Eliot Fragments.