You’ll never listen to this beautiful work in the same way again …
Behind the quiet, introverted, melancholic countenance of this young man dwells a lion -
Here are some highlights from the annual CSOTFA championships in Oroville last month:
Here are two versions of an old folk song, known as both “The Cruel Mother” and “Down by the Greenwood Side”. The lyrics are chillingly appropriate for the commemoration of Roe vs. Wade on January 22.
As mentioned previously, my two oldest participated in a student-led choir while at the high school summer program of Thomas Aquinas College. Someone was thoughtful enough to make a couple of recordings for the families back home.
There is something about the Old World – a secret – that gives its people a peace about life. We Americans are about new beginnings, forgetting the past, starting over. That’s not all bad: it’s a very Franciscan quality. Heaven knows I depend on it daily. But the Old World is drenched in blood, it’s civilization founded on murder, every square inch of land the site of some unfathomable atrocity. And yet, there is no peace like an Old World peace. I don’t know what to make of this peace, but I need it. America needs it.
Last week our fair city of Chico hosted the annual Summer Music Academy sponsored by the Music Teacher’s Association of California – Butte County Branch. The event was held in the classrooms and sanctuary of Chico’s historic Bidwell Presbyterian Church. Dozens of rising young musicians received specialized instruction from master teachers in violin, viola, cello, piano, and harpsichord. In return, they performed three concerts for the community on Friday and Saturday featuring the works of Bach, Mozart, Hayden, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and other renowned composers.
We had the great pleasure of hosting Dr. Ljubomir Velickovic and his son, along with another music student, which made for some lively musical gatherings in our living room!
I have to tell you, as a non-musician, the joy and enthusiasm that real music brings into the lives of these young people is something to envy. One of my favorite pastimes has become simply watching musicians when they get together. It doesn’t take long before the small talk is out of the way and they start making music somehow. What a gift it must be to have that instant musical bond with strangers! This is our third year of participation, and it’s been nice turning strangers into friends as we get to know some of the other families.
As for the music itself, we are fortunate in that MTAC-Butte has thus far been committed to the great “canon” of the western tradition. Now and then, sure, the teachers introduce something different just for fun, but there is no egotistical thirst for radical experimentation among the teachers here, no chasing after showtunes and pop culture. The students learn the highest and best music that our civilization has produced, and they learn it well. First things first.