Goodbye, Albert

The students of Saint Bernard’s School put on a fine production last week. After starting a theatre program eleven years ago, the school is shutting down this year (like Folwell Middle School, where I ) and I think the year’s ending with a decent bang. As , playing Bye Bye Birdie made for an intense week. Even more intense, in fact, since I had fewer rehearsals in which to learn the music. I joined the St. Bernard’s pit at the last minute, following an eleventh-hour decision at Lion’s Gate Christian Academy that cut out most of the pit orchestra for…

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That was fun! Let’s do more!

Three weekends of funny later, the Morris Park Players’ production of Cinderella is over. Set strike for the show was Monday. Next on their agenda is packing up all their equipment; the school they’ve performed at for 25 years—Folwell Middle School—is closing at the end of the year, and so it’s time to move everything to their new home, Edison High School. Aside from having “Ten Minutes Ago” and “In My Own Little Corner” stuck in my head still, I have lots of good memories and a few annoyances. Why did the director (not the music director) want “The Search”…

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Orchestra, Tech, & Audition Opportunities Seized

As mentioned in , my involvement in the pit orchestra at Temple of Aaron led to an offer from the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company. Well, last Sunday I attended my first GSVLOC orchestra rehearsal; there’s another tomorrow. It followed a week of back-and-forth emails with my contact (from Arizona, where I went to celebrate my grandmother’s 86th birthday). I also worked out dates for another potential gig in technical theatre at the Minneapolis JCC for their Jewish Humor Festival—about which I just happened to receive an email the day after the offer from GSVLOC. After Sunday’s GSVLOC…

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“Guys and Dolls” Retrospective

This was meant to be published last Wednesday, but WordPress missed the scheduled post. I’m looking into how to solve that problem in the future. I told myself I’d blog about anything significant before I started it. That didn’t happen, so I’m doing my normal post-project wrap-up. Combining the first time I’ve ever assistant-directed a show with the first time I’ve ever played in a pit orchestra (despite plenty of “regular” orchestra experience) was a job. Here are the highlights—or at least the important bits—and my usual summary of tech week. Becoming Involved I got involved in my two different…

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Musical in the Food Court!

This post digresses from my usual technobabble, but it’s just too funny and creative (not to mention awesome!) to pass up. Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based group of people started in 2001. What they do is usually totally off-the-wall and almost always funny. Their blog’s tagline: “We Cause Scenes”. The mission I’m featuring today, though, was done in Los Angeles, CA. (There is now a global Improv Everywhere site on Ning as well, but this mission was performed before that was launched.) I like the idea of Improv Everywhere because I am also into improvisational performance. I don’t…

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Application Storage Architectures Are Important

This quarter and next quarter, I’ll be taking music theory classes at school. We’re using a program called Musition, distributed by an Australian company by the name Rising Software. Initially when I set it up, it was using a local database of course material with a local data store of audio files and all the other accompanying stuff. A couple days ago, though, my teacher sent out instructions for connecting the program to the network, and it’s now 100 times slower. Previous load time was around five seconds. That was tolerable, especially considering what the program was loading. It also…

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Deezer On-Demand Music (Formerly Blogmusik)

There is something to be said about the digital age we live in. Up until a few weeks ago, I had only seen a couple good music sites, not the least of which was Pandora, and never saw one that played exactly what you wanted, when you wanted it. Now that’s changed. I saw a posting on Lifehacker last month that showed me the newly upgraded Deezer.com (formerly called Blogmusik) and how it could help me find on-demand music. So far it’s had most of what I’ve searched for, though I have had to tweak the search terms more than…

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Study Day?!

I walked to orchestra rehearsal as usual today. I carried my violin the whole way, like always. Only to find that I didn’t need it. That’s right, the conductor declared a study day, because of some test going on. I didn’t know what test, wasn’t told, and certainly wasn’t involved. And I didn’t have anything to study, of course, so why was I there? Because I always am. What a waste of time! I did get to clean cellos and sort band uniforms, though. That was interesting, but I’d rather have worked on Beethoven’s Fifth…

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Music to My Ears

After having a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my nephew, it was (of course) up to me to keep him occupied while the rest of the family talked. We ended up in my room for a while, trying to destroy a model of a train crossing built out of Legos with the train, then went back downstairs. We were then led (in my case, by the little finger) by my younger nephew (1 1/2 y.o.) into our library, where there were Duplos scattered everywhere. There was also a Suzuki Omnichord (electronic instrument that plays rhythms and auto-chords) and a children’s xylophone…

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Pandora Internet Radio

I recently started using a service called Pandora on the Internet. It is a music-discovery and streaming service. Start with a favorite song or artist (creates smaller and larger stations depending on type of input) and Pandora searches the Music Genome Project for similar music. What’s cool about it is the fact that it crosses genre, artist, and popularity lines; each song is its own little thing, listed by its own specific attribute set. There are some things, like no rewind and a song-skip limit, but these are due to the company’s music licenses. There are two versions: Free and…

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