Upcoming Performances

July 12, 8:30 pm Central European
Guest recitalist, Cathedral, Rieux-Volvestre, France

July 22, 7:00 pm Eastern
Petr Eben Windows with James Stokes, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Boone, N.C.

August 26, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Church of the Savior, Newland, N.C.

September 23, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Schantz organ 40th anniversary, Culpeper Baptist Church, Culpeper, Va.

September 28, 7:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Camp Hill Presbyterian Church, Camp Hill, Penn.

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An obscure anniversary

My mother kept everything in her calendar.

Her handwritten calendar.

Every year, she would get a new calendar and start transferring all information she wanted to preserve from the previous year into the upcoming one. This birthday, that anniversary, etc. But she would also transfer other events such as the dog's birthday, the dog's death day, the date of a major surgery, the death of a beloved cousin. The amount of information looked to us like much ado about nothing, until we discovered when going through her estate that she had SAVED all previous years' calendars. Therefore, when it was all said and done, we had a perfectly preserved record of pretty much her entire adult life and our family history.

As it turns out, I do the same thing. But my calendar is electronic, and therefore, a lot less trouble. I have created simple annual repeating events that pop up from day to day. And so I, too, am able to remember this birthday or that birthday. And I have found it satisfying nostalgic to be reminded that a particular day was the death of one of my dear classmates or family member or a major milestone in my career. And it has promoted much good will in my family for me to be able to call the grieving one year after a death and say, "Hey, I'm thinking about you today. I know what today is." Much ado about nothing? Maybe to some. To me, it's a promotion of necessary parts of human life: fellowship, support, remembering together.

All that to say that today, February 1, my iPhone has reminded me of the start date in 1997 of my seven-year tenure as the organist at First Presbyterian Church of Houston, Tex. That day, I really felt I had arrived -- in charge of beautiful instruments, working with beloved conductors, making soon-to-be beloved friends in the choir, and beginning to learn more about organ chamber air conditioner breakdowns than I ever wanted to know.

Anyway, happy anniversary to me, for an event that ended in 2004. And an early Happy Groundhog Day to you.