Upcoming Performances

April 26
8:00 pm Eastern

Collaborative Organist, ASU University Singers, Rosen Concert Hall, Appalachian State University

April 28
3:00 pm Eastern

Guest recitalist, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Kingsport, Tenn.

May 5
4:00 pm Central

Guest recitalist, St. Paul's Cathedral, Des Moines, Iowa

August 25
3:00 pm Eastern

Guest recitalist, Church of the Savior, Newland, N.C.

December 13
12:15 pm Eastern

Music at Midday, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

June 21-26, 2020
Worship Organist, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, Lake Junaluska, N.C.


It's going to be a doozy

This fall, my organ studio will be the largest it has ever been. Four undergrad majors, three grad majors, and one secondary. I'll be teaching the four new ones twice a week, a practice I adopted several years ago -- it just gets them going a little faster. But it's a killer for me.

Plus my favorite course on Liturgies, which, oddly enough, is not offered in our Philosophy & Religion department. But they're invited to come, even though we'll be singing in class from time to time.

Plus Monday evening accompanying duties for the Appalachian Chorale.

Plus four recitals (so far), one conference, one hymn festival, and a Halloween Monster Concert. All before Thanksgiving.

It's going to be a doozy of a semester. But I have not wavered from my practice of saying that I like it this way. I may not believe that as the semester wears on, but it will come back. I suppose I should stay home this summer and get ready for it all. Nah.


Let the traveling begin

I won't lie. There is more than one joy in not having a church job. But the greatest joy in it is being able to sub for others. Several months ago, Edie Johnson emailed to ask if I was available and interested in covering Holy Week and Easter for her because she was pregnant and due on Palm Sunday. It has been my pleasure to cover for her this week on the mighty Aeolian-Skinner at Church Street United Methodist in Knoxville. As of this writing, it is Saturday early evening, and since Wednesday I have practiced for hours and played a choir rehearsal, a Maundy Thursday service, a Good Friday service, and a Saturday brass rehearsal. Tomorrow, Sunday, I'll play services at 6:30, 8:30, and 11:00. This has been a most enjoyable way to spend a Holy Week -- working and yet not working. Although I have worked hard and done what I do very well, I have also been to my favorite restaurants, helped Brad Rule tune a bit and enjoyed lunch with him, enjoyed getting to know Tim Ward at the church, and today I walked all over the Univ. of Tennessee campus and relived some memories of the 1982 World's Fair closer to downtown.

But that's not all. Tomorrow after church, I'm hitting the road to the Atlanta airport to catch a flight to Paris, followed by the TGV to parts east in France. I'm attending the annual meeting of the European Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. This annual meeting is always an organ tour in some corner of Europe, during Easter week. This year, it's Strasbourg, St-Avold, and Metz. What a way to unwind after Holy Week and Easter!


Happy birthday

This week might be the longest birthday celebration for me ever. It all started last week, when some fellow Facebookers saw my name in a list of upcoming birthdays. Assumptions began to be made, and I started getting Happy Birthday greetings a week early. Kind of reminds me of singing Christmas carols during Advent.

Then four days before the actual day, I was treated to a most delightful surprise party.

Then three days before the actual day, I was treated to another most delightful surprise party.

The gifts have been extravagant. New flight simulator software, and some wonderful Dutch organs on the Hauptwerk system.

As of this writing, it's still not my birthday, but I am certainly enjoying the new toys and the chocolate cake. Tomorrow is Birthday Eve, and there shall be another party with drinks and chocolate cake. The Day itself will be spent teaching and then driving to my aunt's house, where I will enjoy home cooking.

And more chocolate cake.

Laissez les bon temps roulez.


Family pride

I'm proud of my kids.

I don't have children. I have students. And sometimes it is appropriate to call them kids. Not because they're childish, but because they accomplish things that 'students' don't usually accomplish at that age. Sometimes the most endearing title I can come up with is Kids.

My kids have now been invited to play two recitals on the road as a studio. To my knowledge, this is a first at our university. They will be playing at the First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, Tenn., on Sunday, February 9. Then they have an unconfirmed date to play in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

They're also headed back to Kilgore, Tex., in a couple weeks for the third annual East Texas Pipe Organ Festival.

And I'm receiving email after email from people who have delighted in our recent vintage photos in The American Organist magazine. One caption was, "All dressed up -- and going places."

It all makes a father proud.


POE 2013

Just arrived in Birmingham, Ala., for the 2013 American Guild of Organists southeast region IV Pipe Organ Encounter. Twenty-some teenagers and ten-some faculty have gathered for a week of lessons, recitals, Southern hospitality, and Southern heat. My dorm room at Samford University is most comfortable, with plenty of air conditioning, a private bath, and no roommate. Life, for this week at least, is good.

Then it's on to Kilgore, Tex., to make friends with an organ I'll be playing on in November for a bunch of Aeolian-Skinner enthusiasts. For a recital such as that, one should make a special trip to plan the perfect program. And it's always a good excuse to eat good Mexican.

And in all this, have bike, will travel. My usual summer weight loss program is well underway. It consists of two bike rides daily, plus the time to take them (something that doesn't exist when school is in session).

Happy summer.