Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sick Day

Man, I hate these days. It started hitting me yesterday evening (AFTER we had selected our first Christmas tree) and it took control of my life all day. We're thinking I caught it from Whitney, since she's had a cold since almost the beginning of the week.

I find that sickness (besides a great time to catch up on all the fun television shows) somehow makes me look at my life in a little better (albeit somewhat delirious) perspective. This particular sickness got me to realize how lucky I am, I have a wonderful wife. (Who, by the way, even though she felt under the weather, still took care of me, made me meals, even gave me a back rub!! What a woman!) I have family that cares for me, a great job, a great plan for my future career, a wonderful ward, great friends.

I've spent so much of my life trying for something more, something better, even with myself. On one level, I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but I think in some ways it has really dominated my life to the point that I am unhappy with wherever I am. Now I want to see what is wonderful and then patiently working on making it more wonderful!

Here's the tree! First fresh one I've had in awhile!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Conducting Post

Be sure to check out my most recent conducting escapades!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Last Days in Illinois

I know, its been nearly two months since I left Illinois, but its kinda' been busy, and I just learned how to get pictures from Whitney's camera (which I borrowed after mine got drowned in the Caribbean) onto the computer.

Over the summer I decided it would be nice to see some of the cool Illinois birds, so I bought a bird feeder for us to put on the tree in our backyard. I also learned about a little sock-like bird feeder that would attract finches. We had a cardinal that came regularly to eat (Jenika named him Charlie) that I tried for days to photograph. Finally I took a book and the camera out to the porch and read until he started eating so I could get a picture without moving much. Here are my best shots of the finch and Charlie!

At the end of the summer, my good friend Becca Anderson wrote me saying she needed another priesthood holder for the Young Women's fourth year something or another. (I still don't completely understand why these girls got to go, but it was a small number of women, and it was a few weeks before Girl's Camp). First off, you Young Women have much more spiritual campouts than I ever had in Young Men's! You read your scriptures! Together! Daily! And then you talk about it meaningfully! I was baffled and inspired, what a wonderful weekend!

My most proud moment was in the morning when we heard the thunder of a rainstorm coming, and my best strategy for keeping the fire going was to build it as high as I could and shelter the ashes with big logs. Miraculously, after the 15 minute rainstorm (with thunder overhead that sent the girls running for the cars) the fire was still going and we had a wonderful breakfast!

Here are a few of the pictures I took. Although I missed the real rough experience of mountainous hiking, this was a wonderful weekend!

I know its sideways...give me a break...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Concert Recordings: Allerton Vocal Chamber Music Festival

So...I finally got around to learning how to upload video onto YouTube, which means that then I can post them here! I am so excited to see what you think of these.

What we have here is Woodstock High School. I got to conduct them at the Allerton Vocal Chamber Music Festival in February of this year. (I know it took me awhile....) We spent a weekend together (Friday night and Saturday morning) and worked on two songs for several rehearsals. This is a recording of their performance Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!

Johannes Brahms: "Nachtwache no. 1"

Sergei Rachmoninoff: "Bogoroditsye Djevo"

Also!! I have started a new blog to post all of the videos of me conducting/rehearsing! Please check it out!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Well, last Friday night was the University Chorus Concert out here at the University of Illinois, which went really well! We had a great time and made some wonderful music before, including four pieces (arrangements) that had never been heard before (Three by Danny McDavitt and one by me). It was a really rewarding experience!

The program got the title "Americana" because it was all somehow tied to the Americas. Beginning with a piece that was close to home (written by a composer from Chicago) then moving out to Latin America for a few fragments from the Mass. Then over to England, when Elgar did two settings of pieces by Tennyson, then back to the United States for some standard compositions and some folk music. All in all, a pretty good program, I think!

The picture on the poster above was taken by Whitney, and as many of you can imagine, is not even remotely a picture of Illinois! But it sure looked Americana, right? Whitney also came out for the concert (or my birthday....still not sure which...) and she took some wonderful pictures of our last rehearsal on stage before the concert began! Thanks hun!

P.S. If I get super ambitious, I may even attempt to put some audio clips on here....we'll see.

A fantastic pianist, Colin Leslie

Looking "out" for the slower of the folk songs (thanks to a little micro-geography)

This might be my favorite part of the concert! There was quite a bit of percussion in several of the pieces, and the best box I could find to carry it all around was this one! It held together quite well!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Pictures

So, I'm certain that all of you would love to see some pictures of the happy couple! I promise I'll get less cheesy in a little bit...really.... These are pictures that our good friend Ben Boster took over the Christmas break, because we decided we deserved some of those winter pictures....we need to clarify that these do not count as our engagement pictures, those will be taken later, when its prettier...but they do still look good!
This picture will probably be a christmas card, don't you think??

Whitney is totally making fun of these kinds of engagement pictures, but I think it looks pretty cool!

I have no idea what happened here, I probably made some joke that she's mad at....

I just think this one is cool, with the branch there, very artistic....

Just really cool, that's all I have to say!!

Well, that's all you get for now! These are my personal favorites of the ones Ben took, enjoy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do you Want an Invitation?

So...I'm sure most of you have probably already done this, but I just want to make sure I cover my bases so that anyone who wants an invitation can get one. Head to this website and click on the RSVP link (left hand side) and select the "I want an invitation" event and whatever reception you plan on coming to! Thanks!

Happy New Year! I'll do a better post later!