Hello to Berlin

I am part-way through my summer tour of ten concerts in Europe, having already played in the cathedral in Mainz and the Abbey Church in Steinfeld and am now aboard the train to Braunschweig where I’ll play a concert tomorrow in the late afternoon (le quatorze juillet). George and I spent five days of honest-to-goodness […]

Singing with Full Heart and Voice

It is the common denominator among nearly all church organists that we go about our weekly routine hearing one thing in our head and another in our ears. Nowhere is this more true than congregational singing – be it hymns, parts of the Ordinary of the Mass, or Acclamations. I’ve just finished a week with […]

On Beauty

The Trinity gets a bum rap these days. Most people equate it with Christian dogma about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – a theology that seems strictly theoretical at best – and irrelevant at worst. But I think it’s useful to ponder how three-ness makes life work. In the world of dimensions, it means […]

Island Paradise

Virgin Gorda is one of those places that most people have never heard of – which is precisely the reason that I love going there.  Nestled into the British Virgin Islands, and forming a border between the Atlantic and the Caribbean, this corner of the West Indies has been a favorite place for me for […]

On Stage at Davies Concert Hall

When you think about it, it’s a very odd thing for a musician to be spatially separated from his instrument.  For virtually all instrumentalists, the instrument itself has to be in hand for it to play at all.  I suppose conductor’s have the dilemma of spatial separation, especially when large orchestral and choral works are […]

Gun Control

A Letter to the Editor Dear Editor: With all of the dialog about guns, rights, Constitutional Amendments, and fear-mongering (on both sides of the equation), I am hoping that the American media will use this as an opportunity to educate the public as to the facts about the Second Amendment. Then: ·        When Secretary of State, […]

Playing Mozart in the Trees

I’ve always wanted to do that! But taking an organ, piano, or harpsichord outdoors has always seemed like a virtual impossibility, especially when compounded by the issues of staying in tune. Last week I took part as a continuo player in the Bay area’s Midsummer Mozart Festival. We did the Grand Mass in C minor […]

Arts and Entertainment

I realized, when I climbed inside a car yesterday, that it was the first time in six days that I had been inside a moving vehicle. At first, I thought that this shouldn’t seem odd at all, until I realized that, quite possibly, never in my adult life (since college) had I gone that length […]

A New Collaboration

It took me ages to figure this out. My special skill in music can be summed up in one word: Collaboration. I’m really surprised that it’s taken me this long to figure it out, even though it’s been obvious for a very long time. Whether I’m performing with other people, or performing a solo organ […]

Dancing in Bavaria

It’s not very often, at my age, that I get asked to go dancing, most especially when it’s Bavarian folk dancing! Concert work took me to the town of Ottobeuren, not too far from the Alps, to play on a couple magnificent instruments in an enormous baroque basilica. The Riepp organ (1766) is justly world-famous […]