Whether we are teenagers or grandparents, teachers or students, at home or in temporary shelter, the first day of school is different for many of us this year. I have participated in this annual event since I was in kindergarten, but for Fall 2020, I have no first day of school. I am no longer… Continue reading No First Day of School
Living Among Confederates
"I see Confederates everyday," I said to a friend last weekend. My two regulars are an unnamed artillery loader on my walk to work and a Revolutionary War Veteran who became a Confederate cavalry leader on my drive from my neighborhood to a main thoroughfare. I have not lived in Richmond, Virginia long enough to… Continue reading Living Among Confederates
My Teacher’s Face for Frida Kahlo
I remember my teacher’s face when talking about Kahlo and now contemplate that her being on the verge of tears may not have been only because of the tragedy...
Thirty Years in Cuban Music
Berklee College of Music in Boston treats with seriousness and depth music I am passionate about. I spent my undergraduate career immersed in the poetry of Nicolas Guillen and emerged with an original song cycle, an honors paper featuring Cuban composers, and two class presentations based on his work. When I graduated, I abandoned… Continue reading Thirty Years in Cuban Music
Fiddler Across the Decades
Every song in this musical was familiar to me except Perchik and Hodel's "Now I Have Everything."
Brahms After Ben Folds
How does one play Johannes Brahms on the other side of Ben Folds? I asked myself this question as I considered a response to my piano student's first lesson on one of the Romantic composer's pieces.
On the Fringe of Conservatories
This December, I performed within ten minutes of two of the most prestigious music schools in the United States: Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. Although I applied to both schools (for an undergraduate degree in piano at Eastman and for graduate study in composition at Peabody),… Continue reading On the Fringe of Conservatories
Figaro and the Filthy Rich/Hippies
In my music appreciation class, I remarked on a section of the movie Amadeus by saying that the stirrings before the French Revolution were something like Occupy Wall Street. It was an on-the-fly comparison for the sake of relevance in the context of lecturing about Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and the socioeconomic status of… Continue reading Figaro and the Filthy Rich/Hippies