Saturday, February 11, 2006


I'm in the process of memorizing music for my Liberty Quartet debut, which will take place next week. Fortunately, my first weekend will be with Paul Ellis still in the group, so I can learn the ropes from the veteran. I have a decent ear, but after 30 or 40 songs it's hard to remember where you go up and what the words are to the 2nd verse. There are several embarrassing moments awaiting me. Of that I'm sure. Oh well. Par for the course. Right now, "I'll Sail Away Home" from the album "Liberty: Live in Alaska" is playing on iTunes.

Friday, February 10, 2006

An Ode to Tour (that kind of sounds like a new type of fragrance)

I was going through some old documents the other day and came across this poem. If you ever traveled with a college choir or orchestra, you can relate to these words. I can't remember if I wrote the poem or not. I do remember reading it at IHC during the Mass Choir rehearsal (about which I need to write a whole article). Anyway, here it is. Read and be blessed.

The Choir Tour

Sitting on this bus, for quite a long, long while
Stifling heat, locker room smell, it’s enough to get you riled
Bathroom stops infrequent, few and far between
The ocean motion is an option, if, of course, it’s clean

Lasagna is the main course
If not sloppy joe
Pastor’s wives are so concerned
That everything’s just so

I appreciate the courtesy
It sometimes makes me smile
To say three times “I’m sorry, I’m full”
While choking on the bile

The housing, that’s another subject
Scary it can be
I never know what I will find
Sharing the bed with me

From roaches, hair, and little mice
To backed-up showers galore
I answer crazy questions
“Now what are you in school for?”

What causes all this suffering?
What would initiate such pain?
Ministry (would you believe it?)
Choir tour is here again

Though it’s easy now to criticize
To murmur and complain
I’d never trade this privilege
It’s definitely worth the pain

The services incredible
The singing so inspired
Cements the fact, I made the right choice
I’m glad that I joined choir

To see souls saved
And hearts encouraged
Make it all worthwhile
God spoke to me several times
As the bus went another mile

Yeah, there’ll be plenty of great times
And to be honest, there’ll be strife
But like Mr. Wolf says
Choir is a mirror of life

No matter where we go from here
Wherever God may lead
We will always remember tour
Being part of the family

So, guys, bring on the hot air
The food, housing, backed up sewer
It’s worth it all to be a part
Of another choir tour

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Now playing...

My latest time-consuming passion has been loading my iPod with my music collection. I'm about half-way done and have 5,921 songs loaded. I put my iTunes on party shuffle and enjoy my own music broadcast. Currently, on the playlist is "I'll Be Thinking of You" by Andrae Crouch off of the album "The Light Years". Classic stuff.

The New Look

Enjoy the new look. I slaved over it for, oh, I don't know, maybe 7 minutes. I was getting tired of mauve and gray.

You missed a spot

OK, I had to upload this. While I was typing my last post, Kassady clambered up onto the bed and attempted to help. Fortunately, my camera was beside me. You're looking at a future blogger!

Commodore 64: a cultural revolution

My son, the video-gamer. Trey is the proud owner of a V-Smile educational video game system and he loves it!

It brings back memories of my childhood gaming experiences. Most of them conjure up remembrances of the Commodore 64 system. Which brings to mind the question: was the Commodore 64 used for anything besides games and video consoles for ACE schools and conservative holiness homes? There were some incredible games including RBI Baseball, Summer Olympics, and some game that involved racing street cars. The graphics of the Commodore 64 reminded me of my 9th grade abstract renderings in PC Paint, in which with a vivid imagination people or objects could be made out, though not always correctly identified. Those were the days.

I remember the day that I was introduced to the Nintendo console. I was in a hospital room in Lafayette, IN recovering from having my appendix removed. A young boy next door told the nurse that he was willing to share his video game system with anyone who was interested in playing. The nurse wheeled in a TV (we called it a monitor) and the NES console and I was hooked. I recall fondly those early days of Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt.

From there I went to PC gaming. The first game that I ever became mildly addicted to was Wolfenstein. I think it was the first 3D PC game I ever played. I would sneak to the computer in the wee hours of the morning and freak myself out, saving the world from Nazis and German shepherds. You have to admit that the music was pretty creepy.

Now, I occasionally pull out my XBox system to play one of the many EA sports games in my possession. Oh yeah, I still enjoy Medal of Honor. For some reason, though, it's not as fun as it used to be.

Winter Sports run in the family

David Frederick III (my nephew) catches some air at the Perfect North ski slopes in Lawrenceburg, IN. He's become an avid skier in the last few years and is quite the hot dog. I'm impressed!

He is proving his dedication by embarking on a Moser Ski Adventures tour to the far reaches of Colorado. Everyone associated with Kevin Moser understands that only the truly accomplished can accompany him on his high-octane, adrenaline-infused journeys to the double diamond trails of the US. Just ask Jon Plank.

David's mother is making sure that he takes his helmet.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Give It Away

I just bought the new Gaither Vocal Band CD, "Give It Away". While Marshall Hall (new baritone) sang 2 or 3 songs on the CD "The Best of the Gaither Vocal Band" including the power ballad "Picture of Grace", this recording features the new GVB consisting of Bill, Guy, Marshall, and new tenor, Wes Hampton.

Now, let's be honest. Whoever followed David Phelps as tenor with the Vocal Band was bound to get panned. Phelps possesses a one in a million voice. While Wes is an able tenor, this recording either does not showcase his range or indicates that his high notes will fall far short of David's arial acrobats. In fact, Guy takes the tenor on a few of the songs, and does a great job at it. Give Wes a couple more albums before you judge his ability, though.

Marshall is a great addition to Gaither's men and he cuts loose on several tracks, bringing back memories of the most underrated baritone in Southern Gospel music, namely Mark Lowry.

Overall, I am disappointed with the song selection. I read interviews with Bill and he was hyping the fact that he was more excited about this recording than any project he had ever worked on. He needs to relax a little. This CD falls far short of some of the great GVB projects like "Loving God, Loving Each Other" and "I Do Believe". I've come to expect more.

One great song on this album is "Give It Away". This is a fantastic song that will have you tapping your feet. If you're a GVB fan, buy the album and add it to the collection. If you haven't bought one of their CDs before, don't start with this one.