Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Greetings all!

I’ve been asked and accepted the position of choral director for the Georgia Ambassadors of Music for their European tour this summer. Many of you know that I was choral director for four tours with the Oklahoma Ambassadors of Music (1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005), the last two as Tour Director.

The Tour Director for the Georgia group is my friend Dr. Joe Brashier who is also Director of Bands at Valdosta State University. Also part of the tour faculty is another friend, Mr. Eric Bradshaw, Director of Athletic Bands at VSU. We rehearse in Atlanta beginning on June 6; we depart for London on June 9, and return home on June 24.

It’s a European sampler with three days each in London, Paris, Crans Montana, Switzerland, Seefeld, Austria (side trip to Venice), and Rothenburg, Germany. I’ve done this same tour four times before and I was surprised and pleased that the city coordinators in each location are basically the same as they were even back in 1999. It will be nice to renew old friendships.

The last time I took the Oklahoma group, we had five busses and a trailer. Georgia will only have one bus, so it should be a bit easier. If asked, I hope to build the choir for the next tour in 2016.

I will try to provide updates and photos through this blog as we proceed on the tour.

Meanwhile, Alek was here for a brief visit last week. He’s off now visiting his wife Daniela in Madison, WI where she is singing the leading role in Jake Heggie’s opera, “Dead Man Walking.” Alek will get to see the final dress before heading to Los Angeles where he sings Ferrando in “Cosi fan tutte” with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic. Finally, Daniela and Alek will meet up again and spend the summer together in Santa Fe where Dani is singing the title role in Carmen and Alek sings Ernesto in Don Pasquale. We’ll be visiting in early July and I’ll try to provide reports.

For me, the school year is winding down with a successful face-to-face class in Creativity and two online classes: Music Appreciation and The Development of Rock and Roll. I’m enjoying my role as Program Coordinator in the Honors College and have spent a considerable amount of time dealing with the curriculum.

Moxie is due for her summer cut in a week or so as it is starting to get really warm here now. In fact, I’m writing this poolside from the summer office. I hope everyone is having a splendid spring. Cheers! – Jim

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