Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Years

I like to write blog posts around the holidays and end of the year.  If you're reading this I wish you a great holiday and healthy and happy start to the new year.
  There are many amazing people in the world who do absolutely amazing things.  For example, brain surgeons, heart surgeons, humanitarians, EMTs, nurses, policemen, firemen, etc... Think of how many lives these people save on a daily basis, and it will blow your mind.  I'd personally like to thank these kind of people for their dedication and bravery.  There are many professions that I left out and types of people I left out, and that is why I wrote etc...
   I'm writing all that to express gratitude for the goodness in the world that is often overlooked in the news and what not.  I also believe that if we focus more on the goodness in the world, there could be no violence.  Less violence isn't good enough.  No violence is good enough.  Love, kindness, caring about others, and being in harmony with one another is good enough.  Violence such as harming other people and animals is something I will never get.  There was a shit load of violence in 2015, and I don't understand why.  Perhaps I am not supposed to understand why.  I'm not sure what else to say about that. Shooting after shooting and constant hostility.  I don't get it.
    The real fact is that violence isn't going to decrease.  I wish that weren't true, but the evidence is overwhelming that it keeps getting worse.  Shootings and more shootings, bullying in person and on the internet.  Often times teachers bully the students in schools.  Don't even get me started with that.  Why teach then??  I had a teacher growing up who called a student a loser and a cheater.  Again, why teach then?  Anyway, I shifted in the negative a bit here.  I want to go back to loving, and kindness.
   If you search the internet for people being kind, tons of a awesome things come up.  Aaron's last wish is one of them.  Aaron committed suicide and wrote in his will that he wanted his family to go to restaurants all over the country and give waiters or waitresses awesome tips.  That is an amazing act of kindness.  This is just one example.  Another example which really touched me was one of my students helping out another student.  Both students had solos in a choir concert.  The other kid was having trouble has my student tried to help him.  Very moving for sure.
   I am writing all this because it would he nice to see some of the good things in the world focused on more often.  Most news is about people doing horrible things to one another.  People who save lives are getting recognized more, but it is still not enough.  Many people do brave and heroic deeds which get overlooked every day.  Despite the fact that violence is increasing more and more, I'm still staying optimistic because there are so many beautiful acts of love and kindness which occur to counteract the acts of violence.  Hopefully love will win and be the antidote to violence.  In a lot of cases you'll already see it happening.
  As far as New Years Resolutions,  I set goals which are realistic, and ones which I work on one day at a time.  I want to eat well, lose weight, really work on my craft, grow spiritually and just be the best person I can be.  Those are a few generals goals I have which are doable.  I'm hoping to also get off caffeine and stay off.  Life is more chill without it and my head is more clear.  Wish me luck with that one.  Now, if I said I was going to enter the mister universe contest or be able to fit in a leotard that would be bullshit goals.  You don't want to see me in a leotard believe me.  If you find yourself slipping on your resolutions just live in day tight compartments.  Just get back on track.  I hope everyone has a fantastic 2016.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Upcoming Events

I just wanted to blog about some concerts I have coming up.  First of all I am in two concerts with the Salvatones.  They are this Sunday 12/20 at 4, and Monday at 7 at Old St. Peter's on Barclay Street in lower Manhattan.  The Salvatones will be joined by the NY Virtuosi and organist and composer Stephen Fraser.  His Xmas work Noel Nouvelet will be on the program along with some terrific arrangements on "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" and Go Tell In On The Mountain" to name a few.   The church has a wonderful acoustic, so come check it out.

Also, I will be in Xmas eve and day services at Marble Collegiate Church where I sing regularly on Sundays, and at St. Patricks Cathedral.  If I don't make it past Xmas eve send out a search party. All services will be live streamed, so if you can't be there in person you can watch online.

  On 1/29 at 7 pm I will do a solo recital of American songs by Duke, Ives, Dello Joio, Speaks, Malotte, Bolcolm, Petrie and Bernstein to name a few.  This will take place at Beethoven Piano studios at 7 pm.  There will probably be some songs you've never heard before, so come on out.  In addition the Thoreau Ensemble which I co-founded with Patrick Durek will be planning a few house concerts.  So, stay turned for that.