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Christmas Eve Post

I've been so busy with the holidays that I missed the fact that Alex Ross named the RPO's new Gershwin CD one of the best of the year! (Read more here: http://www.therestisnoise.com/) Finished The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand last night. Today I'm playing my last services as the choirmaster and church organist at my Episcopal church. I have barely enough time to wipe away a tear of bittersweet relief before the whirlwind of visits begins. Wednesday, off to Ohio to visit a college friend. I hope to post a few times over the next week, including Things to Look Forward to in Rochester in 2008. Merry Christmas to you!

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Don't hate her because she's beautiful

Those who think classical music is kinda sexless, boring, or soulless haven't heard soprano Danielle de Niese. She sang Messiah last weekend with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester Oratorio Society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcVg1UtQLNQ

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Brooks & Duffy (aka Dead Air, Part Two)

Maybe it's the season. Maybe it's the fact I've already gotten into the eggnog. Whatever it is, I refused to become stressed over the fact I still had a program full of dead air as of 3 p.m. today.

(Actually, it's because I had a backup program recorded - just in case. But that sounds so boring.)

The good news is, I won't be using that recorded program until after Christmas.

Both Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks will be here tomorrow to talk about economic development in downtown Rochester.

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Have Yourself a Gerry Christmas!

It’s that time of year, time to consider the people you care for most. Whom do you love? Whom do you want to spend time with? Whom do you HAVE to spend time with? Are you happy? What does that mean, exactly?

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Eleni

You might've read my recent post about Rochester composer Cary Ratcliff. He's writing an opera for children's chorus and chamber orchestra that'll be performed in San Diego in the spring.

Cary got more good news this week. He writes,

“I wanted to share with you the news that Eleni has been selected for the New York City Opera 'VOX' showcase of new operas this May 10/11. Half an hour of Eleni will be performed un-staged by their singers and 60 (?) piece orchestra. A giant thanks again to all who have helped to move this work toward some hoped-for production. Now I gotta finish up that full-orchestra orchestration...”

Congratulations, Cary!

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New Year's Resolutions

Ahhhhh. It's that time of year again. No, I'm not referring to the season of joy and giving when we celebrate holidays with our family and friends. I'm talking about the end of the year when people start reflecting on the past 365 days and look ahead to the year that is yet to be. They bid adieu to the past 12 months and say hello to fresh faced Baby New Year.

I happen to believe that people can be divided into two groups: those who believe in making New Year's Resolutions and those who abhor the very thought them.

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Dead Air

Right now, I have 26 minutes and 46 seconds of dead air planned for this week's edition of "Need to Know." You don't have to be in broadcasting to know this plan is not a particularly good plan.

A few hours ago, I had a very solid show lined up. In fact, it was one that took me weeks to line up. I dropped my best suit off at the cleaner's this morning in preparation. It was that kind of show. However, an unexpected development means my guests are now unable to be here as scheduled.

It's not really cause for panic (I save that for when I misplace one of my children.) It does affect quite a few people though.

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Clash of the Choirs II

Last night millions of Americans witnessed the birth of Clash of the Choirs, NBC’s glitzy, Prozac-driven TV competition of amateur choirs. Singers were picked and prepared by celebrities Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland and Blake Shelton. Over four nights, starting Monday, each choir will compete for the votes of American viewers and a quarter-million dollars in prize money for charity.

Music geek that I am, I was excited by the possibilities, imagining millions of viewers transfixed by the beauty of Morten Lauriden’s Lux Aeterna or Mozart’s Requiem. Lives would be changed!

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Deck the Hall

Twice this weekend, I zipped up my black boots for the drive to Eastman Theatre to sing Handel’s Messiah with the Rochester Oratorio Society and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. I could go on at length about the wit and drama in conductor Christopher Seaman’s interpretation, what a pleasure it is to sing for him, and how, for me, the oratorio gets better each year like a vintage bottle of wine.

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The Rest is Noise

I had the privilege of interviewing writer Alex Ross of The New Yorker last Friday. His new book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, a cultural history of music since 1900, was named one of the top ten books of 2007 by The New York Times and various other publications. He’s a clear and vivid writer, and I will die happy if I ever write something one percent as illuminated and coherent as his book.

Hear the show here: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wxxi/.jukebox?action=viewP...

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