Kenneth Harper

Last weekend Suzanne and I learned of the passing of a wonderful friend and musician, the bassist Kenneth Harper, who had been fighting a heroic battle with cancer for some time. Ken was only 45- the loving father of a beautiful son, Bennett, and husband of one of my oldest friends (and youth orchestra stand […]

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You can get things fixed

Every community has its plusses and minuses, and Pendleton is no exception. Some of its strengths would be surprising were they not relatively well known- ie, that this town of 12,000 supports home-grown performances of Mahler symphonies. Its minuses- don’t think I’d report those here. What happens in Pendleton, stays in Pendleton…. Whatever its flaws […]

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Monday thoughts

I started my Monday morning with an appearance on Coffee Hour hear on the local radio station. You never know if you’ll be sharing the show with 10 other guest and get about 30 seconds to plug your event, or if you’re filling the entire time. Today it was the latter. Tom, the host, has […]

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A day in Pendleton

The day, as a professional event, almost didn’t happen. Between rehearsal Thursday evening and lunch Friday afternoon, I went from “down” with the bug to “down, out and defeated” by the same bug. It’s amazing how debilitating something can be that, in our day of antibiotics, is really just a passing inconvenience. Dizzy, nauseous, ear pain […]

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Led BY the Slaughter

There was a great piece in the Feb 15 New York Times on the recent drama surrounding a proposed $50 million increase to the National Endowment for the Arts in the stimulus package. In the end, the Coburn Amendment, which I discussed here and here a few days ago, passed overwhelmingly 73-24. From this, we have […]

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Mahler 5- The butler may have done it, but I bet he had help, and I bet he feels bad about it

“How many scores of Mahler 5 do you own?” came the beleaugered inquirey from one who knows the ins and outs of our library budget here at Vftp International Headquarters. The reluctant answer is “over four.” I’ve got the Dover (useless for performance, but interesting for comparison as it is almost the earliest version of the symphony, […]

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Just whose flag are you waving, Woods

I’m back home at last after a busy concert weekend with the Wilmslow Symphony. In spite of the foul weather, we had a nearly full house and the audience seemed to enjoy the lively, if intense, evening of music The program was a mixture of British and American music- Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, Edward Gregson’s Trombone […]

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Write your senator today- NO on Coburn

The one good thing our former president seemed to do during his presidency was de-politicize arts funding in the US. To my complete and total surprise, the NEA budget was safe from cuts during his tenure and gradually expanded, and we were spared the pathetic spectacle of redneck congressmen grandstanding against funding for “controversial” art that in […]

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