Musings of an Irish-American

Sometimes I think about stuff, and then I write it here…

Monthly Archives: February 2009

thinking of you

Today, I picked up copies of my voice jury sheets to include in my Music Teacher Education Program portfolio, and I decided to read them.

And that’s when I started thinking of Dr. Stanley Irwin.

In that stack, there were two sheets from both of my voice juries last year from Dr. Irwin before he so sadly passed away this past June 1st. I remember reviewing them after both of my juries, but one comment stuck with me today as I reviewed the sheets and really means a lot to me coming from a man who was so knowledgable about German art songs “a good voice and sensitivity for lieder is obvious.”

Those words mean more to me than I can possibly ever describe in my own words.

I was at a saxophone recital this evening (Professor Scotty Stepp with Katya Kramer-Lapin on piano) and he played an Etude entitled “Avec grace, souple, mais en mesure” by Charles Koechlin. For some reason, it made me think of Dr. Irwin and I cried quietly as the etude ended. It was beautiful and complex, much like the man himself.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Irwin. We miss you here with us; your time with us was much too short.

-MJH

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the Fool delivers the madman

Sheesh, it’s been almost a month since I last blogged. I can really only chalk it up to being bogged down with being back the old DogPound University.

Twelfth Night (March 5-8; Moore Theater) is really coming along; considering it was basically nowhere when I last wrote, that’s quite a progression. I thoroughly enjoy being at rehearsal (well except for when I don’t remember my lines) because the cast is out of this world. Each person brings their own special insight to each character, and seeing it come together is absolutely exhilarating. Discovering moments and seeing as Shakespeare saw it really reminds me why I love doing theater so much; it’s about creating something that’s living and breathing, something bigger than yourself. Public Theater founder Joe Papp once said that theater is “a place where things can grow” and “the most basic, true representation of life”. It’s things like that that keep me coming back to each production, even if I happen to complain about the drag on the schedule, the process makes it all worth it.

Second semester is not as pressure filled as I thought it would be, at least academically. I think I’m still afraid Dr. Balensuela is going to show up in any one of my classes and start testing me on Music History again. 

Emotions are a funny thing; they can blow up in your face or they can be extremely satisfying. Just emoting itself is a somewhat stressful process. What’s funny is that, sometimes, I don’t even know how I feel. And that’s not a cop-out. Sometimes it’s a matter of just being confused, or not being able to verbalize how I feel.

I’m very blessed to have great people around me here that keep me sane. There are my friends who are willing to deal with neurotic complaints or angry outbursts and then there are those people that I can just lean on. This evening I had dinner with my host family from St. Paul the Apostle Church. They’re lovely people and, even though they didn’t know me a year and a half ago, have welcomed me wholeheartedly into their home and made me feel like there’s always going to be somewhere I can go where I’ll feel somewhat at home. It’s people like them that make me think that there’s hope for the human race, people who are kind with no agenda or underpinnings, but are kind for the sake of being kind. I tend to shade towards the cynical and think sometimes that everyone has a motive, but these people remind me that, sometimes, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, but that you can faith in the human race for some sort of decency.

That’s all for now; hopefully I won’t continue being a stranger.

-MJ