Music, Art and Love

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Florence, Italy —

I’ve been to Florence, Italy three times in my life.  In fact, I am here in Florence at this very moment as I write.  Each time I come to Firenze, three essentials always require my attention:  Music, Art and Love.

Firenze: La Prima Volta  (The First Time)

NightDuomoPeekMusic:
Having declared my major in music, I was just out of my freshman year of college and touring eight countries in two months with my university chamber choir, The Choraliers.  We spent four unforgettable, and absolutely life-changing days in this Renaissance city singing Latin motets in Florentine churches including Il Duomo and Santa Croce.

Art:
I was constantly running after the bus, having stayed too long at the museums and in the cathedral and churches. I had just completed a semester of Art History and every time I turned a corner, there was some painting or statue that I had studied.  It was mind-blowing.

Love:
I fell in love with a boy in Firenze.  He was American and was traveling on his own.  One of his friends was in our choral group, so when they arranged to meet up, I was swept off of my feet. (more…)

May 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm 2 comments

Nelson Mandela

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I have been reading, following, liking, commenting and posting on the passing of Nelson Mandela.  And his giant legacy.  And his giant gift of sacrifice and love for humankind.  I must share with you some wonderful writings on Mandela by some wonderful writers.  I invite you to comment and share your favorite writings, images, videos, and thoughts on this very great man who transformed a nation, a continent and our world for generations to come.  To Nelson Mandela with love.

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December 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm 4 comments

Fall 2013 Update

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To My Readers on this Thanksgiving Weekend:

I could not be more grateful for each of you!  And for all of the good, all of the music, all of the shared thoughts and communication — and all of the inspiration!  Thank you for sharing in this universal language of music and ideas!  If you did not see it before, here’s my Fall Update newsletter:
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Fall 2013

Dear Friends!
As we approach this season of thanks, I am reminded that “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”(Melody Beattie)  With this in mind, I send you news of what I’ve been doing, the joy and fulfullment it has brought, and the excitement of seeing many of you in my concert tour around the country and beyond in the coming weeks and months!

DeepWaters_Booklet_1_4New CD:
This past summer flew by at the speed of light, and I can sum it up in 2 words:  Deep Waters – my new CD.
A suite for orchestra and voice, composed by Peter Link, it contains 3 songs and 4 instrumentals — and it’s a gapless (continuous play) CD.  Click HERE to listen, download, and get the free digibook (digital liner notes).

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November 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

To Clap or Not to Clap — Applauding in Church

I received a Facebook message recently from a friend asking me about my thoughts on applauding musicians after performing during a church service.  As the Soloist for seven years at The Mother Church, (the international headquarters of the Christian Science church in Boston), I had many experiences that involved applause… and many that did not.

I messaged my FB friend back with my thoughts.  She then asked me to share my answer to a broader audience.  This issue has come up often, so it seemed like a good thing to do.  Here goes!
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Her Question:
“My question is related to the presentation and thanking of musicians during the services:  Many branch churches are considering being more socially warm toward our musicians. (organist and soloist).  Since the Church Alive Summit in Northern California*, many people are questioning whether applause is acceptable.

 I understand that The Mother Church (TMC) does not want to influence branch churches in their decisions, but I’m wondering why at times I have heard applause in the TMC service broadcast, and not at other times.”

* Regional gatherings of Christian Scientists and friends that are held around the world

My Answer:
Well, put on your seatbelt… Here are a lot of thoughts comin’ atcha!

I’m going to begin with the idea of applause in church.

First, it has been my experience that each branch church is working out applause and how to be more inclusive in their services on an individual basis.  I think it comes down to how the members of a particular church feel as a group.
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July 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm 13 comments

Deep Waters

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“Sometimes we are lucky enough to know our lives have been changed, to discard the old and embrace the new and run headlong down an immutable course. It happened to me… on that summer’s day when my eyes were opened to the sea.” 
~Jacques Yves-Cousteau

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DEEP WATERS, my latest project, is a gorgeous new CD composed and conceived by Peter Link.  It is a suite of 3 songs surrounded by hauntingly beautiful orchestral interludes.

From the very beginning of this project, I found myself submersed in the watery metaphor of the mariner’s tale that pervades this piece.  I realized through the course of this work that in my own life I have observed the metaphor, lived it, and come out the other side.  I believe most of us have when we think about the individual stories of our lives. (more…)

June 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Spring 2013 Update

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To My Readers:
Just as we head into summer, I give you my Spring 2013 Newsletter.  It’s a snapshot update from January to April.  This was delivered as a newsletter to my email list and never made it on to my blog.  Please forgive this apparent neglect. Life got going fast with touring, recording and major shifts at my parent company, Watchfire Music.  I found myself in deep with it all!  So here’s a catch up of what’s been going on.
Coming up next: New CD, DEEP WATERS, to be released June 11th
and a blog article on … applause!

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April 2013

Boston CelebratesDear Friends! With the events of Boston so fully on our minds, and of Waco, Texas,too, I begin this newsletter with a song for you. Here’s an anthem of profound peace and unconditional love, When He Walks With Me by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Julie Gold. Just click here to listen and share with others. I hope it brings new inspiration to your day!

spring100Has spring swept you off of your feet yet with warm breezes? Here in NYC, in between 40-degree days, Mother Nature keeps throwing us little bursts of the warm weather to come. I can’t wait for it to officially arrive! But I can’t complain, either …

JW.sspd3sm100… I’ve recently been on the road a lot, concertizing in some beautiful tropical places in between all the cold and storm. The first quarter of 2013 was filled with great music and diverse, wonderful audiences in diverse, wonderful places. Click here to check out where I’ve been: Notes from the Road: First Quarter 2013.

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May 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

A Gift of Music for The New Year

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Happy New Year, Everyone!

My immediate family lives a big city block away from Times Square. We live in apartments nearby with the ability to see little slivers of Times Square from our windows or balconies.  But, it’s not what we can see.  Rather, it’s what we can hear:  the roar of the crowd.  Because we can hear it, I can attest to the fact that the ball DID drop, and here we are in 2013!

As we move out into this beautiful New Year, I offer you a gift from LAST year.  And it really is fitting for THIS year:

It’s the gift of music. I understand music to be immortal, transcendent, healing, ageless and timeless. It’s power, though felt in the moment, carries on way past the actual performance, especially when captured, as it was on Christmas Eve, in a podcast.
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January 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm 3 comments

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