Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Carnegie Hall, WOOHOO!

Well, I guess a few years between posts will weed out the real hard core fans of mine!?! It was getting embarrassing, I can tell you that! But I feel validated in just writing this word, um, word, knowing you, yes, you, will read it and smile, or something. I know you better than I know myself. That's why I started this blog. To let you see me get to know myself better. Welcome back!

I am doing the Merry Christmas things poorly again; since my conversion I have not done well in easing my kids and my family and my step-family's transition into a Jewish point of view, which I've embraced. It has only been a few years since my conversion, so these times of year still have all great power evoking my conflicting childhood memories of Santa and family and Christmas Mass, vying for my own attention as I live my life as a Jewish man who can't believe how over the top Christian this time of year is, how overwhelming of other cultures, and how crass in it's commercial display and absorption. Eww. What would Jesus say, indeed?

But that is my issue. The bigger harder issue is how my lack of attention hurts the 5 kids. I now realize that Sara and Jessie lost Christmas in their lives too when I joined Judaism, as I had brought it into their lives in the first place. We have lots of great photos and memories of fun gatherings around decorating the tree, even fetching the tree was a standard thing for a while, the 7 of us hunting for the perfect one, cutting our own many years. So the tiny fake one we light on the back porch now is just a sliver of a sliver of how we had it for a while. I know Amelia, Miles & Luke lost a lot, and that has been really hard for them. That hurts. They love and support me, and I know all of them are going to adjust and be fine, but I will acknowledge the pain and confusion my conversion has caused for all the kids, and hope it gets better with time. Things usually do.

So, the subject line? I am secretly thrilled to have been invited to stand on stage and sing with the Zamir Foundation's Israel at 60 Anniversary Celebration at, here is the real thrilling part, CARNEGIE HALL!!!! Yes, the one in New York City! As faculty of the North American Jewish Choral Festival (Ellen & I lead the attendees children in a performance and teach classes for families) we are part of the program along with other distinguished guests, donors, and dignitaries. To be invited to stand on that stage in a performance capacity is a dream come true for any musician, anywhere, and so I am beside myself with glee. I am unsure if we can accommodate the 4 5-hour rehearsals in NYC leading up to the concert in late March, however, so my joy is tempered by not knowing whether it can happen yet. But I agree with all the Oscar nominees: it is an honor just to be invited. And a huge huge thrill!!!

I am building a website, using paper cut outs to make a layout of the pages I need to focus on. It is one of those projects I like as it is tactile and finite, creative and challenging. I wish I knew PhotoShop better. But I wish I knew every program better. Grrrrrr!

I/We am/are considering an idea to make our Jewish songbook catalogue of original sheet music available for download though the URJ for an $18 dollar (or more) donation going to a Hava Nashira/Joel Schikman Memorial Scholarship Fund. We'd like to get these songs out for use and enjoyment, they number about 157, at last count. Joel was a great guy, and sweet man, and an avid musician, so this would continue his good name and bring worthy musicians to the great thing that is Hava Nashira.

I hope to post more often, I have a weird sort of stability lately in a very unstable way. I hope to explain that statement, and many more like it in ensuing missives. Until then, ta ta!!!

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