Monthly Archives: August 2015

Songs by Edvard Grieg

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Here are some excerpts from a special faculty recital - "A Glimpse of Grieg" - which I sang with my colleague Amy Haines back in the spring of 2007.    It was Amy's idea to commemorate Edvard Grieg - Norway's greatest composer - in the 100th anniversary year of his death.  Grieg's songs are unjustly

Interview: “Disaster” (FEMA & Katrina)

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For the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,  I'm posting my interview with Christopher Cooper, author of "Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security."   Of everything written about Katrina and the federal government's abysmal response to the disaster,  this is the one book I've seen that thoroughly and perceptively explains how and why

The Pearl Fishers Duet

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"Au fond du temple saint" is almost certainly the most beloved of all tenor/baritone opera duets.  It comes from The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet,  who best known for his masterpiece Carmen.  This earlier opera has its treasurable moments, to be sure, but this duet is without a doubt the crowning glory of the work.

Good Dog

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On this National Dog Day,  I find myself thinking about Bobbi and Ellie,  two lovely and loving Golden Retrievers who mean the world to Kathy and me.  But beyond the two beautiful dogs we own now - and beyond the dogs which I or my family have owned over the years -  I am also

Those Old Sweet Songs

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This is a song that I have only performed once in my entire life,  because it was written for a very specific occasion - for a very special group of guys.  The occasion was the final concert of the Church Singers,  a men's choir conducted by my father-in-law, Robert Gall, for 33 years.   They

The Very Best Kind of Beautiful

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This is a song I composed in honor of a Carthage graduate named Laura Kaeppler- who also happens to be a former Miss America!   Towards the end of her time as Miss America,  she returned to Kenosha to receive a special Kenoshan-of-the-year Award - and the organizers of the event were anxious for Carthage

‘Til we meet again.

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There aren't very many hymns that literally move me to tears - but "God be with you 'til we meet again" is one such hymn for me - and it always gets me crying.  Every. Single Time.  Interestingly enough, it's not a hymn I ever sang in my childhood because it wasn't in any of

“Caleb’s Song”

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I composed this song as a graduation present (in 2002)  for a voice student of mine named Caleb Sjogren, an outstanding young man who I admired not only for his considerable talents but also for his kind heart and giving spirit.  The song is meant to be sung on those occasions in life (such as

“The Kerry Dance” (Mike & Nick)

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Here is a moment from "Moving On:  A Farewell Recital by Nick Huff and Mike Anderle."  I taught Mike and Nick voice lessons not only for four years at Carthage but back in their high school days as well - so we go back quite a long way.   After sets devoted to Musical Theater

“Shepherd’s Gloria”

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I composed this anthem for the Choral Arts Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (conducted by James Schatzman)  for a concert consisting of various settings of the 'Gloria.'  Not long before the commission, I had the pleasure of soloing with the group in a performance of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," a wickedly difficult work- especially in its