Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday cat post! Oomi edition

Since I spent my holiday break at my brother's house (I headed back towards home yesterday) it seems only fair to have an Oomi update! She is still a psycho skittish kitty; I didn't get to pet her the whole time I was here! But also still cute.

This is her first experience of snow. My brother reports she was not a fan.

Luckily she knows how to keep warm!

And the snow did not dampen her Christmas spirit.

Also, via my brother, a movie filmed entirely by cats! Very cute. I think I find the kitty-sounds the most endearing part of the whole thing, although the focus is on what the cats see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar - not.

Eh? Weekend Concert Calendar? I am on vacation and am way too lazy! Go check out the First Night schedule and check back next year! Go on, shoo! Need advice? Go to this one!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday link

In honor of the Christmas season, may I recommend this excellent short story by Connie Willis about aliens and Christmas carols? Hat-tip to JTL and MLR.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday cat post!

Tomorrow I leave Samson for a whole week; the longest time I have ever left him. He has a responsible and affectionate cat-sitter, but I'm still very worried about him being lonely, since he pretty much wants attention all the time. Hopefully he will get in some good naps, decimate his toy mice, and perhaps...use his scratching post?

And now, for the grand finale:

(In the background you can see my bikes, which I had to bring inside before
the first serious snowfall, and which are now taking up my entire living room.)

Resting in the knowledge of a post well-scratched!
(You can see bits of fluff lying behind him on the floor.)

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/24/10 - not

No Weekend Concert Calendar this weekend, as there is SOME major holiday I can't remember quite WHAT geez I wonder what it could BE and therefore nobody has scheduled any concerts. There will be many beautiful church services with lovely singing, but investigating them and listing them is beyond my scope. If you are in the South Shore area, I encourage you to come and hear my own lovely choir tonight at 7 pm at First Parish Cohasset; we will be singing selections from Conrad Susa's Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest. Otherwise, may you have a very merry Christmas tomorrow, and a lovely holiday season, and may your turkey, tofurkey or Chinese food be absolutely delicious!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday links - Flash Mob edition


Flash choirs are a variation on flash mobs. I have linked to them before. But I think they have probably hit their peak this season; I have gotten innumerable e-mails about the food court Messiah alone. I am sure we will soon be swamped with every community choir in the nation staging their own flash choir. Here are a few more.

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob sings Hallelujah Chorus in Canada.

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture in Philly.

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Flash Brindisi!" in Philly at the Reading Terminal Market.

Add your own in the comments!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday cat post

This series of pictures of Samson was also taken by my friend Michelle, who is way better with the camera than I am! One of his favorite toys is string. (His main favorite toy is his little mice, but he is not interested in playing with those with me; I try to kick them around or throw them and he is NOT interested.)

Little panther!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/16/10

'Twas the weekend before Christmas and all through the city
Choruses gathered to sing pretty songs and ditties.

OK, that was pretty bad. But the fact remains that this is your last weekend of holiday concerts! I am going to pick out some of my favorite early music groups, but you have a lot of varied options.

Friday: On Friday, check out Exsultemus as they explore Portuguese music from the Renaissance and Baroque. At the First Lutheran Church in Boston at 8 pm.

Also on Friday: Boston Camerata, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Chorus Pro Musica.

Saturday: On Saturday, let Blue Heron away from Portugal to 15th-century France. At First Church Congregational, Cambridge, at 8 pm.

Also on Saturday: Boston Camerata, Boston Choral Ensemble, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Concord Women's Chorus, Lyricora, The Oriana Consort, Treble Chorus of New England.

Sunday: On Sunday check out Handel & Haydn's "A Bach Christmas" concert. At 3 pm at NEC's Jordan Hall in Boston.

Sunday: Boston Boy Choir, Boston Camerata, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus, Brookline Chorus, The Copley Singers, Handel & Haydn Society, Lyricora, Nashoba Valley Chorale, the Paul Madore Chorale, Youth Pro Musica.

And don't forget to check out my Messiah sings post! There are a number of sings happening this weekend, most notably Masterworks Chorale's Messiah Sings. Also, the Christmas Revels begins today; they are always worth going to, and fun for the whole family, young and old.

Did I forget anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday link

Daniel Radcliffe sings Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" as FAST as you have ever heard. Good-looking, talented actor, AND he says Tom Lehrer is his hero. Hard to argue with that! Hat tip to my dad.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/9/10

This is the most packed concert weekend of the year. Christmas concerts galore! There is no way to choose between them, so I am going to let nostalgia and blatant favoritism play a part, as well as considerations for what will engage your whole family (all the choices below are crowd-pleasers.)

Friday: On Friday night, check out the Boston Cecilia concert in the historic Church of the Advent. (I worked for this group for several years, and conductor Don Teeters never disappoints.) This is the concert to bring all your loved ones to in order to bask in some beautiful seasonal music.

Also on Friday: Boston Baroque, Boston Cecilia, Boston College's Voices of Imani, the Boston Conservatory Choruses, the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society, Highrock Benefit Concert.

Saturday: On Saturday, go see Musica Sacra's family-friendly "Welcome All That Make Good Cheer" concert. It starts at 7, so you can get the kids home at a reasonable hour! They are getting the nod for two reasons; one is that I just love Musica Sacra's programming, and the other is that they offered me comps. (I am unable to take them up on it, but appreciate the gesture! Hint, hint.) If you have no kids and have an extremely strong constitution, you also might consider the Back Bay Chorale's mammoth production of Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Also on Saturday: Back Bay Chorale, Cappella Clausura, the Concord Chorale, the Concord Chorus, the DeVaronistas, Highrock Benefit Concert, Musica Sacra, Neponset Choral Society, Providence Singers, Somerville Community Chorus, Vox Lucens.

Sunday: On Sunday, go see Cappella Clausura; there will be music AND dance. This program was so well received in years past that they are bringing it back, joining once more with Creationdance for "Gloria! A Renaissance Christmas Pagaent." This also is a great show for the whole family. And I am an alum of the group, so go say hi from me!

Also on Sunday: Arlington-Belmont Chorale, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Cambridge Chamber Singers, Cambridge Community Chorus, Canto Armonico, Cappella Clausura, the Concord Chorale, Highrock Benefit Concert, the Master Singers of Lexington, Neponset Choral Society, The Oriana Consort, Quincy Choral Society, St. Peter's Weston Choir, Trinity Church Choirs in Copley Square.

And although I have a policy of not giving shout-outs to concerts that are not inside Rt. 95 (merely to keep my sanity with regards to concerts in NE) I am going to be at the Concord Chorale concert on Saturday in NH (they also are giving a concert on Sunday.) Come say hi if you are up there!

Did I miss anything? Inconceivable! Leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ticket giveaway!

We have another ticket giveaway! If you would like to see the Boston Cecilia perform this Friday or Sunday (and in my opinion this is going to be one of the most classic, elegant, beautiful concerts of the Christmas season) be the first person to leave a comment, and include the name to hold the ticket under, and which day you prefer.

Yay, free beautiful music! How can you pass this up?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Messiah Sings Calendar!

Hallelujah! Here it is, the annual Messiah Sing post! This is a list of all the Messiah Sings in the Boston area. Sadly, some of them have passed (my apologies for not getting this post up last week!) But there are still plenty to come. If I missed one, or if you have further information about one of the sings listed, please leave a comment. I will edit the post to include updates; edits will appear in bold type.

Fri. 12/3: UMass Lowell Messiah Sing. Optional rehearsal at 6 pm; performance at 7:30 pm. At Durgin Concert Hall, UMass Lowell. Directed by Murray Kidd. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here. (Passed.)

Sun. 12/5: Messiah Sing to benefit Project Bread. 2 pm. At All Saints Parish, Brookline. Tickets $10. Directed by Amy Lieberman; full orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. (Passed.)

Sun. 12/5: St. Paul's Episcopal Church Messiah Sing. 5 pm. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brookline. More info here. (Passed.)

Wed. 12/8: Brandeis University Messiah Sing. 4 pm. At the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium, Brandeis University. With orchestra. More info here.

Thurs. 12/9: The Roxbury Latin School Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. At Rousmaniere Hall, Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury. Free. With soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Thurs. 12/9: Annual Dunster House Messiah Sing. 8:00 pm. At Dunster House, Harvard University. Free and open to the public. More info here.

Sat. 12/11: Messiah Sing to benefit Healing Hands for Haiti. 8:00 pm. At St. John's Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain. Tickets $10. Directed by Isaac Kramer, with orchestra and soloists. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Sudbury Memorial Congregational Church Annual Messiah Sing. 3:00 pm. At Sudbury Memorial Congregational Church, Sudbury. Free; suggested donation of $10. With orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Carter Memorial United Methodist Church Messiah Sing. 3 pm. At the Carter Memorial United Methodist Church, Needham. With orchestra. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Assabet Valley Mastersingers Annual Messiah Sing. 3:30 pm. At Trinity Church, Northborough. $5 suggested donation. With soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: St. Peter's Church in Weston Messiah Sing. 4:00 pm. At St. Peter's Church, Weston. Free. Directed by Beverly Jerold Scheibert, with soloists. Limited scores available, or bring your own. More info here.

Wed. 12/15: Cathedral Church of St. Paul Annual Messiah Sing. 12 pm. At the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, downtown Boston. Directed by Dr. Delvyn Case. More info here.

Fri. 12/17: Masterworks Chorale Annual Messiah Sing. (Also Saturday.) 8:00 pm. At Cary Hall, Lexington. Suggested donation $10. Directed by Steven Karidoyanes. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Fri. 12/17: First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. At First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield. More info here.

Sat. 12/18: Masterworks Chorale Annual Messiah Sing. (Also Friday.) 8:00 pm. At Cary Hall, Lexington. Suggested donation $10. Directed by Steven Karidoyanes. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Friends of the Performing Arts in Concord (FOPAC) Annual Messiah Sing. 2 pm. At 51 Walden, Concord. Tickets $15 ($10 seniors). Directed by Alan Yost; with soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Harvard Unitarian Church Annual Messiah Sing. 5:00 pm. At the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, Harvard. Directed by Ted Johnson; with full orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here (click on the calendar).

Sun. 12/19: Cambridge Community Chorus Messiah Sing. 1:00 pm. At the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Tickets $10. Limited scores available, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Nashoba Valley Chorale Messiah Sing. 3:00 pm. At the Congregational Church of Littleton. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Belmont Open Sings Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. (Weather make-up date is Mon. 12/20.) At the Payson Park Church, Belmont. Tickets $10. Directed by Mary Beekman; with soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

And, to get you in the spirit, a little Messiah tidbit provided by my dad:

Macy's of Philadelphia occupies a store originally built in 1910. It features a ten story marble atrium at its center, with a layer cake of balconies surrounding three sides of the atrium. The fourth side houses the world's largest functioning pipe organ, with 28,000 pipes concealed behind a screen. With the advent of loud speakers the pipe organ fell into unplayable disrepair. When Macy's took over the building, they put millions into refurbishing the organ. It takes two full time folks to keep it in fine tune. As part of Random Acts of Culture, the Philadelphia Opera Company joined the organ in the Hallelujah Chorus earlier this year.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday cat post!

Wow, a Friday cat post! When was the last time we had one of those?

My friend Michelle took some great photos last month of Samson, including many shots of him playing.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/2/10

Hi-ho, Kermit de frog here, with your weekend concert calendar. This weekend's calendar is brought to you by the letters X, M, A, and S. There is one CLEAR front-runner for concert-going this weekend, and that is the Cantilena concert on Sunday! But it is just barely possible that there is some other stuff going on too.

Friday: Why not check out the Handel & Haydn Society's performance of Handel's Messiah? Harry Christophers is directing, and everyone will want to see what he does with it! If you miss it on Friday, it's also on Saturday and Sunday.

Also on Friday: Boston College University Chorale, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, New England Classical Singers.

Saturday: Tough call; but if you need a respite from the Christmas onslaught, check out the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus's production of Haydn's "Maria Theresa" Mass.

Also on Saturday: Sing with the Boston Pops!, The A Cappella Singers, Cantemus, Handel & Haydn Society, Harvard Pro Musica, Old North Festival Chorus, Polymnia Society, Vox Lucens.

Sunday: It is tempting to put this paragraph in blinking text, but I will refrain. MY CHORUS, Cantilena, is performing on Sunday afternoon! 3 pm, First Parish Arlington in Arlington Center (630 Mass. Ave.) We are performing Holst's Hymns from the Rig Veda, Group 3 and Brahms' Four Choruses for Women's Chorus, Horns and Harp and some of John Rutter's Dancing Day carols, and some awesome stuff by Thompson, and some great stuff by Gawthrop, and we have a FABULOUS harpist, and my singers have all been working hard like champs, and it is going to be BEYOOTIFUL. Come hear us work our tails off to sound effortless (the program is titled "Transcendence".) PLEASE COME. I know I should knock off the capitalization, but it is a long week.

Also on Sunday: Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, Annual JP Pub Carol Sing, Boston Camerata, Boston College University Chorale, Cantemus, Cappella Clausura, the Choral Arts Society, Dedham Choral Society, Handel & Haydn Society, Highland Glee Club, Messiah Sing to benefit Project Bread, Nashoba Valley Chorale, Old North Festival Chorus, Tufts University Choruses, Zamir Chorale.

Did I forget anything? Probably! Leave it in the comments.