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Sightsinging through life - A Memorial to Baritonejeff

a quest for clarity

23 July 1953
External Services:
  • baritonejeff@livejournal.com
Native Southern Californian, now transplanted to Northeast OH principally because of my spouse Charles' concern for his aged mother Mary(she now lives in the downstairs unit of the duplex which we own.) Alumnus of The Music Academy of the West (1981, 1985). Professional lyric baritone (finalist and/or top prize winner in many vocal competitions, local, national, and international), voice teacher and kick-ass vocal coach and choral conductor. Liturgical composer. On music staff of Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church for 21 years. Was Associate Music Director and Choir Director (2004-2008) of local (Wooster) college's Presbyterian Church. Long-time commitment to spouse (we were married in a church, with a pastor, and the whole nine yards in 1996.) Proud father of two black and tan Dachshunds, Winston (standard)and his sister Winnifred (mini), and their little brother William, our (not-so)toy fox terrier.

While I love LJ, and the friends I have made here, I must warn you that I take friendship very seriously. I feel I am useless as a friend if I don't have the courage to comment honestly and (I hope) compassionately. So, if you are looking for someone to stroke your ego or blow smoke up your ass, I am not that person.

WARNING: if you are one of those unfortunate persons who is not supportive of basic and fundamental rights for each and every person on this planet, don't even think of friending me. You are not welcome on this playground.

I have (in the last few years) taken to dabbling in poetry, which I sometimes post A LOT. Take it or leave it, but understand that I write what I want, when I want to, how I want to, and am not really looking for well-meaning LJ friends taking on the role of editor (even though I very much appreciate the thought.) If there's a glaring error - please. I make mistakes like anyone else, and that kind of consideration would be greatly appreciated. If something I have written speaks to you, it would be wonderful to hear about that. I DO NOT write poetry to detail the news of the day, and some of it is merely fanciful. Call me odd, but a response like "I know just what you mean! My...." doesn't seem a very flattering one to something that someone has taken the trouble and effort to place in poetic form. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, as I would be the first to acknowledge that I am a babe in the woods when it comes to things like poetry. But - I have long ago made up my mind that this will be an interesting and sometimes rewarding side street for me, and not a stress-filled push for literary glory.

I will from time to time post some of my music. Unlike my poetry, I KNOW what I'm doing here, but again, I am writing for specific situations or commissions or just for the hell of it. The next great symphony is probably not coming from me - but very possibly because I'm just not in the mood to write it. I am justifiably proud of my extremely vast knowledge of classical musical literature and performers from all periods up the present moment. I was a professional clarinetist from the age of 15, and have been listening to everything I could get my hands on ever since.

Definition (mine) of "sightsinging": Picking up a piece of vocal music and, using only those skills you've managed to acquire, PLUS your own natural intelligence and gifts, attempting to turn the printed page into an accurate yet meaningful auditory experience. Always works best when not based in fear and self-doubt.

ETA: 3/09 - My diabetes has gifted me with several physical problems. I am now on dialysis three times a week (4 hours a session) for my kidney failure. One would need to experience this, I think, to know how one's life is impacted. I am also having issues with my eyes, which have necessitated several laser surgeries to-date, and this will be an ongoing process.

I WILL talk about these things in my journal. Be prepared.

Finally: as my energy levels are all over the map, I am not the best person for responding to comments. Sometimes I'm right on top of them, and sometimes I lag seriously behind.

Mea culpa. Really.

Please understand that I read everybody's journals every day. Likewise your kind comments, which are greatly appreciated.