Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catching Up with the Organ-ic Chemist

Well, I've been rather absent lately. Admittedly, I haven't been making the most of my time, having been sucked in by Harry Potter FanFiction. Pathetic, I know. Luckily for me, I scheduled an in-class midterm exam for my students tonight, so I didn't have to finish preparing for a lecture on The Secrets of the Nucleus. I figured my students wouldn't be able to, or rather, wouldn't want to absorb anything new after having squeezed their brains out. So there's my reprieve. They spent the rest of the evening learning how to deal with the Metric System through a series of measuring and weighing liquids and solids, which amazingly enough, took up the rest of the class period.

Hard to believe that Ash Wednesday and Lent will be here before we know it. I was hoping to have O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde Gross (BWV 622, from the Orgelbüchlein) all polished up by Ash Wednesday. I still have a ghost of a chance of doing that, if I get myself into gear and actually get myself to an organ more often than I've been doing of late.

I'm adjusting to life at St. Joseph's. The Vicar, Rev. Rhonda Lee, is very very supportive, and the congregation has welcomed me with open arms. I'm hoping to get the choir to expand their repertoire, but I know that will take some time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I wouldn't expect this lot to be able to sing SSAATTBB pieces any time soon ...

As much as I miss singing with the Senior Choir at the Chapel of the Cross, I'm still enjoying my time singing with the Compline Choir. It's been tons of fun, especially with the mix of people we having singing with us. We've got people from the Newman Catholic Student Centre at UNC, as well as a group of people from the Duke Chapel Choir singing along with us, which has enabled the Choirmaster, Van Quinn, to expand the choir's repertoire. Of late, we've been opening the service with Tallis' setting of O Nata Lux. We have a variety of motets we've been rotating at various points of the Compline service, as well as a variety of settings of Ave Maria to end the service. And of course, of late, the excellent improvisational genius that is David Arcus has been providing the closing Organ Voluntary. I was most impressed with his improv a couple of Sundays ago (First Sunday after the Epiphany) when he improvised on the Lauridsen setting of O Nata Lux, while layering the seasonal Marian chant Alma Redemptoris Mater beneath it. Clever, clever man.

Music lists: considering this post is already getting over-long, I will post those separately and place the links below.

First Sunday after Epiphany / Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Second Sunday after Epiphany / Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Harry Potter FanFiction that has been occupying me of late:

Where Your Treasure Is by zeegrindylows
The Apprentice and the Necromancer by JunoMagic
Progression by Clever Lass
Armilla and Armilla II by Coral Grace
Harry Potter and the Legend of the Twelve by LMB3

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