Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why sing all the verses to every Hymn?

This comes from the Anglican-Music listserv. On other lists I've participated in, there was the debate of whether or not to sing all verses of the hymns. Some say the hymns should only serve as "travelling" music - just enough to accompany the action, whether it be the priest walking toward or away from the altar, or even when there is action going on at the altar itself, like during the Offertory period. Others say the hymns are telling a story - for example, for hymns about the Trinity, why stop singing just because the action is done when you've only sung about the Father and the Son? Why short-change the Holy Spirit?

This little story comes from Bruce of Utica, NY.
This thread reminds me of an experience in a previous church. We had always sung all verses of all hymns, but a new pastor declared the hymns should last only as long as the action they were "covering". I attempted reasoning with him over the issue, and got nowhere; so I did the job as prescribed by the boss. One particular Sunday, we were singing the opening hymn and the priest arrived on the altar in the middle of the third stanza. I concluded the hymn as instructed. The final words were: ". . . and said:" The absurdity of the situation was its own reward.
For me, my preference is always, play though the entire hymn, and I generally get my way as far as that is concerned.

A good suggestion: have your choir read through the hymn as if it were poetry. I'm sure they'll catch on to the meaning of what they're singing if they do that first, and then sing it.

Chump Change

Have a look at this advert for a Parish Musician position. This comes courtesy of the Anglican-Music listserv. Now, don't everyone all apply at once!
1. Responsible for coordinating performance music during weekly Sunday worship. Fifty-two (52) weeks. (Including choir, small groups from choir, guest musicians, etc.).

2. Lead the choir during church service. Forty (40) performances in a 12 month time period. Schedule determined by liturgical calendar and in consultation with pastor, choir and Worship Committee.

3. Selects music in consultation with the pastor, choir and Worship Committee.

4. Weekly rehearsal (40) with choir, arranging time and accompanist if necessary.

5. Coordinate the schedule of regular Sunday musicians (organists, pianists).

6. Responsible for maintenance of music files.

7. Responsible for music budget.

8. Compensation is $5,700 for 12 months.


1. Musical education
2. Experience conducting


1. Plays a musical instrument
2. Experience with Bell Choir


1. From two sources directly connected to the candidate's musical experience.


1. Interview
2. Audition with the choir to demonstrate conducting style.
3. Audition singing voice.
Now, considering all the work this church wants the candidate to do, I would believe it if they happened to have left off a zero ($57,000, IMHO would be quite reasonable for this position, especially given the list of tasks they want the candidate to do, and if it's a full-time, 40 h/week position). But $5700??? Who are they trying to kid? Not even a college student would be stupid enough to apply for what would essentially be church-sponsored slavery!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Holy Eucharist, Rite II and Confirmation: Feast Day of George Herbert

At the Episcopal Centre at Duke University, a Holy Eucharist (Rite II) and Confirmation was celebrated, and we were graced with the presence of Bishop Michael Curry, the Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. He is an amazing preacher. The Gospel came from Matthew (Mt 5:1-10) - the Beatitudes, and his sermon was based on that. Of course, he started off with a quip about ensuring he will keep his comments short such that the students present won't miss out on the chance to go see the Duke basketball team romp around the court against Georgia Tech. (What is this fascination with basketball anyway? I know, those who know I live near Duke accuse me of blasphemy, but then again, when I worked at UNC, I showed a similar apathy toward their basketball team. I'm an equal opportunity ignorer.)

But I'm drifting from the topic on which I wanted to post. Here is a music list for tonight's celebration. I did not choose this music, but IMHO, if I did, I probably would have chosen these very hymns. Compliments and kudos to the Chaplain, the Revd. Sarah Ball-Damberg ...

But first, click here to have a look at the readings for this service.

Now, the list.

Prelude: Prelude on Land of Rest (W. Held)
Pro: Teach me, my God and King (CARLISLE)
Seq: 656 Blest are the pure in heart (FRANCONIA)
Off: 560 Remember your servants, Lord (BEATITUDES, based on Russian Orthodox Chant, arr. R. Proulx)
Sanctus: S-129 (Powell)
Comm: 304 I come with joy to meet my Lord (LAND OF REST)
Re: 594 God of Grace and God of glory (CWM RHONDDA)

Sarah indeed got her wish of a hymn with the text penned by Herbert himself with that Opening Hymn. The text is here, although what the Cyberhymnal presents is a different tune than that which we sung earlier tonight.

A new addition to Chemistry's Periodic Table

Now here is a good eye-roller from my good friend, Rev. Dr. Louis Dorn. I don't know whether to tell him, "Maraming Salamat, po," or groan heavily at him for the corniness factor of it all.

You may be the judge, however. Enjoy ... or not ...
A new addition to Chemistry's Periodic Table Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neuron, 25 assistant neurons, 88 deputy neurons, and 198 assistant deputy neurons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every action with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neurons and deputy neurons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neurons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tempt the Messiah ...

Hat tip goes to David Myers. He left this in the combox of a previous post, and I thought it was interesting enough to warrant a post of its very own.

David suggests we check out:
an interesting comic book illustration of Jesus' being tempted by the devil:
The illustrations are amazing, and you continue clicking through to the end of the third part. It is still a work in progress, and the artist anticipates four parts:
This is a work of sequential art (a comic) in progress. These pictures of Jesus (or Iesous, ‘Isa, Yeshua, Yehoshua, etc.) were not meant to be an exact depiction of His outward form. I am only trying to spread the truth in comic book form. I am presenting parts ONE, TWO, and THREE. There will be FOUR parts: (1.) “Bread on the Desert” (2.) “Stone of the Temple” (3.) “Light from the Mountain” (4.) “Thunder in the Desert and Lamb in the Water” – I will finish with a beginning; this introduction will be about John the Baptist and the baptism of Christ. Every word within the artwork is from the King James Bible.

Is it really that time of the term already???

Guess what I found in my mailbox on campus - the Dreaded Faculty Evaluation Packet. It consists of a pack of Scan-trons, a bunch of golf-type #2-pencils, and a large envelope in which to throw the whole lot once the students are done skewering me and/or the course.

Now I have the opportunity to know how it feels like from the other side of the Student-Teacher divide.

It's not as if I've not been evaulated before: when I was a TA, we received student evaluations all the time, and because Clark University was more a teaching uni rather than a research uni, our Teaching Assistantships were contingent upon us receiving a favourable review on our TA'ing performances.

But somehow, this is different. I would hope that I did the students well in the way I conducted the class, despite my misgivings about the Blended Course format. I've been as accommodating as possible, given that all of my students are of the "non-traditional" type (most are older, have full-time jobs, and are supporting families whilst they pursue their studies at night).

I'm going to conduct a Finals Review for the students tomorrow, and decided to make a sort of party out of it. I announced to them I was going to bring food, and the rest of them volunteered to bring food as well. Well, Chemistry and Food, why not. I will have the students fill in their evaluations then, as opposed to having them fill it in after they finish a gruelling 3 hour final exam.

After this, I am scheduled to team-teach Forensic Science 101 with Lt. Chris Hoina of the Cary Police Department and Dr. Jason Mercer, who is a fellow Adjunct Professor. For the Summer term, I will be teaching Chemistry 111 (Chemistry for Science Majors) as well as Chemistry 227 (Organic Chemistry). Looks like it's going to be a rather busy couple of terms for me, as far as my teaching is concerned. But I'm not complaining. Somehow, I have the feeling I've stumbled upon a track that perhaps I've been meant for all along. Teaching on one hand, and doing something totally different (playing the organ at a couple of churches) on the other.

Okay, I'll bite.

The Snark Duo of Brian and Jason over at Christus Vincit have taken a quiz to see how much they remembered from their High School days. My results are below. I'll have to admit, I guessed on the Dangling Modifier question. Somehow, I think I answered correctly.

Take this quiz if you are so inclined and have fun.

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Catholic Carnival 161 at Adam's Ale

Catholic Carnival 161 is up and running at Adam's Ale. As usual, Fr. V. does a wonderful job of summing up all the posts he's received.

This time around, I had two entries. They were my post soliciting opinions about how to fill the Communion Procession at the 7.45 am Mass that I cantor, as well as my plugging of former seminarian David Myers' marvellous art, as well as the Manga Bible of British graphic design artist Akinsiku.

I've discerned that these Carnivals can only be as good as the entries you bring to the party. Please feel free to submit your thoughts to future Carnivals. A handy-dandy form may be found by clicking here. In addition, a list of past and future Carnivals may be obtained by clicking here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ack!!! Dreamage!!!

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before ...

I'm not trying to channel Ed McCurdy, or Simon and Garfunkel for that matter ... but I did just have the strangest dream.

So I found myself at the piano at Immaculate Conception. Although it seemed like an alternate Immaculate Conception - perhaps a version of the old church, that is now their extremely spacious Narthex, erm, Gathering Space - and it appeared that no one was in charge, I was just the one asked to accompany the choir. I don't know what happened to the Opening Hymn ... and the choir was processing in (something that hasn't happened in the 8 years I've been a parishioner at IC). It degraded to ... someone ... going over a problematic phrase over and over again. It certainly wasn't what was planned (I heard the voice of Jesus say, set to Kingsfold).

And then that ... Penitential Litany ... that was programmed. That went horribly wrong too. Well actually, it wasn't the music to what was planned, it was actually some semblance of the Gospel Acclamation that the current DM composed himself. It appeared two different cantors did different parts of it, and it went forever and ever and ever. I got lost, and then all of a sudden, it ended, and not in the way anyone expected it to. The Celebrant, all resplendent in his very simple purple chasuble (keep in mind these are Franciscans who are staffing this parish) was staring daggers at me, and I was wishing there was a hole I could climb in. He went on with the Mass.

And that was it. I woke up, wondering what just happened.

Here's to hoping that won't happen when I play that Mass later this evening!

ps - if you get a chance, give the song I referred to above a listen. It's been lauded as possibly the best anti-war song ever written. You may have a look at the lyrics here. I particularly fancy Simon and Garfunkel's cover of this song, which you may access here by pressing on play on the player you see on the screen.

Friday, February 22, 2008

24 February - Lent III

Where is the time going? Hard to believe there is only 2 weeks of the Spring I term left; I have to start writing up a pair of Final Examinations, one for the lecture course, and the other for the lab portion of my course!!!

But that is not why I am blogging at the moment. The flying time may also refer to this season of Lent. Lent III already, are you kidding me??!!

So here is my usual group of lists.

First list: 5.30 pm Saturday Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. This time, I'm the chump at the Grand Orgue. Well, really, mostly at the piano, with a few snippets of organ here and there. AFAIK, I will be directing a small group of 5 voices, and one of them will be serving as Cantor. I did not choose this music; I am only asked to play it. As usual, the numbers are from Gather Comprehensive (1994).

February 23: Lent III (5.30 pm)

Kyrie: 398 Hold Us in Your Mercy: Penitential Litany (Cooney/Daigle)
Gospel Acclamation: Praise be to you O Jesus Christ our Lord (Eggers)
Sanctus, Mem. Accl., Amen: Mass of Hope (Farrell)
Agnus Dei: 312 Agnus Dei XVIII

Pro: 646 I heard the voice of Jesus say (KINGSFOLD)
Psalm: 89 Psalm 95 (Haas)
Off: Hmmmm. Nothing planned, mainly because at the other Masses, the choir will be singing Fauré's abfab Cantique de Jean Racine. I just might move one of the scheduled Communion hymns to this slot as I would really prefer not to play an instrumental voluntary at this point, and attendance at the Saturday 5.30 pm Mass is usually not so much as to require two Communion hymns.
Comm: 502 Come to the Water (Foley); 702 The Love of the Lord (Joncas)
Re: Organ voluntary

IIRC, the DM has been playing a prelude at this Mass, so I will play what I did as a prelude last week and bring back Bach's Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (BWV 731). As for the Organ Voluntary to accompany the Recessing Procession out the door, it will be Bach again, Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 610).

Second list: St. Joseph's Episcopal Church. Numbers are out of The Hymnal 1982.

February 24: Lent III:

Prelude: Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 610; J. S. Bach)
Pro: 686 Come, thou fount of every blessing (NETTLETON)
Kyrie: Willan (S-91 in Hymnal 1982)
Psalm: Ps 95 (Barrett)
Seq: 650 O Jesus, joy of loving hearts (JESU DULCIS MEMORIA; Mode 2)
Off: 692 I heard the voice of Jesus say (sung to KINGSFOLD instead of THE THIRD TUNE)
Sanctus: S-124 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982)
Fraction Anthem: S 161 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Comm: Return to God (Haugen - see the note in my Lent I post if you're scratching your head at my Communion choice.)
Re: 690 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (CWM RHONDDA)

Third list: Episcopal Centre at Duke University.

February 24: Lent III:

Prelude: Haven't decided yet, but will probably be some sort of improvisation on Nettleton, thanks to the toy I get to play, which is a 1-manual, 3-stop Holtkamp)
Pro: 686 Come, thou fount of every blessing (NETTLETON)
Decalogue: S-353, chanted a cappella
Kyrie: Willan (S-91 in Hymnal 1982)
Seq: 658 As longs the deer for cooling streams (MARTYRDOM)
Off: 142 Lord, who throughout these forty days (ST. FLAVIAN)
Sanctus: S-114 (Willan)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982)
Fraction Anthem: S-158 (Willan)
Comm: 692 I heard the voice of Jesus say (THE THIRD TUNE)
Re: 690 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (CWM RHONDDA)

Fourth List: Compline at Chapel of the Cross.

We've been using the Order for Compline, as set by David Hurd. Our little additions:

Hide Thou Not Thy Face (Farrant; sung as Introit)
In manus tuas (Sheppard; sung in addition to "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit ...)
Ave Regina Cælorum (Marian antiphon right after the Dismissal)
Ave Maria ... virgo serena (des Prez)

Art is Servant

I'm borrowing the title of this post from David Myers, who is the son of a couple of chemists I used to work with at RTI International and North Carolina Central University. You should have a look at his website. David is a brilliantly talented artist, and uses Catholic themes as the subject of his art. Actually, his speciality is quickly becoming that of composing illustrations for those to be Ordained to the Priesthood, and you can see for yourself why he is approached by many for that purpose.

Edit, 2-26-2008: As this post was featured in the Catholic Carnival #161, a clarification is needed here. David was a former seminarian for the Diocese of Raleigh who now devotes his time to creating wonderful works of art.

Why I mention this: I came across a post from my favourite Open Source proponent, Fr. Stephen Cuyos. He discusses a Manga Bible. For those of you unfamiliar with Manga, no, it is not the Tagalog word for mango (it's spelled differently), but it is the Japanese word for "comics." So essentially, the Manga Bible is an illustrated Bible. Akinsiku, a British graphic design artist of Nigerian origin, is the artist behind this work. I've read an Illustrated Bible when I was a child, but having a look at the samples on Siku's page ... wow. It's amazing work, and worth a look.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Music Animation - Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor

This is a really neat YouTube video that was embedded on the Facebook wall of my friend, Jay Regennitter. (Jay, by the way, is another organist friend who I met singing with the Compline Choir at Chapel of the Cross before he left for bigger and better things.)

The Music Animation Machine is pretty neat - you can actually "see" the music as it's being played. From their FAQ:
Music moves, and can be understood just by listening. But a conventional musical score stands still, and can be understood only after years of training. The Music Animation Machine bridges this gap, with a score that moves -- and can be understood just by watching.
You can read more by clicking here.

It looks like a DVD is available that contains the video embedded below, plus others, with music from Scarlatti, Byrd, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others.

A very interesting idea ...

I stumbled upon the fact that today is the birthday of British actor Alan Rickman. He is the same age as my Dad, 62 years old (although Mr. Rickman is 21 days younger than my father). I noticed there are a group of fans who do charity fundraising to honour his birthday. Last year, it was for Autism Speaks, and the year before, it was for Save the Children.

This year, the fundraising efforts would benefit The Vaccine Fund, partnered with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). It looks like they set $500.00 as their goal, but haven't yet met it. If I were in a position to do so, I would have gladly made a donation toward this very worthwhile cause. If you feel inclined to do so, click here and help donate to this worthy cause.

Mr. Rickman is best known for his roles as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply, Col. Christopher Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and German terrorist Hans Grüber in Die Hard.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Reflections on Teaching

Last night, I had the students do an experiment on Lewis Structures, VSEPR (Valence-Shell Electron-Pair Repulsion) Theory, and Molecular Shape. Whilst learning about the molecular shapes of a variety of different compounds, they had the opportunity to practice writing Lewis dot structures, as well as to construct molecular models with a model kit.

I had thought if I had the students start at ca. 7.00 pm, they should be able to finish by around 9.00 pm. Boy, was I wrong. I didn't anticipate that they would have a heap of problems grasping the concepts in this experiment. For most of the other experiments, I was able to leave them alone, with minimal supervision, as they completed their tasks. This one, I noticed they were a lot more dependent on me as they muddled through this experiment. The last students did not leave until 9.45 pm, approximately 30 minutes over time. I suppose it compensates for the times the students left early (and class should go on until ca. 9.15 pm).

In addition, I gave them what I thought should have been a very very easy Question of the Day, asking them to identify what class a variety of compounds belong. They had five choices: alkane, alkene, alkyne, cycloalkanes, and aromatic compounds. No one received perfect marks, and one of them (whom I've been quite concerned for a while, actually) only managed to get one correct.

It is making me wonder - considering that the students received this information on-line, as opposed to me going over it in a lecture, if this is an example of how the Blended Course model is failing these students ... or if I need to re-think how to use the Blended Course model for this course. It makes me a little worried, actually.

The material certainly isn't getting any easier. I'm to administer an exam on-line tomorrow, and I already told the students they will have to answer 50 questions, multiple choice or fill in the blank. I might also add an extra credit problem, but it's one in which they'd have to think.

We'll see. I really want to see these students do well, but it is frustrating to me that, with one notable exception, they don't appear to be doing as well as I would have liked them to.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Middle Name Meme

... sigh, I really should be going back to lecture-writing, however ...

This little meme was taken from King Snark himself, Brian Michael Page.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, includes the following:
  1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.
  2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).
  3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)
(Lyn's addendum: if you use a handle, and you do not desire to reveal your real name, then go ahead and complete the meme using your handle ... in my world, it's just as acceptable as the item in #2 above.)

I actually have two middle names. Well, I suppose it depends on what one would consider "middle." I consider that I have two given names (Maria Elena), and my middle name is mum's maiden name, Yalong. So considering that, I shall use what I consider to be my middle name.

Y - Yalong is mum's maiden name, and my middle name.

A - Analytical is an adjective with which some of my friends like to tag me. Sometimes, it works to my advantage ... sometimes, not. I've been accused of being overanalytical at times, and I suppose it can be a source of annoyance ... but I certainly hope not. :-)

L - Long Hair - and believe me when I say Long. At this point, it's long enough that I can sit on it. I don't keep it down an awful lot of the time (it goes well past my rear end) as it gets in the way. I generally tie it up in a knot that lies just above the nape of my neck.

O - Organist - a description that came to me later in life. I started off thinking of myself as an Organic Chemist, doing Research and Development at RTI International as a Synthetic Organic Chemist. It was challenging ... frustrating when things didn't work out ("But it looked like it would work on paper!") and exhilaratingly wonderful when things worked out with a percent yield greater than 50%. But alas, those days are behind me, and for now, so too is my career as a research scientist. Perhaps some day, I will return to the lab ... but only under the right circumstances.

N - Night Owl ... some of the time. It's strange - I used to think of myself as a morning person. I was generally at my best when I first woke up in the morning. When I was an undergrad, I used to get up early in the morning and start studying, and I was at my most efficient then. Naturally, as I progressed through my academic career, I started shifting more toward night-owlish hours. For some reason, I do most of my best organ practising at night. Paradoxically, my best piano practising comes in the morning. Go figure.

G - Geek! I know, it has negative connotations; however, I've always told people that I was 100% Geek and proud of it. If my nose isn't in a book, I'd be puttering 'round in the kitchen, or sitting at my piano or at an organ console in a church near me. Such an exciting life I lead ...

Let's see. Taggage. I'm to tag six people. My obvious choices are taken, mainly because I took this off of Brian's blog, and I'm sure he's probably (informally, or by association) tagged his Brother-In-Snark, Jason (and with his 9-letter middle name, I'm sure he'll have lots of fun trying to fill that in). So here are six. I hope they reciprocate, but the world won't end if they don't.

Mark and Sara A.-G.

The Drawbacks of Blended Courses

Somehow, I figured I would receive a comment like this.
Suggestion: As we begin to get further into the term with this class the chapters are beginning to get harder. I myself believe that we should go over the chapters that we are assigned including some examples to explain more in detail about each chapter. I know you ask the class as a whole if they have questions about the chapters and everything but if you don't understand some the material how can you ask a question when you do not know where to start from. The labs are alright but I myself think that we should spend less time with them put more focus on the chapters even though we are reading them outside of class and having exams on them. [...] This is just my opinion about class and assignments.
I had a dilemma when I was asked to teach Chemistry 101 (Elementary Chemistry) and its associated lab, Chemistry 101L this term. It's an 8-week course. The class meets for 4 hours once a week, and the other day is supposed to be "virtual class time," in which they log into Blackboard to download PowerPoint presentations and the like. At this point, I am leaving the face-to-face class time for discussion of previous chapters/homework, sometimes quizzes and exams, and then leaving the majority of the time for the labs, whilst leaving more detailed PowerPoint presentations for the students to download and peruse during their Virtual Class Time. They also have a Participation requirement in that they are to post thoughts, questions, and the like on the Discussion Board that comes along with Blackboard. I also remind them, constantly, that they may feel free to contact me at any time with questions (giving them only my email address, as well as my Skype username as their means to contact me).

I had been rather uncomfortable with this, because honestly, Chemistry is not an easy subject to grasp when left to one's own devices, as the set-up of this Blended Course is doing. Dr. Bryan over at Campbell University's Main Campus has the opposite thought from me: design the labs such that the students will be able to conduct their experiments at home, using a kit they purchase from the bookshop (I think he said it costs something like $75 - $100 or thereabouts), and leaving face-to-face class time for lectures and exams.

I was hoping to make this work, but I also understand that students who may be struggling with the material might find this set-up to be rather frustrating. I can sense a sense of frustration from my students, especially as they are quite disappointed with their performances in exams. (Dare I tell them that when I was taking GenChem a lifetime ago at UCSD, the classes consistently averaged ca. 40-45% on exams? This lot is averaging in the 70% range. C range, I realise, but then again, I had the impression that the profs strived to have their classes average a C so that only the truly extraordinary would excel, and the average do, well, average.)

I've been asked to teach Chemistry 111/111L (Introductory Chemistry for Science Majors), as well as Chemistry 227 (Organic Chemistry) during the Summer 2008 term. Again, it will be for an 8-week term, which may prove to be an advantage, considering the other universities would be offering similar courses over an intensive 5-week term. What makes me uncomfortable, especially as far as Organic Chemistry is concerned, is that these are to be Blended Courses (50% of the course is administered on-line through Blackboard). These are not easy courses to grasp in this manner, and both have traditionally been face-to-face courses. As far as Organic is concerned, I've always told my students that studying Organic Chemistry is akin to studying a foreign language. Plus, trying to learn what is essentially a 3-dimensional science in 2-dimensions adds to the difficulty.

So I wonder if there are any successful models out there of Blended General and/or Organic Chemistry courses. I want to be a source of help to the students, and to encourage them to do well in these courses; the last thing we need is widespread discouragement if this model doesn't work very well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Interesting Communion Music Thoughts

As those of you who know me may know (ugh, horrible sentence construction!) ... I am an occasional cantor at the 7.45 am Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. I am one of four cantors, and we generally rotate the cantoring duties amongst ourselves. In general, the organist provides an Organ Voluntary during Communion. One of the cantors insists on singing a Communion song (with the drivel that comprises the Communion section in Gather Comprehensive, I refuse to call it a hymn) during that time.

As mentioned in an earlier post, for Lent II, the organist and I decided I would chant #383, Parce Domine during Communion. The way we handled this, I chanted the antiphon ("Parce Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in æternum irascaris nobis") only twice, once at the beginning and at the end. It essentially bookended Psalm 51:3-6; 12, chanted to Tonus Peregrinus. We received lots of nice compliments over that one that Organist and I had an interesting idea - just for a change of pace, I'd find some appropriate Latin chants that I could do at Communion. I've access to the Liber Usualis, so I could flip through that and see what would be appropriate.

Ah, a thought just came to my mind. I'm sure the Liber Usualis has the appropriate Communion antiphons for the appropriate dates indicated. An idea would be to propose to Miss Organista that I would chant those, with verses to an appropriate Psalm to ... something ... some sort of appropriate Psalm Tone for the season ...

If you're reading this, and you have an opinion one way or the other to share, please write down your thoughts in the combox. Concrit especially welcomed, particularly from the Liturgically Learned amongst you.


... and yet again, I find myself playing Catch-Up. I have lists. Lots of lists. When I wasn't tethered to my computer, I was in church for a good portion of this past weekend. I've been asked to sub for the 5.30 pm Saturday Mass at Immaculate Conception Church for Lent III, so I decided to take a break from the endless grading, lecture-writing, lab-designing, and exams writing by going to Mass and observing what's usually done at that Mass.

My first list is what was done for Lent II. For me, it a sense of déjà vu as the Episcopals did the Transfiguration Theme for the Last Sunday after Epiphany, two weeks ago. Numbers out of Gather Comprehensive (1994).

February 17: Lent II (5.30 pm)

Kyrie: 398 Hold Us in Your Mercy: Penitential Litany (Cooney/Daigle)
Gospel Acclamation: Praise be to you O Jesus Christ our Lord (Eggers)
Sanctus, Mem. Accl., Amen: Mass of Hope (Farrell)
Agnus Dei: 312 Agnus Dei XVIII (yes, in Latin. For some interesting reason, they did this 4x, with the last being "dona nobis pacem" as usual. But then again, the EEMs are doing during this time what they really should have been doing during the Offertory/Preparation of the Gifts. The Liturgically Aware over at the RPInet Fora have pointed out to me this Liturgical abuse time and time again ... but considering my relation to IC is merely PIP and occasional cantor, it truly is not my battle to fight.)

Pro: 778 'Tis good, Lord, to be here (SWABIA)
Psalm: 45 Psalm 33 (Haugen)
Off: 391 God of Abraham (Farrell)
Comm: Erm ... forgot the first one we did ... the second was an Irish Blessing as we were seeing off a Friar who spent 6 months with IC, as he was scheduled to return to NJ later that afternoon. I'll edit this post with an exact title, but it was penned relatively recently by Fr. Chepponis, with a dedication to Bp. Wuerl.
Re: Organ voluntary

One thing I've noticed - in years past, when this concept was first introduced, people did not leave in silence. Now, many years later, people are now leaving in silence ... either that, or maybe my being next to the organ drowns out the chatter of the people as they leave. (I would kind of hope more for the former rather than the latter, of course.)

Second list: I cantored the 7.45 am Sunday morning Mass, also at Immaculate Conception. The person planning this music admitted she didn't have a chance to check on the readings before she planned the music ... and admittedly, it showed. The only reference to a Transfiguration theme was in the verse I chose for the Gospel Acclamation (lifted from that wonderful resource that is CanticaNova Publications. Again, the numbers are out of Gather Comprehensive (1994).

February 17: Lent II (7.45 am)

Kyrie: 175 (traditional chant; I happily yielded to Fr. Dan (yay, he's back :) ) as he's got a wonderful singing voice, and he does chant quite well.)
Gospel Acclamation: 267 Proulx
Sanctus, Mem. Accl., Amen: 300, 301, 302 Land of Rest
Agnus Dei: 312 Agnus Dei XVIII (yes, in Latin)

Pro: 392 Lord, who throughout these forty days (ST. FLAVIAN)
Psalm: Psalm 33 (Guimont)
Off: 397 Tree of Life (Haugen)
Comm: 383 Parce Domine (Mode I, verses Ps. 51, set to Tonus Peregrinus)
Re: Organ voluntary (which ended up being a quick improvisation of sorts, just enough to get Father out the door)

A happy thought came out of this ... I had received many positive comments about what we did for Communion. I will blog on this in another post, and solicit any opinions from anyone who cares to put in their two cents ...

Third list: St. Joseph's Episcopal Church. I was quite happy about the new choir member, and he's got a strong voice, stays on pitch, reads music well. Yay! People in the congregation also commented on how what a nice voice the new baritone has. My Psalmist was sick with the flu, however, so I ended up having to kind of improvise for the Psalm. I had my guitarist play chords under the refrain, and I chanted the verses a cappella. I didn't decide until when I was at the ambo, what Psalm Tone was I was going to chant the thing to. I ended up kind of making it up as I went along. It seemed to work - I received compliments on my chanting. (Thank you, Dr. Quinn - I guess those years of singing in the Compline choir helped bring the Inner Chanter out of me.) Whereas the Romans got the Transfiguration theme, the Episcopals got John 3:16: God So Loved The World. Gosh, if I had the forces, I would have loved to have presented an anthem of that title ... the Stainer's such an old chestnut, but I'm rather partial to Bob Chilcott's setting myself.

With that, the list. Numbers are out of The Hymnal 1982.

February 17: Lent II:

Prelude: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (BWV 731; J. S. Bach)
Pro: 401 The God of Abraham praise (LEONI)
Kyrie: Willan (S-91 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Psalm: Ps 121 (Barrett)
Seq: 635 If thou but trust in God to guide thee (WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT)
Off: 440 Blessed Jesus, at thy word (LIEBSTER JESU)
Sanctus: S-124 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Fraction Anthem: S 161 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Comm: Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit (BUNESSAN); Hosea (yes, that one, penned by G. Norbet. See my note in my Lent I post if you're scratching your head at my Communion choices.)
Re: 473 Lift high the cross (CRUCIFER)

I could kill my friend Richard for this one: he forever ruined "Lift high the cross" for me when he made up this little ditty:
Lift high the cross,
And don't forget to floss ...

Horrible, isn't he?

Here is something of a Blooper: in the Order of Worship, the BWV number was listed as "BMW 731." I got a good chuckle out of that one.

Fourth list: Episcopal Centre at Duke University.

February 17: Lent II:

Prelude: Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (BWV 731; J. S. Bach - sort of improvised, because the toy I get to play is a 1-manual, 3-stop Holtkamp)
Pro: 401 The God of Abraham praise (LEONI)
Decalogue: S-353, chanted a cappella
Kyrie: Willan (S-91 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Seq: 440 Blessed Jesus, at thy word (LIEBSTER JESU)
Off: 142 Lord, who throughout these forty days (ST. FLAVIAN)
Sanctus: S-114 (Willan)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Fraction Anthem: S-158 (Willan)
Comm: 668 I to the hills will lift mine eyes (BURFORD)
Re: 473 Lift high the cross (CRUCIFER)

Last but not least: Compline at Chapel of the Cross.

We've been using the Order for Compline, as set by David Hurd. Our little additions:

Call to Remembrance (Farrant; sung as Introit)
In manus tuas (Sheppard; sung in addition to "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit ...)
Ave Regina Cælorum (Marian antiphon right after the Dismissal)
Ave Maria ... virgo serena (des Prez)

Much to our ... discomfort ... someone was recording the service. There was a fellow who, for the past several weeks, had his laptop with him, trying to discern the best placement for a microphone, given the acoustics of the building. He finally recorded this past Sunday. I'm so glad Dr. Quinn made a mention of it, but one couldn't help being awfully self-conscious, especially with a large microphone planted in front of the choir. However, as usual, I think we did fairly well. Service ended, as usual, with the abfab David Arcus providing an improvisation on a theme of his choosing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catholic Carnival 159: A Lenten Reflection Catholic Carnival

Catholic Carnival 159 is up and running at A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars. Ebeth does a wonderful job of summing up all the posts she's received.

My entry was my musical Lenten Thoughts. In addition, Brian's entry that was a response to my Lenten Thoughts post also made the Carnival and may be examined by clicking here.

I've discerned that these Carnivals can only be as good as the entries you bring to the party. Please feel free to submit your thoughts to future Carnivals. A handy-dandy form may be found by clicking here. In addition, a list of past and future Carnivals may be obtained by clicking here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

10 February - Lent I (an update)

First stop in our Lenten journey: the First Sunday in Lent. Temptation seems to be the overall theme as it's in the Collect of the Day, as well as in the Gospel readings.

Numbers are from The Hymnal 1982.

St. Joseph's Episcopal Church:

February 10: Lent I:

Prelude: None - little bit of miscommunication between Vicar and me ... however, I had originally planned Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 610) J.S. Bach; this will get pushed to Lent III.
Pro: 150 Forty days and forty nights (AUS DER TIEFE RUFE ICH)
Kyrie: Willan (S-91 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Psalm: Ps 32 (Barrett)
Seq: 140 Wilt thou forgive that sin, where I begun (DONNE)
Off: 448 O love, how deep, how broad, how high (DEUS TUORUM MILITUM)
Sanctus: S-124 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Fraction Anthem: S 161 New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Comm: J-110 On Eagle's Wings (Choir only)
Re: 688 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (EIN' FESTE BURG)

*shrug* I have a small, but merry band of volunteers which includes a bass guitarist, a guitarist, and a flautist. They have this "St. Joseph's Hymnbook," which includes some of the schlockiest things I've ever seen (and most of which I have no clue how they go as I've never seen nor heard of them before). However, considering this group does that type of music best, I might as well take advantage of that. My music planning guides indicate that OEW is quite appropriate for Lent I, so I figured I might as well program it during Communion. This group was certainly ecstatic when I informed them last Sunday that OEW was going to be the Communion song for Lent I.

Episcopal Centre at Duke University:

February 10: Lent I:

Prelude: Most likely a slowly played version of the hymntune Donne (see 140 above).
Pro: none - Decalogue at S-353 will be chanted
Seq: 148 Creator of the earth and skies (UFFINGHAM, vs. 1, 2, 4, 5)
Off: 142 Lord, who throughout these forty days (ST. FLAVIAN)
Sanctus: Willan (S-114)
Comm: 330 Therefore we, before him bending (TANTUM ERGO SACRAMENTUM)
Re: 688 A mighty fortress is our God (EIN FESTE BURG)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Guisadong Monggo

This is a dish I've made a bit in the past. It's amazing the goodness that comes from so few ingredients.

If you want to make this vegetarian, omit the shrimps and use salt instead of patis (fish sauce).

1 cup monggo (green mung beans), soaked overnight in 2 c water and drained
3 cloves garlic (or to taste)
1/2 medium onion
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer fresh, but I just happened to have the can on hand)
1/4 c shrimp, peeled and cut into small pieces
patis (or salt) and pepper to taste
a large handful of baby spinach (I didn't really measure it, I'd say put as much as you want, within reason. Maybe start off with 1/4 lb and move upwards from there?)

Drain the water from the beans and place in a pot with around 2 c water. Bring to boil and cook on medium-low until beans are done.

In the meantime, dice the garlic and the onion (thank goodness for mini-prep processors) and sauté in a pan with a tablespoon or two of oil. Add canned tomatoes, no need to drain beforehand. Season with patis (or salt) and pepper to taste. Add the shrimp if using, and allow to cook for a minute. Add the beans (I didn't drain the water, but then there wasn't much water left anyway) and allow to simmer through. Near the end of cooking, check flavouring for saltiness and pepperiness (if that's a word) and then add your handful of spinach. Remove from heat and allow the residual heat to wilt the spinach.

Great served with rice, although it's also fine without.

When I was a graduate student, I made up some vegetarian versions of Filipino favourites so that my vegetarian friends can sample some (almost!) traditional Filipino cuisine. Admittedly, most of my experimentation occurred during Lent. Even though I wasn't really a practising Catholic at that time (nor really much of a practising religious anything at that time), I still kept to meatless Fridays, so that was yet another motivation for me to rethink Filipino cuisine. If you're interested, you may find them at Manong Ken's Carinderia. Most were based on recipes I found in other sources, just modified to be vegetarian (but not necessarily vegan) friendly.

A very beautiful rendition of a Bach chorale prelude

I came across this YouTube video whilst figuring out the BWV number for a Bach chorale prelude I'm going to be playing for Lent II. This performance is just too beautiful not to share with others.

Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731, performed by Quarteto Italiano di Viole da Gamba. Enjoy.

Spirituals ... with a Japanese twist

This is really neat - The Alumni Glee Club of North Japan College, founded in 1957, under the direction of Victor C. Searle, singing Black Spirituals. The director had come under fire for the pronunciation of the words, but his argument was, this music was passed down from generation to generation, and was a manifestation of the suffering the black slaves had undergone whilst in the service of their white masters, so they were pronouncing the words as they knew how, given that they would also be learning how to speak English.

I think this is amazing work, and worth a listen.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Worship has become a "game"

This post, naturally, from PIPORG-L, is a follow-up to bruise in the monastery's comment from an earlier blog post, which I reproduce for you here:
[...] Herein lies one of the prevalent problems in todays' church ... worship has become a "game." [...]

Charles Richard Lester has a wickedly funny response to bruise in the monastery's "worship has become a 'game'" comment, which I wish to share with you here. This has tickled my funny bone, and if I wake up one morning on the snarky side of the bed, I just might try this one morning in church. (But not during Lent, of course.)
One of my favorite games in noisy churches is to play a prelude that starts on the softest stop then gradually, subtly, grows louder and louder until FULL ORGAN, including the pew-rattlers and party-horns, is roaring full tilt. Then press a piston which retires all the stops except the Lovely Flute Celeste, and oh, what a grand cacophony of chattering, jibber-jabbering, yelling and shouting you will hear from the saintly seat-holders.

And boy, does Matilda Floppenbottum have egg on her face when she is heard shouting full blast to her gossip-partner Hilda Heavinbosum, "I HEARD THAT THE CHOIR DIRECTOR'S DAUGHTER IS ON THE PILL BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN SLEEPING WITH THE PASTOR'S SON!"

Check, and mate.


Organists on YouTube

Here's another wonderful post from that great resource that is PIPORG-L. This post is by Andy Lawrence. He's found a treasure trove of organists on YouTube, and gave three suggestions. I present them here:

His opinion: if you've broadband access, and you're an organ aficionado, you ought to subscribe to these people as most, if not all, of the videos they post are organ-related.


Some Lenten Thoughts

I've been following some very interesting discussions on both the PIPORG-L list, as well as on the RPInet Fora. The thoughts mainly focus on the practices of church musicians during the Lenten season. On one hand, there are those who eschew the use of the organ altogether during Lent (and an interesting solution as noted by Brian over at Christus Vincit where the church at which he's been subbing decided to go with the piano only during all of Lent) or reduce the stops as they register their hymns gradually until the organ is stilled into silence after the Gloria on Maundy Thursday. At Immaculate Conception Church, they won't be singing a Recessional Hymn at all; instead, the people will depart to an organ voluntary. I won't be playing any postludes during Lent, but my preludes will be of the more quiet and reflective nature (and if I can ever complete O Mensch, Bewein' dein' Sünde groß by at least Lent III, I would be one very happy organist indeed).

I suppose the argument here would run along the lines of "absence makes the heart grow fonder." The contrast being, more quiet, reflective music, with there being "enough" organ to support congregational singing, to silence Maundy Thursday into Good Friday, to making a joyful noise, full of happy exuberance at the Easter Vigil Masses into Easter Day. The marked difference makes sense - we are preparing for the Resurrection of Our Lord, and the music (or lack thereof) during the Lenten season could help illustrate this contrast.

Another interesting discussion: Sundays in Lent. If taken from a purely mathematical point of view, if you include Sundays, Lent would be more than 40 days long.

You have 5 weeks of Lent. That would make 35 days. If it starts with Ash Wednesday, you add on another 4 days. That makes 39. If you include Palm Sunday and the whole of Holy Week, add on another 7 days. That makes 46 days.

Remove the Sundays of Lent, including Palm Sunday, and you get 40 days. (The strange things my mind does when I'm driving home from a nice practice session on the organ!)

So given what bruise in the monastery states in his posts:
SUNDAYS ARE NOT A PART OF LENT, and Sunday worship should emphasize the penitential nature of the season of Lent.

it all makes sense. Even the Catholics have a little bit of "celebration" so to speak with Lent IV, otherwise known as Laetare Sunday, thanks to the Introit:
Lætáre Jerúsalem:
et convéntum fácite
ómnes qui dilígitis éam:
gaudéte cum lætítia,
qui in tristítia fuístis:
ut exsultétis, et satiémini
abubéribus consolatiónis véstræ.

In English:
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (See Isaiah 66:10-11)

In parting, bruise in the monastery pegs this whole argument beautifully with his words:
[...] Herein lies one of the prevalent problems in todays' church ... worship has become a "game." Many are missing the point of not only worship but of the liturgical seasons which are to enhance worship and not merely irritate the worshipers.

And as I follow the various arguments flying to and fro, I can't help but agree with bruise.

I, for one, will keep that in mind as I prepare my music and such during this Lenten season.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury's Sharia Law Row

H/T goes to Omar ... this is a very interesting issue, indeed. Americans would be crying, "Whatever happened to the Separation of Church and State?"

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams, stated his opinion that adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable."

If you care to read about it, click here and here.

Naturally, the British pols are saying that Dr. Williams' remarks are unhelpful, British laws should be based on British values, and that all must abide by the rule of law.

It's an interesting issue, to be sure. I'm not really much into politics (as I've told one of my choir members who swears by it), but occasionally, fascinating issues such as this pop up from time to time. I suppose one might ask, well do other religious groups (e.g., Orthodox Jews, Christians, etc.) have special laws and courts all to themselves, and if so, if they can have it, why can't the Muslims.

Have a read ... feel free to put any comments in the combox. No flames, please.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finishing Up the Thought - More Excellent Blogs

Okay, so it took me a while to continue my thought started here. I said I'd come up with another 5 blogs.

Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time doing that. I can only think of two more. Well, actually, there are another couple of blogs I'm reading, but they're on, and one wouldn't be able to read those unless the authors were friended.

Ah well. Here are the next two, in no particular order. If I can think of another three, I'll be sure to make another entry.

Vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit
This blog was penned by the other half of the Ardrey-Graves. This time, it's Sara. She always writes about something insightful. There are the occasional photographs as well. I've missed Sara's and Mark's presence in Compline, but of course, they've moved on to bigger and better things.

The Life of Riley
This is the blog of 108-year old Olive Riley. She lives near Sydney, Australia. It's amazing to think she was 70 years old when I was born ... and she is still alive and kicking today. Have a look at her blog and you will see what an amazing woman Miss Olive is.

Catholic Carnival 158: Giving Up, Giving In, and Giving Back

Catholic Carnival 158 is up and running at Just Another Day at Catholic Pondering. Sarah does a wonderful job of summing up all the posts she's received.

This is the first Catholic Carnival to which I've submitted a blog entry for quite a while. My entry was the Gratitude Campaign that Lois' uncle David had forwarded to me.

I've discerned that these Carnivals can only be as good as the entries you bring to the party. Please feel free to submit your thoughts to future Carnivals. A handy-dandy form may be found by clicking here. In addition, a list of past and future Carnivals may be obtained by clicking here.

6 February - Ash Wednesday

Eeks. Lent is here. Already. Like now. It's too early. It's the earliest it's been since 1913, according to a Talking Head at WCPE, the Classical Station.

Well, I had the pleasure of attending two services today. So that means I have a couple of lists to post.

Immaculate Conception Church

As usual, the numbers come out of GIA's Gather Comprehensive 1994 (green cover).

February 6: Ash Wednesday (7.00 am)

Gospel Acclamation: 267 Proulx
Sanctus, Mem. Accl., Amen: 300, 301, 302 Land of Rest
Agnus Dei: 312 Agnus Dei XVIII (yes, in Latin)

Pro: 388 The Glory of these Forty Days (OLD 100TH)**
Psalm: 56 Psalm 51 (Haugen)
Off: 387 Attende Domine (with that absolutely horrid English translation by Wright)
Comm: 389 Return to God (sodding editorial idiots didn't include any musical notation in the pew edition. So much for mass participation in the singing ...)
Re: None - Leave in Silence (and no, I'm not channelling Depeche Mode when I say that!)

** I'll have to admit - I much much prefer Erhalt uns, Herr with The Glory of these Forty Days over Old 100th. But I guess that's just me.

Service #2 was a joint service between St. Joseph's Episcopal Church and Episcopal Centre at Duke University.

Numbers are from The Hymnal 1982.

February 6: Ash Wednesday

No music until the Offertory. Yes, even the ashes were distributed in silence ... as they were at the Mass at Immaculate Conception this morning ...

Off: 142 Lord who throughout these forty days (ST. FLAVIAN)
Sanctus: S-114 Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena (Willan)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Agnus Dei: S-158 Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena (Willan)
Comm: Taizé setting of "Bless The Lord my soul."
Re: 149 Eternal Lord of love, behold your Church (OLD 124TH)

Well, I suppose this is Squee-worthy: despite the fact we had Duke students in attendance, not one mention was made by anyone about the big Duke-UNC basketball match at UNC before, during, or after the service. So Vicar, Chaplain, and I were congratulating ourselves after the service for that very fact. Heh.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

3 February - Last Sunday after Epiphany/Transfiguration

Well, for once, I'm actually ready to put a list together before I actually play a service. What a concept.

Music lists for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, which the Episcopals celebrate as the Feast of the Transfiguration.

Numbers are from The Hymnal 1982.

St. Joseph's Episcopal Church:

February 3: Epiphany 4:

Prelude: Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr - 2 settings (Zachau and Walther)
Pro: 137 O wondrous type! (WAREHAM)
Gloria: Powell (S-280 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Seq: 129 Christ upon the mountain peak (MOWSLEY)
Off: 460 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (HYFRYDOL)
Doxology: Old 100th
Sanctus: Community Mass (Proulx)
Lord's Prayer: chanted (S-119 in Hymnal 1982, if you're interested)
Fraction Anthem: New Plainsong (D. Hurd)
Comm: 'Tis Good, Lord, to be Here (Choir only)
Re: 618 Ye watchers and ye holy ones (LASST UNS ERFREUEN) (descant by Willcocks)
Postlude: Agincourt Hymn (Dunstable)

Episcopal Centre at Duke University:

February 3: Epiphany 4:

Prelude: Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr - 2 settings (Zachau and Walther)
Pro: 137 O wondrous type! (WAREHAM)
Gloria: S-278 Mathias
Seq: 134 O Light of Light (JESU DULCIS MEMORIA)
Off: 460 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (HYFRYDOL)
Sanctus: C. Hampton setting (S-127, if you're interested)
Comm: 301 Bread of the World in Mercy Broken (RENDEZ A DIEU)
Re: 618 Ye watchers and ye holy ones (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)

E is for Excellent

Brian over at Christus Vincit was so kind to give me a blog award. The catch? I have to award it back to 10 other blogs! The recipients must do the same.

I'll do my level best to come up to ten blogs. Not everyone's on Blogger; I'm hoping the LiveJournal people will be able to play along as well.

So here goes. I would say that if you've already received this award at the hands of another blogger, you ought to consider yourself doubly blessed :-)

In no particular order:

Happy Faith: The Blog of Fr. Stephen Cuyos
I started reading Fr. Stephen Cuyos' blog, thanks to his association with the Disciples with Microphones. At the time, he was a graduate student in Rome, pursuing his Master's Degree in Social Communications at Università Pontificia Salesiana. He blogged and podcasted on many subjects, and I was most intrigued by his observations of the expatriate Filipinos he encountered whilst living and studying in Italy. No matter where they end up, whether they immigrate on their own accord, or are merely Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) scattered about the globe, I've found that members of the Filipino Diaspora really aren't all that different - those who immigrated to other countries have their own unique stories to tell, as do those of us (myself included) who were born to these immigrant Filipinos, having to reconcile ourselves to growing up in a foreign environment, but still holding true to our Filipino roots and culture.

Courting Your Career
I met Shawn Graham when he gave a workshop sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill. I particularly liked the career advice he gave us, and immediately signed up for his career advice emails. He's spot-on with his advice, and I would encourage others to have a look at his blog, and to purchase his book as well.

Perm's Brew Picks
This is the blog of my friend and fellow organist, Mark Ardrey-Graves. I met Mark and his wife Sara when they were members of the Compline Choir at Chapel of the Cross. They have since moved to Western NC. Mark is a beer enthusiast, and he blogs on his latest beer adventures, whether it involves his own brews, or that of others.

This is the blog of a FanFiction writer who goes by the handle zeegrindylows. Naturally, her handle comes from the infamous Grindylows, which, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, attacked Triwizard Champions in their quest for the Triwizard Cup. She just completed the absolutely wonderful Where Your Treasure Is, which is her take on the events post-Deathly Hallows. She blogs on other topics as well.

Juno's Magic
Juno is another FanFiction writer. I was very intrigued by her story, The Apprentice and the Necromancer. It was her take on a challenge to write about a Marriage Law (WIKTT Marriage Law Challenge). She's got a professional qualification in law, and her background, along with the enormous amount of research she put into this story, makes it a fascinating one to read, indeed. It is still a work in progress, and I check her blog for updates on that story. She is also the source of some of the most interesting memes I have had the pleasure to fill in.

Well, that is five thus far. I'm a little too tired to come up with another five, so I'll take a break here for now and continue this post after a good night's sleep.