In the coming months I will be singing thrice weekly with a variety of organizations. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, although maybe a challenge for time commitments as well with rehearsals starting this week.
For the first time, I will be singing with the Mystic Chorale. The fall concert Pastures of Plenty – Woody Guthrie at 100 will take place Saturday, Nov 17, 8:00pm and (my birthday!) Sunday, Nov 18, 3:30pm at Tremont Temple in Boston. I’m looking forward to singing songs written and inspired by one of my all-time favorite persons.
My son and I will also once again be performing with SingPositive, JP. This multi-generational, family chorus will be making our sophomore outing with a concert themed on Optimism in Hard Times on Sunday, December 16th, 4pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain. If you are looking for a musical, community experience, I definitely recommend looking into SingPositive which is branching out into other communities in the Boston area.
Finally, my daughter and I will be attending regular classes of Music Together at the Children’s Music Center of Jamaica Plain. There’s no performance with this one but it may be the most fun. I enjoyed singing with my son when he was little and look forward to repeating the experience and introducing my baby girl to music and rhythm.
This post is partially shameless self-promotion to get you to come out to my performances, but I also hope that anyone looking for opportunities to sing and perform music in the Boston area (with or without children) will see this post. I highly recommend all of these organizations and suggest you check them out and get involved if you’re interested. If you know of any good singing and music activities in the Boston area, let me know in the comments.
A few photos from a visit to Boston’s Museum of Science with my son this weekend.
- Escalator innards.
There’s no app for that.
World’s largest collection of barf bags (many of which are politically-themed)
The ever so elusive Plastic Pink Lawn Flamingo (Pseudamingoflay plasticus)
Beer: Porter Square Porter
Brewer: Slumbrew (Somerville Brewing Company)
Rating: **** (8.3 of 10)
Comments: This is a nice porter. It’s a deep, chocolaty black with a thick, foamy head. The mouthfeel is very smooth and the taste is sweet with hints of cocoa and coffee. Seek this out!
Beer: Sgt. Pepper Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Brewer: Cambridge Brewing Co.
Source: 22 oz. bottles
Rating: *** (7.8 of 10)
Comments: The beer is a nice cloudy copper with lots of bubbles and a foamy head. The smell and taste stand out as the peppercorns give the beer a spiciness that is unique. It also has fruity, citrus flavors and a pleasantly spicy aftertaste. It’s good to have something different.
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Boston is our holiday home. With a week off from work and school, my wife Susan, son Peter, and baby Kay sought and found many adventures including: The Museum of Science, Boston Common, The Children’s Museum, The New England Aquarium, The Christmas Revels, The Larz Anderson Auto Museum and Park, and Edaville USA. Thanks to the Boston Public Library for providing the museum passes that allowed free entrance to the Museum of Science, Aquarium, and Auto Museum.
Some of my favorite photos are below. If you want to see more, check out my online photo slideshow.
San T. Rex is coming to town.
Leatherback Turtle surfaces for a snack in the giant ocean tank.
Anderson Auto Museum license plate collection.
The Edaville Railroad's steam engine
Big fun on the big wheel
This afternoon my family and I took in the annual performance of The Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater in Cambridge. The Revels is a family tradition and this marks the tenth Christmas Revels production I’ve attended (including a Washington Revels performance in 1995 and performing as a cast member in the 2009 Christmas Revels). This was also my four-year-old son’s second Christmas Revels and my five-week-old daughter’s first Revels ever. Peter showed exemplary behavior and was deeply engaged by the performance while Kay amazed me by actually appearing to watch the show at times when she wasn’t feeding or napping.
The Revels impress me each year by crafting a show around a theme with consistent narrative that logically incorporates music and dance from various traditions. This year’s production is set in a French fishing village on the Mediterranean that is hosting an annual feast that draws pilgrims from near and wide. Thus we are able to enjoy traditional music from France and other parts of Europe as well as traveling performers from the East playing Arabic music. The Sharq Trio steal the show with sets in both acts of Arabic singing, dance and percussion. The trio seemed to mesmerize my infant daughter at the very least. Salome Sandoval also lends her stunning voice as a soloist.
The center of the performance is three members of the Guild of Fools – Soleil (Timothy Sawyer), Etoile (Sabrina Selma Mandell), and Eclaire de Lune (Mark Jaster) – performing the annual pageant. Amid the music and revelry there is the lurking presence of the skeletal Boney (Linnea Coffin) who seems to be just out of sight of the villagers on stage, but very frightening to at least one four-year-old boy in the audience. At a key moment in the first act, Boney and her skeleton crew seize the light from the world plunging the holiday performance into darkness. The fools thus are given the quest of finding their namesake light sources – the moon, the stars, and the sun – which they do with plenty of song and dance and a nativity play along the way. The Revels crew deserve a lot of credit for the stage design featuring multiple layers of scaffolding for the performers and a Ship of Fools upon which the featured trio sail to fish for the reflection of the moon. The costuming is also brilliant, especially Soleil, Etoile, and Eclaire de Lune’s outfits for the concluding mummer’s play. And the makeup helped make Boney and the other skeletons the scariest things I’ve ever seen in a Revels’ production.
The final performance is Thursday December 29th at 1 pm, so get tickets and go see the show if you can. If you’re reading this after the fact, make sure to check out The Revels’ website for future events.
Huntington Avenue photo courtesy of Yarian Gomez's photostream on Flickr
Come out this Sunday October 30th at 2pm for a guided walking tour of Boston’s Avenue of the Arts lead by Boston By Foot guides (including yours truly). The tour begins in front of The Church of Christ, Scientist on Massachusetts Avenue and the cost is just $15/person. If you become a Boston By Foot member admission is reduced to just $5 and you get lots of other benefits as well.
Have you ever wondered why so many cultural institutions dedicated to fine arts, music, education, religion, and sports are clustered in one area in Boston? As we walk along this cultural corridor we’ll explore the history of Huntington Avenue and learn about:
- landmarks created by two of the most remarkable women in Boston’s history: Mary Baker Eddy and Isabella Stewart Gardner
- not one but two acoustically perfect concert halls
- not one but two historical figures named Eben
- the oldest artificial ice sporting arena in the world
- Boston’s lost opera house
- the many innovations and contributions of the YMCA
- the site of the first World Series game
- expansion and development at Northeastern University, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- and much, much more
I’m particularly proud of this tour because I originated the idea and collaborated on the research and manual writing. So please come out and join us to learn more about this fascinating Boston district.
Huntington Avenue in 1920, courtesy of Boston Public Library's photostream on Flickr