Thursday, May 05, 2016

Ralph Vaughan Williams "Dona Nobis Pacem"

Tonight I drove down to Tucson after work to attend a concert of the Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Choir and Symphonic Choir performing Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Dona Nobis Pacem."  My friend Mikey (Miguel) sat with me and was nice enough to get me a free ticket!

It was a wonderful concert!  The soloists (esp. the baritone) were really good, and the choirs and orchestra did a great job.  I had not heard this live since I performed it with the Ventura County Master Chorale back when I lived in Oxnard so many years ago.  It is not performed often, which is a shame.

I was especially struck, as I had not been when I was performing, by the "story" aspect of the piece.  As an audience member I could experience and appreciate interplay between the soloists and the orchestra and choir to convey such a depth of meaning.  It was just beautiful and I couldn't help but cry.  I'm so glad I made time to go.

Monday, May 02, 2016


I was up in northern Arizona this weekend.  I drove up to Flagstaff Saturday afternoon and had a chance to hang out with my friend Katie.  She's a FOCUS missionary at NAU.  She's done a great job there but her time is short as she will be leaving at the end of the semester.

Saturday evening was Kappa Xi chapter's initiation ritual.  It was pretty good and their new guys are really terrific.  Of course it was a very late night and I didn't get to bed until like 3!  And of course it snowed... it seems like it almost always snows when I'm up there for initiation.  Just an inch or 2 and it was gone in the a.m. so that was okay.

Sunday I stopped off on my way home to tour Arcosanti. I had driven by so many times but never had a chance to visit, so I was determined to take advantage of this opportunity.  I got there just in time for the 1 p.m. tour.

It's ... interesting.  Soleri's vision of a different way to design a city is still a long way from any kind of completion.  It's been a work in progress for over 40 years and I think it will always be that, actually.  That's not such a bad thing, though perhaps it's different from what the original hype was and/or what Soleri and others thought would happen.  As a place to prototype and experiment with different "city technologies" it can do a lot.  I don't really foresee it ever being a "real" city but that's doesn't mean it's a failure.