Vespers goes to school

vespersHappy to report more than a mild thrill coming thisaway from Minneapolis, where this morning Andy Morgan (Facebook and Twitter) is lecturing on Vespers as part of his graduate conducting seminar at the University of Minnesota.

It’s hard to describe the feeling. All good, certainly, but mixed. The first thought is wonderment at my music being chosen to be presented. I mean, it still surprises me when someone else likes my music (I spend so much time crafting and expecting, but when it happens: wonderment). Even more, to like it so much to go to all the trouble of preparing a lecture on it.

I’ve been asked to talk about Vespers a few times, but when someone else thinks it worth the effort—and a few people have already, at various schools—it’s wondrous.

Then, another feeling mixes in. I think of the students sitting there, having to sit through a lecture. Having been on both sides, that is, having sat through, and having given class lectures, I’m aware of the pitfall a lack of engagement on the students’ part creates. They’re tired, they’ve been up late, they have a dozen things to get done. But students as well as teachers need to put effort into a lecture to make it go. I never appreciated the grading of “class participation” so much until I began teaching. Andy’s an energetic and engaging fellow, though, so I’m sanguine—jolly, actually—about his part in the Vespers lecture.

I guess that’s what I’m feeling. I’m jolly…well!, that’s not so mixed. Thanks, Andy!

Here’s a taste of movement 2, “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern.” More audio from, and details about Vespers are here.

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