Category Archives: music

The Mystery of the Lost Trombone

During the season of Lent, church tradition bans the word “Alleluia” during worship. Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. In choir rehearsals, however, we are already singing “Alleluia” in preparation for Easter. Not only that, but we are also rehearsing with the brass choir.

On Wednesdays during Lent, we go to church for a Lenten supper and worship. Ed has been meeting us at church after work, so I have the responsibility of bringing his trombone to church for rehearsal. He doesn’t want it to sit in the cold car because that affects the tuning of the trombone. This past Wednesday, I brought his trombone into the building and set it on the floor under the coat rack.

We went into the gym to eat Chicago style hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. (We eat well on Wednesdays!) After our worship, Ed went out by the coat rack to get his trombone for rehearsal. He came over to me, and said he found his music folder, but where was his trombone? I was a little irritated (as wives tend to be with husbands) as I told him it was right by his music. I mean, seriously, how could you not see a trombone?

I took him to the place where I had put his trombone AND IT WAS GONE!

Since our church also has a school, we thought maybe the band director had taken the trombone and put it somewhere safe. We ran all over the church and school looking for it, while our pastor made some phone calls. No one knew where Ed’s trombone has disappeared to. I finally took the girls home while Ed went to choir.

We hadn’t been home for long when the pastor called. Ed’s trombone was found…in the kitchen pantry! The after-school care teacher had thought it was a kid’s trombone, and put it in the pantry for safe keeping. What a relief! (Dare I say…Alleluia!) Pastor took the trombone to Ed and he was able to rehearse his brass piece with the choir.

Brass Choir

Easter is coming soon, and I think we’ll be ready!





Out From Behind the Screen

It didn’t even occur to me until the chorus concert was almost over. Why were all these other kids singing solos, and Lily wasn’t getting up to sing one? She had auditioned, and her music teacher has always given her a solo before.

As we were walking home after the concert, I asked Lily about it. She said, in a matter-of-fact way, that many of the soloists were fifth graders. Since this was their last chorus concert before moving on to middle school, they deserved to be chosen for the solo lines. It was okay with her because she had already had had a lot of solos.

This made me even more proud of her than I already was. She was content.

I was sitting behind a mom and a dad at the concert. Their daughter was in chorus for the first time and each had a camera in hand to videotape their daughter’s performance. The dad moved over to get a better shot of his daughter, and so I had to move over so I could see Lily. I was just glad there was an empty seat next to me!

I used to be them. I wanted to capture every moment of Lily’s ballet recitals on camera. It took me years to realize that I was watching her on the screen instead of using my eye to see her right there, in person, on the stage. I began to take less and less video. Last night, I took one picture. That was it.

Will I regret it in the future? Will I wish I had more videos to watch, to remind me of Lily’s performances? Maybe.

Last night, however, I was not looking for the right angle to hold my camera or fidgeting with the record and pause buttons. I was watching my daughter sing and smile and enjoy her concert.

She was content. And so was I.


Eclectic Playlist

I have a variety of playlists on my little pink MP3 player, each created for a different activity or person.

MP3 Player
My listening devices have changed dramatically since I was 3.

I made a playlist for Lily and Emmy with Princess songs, which includes songs from Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, a little Taylor Swift, and The Little Mermaid. And of course I had to add Frozen to the mix when we bought that CD. This playlist is titled “Princesses.”

Ed’s playlist consists of bands such as Journey, the Scorpions and his favorite, Def Leppard. I creatively titled Ed’s playlist, “Ed’s Playlist.”

I have several of my own playlists, but my favorite is the one I named “Eclectic.” That’s because it has a little bit of everything. A little country, a little rock, some folk and some alternative. I put Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” next to Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound.” There’s the cowboy portion with Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy, Take Me Away” and Paula Cole’s “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone.” Sting’s “I Burn For You” and Sarah MacLachlan’s “Possession” are part of a stalkerish section. Throw in some Gotye and Civil Wars, and you’ve got yourself an eclectic playlist.

What about you? Who’s playing on your playlist?

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What’s On Your Playlist?

I had this idea as I was on the treadmill, looking for a playlist to listen to. I have no idea if this is a good prompt, but let’s try it anyway!

Tell us about a playlist you’ve created. When do you listen to it? What songs are on it? Does it motivate or inspire you? Tell us about your playlist!

to sing
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

If you haven’t created a playlist, write about the kind of music you like to listen to and when you listen to it. When you’re doing housework? Exercising? Or maybe when you’re on a road trip?

Write it up and link it here!

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When It All Comes Together For the Orchestra

Over the past few weeks, Lily was practicing her viola for her orchestra concert. One of her pieces was the theme from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, one of my favorites. What she was practicing, however, sounded nothing like the symphony I know. She is a beginning string player, so you can imagine what she sounds like. She’s still learning to tune her instrument and use her bow. As you can imagine, there are a lot squeaks when she plays.

When all 20 of the fourth grade orchestra students gathered together on their big night, however, the piece from the symphony came together as all the violins, violas, cellos and basses played. It wasn’t perfect, but to all of us parents, it sounded beautiful!

It was a week for listening to the orchestra. For Christmas, Ed bought me tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with Riccardo Muti conducting. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to see him conduct. I had never been to the Symphony Center before, so it was a great gift! Way back in December, though, February 28th seemed far away. Before I knew it, it was the middle of February and I needed to find a babysitter!


My friend’s wonderful teenaged daughter was up for the job. Ed made reservations at a restaurant we’ve always wanted to try. The traffic at the tollbooth on the Kennedy eased up when it was supposed to.  We found parking easily in the Grant Park parking garage under Michigan Avenue, and there was a section just for the Symphony Center! There was even a parking attendant helping people pay for their parking, and she was NICE! Going downtown had never been so easy!

Ed had bought us seats on the main level. Symphony Center was smaller than I had imaged and we were fairly close to the orchestra. No cameras were allowed, so I behaved and didn’t take any pictures to show you. The most hilarious thing happened between movements. These sophisticated people going to the Symphony coughed and coughed. It was thought they were so afraid to make noise when the orchestra was playing that they held it all in until the quiet moments between the movement. (You know, the time when you are not supposed to clap but wait for the orchestra to begin the next movement.) If I were a germophobe, I would have been violently twitching in my seat. Ed and I just looked at each other and (silently) laughed.

The highlight of the concert was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6, which was gorgeously played. It was worth a standing ovation, which we as an audience gave.

I have been stuck in the Grant Park parking garage for hours before (after Taste of Chicago and the fireworks) but this time, there were parking attendants helping direct cars out of the garage. Of course we got stuck behind someone who had not prepaid their parking ticket as they were supposed to, but the same nice parking attendant who had helped us before the concert helped this guy out. It was snowing gently as we left downtown Chicago.

We pulled into the driveway at exactly 11:00, the time we told the babysitter we would be home. Our evening out came together perfectly!

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When has it all come together for you?


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