April 30, 2006

It's really 0:18 on May 1st right now, but this entry is about the 30th, so I'll leave it on the 30th.

The final week of school has now arrived here at the college. Some students are busy writing papers and studying for their last test, and others are aimlessly wandering through the halls drinking mountain dew and playing mario carts at randomly spaced televisions. And then, there's the music majors... we just finished six concerts this week (tuesday - Kim' Piano Recital, Wednesday - Ben's Trumpet Recital, Thursday - Hart High Chorale Festival, Friday - Women's Chamber Choir, Saturday - Sergey's Composition Recital, Today - Hanbells...) and now we're looking forward to another six (at least I don't think there's one tomorrow). Ah for the life of a music major - the vocalists are desparately trying to memorize songs in languages they don't speak. The pianists are trying to learn the music the vocalists forgot to give them till two days ago and the instrumentalists are observing all with a distant somewhat removed stare that seems to say, "I'm not really sure where my flute went but if anyone finds it I'm going to start hitting random friends with it." To the soundtrack of the first movement of the Chichester Psalms of course. (I never did tell Dr. Plew this last Spring but semi A-Tonal music makes me want to run around in a clown costume and hit string players on the head with a oversized baloon in the shape of a hammer. You know, the things younger cousins win at the arcades in Sea World and bop you with all day.)

Since I enjoy making lists (and random attempts at humor) I might as well list out what I plan on finishing this week. Actually, I think I'll go to bed instead.

Maybe Tomorrow

April 29, 2006

I've got four points of interest in this entry. The first two are updates on what I've been up to, the second is an update on what happened at Hart High the day after we sang, and the fourth is an exciting news story.

Today was Sergey's recital. He writes wonderful music and I appreciate that it is well written so that you can sing it easily and yet it is beautiful and intricate. A mistake many people make is to assume that difficult music takes more skill to write. Actually, it is more difficult to write a piece that is easy for the performer yet sounds complex and impressive. But yes, someone who has mastered writing good music that is simple can then create even greater music that is difficult for the performer. Sergey had a mix of both simple and complex with his piano pieces being more difficult than his vocal pieces. I greatly enjoyed his recital in which I sang two quartet numbers, two choir numbers and ran video as well.

I finished the business cards for DigitalVideoSlideshows.com a couple days ago. I'm having 500 made but as well I'm hoping to distribute it through email as well. Here it is!

About Hart High, please pray for them and all of our nations High School kids, especially this coming monday. (The date that is supposed to be a walk out to honor illegal immigrants.) There was a fight over at Hart that resulted in canceling of later classes, the arrests of several students and a whole lot of cop cars as well as a helicopter. Amazingly no one was killed or even injured seriously. This came on Friday, the day after the Chorale Festival so it was of particular meaning to me - as I had just seen the Hart chorale sing.

Two friends of mine David and Melody are at the front of a much needed tutoring ministry over at Hart. Please be in prayer for them. David mentioned that they need prayer for the wisdom of Colossians 4:5-6 which says, "Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of your time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person." They're over there to tutor and help along kids academically but their heart is to see those kids find eternal safety and knowledge in Jesus Christ.

Well, I promised an exciting news story so here it is.

For many years now, since the beginning of satellite and imagery and even going back to the first US Bomber that flew over a mountain of about 17,000 ft located in one of the most politically volatile spots (specifically - in the nation of Turkey) there have been pictures of a ship-like structure. It's not new news to me but the headlines are beginning to read "Noah's Ark Found". The CIA and others have possessed such images for awhile but new images have come in from a commercial satellite company - the story is much more interesting but I'll let you read and watch it (I recommend you watch the video on Fox News) from the links at the end of this update.

I'd like to make one comment first. The timing here is amazing - just as a movie is being made from a Fiction Novel by the name of The Da Vinci code hard evidence is coming in for the truth of the Bible. (The dimensions of the object line up with those of the ark described in the bible.) But if the Ark is unveiled before the eyes of the world will this cause them to repent? The answer is alluded to in the story of Lazarus the poor man -

"And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'" (Luke 16:30-31 ESV)

Even if the Ark were to fall into their backyard people would still have reasons not to believe. This spirit of rejection is shown in the excitement over the Da Vinci Code. People say, "It could be true" ignoring that the book is fiction (and recent popular fiction), never makes the claim to be fact (other than starting with a facts page that lets us know that the organizations involved really exist. Flying gravy cakes and purple cows (not necessarily in that order) just because there are societies that exist to protect the earth from alien invasion doesn't mean when I read a science fiction novel that cites them I read it as fact. I could write you a novel that contains the Flat Earth Society if you want?) The supporters of Dan Brown would do good to take someone other than a mortal fiction novelist for their prophet and they would be wise to come forward with a Holy Book of more substance than a Fiction Novel. It's not very hard to define whatever you want as truth in a fantasy world, but that doesn't make it truth in the real world.

Here's those links on the Ark



April 27, 2006

The chorale sang at Hart High School today for a choral festival. It reminded me of youth chorale watching and listening to the other choirs. Some of them were even Junior High Choirs- they looked so young...

This was a wonderful opportunity for us as Christians to be a testimony in front of so many young high school and junior high students. I got some opportunities to talk with students afterwards and I would appreciate your prayers for those who we talked to.

I wish we could sing more often at schools. It's so wonderful to be able to share music with them, and even more wonderful to have such great opportunites for conversation afterwards.

April 23, 2006

I am currently on a bus bound for the college, at least I was at the time I wrote this sentance. At the time I post this I will most likely be sitting in my dorm roomat college. We had a great concert at Bethel Baptist, the last concert at a church this the year. It's been a great experience being in the chorale this year. Not only have I really enjoyed it but we've been working on some very challenging pieces that have helped to benefit my musical abilities. The best part of chorale though is the opportunities for ministry that we have. One of the men I talked with had seen our concert at Forest Lawn with Collegiate on Thursday. It was very encouraging to hear that he had been able to bring two of his friends who were Catholic. He talks with them often about the gospel but this gave him another opportunity that was somewhat unique.

April 22, 2006

I worked on Critical Thinking this morning. I no longer feel a suddend urge to solve that problem. (The one I posted on my last update). I managed to get a decent amount of the homework done and I'm planning on taking the test for this section on monday.

Voice practice went well today but I actually spent 3 hours singing in friends choirs for compositions recitals. Sergei's recital is next Saturday and so we rehearsed two pieces that he wrote. They were both very beautiful and tonal and I enjoyed them greatly. Jason's piece is starting the composition recital in a couple weeks and is not quite as tonal... Actually I enjoyed the challenge it presented and it is well put together. He set the text of Psalm 46 to music and the music reflects the words in an original manner but well.

Chorale Sectionals went well yesterday. The tenors got alot or work done... of course the Basses spent the time singing smultzy Christmas Carols to the Sopranos and Altos. Actually they sang a parody of Jingle bells to us too. It was quite hilarious and sounded rather familiar to the ol' Batman version, "Jingle Bells, Insert name of Tenor smells..."

Disclaimer - Despite the descriptions of hilarious and somewhat goofy behavior the author makes no claims regarding the Basses work ethic, ...he merely notes that the Tenors were in fact in the process of studiously studying a Bach Motet when the Basses interrupted them with out of season holiday pop tunes.

April 19th, 2006

Today was a gorgious day here with blue skies (although I wouldn't have minded a few clouds) and plenty of sunlight. You could tell that the winter season is officially over here at the college. People actually started wearing shorts and t-shirts today. If you were wearing a sweatshirt people looked at you funny (I wasn't wearing a sweatshirt) but people look at me funny anyway... just kidding.

I took Joel and Rachel's engagement photos today and it went splendidly. I'm loading them onto the computer right now and getting ready to sort through them. It's hard to believe that there are only 2.2 actual school weeks left this semester! I think that Critical Thinking homework is getting to my head.

A train leaves Honalulu, Hawai at 5:37 pm traveling at 347 miles per hour toward Chicago. A train leaves Chicago at 6:11 pm traveling at 200 miles per hour toward Honalulu. The train track is 789.3 miles long and railroad ties are spaced every 3.7689 feet. How many railroad ties do the trains cross before they collide?

Enjoy (P.S. This is a nerd test, if you figure out the answer to this question it means you are a nerd. But that is a good thing, or at least that's what people will tell you. Oh great...I'm begining to feel a sudden urge to solve this problem.)

April 18th, 2006

My bible study leader and his wife, Rick & Erin Zamen, are at the hospital tonight... because she's ready to deliver her baby! You can be in prayer for them at this exciting time, this will be their first child.

Tomorrow I'm taking engagment pictures for Joel and Rachel, they're getting married this June! I'm looking forward to that, getting my camera charged up and my memory cards emptied and ready to go. Plus I'll get to use my reflector for real for the first time!

I've posted a link for my new website on the front page. It's www.DigitalVideoSlideshows.com Let me know if you have any comments on how it looks or what it might be missing. It is a work in progress of course, so I know that some pages are blank and such... but typos and first impressions are always good. It's still in progress but I guess this would be the official launch. Break out the sparkling cider.

I'm working on an idea for a new blend of two rather different musical genres with a buddy up here. If it works out I'll be sure and post more later.

- Josh
2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of Christ and not us"

April 17th, 2006

In case you missed April 16th's update it's in the April Archives section. It was about Forest Lawn and the Recording so I'd suggest checking it out. I'm planning on updating much more frequently from now on, maybe every day.

: )

Today was a fairly uneventful monday. Actually, it contained many events, they were just ordinary events rather than out of the ordinary events. So today was a fairly uneventfuloutoftheordinary events monday. Collegiate Singers had it's last meeting today since we've performed our concerts. We mostly clapped for people who needed clapping and acknowledged people who needed acknowledging and patted our friends on the back. It was a like a short wedding reception with no beverages or Hours' de Ouvre (I really like that word) and when you toated people you didn't hold up a glass, and their wasn't any bride and groom either... although there are plenty of soon to be bride and grooms in collegiate, and several soon to be soon to be bride and grooms. (Yes it's that time of year here at the college) I'll miss singing on monday nights and I there's a chance I might miss singing at the occasional 10:00-11:30pm rehearsal on tuesday and thursdays. But it's great to have accomplished two concerts which went very well.

School wise, pardon me, Academically articulating I procured through my own manual formation of letters and mental thought a completed Critical Thinking Test. Just 3 to go to finish my Directed Studies Course. One of the assigments for the intro was to find some verses that dealt with "Critical Thinking" in the Bible. I thought I might share some of the verses I found listed under 'Critical Thinking" the website www.rationalchristianity.net. (This doesn't necessarily mean I'm an evidentialist...

Proverbs 14:15 "The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps." (NAS)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (NAS)

So there we have it - Biblical proof that we shouldn't be stupid.

Time to do some more Critical Thinking homework. I just finished listening to Kenny G's "Auld Lang Syne (The Millenial Edition)", and it brought back memories of the turn of the millenium. Off to homework, and then I'm watching "Walk the Line" with Danny and maybe some other guys. (This will be the first movie I've ever watched other than "Lord of the Beans" in the college dorms without the occasion of a end of semester party or a paper on Gershwin. Hmmm...

April 16th, 2006

20th Century Fox
The recording with the chorale and orchestra was a great experience for us students. We recorded on the Newman Scoring Stage in Fox Studios. Dr. Opfer and the orchestra recorded the 27min score first from 6:00pm till about 9:30 and then the chorale recorded our short vocal cues and the Hallelujiah chorus under the direction of Dr. Brandenstein. In order to record over the orchestra the chorale wore headphones and Dr. Brandenstein watched a video monitor so that he could mirror Dr. Opfer's beat while giving cues and dynamics specific to the choir.

Jim Bolt, one of the head guys at the Sony Sound Stage, is not only greatly responsible for giving us the opportunity to record on the Newman Scoring Stage but is also a dedicated Christian witness in Hollywood. You can pray that the testimony our attitudes had before the sound techies and engineers will benifit him in his witness there.

Forest Lawn Concerts
The Forest Lawn Concerts were held Wednesday and Thursday under the baton of Chris Fritzat the Hall of the Crucifixion and Resurrection in Forest Lawn. For our master work we performed exerpts from the Resurrection Portion of Handel's Messiah. The chorale gave a prelude of a couple pieces including Bruckner's "Christus Factus Est" (Christ for us became obediant) only in set in a new english edition by Dr. Brandenstein. Then, at the end of the concert we performed "Man of Sorrows" a roaring orchestra piece with John Martin as the soloist and the Lord's Prayer.

Since John had to come later to our rehearsal on tuesday Chris Fritz used me as a rehearsal soloist then and on wednesday. It was really fun, and this might sound odd, but I love the rush you get when you have to sight read a solo in front of a whole choir and orchestra. You either do it or you crash and burn. I really like life and death situations like that... when they don't actually deal with life and death.

Forest Lawn Soundtrack Premier
The Premier of the soundtrack for the paintings (Crucifixion 195' x 45' by Jan Styka in 1897 and The Resurrection 70' x 51' by Robert Clark) was performed by us Friday. It was wonderful to see the restored paintings revealed (though we looked at them before because we were singing while they were unveiled) but it was even more wonderful to hear the gospel presented in the new narration and soundtrack.

The new narration was written by Tim Kirk and the Score was composed by Dr. Stephen Johnson and Corb Felgenhour. Lisa Frieman narrated and the actors Dave Hoffman, Peter Jessop and Kevin Brief provided the voices of the characters within the narration. The finished product will hopefully be timless enough to last Forest Lawn for many years... I'm looking forward to taking a trip down to Forest Lawn with some friends to hear the new narration and soundtrack, with full sound effects.

The premier itself was quite and event with the grandson of Jan Styka present as well as the Polish Embassate (Jan Styka was a Polish artist) and your normal assortment of Mayors, Senators and the like. The Hours' de Ouvres were great too!

Ressurection Sunday
A friend of mine from college, Steve Folden, came to my house this weekend and accompanied me on a couple of songs at Westview Bible Church. We had a great time of fellowship with everyone there. We performed 'How Deep The Father's Love For Us" and a David Meece piece that I always forget the title of. (I remember the lyrics though, they go - Put your sadness away, Wipe the Tears from your face, It's a day for rejoicing (If I write anymore I'll be in copyright violation)) I'm hoping that there will be more opportunites for me to minister at churches with music.

I've been thinking alot within the past few days about God's blessings on us. Music is a place where many people are gifted by God with talents as well as opportunities to develop skills. What I'm most thankful for however is not the voice God has given me but Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. All the talent in the world would be worthless if Christ hadn't died for my sins.


April 2, 2006

Wow! A lot has happened since I last wrote. The Chorale went to the 20th Century Fox sound stage. We performed at Placerita Baptist and had a wonderful chorale social at Dr. Brandenstein's house afterwards. The ASB elections are over...

Randy won the ASB elections! We, his campaign committee, wore our stickers proudly, posted posters and used peer pressure to make people vote...wait, did I just say that? Actually it was a great experience to be able to practice campaining. People like to say that a school election is nothing like a political campaign...but sadly, they're very similar. The reasons people vote for people... Ahhhh! (If your wanting more proof for the two elections being similar you do not make up the majority of the voting populous of our nation. Of course, none of us make up the majority... I wonder how many people you would have to be to make up the majority.)

David, a friend of Randy and I, (and the current ASB president : ) designed the website for Randy (and might I add he did a great job, be sure and check out some of his other work at evercor.com) and I took the publicity shots (ie. the photos) you see on the site. Oh boy was it fun copying all the famous poses you see politicians in... some of the shots even bare a haunting resemblence to shots on our Master's Course Catalogs. You can check it out at RandyForPresident.com

Despite all the fun of campaining I spent most of the week thinking I was going to have several massive tests and asignments due the day after the elections, and thus spending a great amount of time on my school work. (A novel thing to do.) Our teachers graciously extended our deadlines because of Forest Lawn and so now as I'm writing this I'm thinking I'm going to have several massive tests and assignments due the day after tomorrow. Of course if there's another ice age and a glacier parks itself in front of C-Dub dorm... (the movie...) You know, William Zinzer says if you have to explain a joke you probably shouldn't put it down in writing, at least he says something vagualy along those lines. But since the internet is ruining the english language currently I will assert my modernity by including that ...joke, and not spell checking this entry.

Back to where I was about campaining. Despite all the fun I realized that it is quite a blessing to be on a school campus where although we campaign for one student we know that both of them love the Lord and would make great ASB Presidents. I mean, some college's we would be choosing between the girl who burned down the cafateria and biology lab (which really shouldn't be associated together in the same sentance) in the name of animal rights and the guy who sounds really calm when he speaks because he smokes an odd substance all day.

Now, if you made it through all that...

I really should be going to bed now, so I'll talk about recording in 20th Century, which is probably more interesting than all of that above, Later - but soon. I can't believe I can actually wait to talk about that. Wow, what patience and character I am demonstrating. (small print - the following was meant to be a joke and is not an actual gurantee of quality. Consult your bible before making character judgments based on sentances found in online journals or blogs. Side effects may include sarcasm, irony, or abstract disconnection from reality or similar timelines.)

Prayer Requests
That our house would sell in California so my parents can better minister with White Fields in Minnesota.
Music History Exam 12:45 April 4th
Computers in Music Exam 9:30 April 4th
Book Report for Vocal Pedagogy due April 7th


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