Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Except for time at home, and with family, and when we can get it, with friend, I am finding myself on the "outside" during these weeks of sabbatical.

Enjoying grad school, I nevertheless recognize that I am not only a "non-traditional student" but also that after this one semester full time, I will again become that phantasm - the part-time, occasional student. By the time I'm done with this program, I think everyone in classes with me this semester will be long gone from Wheaton College!

Long nourished by any gathering of the American Choral Directors Association, I just didn't "connect" with this year's national convention here in Chicago. Yes, partly because I was not there the whole time. And partly because of my focus this winter. Partly too, it might be said, because I'm not sure how much the glories of choral music will be welcomed, embraced, or included in my future work. In other words, I love choral music, but how much of what I hear at ACDA will make its way into the public worship of which I have a part?

Two weeks ago I had my first contact with FMCS - Forum on Music in Christian Scholarship. Sort of a throwback to my long-gone days in the world of musicology, it was a well-organized, collegial, very academic meeting with interesting papers, well presented. And I thought, "I don't really belong here anymore."

The one thing I can say about this feeling of displacement - I sense that my vocational calling to serve the church is being re-affirmed. I just wish I had a more clear (or fun?) sense of what that means!

Meanwhile I am enjoying study and reflection, and have just come up for air from a couple of days of good work on a term-paper for "Modern World Christianity." More on that later.

One highlight, though: an outing in which I was very, very much at home. The Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki conductor, sang the Bach Mass in B minor in the Resurrection Chapel of Valparaiso University. This was pure pleasure, music-making of the highest order, and worship of the deepest kind.

I wanted to embed a video of the Collegium with Maestro Suzuki conducting. But that link is disabled at YouTube. So, here is a link to a good look at them (it is not from the Mass). From there, explore the options on the right ... it looks like you could pick your way through the Mass!

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