Hilltop Diary, October 9, 2020

Time keeps flying by at Hilltop! The deer have been devouring the thousands of acorns coming off of the two great oaks in the front yard. One of them must have good breath, too, because it ate the tops off of all our parsley in the back garden. We’ve had beautiful days, weather-wise, with the clearest skies!


I’m well into teaching my weekly online course now, “Meet the Maestros: Great Classical Composers and Their Music”. So far I’ve taught the high-school students about Bach, Debussy, Ravel, Beethoven, Grieg, and Puccini. I also discussed with them whether there is such a thing as intrinsically “Great Music”, or is it all just Euro centricity, Patriarchy, and White Supremacy, as some are claiming? (No, there actually is great music!) And with Grieg, the subject of Nationalism arose. So I also told them that Nationalism is not the same thing as Xenophobia, which we are also being told. You can love your own country and culture without thinking other cultures are inferior, and other people can love theirs, and then everyone can share them with each other, in love. They don’t all have to merge into one global culture with no differences. Call me old-fashioned. Thank goodness for home school in these days.

Speaking of Home School, here is a new promo interview they did with me:

Click Here

And here is the next installment (episode 5) of the “Formed Book Club” discussion of my book, The Sound of Beauty:

Click Here

And finally, the Formed Book Club had me as a guest, HERE.

From Oct. 15-17 my talk on whether to consider majoring in music in college and all that decision entails was part of the Catholic Home School Conference. (Only available those days online.)

I have continued writing for New York edition The Epoch Times newspaper and for October written an article on the singer Marni Nixon, who overdubbed Natalie Wood’s singing in West Side Story, Audrey Hepburn’s in My Fair Lady, Deborah Kerr’s in The King and I, and many others. I went on to compare that practice with the newer trend of having famous actors sing their own parts with amateurish singing voices, which is more realistic but less easy on the ears. Check out the article HERE.

I gave a few comments at the October meeting of the New York Browning Society, beginning at 58:35, HERE.

The Imaginative Conservative has published my essay on whether “cancel culture” should apply to classical music HERE.

And so, the first week of October being Crystal’s fall break, and with a new Subaru Forester, we took off on a car trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway, to stay a few nights in Blowing Rock, NC. I took my laptop and camera and a Bluetooth speaker to teach my Wed. class from our grand old hotel there on Wednesday. We saw some great mountainous views. So, I leave you with a few snaps from the trip.


Green Park Inn


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