Hilltop Diary, August 19, 2021

The last couple of weeks have seemed rather uneventful, but thankfully so, in terms of getting some much needed rest and doing some reading, also catching up on chores like plumbing, lawn work, sealing the driveway, and having car repairs done.

I did prepare and mail out about 25 double DVD sets of my Dear Miss Barrett show to theatrical producers and friends who couldn’t come to this production, which all arrived at those destinations around the country about a week ago, according to postal tracking. I also sent links by e-mail to about ten more people who no longer use DVD’s to watch the show on two private YouTube pages. I can’t imagine giving DVD’s up, myself. I just like something physical to hold in my hand and not to call forth like a spirit from the ether, as it were. Thanks to the people who have already written back to acknowledge they got them, or who have even already watched them and have posted nice comments to the “What People Are Saying” page (see them HERE ).

I am regrouping for various other kinds of musical and literary projects now, but the bigger news now belongs to Crystal, as she continues to rehearse the lead role of Marian in The Music Man in the evenings, even while her students have returned to school for her to teach by day. From what I get to hear of Crystal’s singing practice at home and from reading spoken lines with her, I can say that the audience is in for a real treat.(I act out all the other characters using the printed script, which is fun, and she does her part from memory.) The Music Man is a treasure of American theater, and Crystal perfectly embodies Marian and sings like an angel those beautiful songs like “There were bells on the hill, but I never heard them ringing” (“Till There Was You”). The show runs Friday and Saturday nights from September 10 through 25 at the Springhouse Theater in the Smyrna area near Nashville. Click HERE for tickets.

The Music Man inspired my last two articles for The Epoch Times, for which I write two articles about music each month. The first, already in print (see my last diary entry) was about the show’s creator, Meredith Willson. My newest article for them, about to be published (I will add a link here) is on the musical genre of the barbershop quartet, which also features in The Music Man). That genre has a fascinating history, which I think you will enjoy learning about. I learned in my research that yes, men used to sing in actual barbershops while waiting for a haircut and a shave! However, there are very few of those kinds of shops left in America any more. They have mostly been eclipsed by mall-based unisex salons, like “Supercuts.” UPDATE: Here is that article:

The Not-So-Dying Art of the Barbershop Quartet

My next article (the idea has been accepted, too, but not yet written) will be on the fascinating life of the beloved Burl Ives, another American musical icon.

That ends this briefer-than-usual diary entry, but that’s what’s going on at Hilltop! It has felt like the dog days of summer here with such high heat – too hot to sit outside – but I manage to water the garden. We are enjoying some great cucumbers and tomatoes. May your transitions into your own school year or fall season at your work be a blessing to you!

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