Hilltop Diary, October 4, 2021

Hilltop BrigadoonA practically opaque, dense fog enveloped Hilltop this morning, as it sometimes likes to do to signal the approach of fall. Crystal, a lover of all things Brigadoon, upon awakening to this glorious scene, grabbed her camera and ran barefoot in pajamas out into the field behind our house and disappeared into the mist, like Fiona. I wondered if it might be 100 years before she would return, like in the movie. Fortunately, she returned and showed me several lovely photos she had captured and frozen in time. Here is one of them.

We thought September madness might go on forever, with  rehearsals and performances (The Music Man), out-of-town guests, all of my writing, Zoom meetings, and home repairs. We both emerged rather worse for the wear and in need of physical recovery, but we soldier on into October, with only slightly fewer activities on our dockets.

This month, in addition to her full-time music teacher job, Crystal will begin her once-a-week rehearsals for “All Together Now!”, a cabaret performance on November 12 at the Walnut House in Murfreesboro. She gets to sing a big solo number on “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miz, which she has performed stunningly in the past, when she played the role of Fantine in the entire show at HPAC.

But I call it “The Susan Boyle Song,” because, I confess, I had never seen Les Miserable or heard the song when I first heard Susan Boyle sing it on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Such was my ignorance as a newbie theater spouse in those days. Over the years I have steadily improved as an audience member and even feel almost worthy now to sit in the audience on Broadway! Anyway, on the cabaret, Crystal will also perform in a duet on “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods and in the ensemble on other songs. I’ll put specific information on how to get tickets in a future diary entry.

This month we plan to take a trip to the Atlanta area during Crystal’s fall break to finally  see the traveling “Downton Abbey Exhibition,” after several failed attempts to see it at the Biltmore Estate — woo hoo!  A long time friend will spend a few days with us  the third week of the month, who lives in Wisconsin, and we get to attend a wedding of good friends locally on October 9.  I will write my usual two articles for The Epoch Times, the first one on the noble art of piano tuning and the tradition of that trade being done by vision impaired piano tuners. And I will be teaching some composition lessons online and composing music for my ballet. I am also editing the score for my friend Ovidiu Marinescu’s exciting new Concerto for Two Cellos, Strings, and Percussion.

On October 16, I will have the honor to give the keynote speech at the national conference of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Pasadena. Fortunately, they will allow me to give it remotely, using “Zoom”, which sounds like a caption from Batman. I will embed a photo of the flyer below, to bring this edition of today’s diary to a close. If they allow me to post an audio podcast of my speech, I will try to do it in my next Hilltop entry. They will be publishing my talk later, in the form of an academic paper in their journal. Till next time, may God grant you the serenity to … Oh, you know, all that serenity stuff. Or, as George Costanza’s father on the Seinfeld show (Jerry Stiller) used to scream wildly, “Serenity Now!”  

2021 Symp Prel Program

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