Hilltop Diary, March 4, 2022

Could it be a sign of spring? At Hilltop, our big flock of turkeys has mysteriously returned, sauntering across the back pasture from time to time, and they seem fearless. They come right up to me begging for food. (I have been known to give them some dried corn.) They would probably eat out of my hand, if I were not afraid of getting pecked by those sharp beaks. Our regular group of about ten deer also come all the way into the yard but stay at least twenty to thirty feet away from me when I’m sitting still and quietly reading a book in my lawn chair. (I took both of these pictures at different times in the past, but both in our yard.) Those pesky deer ate some of the flowers around our fountain yesterday, again!

Turkeys 2

In Hilltop news since I last wrote, there continue to be the many ups and down in an artistic career, but perhaps even more side-to-side zig-zags. I learned long ago to ride those rollercoasters, tilt-a-whirls, and bumper cars. I have had some very big projects and opportunities fall through — one due to the sudden death of composer-turned conductor Marvin Hamlisch (who had been set to conduct one of my pieces with five major orchestras) and another, more personal, due to the tragic and sudden death of my good friend, conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn (who was planning an album of my music) — yet some just as nice have come out of nowhere and succeeded. In this profession, this unpredictability sometimes seems to be more of the norm than the exception, as many of my other artist friends can also attest.

All of that is to say that within the space of two days, thanks to my record company, the local performance and recording of my new symphony has now, “poof,” been transformed into doing the recording with a good professional orchestra in Europe, so kindly unmark your local calendars and watch for the CD later this year. When we do the recordings soon, I’ll post some photos of the sessions and give more details. Of course I will miss working with the orchestra here.

There are other blessings in the works that cannot be shared yet, including discussions about another production of my show, Dear Miss Barrett. Check back in the next entry or two for news. Happily, meanwhile Crystal, has also landed her first lead part in a Shakespeare play! I really don’t know how she does it. For me, that would be as hard as memorizing a big chunk of the King James Bible. (The two were published only twelve years apart, after all.) Details on these events will follow soon; it’s just a bit of nice heads-up news to share, for now.

My most recent article for The Epoch Times was published on Feb. 28 on Mussorgsky’s piece Pictures at An ExhibitionCLICK HERE TO READ

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