Music Business

Life Update June 2020

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, but I blame 2020. It has certainly made things “interesting.” Most of us would prefer this year end now, but that is not the case. When life becomes difficult, we must rise and adapt to meet it. Bruce Lee once said that we need to be like water—formless, adaptive, unpredictable, etc.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do. Like most musicians, the pandemic knocked out all my music gigs and my voice studio suffered. (Seriously, if anyone wants to take some online voice lessons over Zoom, I am available for a reasonable price 🙂 ; just contact me). I’ve got a 4 lesson package for beginning singers that is popular!

Anyway, I adapted by going back to work on other projects that I’d been interested in starting or finishing. Here are some of them:

#1—My 2nd, Full-length Novel in The Giftless Chronicles Series

I’d long been wanting to finish my second novel in my young adult series, but life had gotten very busy with music stuff. Once all of that disappeared, I had the opportunity to work on it. I cranked it out, and currently I’m in my 2nd round of editing. It turned out to be a fun to book to write. The characters are developed from my first book and the sequel novella, and the plot THICKENS. (dum dum dum!) Click on the links above to get caught up before the novel comes out!

#2—Songwriting

The secret to a good collaboration is this: Find a talented person who says “yes” to your crazy ideas and  follows through, then you do the same. Over the past couple years, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of working with Evgeniya “Jane” Kozhevnikova on musical projects. She’s the Celebris Ensemble’s composer-in-residence. She and I have been working on a musical (or lyric opera, whatever you want to call it) on the book of Ruth from the Bible. It has been an awesome collaboration. So far, we’ve written 7 songs together! Here is one song that is sung by Ruth to Naomi, Ask Me Not to Leave You.

#3—Celebris Ensemble

Like most ensembles, our season was cut short. We even had a really cool collaboration planned with WMU that was canceled. But we’ve been able to post some recordings from our February (Valentine’s Day Concert).

Follow us on Facebook for updates on what this next year looks like and how the pandemic affects our concerts.

#4—West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts Received a First Rating at MSVMA

Three years ago, I started WMHFA’s secondary choir in Kalamazoo from scratch. I’m pleased to say that they received a first rating at MSVMA’s choral festival! So proud of them! Unfortunately, COVID-19 shut down all of the schools here in MI, and so we didn’t get a chance to go on to the state level. We sang Ave Verum Corpus (W. A. Mozart) and Hine ma tov (arr. Neil Ginsberg).

I’m sure that there are other things that I am forgetting, but these are things I am currently working on!

Five Struggles of the INTJ Musician

Understanding yourself can go a long way towards your success.  When I first started out as a musician, I definitely didn’t understand myself. This had a direct impact on my initial effectiveness, because what works for many other personality types didn’t work for me. But, if you can play to your strengths and work around/strengthen your weaknesses, then you can succeed.

As an INTJ-A (Enneagram 5w4), here are five struggles that have presented themselves.

#1—Being visible in your industry.

As INTJs, we sometimes think that being seen is a bad thing. Moreover, the introvert within us doesn’t really want to be seen. We often wait until other people fail to lead before we step up to take the reins.

This mentality may not suit you well. Unless all the doors open for you in your career (which sometimes happens), then you are going to need to step out in front of others. You must not only be excellent, competent, and collegial, but people must see you as being those things. Once this happens enough times, word of mouth spreads, and more work comes your way.

When I first started out, I failed to grasp the importance of promotion and marketing. My assumption was that success happened magically after working hard enough. That wasn’t the case. I realized that I needed to treat my music career like a business, and part of any good business is visibility.

#2—Letting people in on your plans and ideas.

As an INTJ, you keep much of your life private. You do not like to show much of your inner thoughts. This is often because what is going on inside your head is very individualized, and you’ve found that people have a hard time following the connections that you’ve made.

When I was a young person, I would make observations or come up with ideas that I thought were perfectly obvious. I remember being shocked that people would stare at me as if I’d said something they’d never heard before. This wasn’t because what I’d said was weird (I would turn out to be correct). It was because my brain operated differently than others.

You are an idea and thought factory. Own that creativity. It is a valuable way that you can contribute and excel in your craft.  Additionally, people need to sign on to your artistic plans for them to come to fruition.

#3—Realizing that, sometimes, conventional is best.

INTJs like to do things their own way. This works well when they are working by themselves, but more difficult when working with others. INTJs might think that rules are made to be broken, but most people do not like to stray out of their comfort zone. And traditions/conventions often exist for one major reason: they’ve been proven to work.

I remember feeling liberated when I understood that I was free to operate inside or outside the conventional. Now, I work with long-established organizations and I do my own stuff. It’s so much more enjoyable. Although, I will say that there are few things more fun than collaborating with a dynamic, motivated group of outside-the-box thinkers!

#4—Giving positive feedback.

INTJs don’t need a lot of praise.  We are a very independent group. This can be a strength, as it can enable us to doggedly move forward with an idea when others might give up. Unfortunately, this mindset doesn’t work when dealing with others. Many people desire a significant amount of encouragement. It is good to give it.

#5—Smiling more.

As I am writing this, the world is locked in the COVID-19 pandemic. Musicians and others have been forced to move online via video conferencing. I’ve noticed that, particularly in large group video chats, I don’t show much emotion on my face. In fact, I can look downright scary! This is known as the INTJ death stare.

INTJs are not known for their effusive faces, and this can come back to haunt us. Your students and collaborators need encouragement, and your face is an effective tool to do it. In my last master’s program, my conducting professor would tell me to smile more because the singers in the choir rehearsal would respond. It was true.

Well, that sums up a few of the things that INTJs struggle with. There are many others, but these came to my mind. If you think that I missed some, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to speak with you!

3 Tips for Saving Money as a Musician

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.—Prov. 22:3 (NIV)

As I write this post, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has placed much of the world on lockdown. Schools have shuttered, concerts have been cancelled, and folks have been told to go out only for essentials. This came at one of the busiest times for musicians. For classical musicians, this is the build-up to Easter, with its plethora of cantatas and oratorios. Those of us going from gig to gig were especially hard hit. I personally have lost the majority of my performing gigs for the next few months. Even some of my voice lessons cannot be made up.
Why am I not freaking out, you may ask? I have learned through trial and error how to save up during the times of plenty for the times of scarcity. The past few months have been good ones for me economically, and I’ve been scrimping and saving. I want to share with you 3 steps that I’ve taken in this post. Please bear in mind that I am not a money professional nor a superb mathematician. If you’re like me and have a non-STEM brain, this might be the post for you.

#1—Make sure you have multiple streams of income.

This might seem obvious for some, but it is usually a bad idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. I like to have as many ways to make income as I can reasonably do. In my case, I not only sing for gigs but I conduct, teach voice lessons, write, and even work a part-time job at one of the hospitals in town. This hospital job allows me to increase shifts or decrease shifts as my musical life gets busy or less busy. In this way, I can maintain a certain amount of income stability while I make my musician life a priority.  You don’t have to work at hospital, but it might be a good idea to find a flexible yet consistent job that you can fall back on when the unforeseen happens.

#2—Make sure your housing situation is secure.

There are few things more terrifying than not knowing where you are going to sleep. Paying rent, utilities, and the like can be daunting. Obviously, you should create a budget and stick to it. You should also think about having a roommate—someone who can share expenses.

#3—Have a system for saving money.

I think of this as different than a budget. A budget tells you how to spend your money. A savings plan tells you how to save the money left over. Much could be said about budgets, but we’re going to only touch on one aspect of it today. Don’t spend money that you don’t have. Avoid debt like the Coronavirus. There, I said it.
The following system is one I learned from a wonderful book, The Money Book for Part-Timers, Freelancers, and the Self-Employed by Denise Kiernan. It was very helpful for me, and it’s one of the only books dedicated to this subject that I have found. You can buy it by clicking on the link below. (Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate, so if you buy the book through this link I will receive a little bit of money as well!).
the money book
First, you need to determine how much you can save during the times of plenty and still pay your bills. This includes everything from debt to utilities to rent to food to taxes. You should figure out about how much from your paychecks you can take out. Your income varies from month to month, so you’ll need to ballpark it. Make sure you have that money in your checking account when you need to pay your bills.
Second, you need to divvy up a percentage of every deposit (it doesn’t matter if it is $20, $200, or $2000, you take out the same percentage) then transfer those percentages into separate funds/accounts in an online bank that will pay you interest for your savings. I use Ally Bank. I have made accounts for the following:
Social Life: 2%
Emergency: Currently at 3% (it was at 7% when I was building it up. I lowered it recently).
Taxes: 12% (Some of my gigs take taxes out, but with some I need to reserve for myself so that I can pay the tax-man. You will need to determine what tax bracket you are in.)
Vehicle: 3%
Business Growth: 2%
Offering/Donation to Church: 10%
Necessities: 2%
Gift/Charity: 1%
Vacation: 1%
Debt: 7% (I recently ramped this one up because my emergency fund is built up. I want to start paying down all my debts, including school.)
I also have a 403b (the nonprofit version of a 401k) retirement account with my hospital job. They match up to a certain amount that I put in, so it’s a good idea for retirement.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Needless to say, I am still working on perfecting and honing my budgeting and saving skills, and life likes to throw curve balls.

Why Music Schools Must Change or Die: A Call for a Practical Music School that Prepares Musicians for Success

I’ve recently heard that many colleges in general and music schools in particular are struggling. They’re struggling with decreased enrollment, higher costs, and decreased interest. Unfortunately, the response to these troubles has been reactive rather than constructive. For instance, some higher ed professionals blame parents who don’t wish to spend a gazillion dollars for their kid to get a degree that won’t lead to financial stability or success. They blame the skyrocketing costs of tuition which forces students to take out unreasonable loans that will take a large portion of their lives to pay off. In short, they blame everyone but themselves.

While there is much to be said about parental priorities and the financial cost of Higher Ed, addressing those concerns won’t change things in the short run and won’t lead to stability in the long run. The education industry is contracting. A storm is already upon the education sector. Ignoring the storm won’t help. Furthermore, it’s easier to blame other people for the problems in your industry rather than face the difficult proposition that you might be part of the problem. If you want to change the world, you need to start with the man in the mirror, to paraphrase a famous song. I firmly believe that schools can at least halt (perhaps alter is a better word) the trend of attrition, but they must change.

The following is my own opinion. Please do with it what you will. If you have questions or concerns, please send me a private message. I would be happy to speak with you.

Since I graduated in 2017 with a master’s in conducting, I decided to take the hard road of being a gigging musician and a creative entrepreneur. This has not been easy. I started with nothing; I pay college loans every month. On top of this, I discovered that a lot of the skills I needed for success were not taught to me. I’ve endeavored to rectify this through self-education through a fancy institution known as the library.

The path for musical success is doable. I’ve become convinced of this through study and through experience. However, in order to succeed, a lot of things need to happen. The musician needs to learn a lot of skills, and not just the skills of musicianship (accurate performance, flexibility, and improvisation) and musicality (artistry, beauty of tone, phrasing, the It Factor, etc.). No, the musician also needs to be skilled in business (money management for self-employment, taxes, incorporation, setting up a studio, etc.), marketing (social media, websites, promoting concerts, contacting other musicians and teachers, etc.), professionalism (the fine art of showing up on time, knowing your music, communicating in a timely fashion, etc.), as well as many others.

Musicians should also have the correct mentality for entrepreneurial success. Namely, that to start your own business is really, stinkin’ hard. You will fail more than you succeed, and you will often not pass the audition (rejection!). You will have months of financial feast and famine. Success takes grit, ingenuity, and hard work.

Schools fail to prepare their students for this in several ways ways: 1) While many music schools touch on these skills, they often do not do so in an organized fashion. Adding a class or two is not going to solve this problem. 2) The faculty they hire to teach skills have no real world experience. They’ve been in the ivory tower for most of their lives, and so they’ve not learned in the school of hard knocks. 3) Faculty teach classes that functionally assume the students already know what is being taught. If half of your class if failing, it doesn’t mean that they are stupid or lazy; it means you are teaching the material incorrectly. 4) Faculty are teaching classes that are in no way applicable to the real world.

Does this mean that faculty should never teach a class on the history of Bach’s violin concertos or on the correlation of philosophy and music aesthetics? As an avid reader and learner, I firmly believe that those have their place (i.e. learning for its own sake). Moreover, these types of classes have helped me create more informed musical performances, so there is a practical advantage. Sometimes I’ve even applied these types of classes to something completely unrelated. However, there is a pedagogical order to things. Kids need to learn to crawl before they can run.

The world has drastically changed, and musicians must change with it. This includes music schools. No longer can they assume that students will come “just cuz.” Those days are gone. Higher Ed types need to assume that they must work hard to attract students with practical, helpful classes that enable students to succeed.

Perhaps some changes are in order.

Celebris Concert Program Sept 27 & 29, 2019

This year, we will be performing this beautiful concert twice, so if you miss the first one, you can make it to the second! Or, you could come to both. 🙂 The first concert is on Sept 27th (7:00 pm) @ Bethany Reformed Church in Kalamazoo; the second concert will be on Sept 29th (6:00 pm) @ Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Allegan. You can find our event on Facebook here.There will be no charge for these concerts, but we will be taking up a collection. This helps pay for our musicians and funds future projects (of which I always have a few up my sleeve) with our ensemble. The best part of all is that we are now a 501c3! This means you can donate and take it off your taxes.

The Celebris Ensemble invites you to an evening of stunning, uplifting music featuring works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, Elizabeth Poston, and Craig Courtney, as well as world premieres of several pieces by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova. Entitled “Exaltation & Resolution,” the program deals with pivotal moments in our lives: moments of love and death, heartache and hope, and—above all—taking joy and strength in moments that may never come again.

I

Magnificat octavi toni (Orlandus Lassus) 

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (Elizabeth Poston)

II

Abendlich schon rauscht der Wald (Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel) 

Blue Moon (arr. Jonny Priano)

III

Four Love Songs (World Premieres by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova)

A Birthday (Poem by Christina Rossetti)
Pity Me Not (Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Departure (Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Remember (Poem by Christina Rossetti)

IV

Abschied vom Walde (Felix Mendelssohn)

V

I Will Rise (arr. Craig Courtney)

Jesus, Our Friend Indeed (J. Aaron Greene)

Introduction to The Four Principles of Healthy Vocal Technique: How to Sing Different Musical Styles without Vocal Pain

I have two rules for my voice students. 1) Sing healthily. 2) Sing in tune. With these two rules in place, most styles can be performed in a way that does not hurt the voice. All singers have to do is apply simple principles of biomechanics (how the body works and moves) to their singing. Unfortunately, many singers needlessly shorten their musical careers because they neglect to learn even the most basic vocal technique.

There are several reasons why singers do not study how to sing. First, they think that “either you got it or you don’t.” Singing—to them—is some sort of magical skill that people are born with. This idea could not be farther from the truth. While some singers are excellent mimickers and have large amounts of innate talent, most singers need to put in the time to develop their talent. They must practice and take lessons and then practice some more, just like a student of any other instrument, such as cello, trumpet, or piano.

Second,  singers are afraid that lessons will change their unique, one-of-a-kind sound. They are afraid that voice lessons will cause them to sound too polished. This is an avoidable danger, but there is an element of truth to this fear. Unhealthy singing can produce a very distinctive tone. Unfortunately, singers often sacrifice a long and fruitful vocal career by creating these distinctive vocal colors. Simply put, the human voice was not meant to make those unusual sounds for extended lengths of time. Biomechanics can be very unforgiving.

Third, they think that they can learn from social media. There are many people on video sharing sites who are happy to get likes and shares and views by talking about and modeling what they think is healthy vocal technique. Often what they teach is anything but healthy vocal technique. It is mere quackery. As a voice coach/teacher with years of experience and multiple degrees, it bothers me when I hear some social media personalities claim to teach viewers how to sing beautifully in 5 minutes, and then the personalities demonstrate using unhealthy vocal technique! Singing is a skill that takes many years to master. Anyone who promises you that you can learn to sing quickly or easily is selling you a bill of goods.

Fourth, they have had unpleasant experiences with voice teachers in the past. Some voice teachers will not push their students, and so their students end up treading water for years. These students have wasted precious time and money with these charlatans, therefore they assume that all voice teachers are like that. This is untrue. Just like with any field, some professionals are good and others are bad. A good voice teacher will push you to develop your most authentic voice in the healthiest way possible.

With this in mind, I have produced this how-to book on the Four Principles of Healthy Vocal Technique. In it, I have distilled years of studying and teaching the voice into its most basic elements. I teach these principles to every voice student and choral singer at the outset of our time together.

The following information is not new. It is not meant to be. It is, however, factual and seeks to develop the ability to sing using scientifically accurate methods. These principles of healthy singing can be applied to many styles of singing, from pop to jazz to country to classical to musical theater to many other styles. I have also included vocal exercises, helpful diagrams, and demonstration videos to help the reader. These tools are meant to supplement the reader’s understanding of this complex topic.

This book will remove much of the mystery of singing, but it will not automatically make the reader a talented singer. As I have stated before, beautiful singing takes a lot of concerted time and effort, trial and error. What this book will do is grant the reader a firm conceptual basis of singing, enable them to sift through the poor teachers and the hucksters on social media, and hopefully start a fulfilling, lifelong journey of making music using the voice as their instrument.

The INTJ Musician’s Top 7 Nonfiction Books from 2018

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while, so I thought I’d let you know about some great books that I’ve read this past year. This year was a first for me. I don’t usually read nonfiction, but I decided I needed more skills and knowledge. To help matters, one of my jobs allows me to read during lulls. I’ve squeezed in a lot more reading this year than usual, and you are the beneficiaries!

Disclaimer: 1) Some of these books can be directly applied to life as a working musician. Some will not. They’ve all helped my understanding of the world, though. 2) I have linked to their Amazon pages, but you could do what I did, which was order them from the library. I don’t get any money from sharing these links.

Without further ado, here are my top 7 books of 2018:

your creative career

7. Your Creative Career by Anna Sabino

This was an excellent book with a more philosophical take on being a creative. I would recommend it for those who need to get into the mindset of being an artist and a businessperson. It’s very pithy. It’s got great aphorisms that you can take to heart.

war_of_art

6. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This short book will inspire those of us who want to create but are too afraid of taking the plunge. I don’t agree with all the language in it or even all the ideas. However, it has helped me focus, and I read it every so often in order to reorient myself.

hillbilly_elegy

5. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I descend from hillbilly stock on both sides of my family, so this book was eye-opening for me. I even grew up in a place nicknamed “Hazeltucky” (that wasn’t a compliment, either). Even though I’m a few more generations removed than Mr. Vance, I still could see some of the same mindset struggles in my own life.

ren soul

4. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine

Those of us with multiple interests and skill-sets often struggle. We don’t know how to use our skills to create an income and a life we actually want to live. Thankfully, Ms. Lobenstine specializes in helping people with multiple skills/interests find careers. I highly recommend this book if you are of this mind and are looking to change your life.

intellectuals and society

3. Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell

This was the first book that I’ve read by the great thinker, Thomas Sowell. To be honest, it was a bit dense. I struggled to read some of it. What kept me going was the fact that the material was so great. Having spent  a lot of time in academia, I’ve met people with the bias Mr. Sowell is attacking. All too often, people with degrees look down on people who don’t. We should value people’s opinions based on the merits of their argument, instead of judging them based on how wittily they express their opinions or how many letters they put after their name.

ethnic america

2. Ethnic America by Thomas Sowell

I know, two books by the same guy? This was much more readable than the other book I read, and it was a fascinating read. Learning about the struggles of the major ethnic groups (at least, up to the 1980s—seriously, it needs updated) in America gave me a lot of context. Highly recommended!

the money book

1. The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-timers, and the Self-employed by Joseph D’Agnese

The Money Book has changed my life more than any other book this past year. It contains a ton of helpful information on how to deal with personal finances when you have irregular income. Because of this book, I have saved more than I ever have! If you are a working creative, you need to get this book!!!!!!!

The Unforgivable Sin in Music

As musicians, we are always pursuing the perfect performance. We spend years honing our craft. We practice incessantly, sometimes for hours every day. We pay experienced teachers lots of money, hoping that they give us the skills to play that one scale perfectly or sing that beautifully placed high note.

I’m here to tell you that all of that will only take you so far. There are lots of people who can play technically proficient music that I don’t want to listen to, and there are lots of people with significant flaws in technique that I do want to listen to. For crying out loud, computers can play things more accurately than a human ever could. It doesn’t mean I’m gonna go to a concert played by computers.

So what do I look for in a performance or a composition? I want to feel something. Make me feel the thrill of love or the despair of abandonment, the grandeur of the Grand Canyon or the sheer power of Niagara. Draw me in. Give me no chance to look away. Do this, and I promise you I will pay attention.

The ability to express these powerful emotions engages the listener. This is what separates a good artist from a great one.  Ultimately, audiences will forgive a musician who plays wrong notes; they won’t forgive a musician who consistently fails to move them.

This is what I strove to do when I recorded the ballad that I wrote, The Hunter and His Love (Spotify, Amazon, and itunes). Did the musicians and I perform it 100% correctly? Nope. There will always be mistakes even if others don’t notice them. That’s not the most important question. Did you feel the darkness of a world where even the heroes can die? Did you feel the dark, personal tole paid by the heroes? That was what I was going for.

A good musician plays the right notes; a great musician feels the right notes. Sadly, students often miss this in their pursuit of musical mastery. Technique is not the end in-and-of-itself. Technique is what frees us to express ourselves exactly as we want, without the distractions of wrong notes and sloppy playing. And it is when we express ourselves clearly, honestly, and beautifully that people will stop to listen.

The INTJ Artist and Defeating Self-sabotage

Last week, I finished the second concert of my Celebris Ensemble. We sang a really fun concert of madrigals, folk songs, and jazz and pop standards. As always, I tend to reflect (some might say overthink) about my concert and things that I’ve learned from it.

The act of creation can be a tough business. At least I’ve found it to be so. You receive that flash of an idea, that moment of inspiration, and then the next several months are carved up into research, planning, communicating with people, rehearsing with your fellow musicians, etc.

Any time you as an INTJ (or anyone really) engages in a creative act, two main obstacles stand in your way to complete it: you and other people. But before you engage with others, you must first fight yourself—your fears, worries, insecurities, weaknesses, and gaps in your knowledge. These keep you from succeeding. Author Stephen Pressfield, in his excellent book The War of Art, called these enemies “resistance.” The battle against resistance is renewed every morning. (Disclaimer: The book contains some objectionable elements).

Increasing Your Knowledge and Skills

As a creative entrepreneur, I’m astounded by the sheer volume of things I don’t know. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to create something—an event, a book, a business—and come across something vital that I need to know: some new skill, some vital piece of information, some tool or person I need to do the job. Instead of being daunted by the fact that you don’t know something, be excited that you get to learn something new.

One truly helpful place I’ve rediscovered on this journey is the library. Some of you might think this is obvious, but it wasn’t to me. I’d forgotten how valuable of a resource this place is. Your tax dollars already fund this, so you don’t need to pay more for books, which can be pricey. If the library doesn’t have the book, they can order it from another library. I’ve found this to be very helpful: Go to a bookstore, see what new books you want, and then borrow them from the library. It’ll save you a ton of money in the long run, and you still gain access to the info you need.

Defeating Your Fears

When engaging in an a creative act, please understand that the middle of the project is the hardest part. This is the time when fear creeps in. What if I fail? Will so-and-so get back to me in a timely manner? Will the right venue open up? Will the singers have their notes learned?

If unchecked, fear can self-sabotage you. You don’t work as hard as you need to, or you give up when victory was within reach. Neither of these things will help you. The nice thing about being an INTJ is that I don’t care what most people think of me. There is that handful of people though, and sometimes I worry that nothing I do will gain their approval.

The trick is to disregard the fear. So what if you fail? You’ve already done more than most people.  You’ve learned something new. You’ve grown as a creator. So what if the failure was your mistake? God still sits on His throne. He’s still controls everything. Stop worrying. It ain’t that important in the grand scheme of eternity.

Conclusion

I recommend some things here that will help you succeed on your next venture. Conquer your fears; expand your skills. Stop worrying and jump in with both feet. It’ll probably go a lot better than you think it will.

My Celebris Ensemble Concert Is This Sunday, Oct. 21!!!

Celebris is singing in Kazoo! If you are in Kalamazoo this Sunday, Oct. 21 around 1 pm, please come on down to First Congregational Church. It’s a beautiful space with wonderful acoustics. I could not ask for a better place in which to sing. The singers are talented, the music will be fun, and a great time will be had by all! We will not charge for admission, but we will be asking for donations for this nascent ensemble. We need your help in order to grow and create!

Here’s our concert order. As you can see, it’s got a lot of variety. There should be something for everyone. Please Come and Enjoy!

I

Tutte le bocche belle (Claudio Monteverdi)

Blue Moon (arr. Jonny Priano)

My Sweetheart’s Like Venus (arr. Gustav Holst)

My Bonny Lass, She Smileth (Thomas Morley)

II

Danny Boy (arr. Ryan Block)

And So It Goes (arr. Bob Chilcott)

III

My Lord, What a Morning (arr. Harry T. Burleigh)

Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal (arr. Alice Parker)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken (arr. J. David Moore)

IV

Fix You (arr. Philip Lawson)