Federal Way, WA School Blocks Al Gore Film

gore-truth.jpgExcerpt: This week in Federal Way schools, it got a lot more inconvenient to show one of the top-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, the global-warming alert “An Inconvenient Truth.”

After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a computer presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists’ findings.

Read the Seattle PI Article on Blocking An Inconvenient Truth.

High School Musical Conductor Question

I’m doing HS Musical at Irvington Town Hall Theater in a little over a week. I’m playing and conducting and my old Mx8 midi patchbay has just died. Would you recommend a replacement to control my synth rig, either standalone or computer based is fine? What do you use?
Thank You,
Julius Petty

Hi Julius, I only use a midi patchbay in the studio, not live. When performing live I use 4-5 keyboards to cover different sounds, so no need for a patchbay. (Keyboards used are dedicated weighted piano, Hammmond B3 clone, Synth controlling laptop with virtual keyboard I use for custom FX, and two utility boards for synth, strings etc. ) You can usually daisy-chain up to three midi units together without an audible delay. Off the top of my head I think delay per midi daisy chain “through” is around 3-7 milliseconds. Audible delay usually occurs somewhere around 20 milliseconds for most people. So, you can hook up to three units together before you reach a delay that’s audible. Do you need to link together more than three modules per board?

Hope that helps. We’re just starting to rehearse our production, so let me know if you have any super-duper secret insider tips or errata info on the scores.

Martin Luther King Jr Mountaintop Speech

Martin Luther King’s final speech. Memphis April 3 1968 “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”. He had a fever that night and had cancelled his speech, but so many people showed up that they called him and said “You HAVE to speak tonight”. They covered for him so he would only have to speak a couple minutes, but he got on a roll, and here you go.

Martin Luther King

August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Washington D.C.

Clarification on Isaac Asimov Quote

oblatespheroid.PNGHere is an Isaac Asimov quote I was a little unclear on, and a following explanation from a member at one of my forums. It came up during an evolution-creation debate. More info on oblate spheroids.

When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
Isaac Asimov, 1988.

My statement: Please clarify, I thought the earth was an oblate spheroid.


An oblate spheriod, and slightly pear-shaped, to boot. So yes, it’s not a sphere. But it’s much closer to being a sphere than it is to being flat. More importantly, the determination that the Earth was a sphere was done by observation and experimentation. It is incorrect only due to the limitations of the observational equipment.

The Earth being flat is quite obviously wrong with the smallest amount of investigation. The Earth being spherical is wrong when examined quite carefully and precisely. There is a quantitive difference in the “wrongness” of those two positions.

It’s like Newtonian mechanics is wrong, but still useful for terrestrial movement. A spherical earth is a useful simplification for navigational purposes. A flat Earth is not a useful model for anything much.

Augsburg Fortress 2007 Seattle Church Music Workshop

worship.gif Augsburg Fortress is hosting a Winter 2007 Music Clinic on Saturday, January 13 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1217 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA led by choral director and organist Douglas Cleveland. Sign up for free registration at http://www.augsburgfortress.org/events or visit the Augsburg Fortress music website.

Augsburg Fortress is the Publishing House of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Workshop runs from 8:30am to 3pm and includes two choral sessions, a pipe organ workshop and Musikgarten presentation for reaching younger children with music in a church setting. A music store will be on location with the latest liturgical and sacred choral arrangements from Augsburg Fortress.

Douglas Cleveland is acclaimed as one of America’s finest concert organists and currently maintains a full recital calendar while serving as Music Director at Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, Washington. He holds degrees from The Eastman School of Music, as well as Indiana University, and served as Assistant Professor of Organ and Church Music at Northwestern University.

Rumor Mill – Brigadoon is NOT Pre-Cast

Rumor mills in theater are nothing new. I wanted to clear the air and let people know that the Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest production of Brigadoon is NOT pre-cast. At this point all roles are open and will be decided at auditions.

We do have a Scottish choir rehearsing for a concert, but this is not a casting of the Brigadoon chorus. It’s a sort of Brigadoon preamble and I appreciate the opportunity to get better versed on Scottish music styles.

Just had our first rehearsal for our Scottish choir in preparation for performing at the Celtic Arts Foundation January 20th Lincoln Theater (Mount Vernon, WA) event. The sound was incredibly beautiful, I think we were all pleasantly surprised. If this is any indication of the quality of music we will have for the show then I can reasonably predict that this production of Brigadoon will be a very professional presentation that any trained singer would be proud to be a part of.

There is talk of a first run of auditions to happen in January with later auditions in April – this is still up in the air so please visit the Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest website for audition updates. If there is a first run of auditions before April it is strongly suggested you make those if interested in being part of the Brigadoon cast. This show will run at McIntyre Hall and at Kirkland Performance Center in July and September 2007.

This show is BIG. I will make it rock to the best of my abilities.

Freddy Fender – Newsmaker of the Year 2006

freddy-fender-1957.jpgCorpus Christ, TX – The Corpus Christi Caller Times has named Freddy Fender their Newsmaker of the Year. Denise Malan, one of the writers, called me a couple weeks ago for the article. Some of article focuses on the spiritual side of Freddy and includes some of my comments on that. You can read the Freddy Fender Caller Times article here.

As far as I know I’m the only former band member currently working on sacred music on a regular basis. It was a little ironic when the writer asked me if Freddy had any impact on my spiritual life, and I replied that I didn’t think so directly. Then she asked me what I was doing now, and I said music for theater and church. Made me stop and think for a bit about that. I stopped playing for Freddy Fender in March 2005.

Freddy Fender was very supportive of AA. He had the bond that only those in AA have for each other. The close of the article reads:

Askland, the keyboardist, remembers that while touring Fender kept in touch with friends from Alcoholics Anonymous. One Christmas a few years ago, Fender even brought the band to Corpus Christi to play for his AA group.

“We were right in the little meeting room,” Askland said. “That was his Christmas gift to them.”

Vaya Con Dios Freddy.


Brigadoon MP3 Music Clips

brigadoon-album-cover.jpgI found Brigadoon sample MP3 music clips online at Yahoo shopping. Don’t know how long this link will work but thought I’d post it for easy reference. It is the 1991 studio cast of Brigadoon. These are not full clips, just samples to give you the feel of the songs. I don’t know if they are actually MP3 files, but play with Windows media player. I am calling them MP3 because that’s what I search for when looking for clips.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – Skagit Valley College Theater Department

dracula.jpgMount Vernon, WA – Horror! Screams! Wolves and Blood! Skagit Valley College Department of Theater Arts presents Dracula, written by Steven Dietz (author of Private Eyes, Lonely Planet), from the novel by Bram Stoker, directed by Shakespeare Northwest Artistic Director, Damond Morris. Stoker’s blood curdling masterpiece is a shocking, sexy tale not recommended for the young or the faint of heart. Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Transylvania way, by taking you loved one out for a BITE!

Opening on Friday, February 9 at 7:30pm.

Performance dates:
Friday, February 9 – 7:30pm
Saturday, February 10 – 7:30pm
Sunday, February 11 – 2:00pm
Friday, February 16 – 7:30pm
Saturday, February 17 – 7:30pm
Sunday, February 18 – 2:00pm

Reserved Seating: $10.00
Skagit Valley Students with ID – in the Balcony only: $1.00

Dracula Rehearsal Schedule

Musicians – High School Musical

This is the official page for High School Musical musicians for TAG’s presentation at McIntyre Hall 2007. Bookmark this page for updates and additional information.

*HSM Musician News*
1Â – Each HSM musician responsible to have their own stand light – needs to be a Manhassett style black covered light, available at Hugo Helmer for about $30. Please do not wait until the last minute to get one.

Piano/B3 – Filled
Keyboard 1 – Filled
Keyboard 2 – Filled
Bass Guitar – Filled
Drums – Filled
Percussion – OPEN
Guitar 1 – Filled
Guitar 2 – Filled
Drum Line (4 snares) – OPEN
2 Sousaphones – OPEN
DJ Scratcher – OPEN

2/19 Monday – Drums, Bass, Key1 Only Noon-4pm
2/26 Monday – Drum, Bass, All Keys 9pm-midnight
2/27 Tuesday – Drum Bass, All Guitars 9pm-midnight at MV Pres Church
3/3 Saturday 10am-4pm Full Band at MV Pres Church (Corner of 15th and Broadway, Mount Vernon)
3/6 Tuesday 9pm-midnight – Full Band at MV Pres Church
3/8 Thursday 5-10pm w/castt – TAG on 12th St by Hospital
3/15 Thursday – 5-10pm w/cast – TAG on 12th St by Hospital
3/21 Wednesday – 5-10pm LOAD IN and Rehearsal at McIntyre Hall
3/22 Thursday – 5-10pm Dress Rehearsal at McIntyre Hall


March 23 Friday 7:30pm
March 24 Saturday 7:30pm
March 25 Sunday 2pm
March 29 Thursday DAY SHOW time TBA and 7:30pm – (Two shows)
March 30 Friday 7:30pm
March 31 Saturday 7:30pm
April 1 Sunday 2pm
April 5 Thursday 7:30pm
April 6 Friday 7:30pm
April 7 Saturday 7:30pm – Closing Night
April 8 – NO SHOW – Strike Set if not already done

God Speaking to Pat Robertson Again

patomenman.jpgPat Robertson has again predicted forthcoming utter devastation, which is about as bold as predicting rain in Seattle. Whenever Pat is in the headlines it seems to be about something hateful and treacherous. When I read about Billy Graham it’s usually something positive and uplifting. Coincidence? I ran across this post in one of my forums:

I am most amused that God sent angels to talk to Mary, but he speaks to Pat Robertson personally.

It is my opinion that God would make Mr. Robertson appear more reputable if he would be kind enough to give him more exact details. Not being God, I can only assume this goes under the “myserious ways” category. And if in time this prediction is “proven” true, then I invite you to explore Pat’s previous predictions and their accuracy.

Acting Lessons – Observe Others

Director Scott McDade gives the first instructions to our cast of High School Musical. “Observe others and what they do, and be CONSCIOUS of that fact.” That is the artists special blessing and curse. To watch others not just as in a passing Parisian cafe, but to dissect what they do and embody elements of those actions into your own expression.

High School Musical takes place at a current-day high school. Actions need to be natural as if really at school, not as if on a stage. The facade of the juvenile nature of the show is betrayed in the challenge to preserve it’s simplicity.

First assignment of cast members:

1) Observe ten things people do while walking down the hall at school. Be prepared to demonstrate, or act, those ten things with realism.

2) Observe ten things people do while sitting in class. Be prepared to demonstrate, or act those ten things with realism.

3) Observe ten things people do while talking to each othe rat school. Be prepared to act and demonstrate.

Cast will not be allowed to explain what they are doing or to make noise. They just have to do it.

Script Writing Class – Script to Screen with Brian Young

jetcityfilms.jpgBellingham, WA – Brian Young of Jet City Films will be giving a class this quarter offered by the Northwest Film School in Bellingham. The class is “Script to Screen” and is on narrative feature film development and pre-production. Classes are being held Thursday nights at the school from 6-8pm running for 10 weeks starting January 11th (the syllabus is online.)

Brian Young is something of a living legend in our area. He has already directed several films and you can see trailers of those at the Jet City Films website. Mr. Young is also a VERY seasoned actor who has an understanding of character interactions far beyond his years. When I relocated to Skagit County he was one of the people I heard referred to over and over months before I met him. In person he does indeed stand up to his reputation.

From all accounts I have heard, I think I can say that if you have any interest in learning plot development and script writing, Brian Young is the one to study with.

Scottish Music for Robert Burns Dinner

rburns1.gifUPDATE: Check out free new music to perform at your Burns Dinner!

Mount Vernon, WA – Vocalists welcome to join us as we prepare music for the Robert Burns supper at Lincoln Theater, Mount Vernon WA, on January 20, 2007. Robert Burns is the national bard of Scotland from the late 18th century and the supper is an evening of music and poetry in his honor. Read my page all about the History of Robert Burns and the Burns Supper.

Rehearsals from 7-9:30pm on Sunday 1/7, Sunday 1/14 and Friday 1/19 at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church (corner of Broadway and 15th). We have at least 20 voices in the group already and invite you to join us if you like good choral music and/or Scottish music.

Toast to the Laddies – Men Only – Song in Production
Toast to the Lassies – Women Only – Song in Production
Bonnie Mary of Argyle – Men Only Quartet
Brigadoon Entrance – Full Choir
I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean – Full Choir and Tenor Solo
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose – Full Choir
A Scottish Tribute – Full Choir

We will perform at two seperate locations: the actual dinner location and then at the Lincoln Theater to open Act I and Act II of the presentations. World class guitar players will also give presentations. The choir is sponsored by Lyric Light Opera which is gearing up for it’s presentation of Brigadoon at McIntyre Hall in July 2007.