Who teaches whom?

Here we are. End of March, first of April. This is when universities release acceptance/rejection letters and scholarship offers. Over the past three Springs I have worked with one senior each year. Parents, students and I discuss recommended programs that will continue to challenge the student and help develop their artistry. We prepare audition material. I write recommendation letters […]

Parrish Family Quartet Christmas Card 2013

Voices together, voices pure. Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass combine creating a singular sound that is mystically liquid, nourishing one’s drought stricken soul. This beauty, this passion flows, piercing hardened parched crust, invading dark crevices, lighting on seeds. The listener’s joy is now free to sprout, then to burst forth, a lush vibrant green. Free to reach […]

Christmas Music – Scott’s Top Ten

Black Friday to many means shopping frenzy. For me it is the opening of Christmas music season. Typically I review the various holiday playlists in the weeks leading up to the season and scout out a few new albums, looking for new treasures. Thinking back on family favorites, I realize that nostalgia often trumps the […]

Santa’s Boots – sort of

What can put a sax-playing curmudgeon smack dab into the heart of the Christmas Spirit? That right, kiddies!  Transcribing an iconic tenor solo. What better to hear this season than Boots Randolph’s solo on Brenda Lee’s hit single “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”? None. Simply none. Here it is. Rockin’ like that one-horse open sleigh […]

It could have been the worst gig ever!

It could have been the worst gig ever. I would rather have my fingertips stripped to the bone and soaked in battery acid Madge/Palmolive-style than be late or unprepared for a job. Half-hour early is my typical arrival time. Over-packing is standard operating procedure. Packing for a Pops weekend with Charlotte Symphony. Bari, tenor and […]

New Students and Specific Goals

I have always been blessed with excited, dedicated and bright music students. This year is no exception. There are three new students meeting with me weekly, and they are each launching into the year with high energy and creative spirit. Thinking back on first lessons with teachers from my early years, they listened to something […]

Marvin Gaye – isolated vocal

In studio recordings the whole should be better than the sum of its parts. Often listening to one isolated track is a disappointment – so much is missing; no support or context. There are certainly exceptions. Listen to this vocal-only track from Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” What fantastic time, pitch and inflection. […]

Music and Math and Patterns, OH MY!

A saxophone student recently showed me a YouTube video explaining 12-tone music composition in an engaging and humorous way. Fascinating story line, cartooning/doodling (laser-bats and bird-bowls) and music clips make an advanced concept easily understood by the non-professional. The video author is Vi Hart. She describes herself as a professional “mathemusician” at the famed online […]

Great Countertenor Recording

  My son, Mark, is planning to study voice at UNC School of the Arts in the fall. He has interest in singing countertenor. My exposure to countertenors was limited to Gene Puerling‘s work with the Hi-Lo’s and Singers Unlimited. I had heard no classical singers in this range. Mark and I found great examples […]