October 1 provided the “every other year” fundraiser for the MSU Choral Society, a board I have been on and off of for years. It is a fun night for all. It always includes the best entertainment from the Choral Conducting grad students….who are so very talented, even when they are NOT conducting! They sang, played piano and generally entertained us all night. The raffle and silent auction were also very successful. Many thanks to David Rayl, Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University for his support of the “Cabaret”
October 2 Nicky and I finally saw Jersey Boys. The reason I say, “finally” is because of the way the Wharton Center at MSU marketed the musical. It was “sold” to us in 2010 as part of the 2011 season. A little odd. But it was explained to me that producers are looking for guarantees before they bring a show on the road and this one needed advance sales. Not sure why. It was wonderful. The singing was outstanding all night long. As someone pointed out to me, “they sang better than the originals”. It’s true. I went back to YouTube the next week and listened to many old Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons gigs and this Broadway production at The Wharton Center was darn near perfect. This posting feels extraordinarily dated, as the show has moved on a long time ago…but we were there, that night, to see a splendid performance by all.
On Thursday the 6th we were invited to see our friend, Linda Abar, perform with the spectacular jazz guitarist, Elden Kelly. They were beautiful together at the delicious, “Mumbai” Indian restaurant in East Lansing. Our friend, Candice Wilmore, has been booking jazz groups at Mumbai for some time and Nicky and I have enjoyed a couple of them. We love to hear Linda sing and were also very impressed with the musical styling of Mr. Kelly. He flew over the fret board…never overpowering. We really enjoyed this duo in a very comfortable setting.
On October 14 we participated in the annual fundraiser for the Episcopal Ministry at MSU (by cooking Puree of Pumpkin soup for 100!). Part of the night includes entertainment by the talented and always amusing, “MSU Accafellas“…check out the link to hear a Beatles Medley on YouTube. They sing at events around campus and were were fortunate to catch them in such an intimate atmosphere.
As usual, we had The Coffeehouse on the 3rd Friday (the 21st…Heather and Em’s birthdays!)…but unfortunately I have not one note saved about it! So, let’s just say we had a great night and we’ll report more in November.
A Birthday Party
Sunday Oct 23 proved to be a lot of fun, some of which was unexpected. Nicky and I were honored to be asked to join in the festivities celebrating Dr. Dick Johnson’s birthday at the University Club at MSU. One may ask why this would make a blog about live music. Well, some of you know that Dick Johnson’s son, Doug, is on the faculty at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and a fine jazz pianist as well. He has performed with the lovely and truly amazing
Esperanza Spaulding and the talented and phenomenal saxophonist, Grace Kelly. On this day. to honor his father he played with local favorite, Sunny Wilkinson. They did 3 numbers and ended with all of us singing, “Happy Birthday”. Wonderful!
MSU Choral Society Pre-Glow
Then Nicky and I went to the lovely home of Bill and Shirley Paxton’s to enjoy a “Pre-Glow” for Mozart concert I was singing in on Nov 5. The Pre-Glow is a gathering of folks interested in supporting the MSU Choral Society, a group dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the graduate Choral Conducting students at Michigan State. Pre-Glows involve a delightful “party” including hors d oeuvres and wine and a program with a speaker talking about the upcoming MSU Choral Union concert, Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”. The speaker this occasion was the Assoc Director of Choral Activities at MSU, John Reed. John did a wonderful job having brought photos he projected ten feet high on the living room wall…photos he took in multiple trips to Salzburg, Mozart’s hometown. Thanks to Dr. Reed for an informative a fun presentation.
We finished a busy “live music” month on Saturday the 29th at Gone Wired Cafe in Lansing enjoying our friend, Matt Bliton and his band. Matt told us he was working on a new CD and played a couple numbers from it. Great stuff from a talented guy.