Monday, December 10, 2012

Grammy Bound!!!

Last week, I performed my Doctoral Recital with works by Britten, Vaughan Williams, and Hoiby at the Conservatory.  Of all of the responses that I have received from the concert, the majority of them have either been "wow! congratulations" or have been in the "it was long enough" category.  For what it's worth, I didn't feel overwhelmed and generally enjoyed my experience but I cannot speak for the audience, except that of the three people I could see through the bright lights - one was sleeping, one was very ecstatic, and the other was my reflection against the recording studio window, so it was a difficult room to read!  Even so, I was so thankful for everyone who attended and for all of the support.  I think it was an interesting concert of varying styles of singing and artistry.  I cannot thank my accompanists enough, Natalia Rivera on piano (who is playing at the Kennedy Center this week!) and Kelley Tracz on oboe (who is a good friend and great musician as well!).

After the recital, my wife, parents, and I went to the beautiful Christmas-light-covered Plaza in Kansas City to have some cheesecake.  After eating, we drove back home where I neurotically updated my iPhone to see the Grammy nominations.  I blindly walked upstairs lost in my iPhone.  My wife walked in the front door and my parents were on the ground floor as I stood against the railing of our balcony overlooking the living room, and with calm but pressured excitement, I said "oh! my! god!"  I read the Grammy Nominations out loud.  One of the ensembles that I perform with, the Kansas City Chorale under the direction of the immaculate Charles Bruffy, has been nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Choral Performance, Best Engineered Album, and Producer of the Year - Classical.  I couldn't believe the news.  Little do I know about how the world of music operates, I honestly did not expect that the Chorale would be nominated, not because the quality of the music isn't sublime, because it is and singing with the Chorale has been one of the most musically rewarding experiences of my life, but there are many other fantastic ensembles all over the place.  Because of the great competition, there are long odds when it comes to the Grammy's, just ask Justice Beaver...I mean Justin Bieber.  Even though he is incredibly famous, he didn't receive any nominations.  And unlike Justice, we are going to the Grammy's!

The Grammy's will be February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles.  The majority of the awards, including the ones for our categories, will be awarded at the Los Angeles Convention Center with a ceremony beginning at 1pm.  The event will be broadcast live on the internet at and  After the ceremony, the nationally televised event (CBS) will be held later that evening from the Staples Center where several of the more recognized categories are announced.  We will be attending both of these events.  I will certainly keep you all informed about what we are doing and who we will be wearing!

I will be recording this whole experience with as much interesting video as I can.  And, I cannot complete this blog post without thanking my wife, who deserves to attend such a prolific event. Of the truly prestigious events that I have had the privilege to be a part of, my wife rarely gets the opportunity to attend.  I sang at the Grand Opening gala of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as many of you remember, but the cheapest tickets for the event were $1,000 and sold out nearly a year in advance.  She obviously was not able to be a part of that and she rarely gets to travel with me to Chicago or New York or wherever I go, but she will be able to go with me to Tinseltown.  I still cannot believe to any real extent that I will actually be at the Grammy's and that the Chorale is nominated for multiple Grammy's, however it will cost me a great amount of money to attend one of the biggest events in Hollywood.  Tickets are expensive, not to mention the hotel, flights, clothes, haircuts, car rental, food, and events all require significant money.  Plus, I have to pay bills and get through the holiday season with presents for my family.

With that said, around 1,500 people read my blog every day and even though I have a link to accept donations, I have never received a donation, not that I ever expected to profit from this.  I only ask that in this holiday season, if you have ever received any entertainment or learned anything from my postings, if you still owe me for a round of golf, or perhaps if you lost a million dollar bet to me because you said "literally" as part of your "fact", that you would consider helping my wife and I attend what may be a once-in-a-lifetime event for us.  The "support this blog" button is on the black bar above this post or you can CLICK HERE.

I would greatly appreciate your generosity if you have the means to help.  And I promise I will keep everyone updated with all of the events surrounding the Grammy's.  In addition, if you are interested in hearing our ensemble, the Kansas City Chorale has a concert tomorrow, Tuesday December 12, 2012, at Asbury United Methodist Church at 7:30.  We had a great crowd yesterday and the concert will just be astounding!  I would expect that I will be able to announce other events in the future as there is plenty of press surrounding the Chorale, a television crew followed us at a concert yesterday and I have been told of other upcoming press as well.

In addition to the Kansas City Chorale, the Kansas City Symphony and Joyce Di Donato were also nominated for a Grammy for their PBS production last summer at the Kauffman Center, and the UMKC resident ensemble Eighth Blackbird was nominated for two Grammy's.  Kansas City is dominating the classical music world, and I cannot be more thankful for being at the Conservatory, in the Chorale, and living in this wonderful town.

And just in case you didn't get the Justice Beaver thing, it was a parody from the NBC show The Office.  Here is the real Justin Bieber singing a little opera on the David Letterman Show:

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