A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s attack hit me hard. My weekly cello lessons with Michael Lipman took place just blocks away from the synagogue. Again the question arises: what can I do in response? Last night at the Oregon Symphony,

Discoveries from the Heart of Yoga, Music and Meditation

Last weekend I helped design and lead a workshop that combined yoga and a live music experience for the Northwest Yoga Conference. Using music in yoga classes is nothing new, but we decided to offer live music not as background,

Giving the Gift of Love Through Music

I sat at the end of a quiet hallway at Randall Children’s Hospital and unpacked my cello for what seemed just a few passersby on the 4th floor unit. My idealism faded away—what good could my music truly do for

A Thanksgiving Pilgrimage

It’s fun to be a pilgrim traveling to a sacred place at Thanksgiving. This week my family drove down to the Ananda Village in California, where we lived from 2001-20013. As soon as we arrived, I felt the essence of what

Yo-Yo Ma: Spiritual Master Musician or Musical Spiritual Master?

I was in the front row for Yo-Yo Ma’s solo recital last night. It was a life event that opened doors both musical and personal. He performed the 1st, 2nd, and 6th Bach Suites, each preceded by a short piece evoking a folk style

This Is What Gratitude Does to Your Performance

Gratitude in performance? What a ridiculous idea. Won’t it take away from our focus? Nope. Last Sunday I performed a sextet with fabulous musicians from the Oregon Symphony, as well as the Brahms Clarinet Trio (watch it here). I felt immense gratitude percolating behind

Pay It Forward from the Audience

Last weekend I heard an amazing concert by the Pacific Youth Choirs with guest director Dr. Rollo Dilworth. As a father, frequent guest artist and clinician with PYC, I had a choice: I could focus with a critical ear, or I could

Who’s at Fault—Performer or Audience?

In a recent performance, the magic just wasn’t happening. “Tough crowd!…They hate it!…Who’s going to make the next mistake? Me?…I’d better play it safe.” It ended on a muted note of frustration for me—an inspired performance had been within our grasp. So who’s to

How to Make Sacred Music Truly Sacred

It was hot—really hot as I wound my way up the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Royal School of Church Music Retreat. The river glistened in the evening light as I entered the beautiful grounds of the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett,

Does Your Audience Resonate with You?

Certain ideas, stories, and music resonate with us. They move us. They make us feel good when we hear or read them. Why? Because they VALIDATE our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Resonance is validation. Something inside us stands up and says “YES! I know