Monday, October 11, 2010

Odds N Ends

(Indigenous Art)

Well, for someone that has no social life I have been as busy as a bee! For folks like me that tend to be an introvert and add to that my research and writing that further isolate me it is so easy to give in to my tendencies to keep to myself. But with a little help from my friends I have experienced a whirl wind of activities. How do social butterflys keep up with their calendars?

October 1 - Christ Universal Temple's Anniversary Cruise.
My fellow faculty colleague and I boarded the Odyssey on Lake Michigan for a three hour cruise that consisted of great food, great dancing and an opportunity to meet Rev. Carlton Pearson. I had not danced in years. I had a great time. I would love to find someplace to go and dance every week to let off steam!

Chicago Sinfonietta
A couple that serve on my Committee on Ministry and have season tickets to the Sinfonietta offered me the gift of attending. One of them was going to be out of town and would not be using the ticket. So on Monday, October 4 I attended the Sinfonietta for the very first time. It was an incredible experience that I shall treasure forever. Maestro Paul Freeman, Music Director in his 24th season is conducting his last season which will end in April, 2011. Maestro Freeman grew up in segregated Richmond, VA and can remember attending the orchestra seated in the colored section of the theatre. Freeman's music-loving family included his parents and his twelve siblings. They were required to listen to symphony orchestra concerts on the radio and weekly broadcasts from New York's Metropolitican Opera, the NY Philharmonic and the NBC Orchestra. It all paid off when Maetro made his conducting debut around age 14 or 15 when his clarinet teacher fell ill and Freeman substituted. A maestro was born that night and the rest is history.

The night I attended the Chicago Sinfonietta the audience was gifted with the following presentation titled, For the Common Man:

Harvey Felder, Guest Conductor and currently the Music Director of the Tacoma Symphony.

Tai Murray, Violin - This 27 year old violinist was extraordinary.

JASC Tsuikasa Taiko, one of the leading taiko (Japanese drum) ensembles in the Chicago area. The ensemble was comprised of young people which was so refreshing to see. The huge drums, about ten dominated the stage with the drummers seated behind them almost invisibile until they stoood to play and began what was an astonishing performance. I say this as someone who loves percussion but have had little opportunity to acquaint myself with Taiko.

Nicole LeGette, Butoh Dancer Butoh is an expressive form of dance-theater that originated in Japan in 1959 and incorporates specific traditonal arts with modern western influences to create new rituals. Yes, there are modern art forms. For more info visit

Renee Baker, composer was featured as the artist that wrote the music that the Taiko ensemble and orchestra played, Sundown's Promist. It consisted of 13 sections.

The grand finale was Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront, a symphonic suite from the film.

The night was a an incredible gift (did I say that already?) that I shall treasure for a lifetime! Music is truly what wipes the dust from the soul!

Q. When was the last time you treated yourself or allowed yourself to be treated?
Blessed Be! Rev. Qiyamah