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March 3, 2009

Why musicians do what we do

I'd never heard of the guy, but Karl Paulnack is apparently director of the music division at the Boston Conservatory. This talk is his welcome address to parents of new students. Bulls-eye.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind... I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do..."

September 16, 2009

Mary Travers, RIP

As part of the New York Choral Society, I was fortunate to have performed with Mary Travers (and Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey) a couple of dozen times in the late '80s and early '90s. I did a week on Broadway, a PBS special that ran forever during Pledge Weeks, a Donahue show, and more than a couple of performances in Carnegie Hall. They are some of my fondest memories.

Mary Travers was by then well past her ingenue years and well into motherhood and later, grandmotherhood. She relished it. It was easy to see the dynamic of the group; the things that made Peter Paul & Mary work so well, the things about each of them that made the others crazy, and the ways that they adapted to each other as life progressed.

But what was also plain about them was the depth of their commitment to each other and their causes.

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