From the category archives:


Juliana showed up for dinner the other night visibly shaken having just heard the Opera UCLA’s performance of Francis Poulenc’s DIALOGUES of the CARMELITES. I went with Josie to the Thursday night performance and Juliana was right: the finale packs a wallop. Like the first time I saw APOCALYPSE NOW, I felt as if I […]



February 19, 2011

I stumbled across the word “piloerection” last night on a documentary about “monsters” and in this case, a sighting of a large chimpanzee in central Florida. Chimps can be come extremely dangerous to humans as they get older, and a giant chimp could be a real problem. At any rate, the narrator point out that […]


Finding a new city

January 26, 2011

Last weekend we were driven all around Silicon Valley by our new realtor who is educating us about the area. We will be moving there sometime in the next half year and need to know what the neighborhoods are like. We have to debate about exactly how much commute Daniel wants to have between our […]


For we sentimental types who, during our last days at work, or our last few weeks at an apartment or home, or one’s last few months in a job, think to ourselves: Gee, this will be the last time that I [do something]. Little mournings, and little celebrations. After seeing my teaching schedule for my […]


I found these photos in boxes and books sent me by my father and his sisters. Here are two stunning, if not haunting pictures of my Great Grandfather E. B. Bourland (top), and my Grandfather, Roger Bourland, Sr. (bottom photo) as children. (Although I cannot verify this is E.B., it was among the other photos […]


Here and there

December 16, 2010

I vowed to never apologize for not posting regularly but today I will. This, my fourth year as Chair of the UCLA Music Department, has been the busiest, and the next six months promise to be even busier. And then, July 1st, I have a one year leave from UCLA to compose ANGELA PERALTA, my […]


My paternal grandfather, Roger, Sr. was in a combo that played for silent films called “Slim Bourland and the Jazz Hounds.” My father’s sister, Sally, just sent me an old family photo album and I found a picture of him playing the piano. Like me, he learned to play by ear. This picture isn’t of […]


Blocked in China

November 16, 2010

Robert Winter returned from China this week and reported to me, besides a successful trip, that my blog is BLOCKED in China–along with Google and some other little websites like that. Mmmmm. Guess I’m DANGEROUSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.


I have had a blast discovering the various names in my family tree, both first and last. Today I share a box full of fun first names that may be of use to future moms and dads who are looking for old fashioned American/English names from largely Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Although we […]

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Roger Bourland news

November 5, 2010

Early on as a blogger, I established some policies about blogging that I have mostly stuck to and may explain why I have not blogged as regularly as I have in the past few years: Don’t relay confidential information; keep certain things private. Don’t insult people; do no harm. Don’t blog when it is forced. […]

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