From the category archives:

Chair chat

Busy work

October 1, 2009

Although I have praised UCLA’s decision to be three separate music departments, sometimes it’s a pain in the butt. Take, for instance, our new terrific core class. There are six musicianship sections, divided by their musical abilities. On Tuesday I discovered that there are actually 18 sections. Each of the six sections has three subsections […]

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Ready, set, GO

September 28, 2009

School started with a bang at UCLA. The first day featured a faculty strike, with students and staff encouraged to join in. Robert Winter put it succinctly: “I’ve waited for 25 years to teach this class; you think I’m gonna strike?” — this referring to our new first year core course offered for the first […]

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Finding even more stuff

August 22, 2009

I spent a total of three days this week going through old musical instruments in three different rooms at school. We were dumbfounded to find the most amazing instruments: viols, sackbuts, shawms, recorders, and many other well-known early music instruments, but the most amazing discovery was a Cecilium. The most lovable, if not slightly homely […]

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After a week of crafting possible cuts to our department’s budget, I drove up to the beautiful Lake Arrowhead area to attend an annual meeting, whose sole purpose is to give seed money to innovative curricular ideas. We arrived on Friday night; had cocktails and a lovely dinner, followed by a short meeting, and then […]

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Singing and eating

March 17, 2009

On Sunday night we decided to have a party for Matias and Jenny. But Julia died and things changed; so we invited friends of Julia — her husband, Tiko, his parents, and other close friends of theirs — to our Matias-and-Jenny party. One of the great things I discovered at the evening party/wake for my […]

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What’s new?

March 15, 2009

As I mentioned below, it’s been a busy time — what with the end of the term and other pressing deadlines. Here’s a picture of one of them: Matias and Jenny are staying with us for a while with little Katy (9 mos) who is just learning to crawl. [Daniel is her Godfather; I’m the […]

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Dinner with students

February 1, 2009

I’ve always been torn, and erred towards the side of abstaining from socializing with students; although many of my fond memories in college were hanging out with my profs. Last night, one of our students, who has tremendous herding abilities, got a bunch of our class to go to an Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks […]

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Reflecting on my 2008

December 28, 2008

What a year! The highlight of my year had to be the premiere of HOMER IN CYBERSPACE, my new musical written with Mel Shapiro. I don’t have the interest or connections to try to send it to Broadway, but am certain it could have a huge audience if put in the right hands. A trip […]

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Strike up the band!

December 7, 2008

Part of my job as Chair of the UCLA Music Department is to know about all of our large and small performing ensembles. One group that is probably what most of the world thinks when it thinks music and UCLA is our marching band. Yesterday Daniel and I spent from dawn to dark at the […]

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No notes for the summer

September 30, 2008

After an intense year being chair of the music department and writing a musical, it seemed like an easy transition: just chair? no problem! All of a sudden, my TO DO list has become formidable. And having this list just sit there is very stressful knowing that I am going to have to do most […]

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