So I got my first KnitCrate the other day, and I LOVE it!! KnitCrate is a monthly subscription service that will hook you up with luxury yarns, patterns to go with them by excellent designers (some of whom you probably already follow here on IG) both for knitting and crochet, and some additional swag. I didn’t want to share the pattern image in the video (since it’s a surprise!), but I will tell you that it’s a beautiful design and I’ll definitely use these yarns to make it! Visit KnitCrate’s website to check out their offerings, and if you’re interested in signing up then use the discount code KNITPHEN (all caps) and you’ll receive:

1. $40 off of your first crate.
2. 20% off on anything in the KnitCrate shop.
3. Then, at the end of your 3rd month, you’ll receive an additional $40 coupon.

And, of course, let me know what you make! Happy knitting, folks!

PS – Thanks @brooklynboyknits for making me aware of this awesome company!

Babes in Toyland

Toyland” is possibly the first song I ever learned.  I’m not sure.  I only know that it entered my repertoire at some time before I have memory of it doing so.  I don’t remember if it was a snow globe or a music box or what it was that put it there, but that tune has been in my head for a very long time.

Which isn’t to say I ever imagined getting to sing on stage at Carnegie Hall in the company of Broadway and theater legends like Bill Irwin and Kelli O’Hara, but that’s exactly what will happen later this month when my choir, MasterVoices, presents Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland as part of our 75th anniversary season.  Babes is a show that has remained popular since its creation in 1903, yet hasn’t had a showing in NYC in over 80 years.

Might be 80 more before you get another chance to see and hear this fun show with its iconic score, so don’t miss it!

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“Bach’s Holy Dread”

mv-sjp_horizontal-1If it’s a coincidence, it’s a rather remarkable one.

The New Yorker published Alex Ross’s fantastic piece on J. S. Bach’s religious beliefs — with a heavy focus on the St. John Passion — barely more than a month before our (MasterVoices‘) presentation of this incredible work at Carnegie Hall (Feb. 9).  Whether you intend to come to our concert or not, you should really check out this article.

(And you should come to the concert…I mean really, why wouldn’t you?  It’s so easy: You can buy tickets right here.)

Midsummer teaser

I just started a more substantial blog post about the experience of directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream so far, but I’ll be honest: I’m tired.  So it’s coming, but here’s a teaser — it’s been a really incredible learning experience for both the students and myself, and I have a lot to share.

But until then, here’s a photo of me wearing the cowl I knit for Titania.

(And no, it isn’t finished yet…)



And here are its component parts.  wp-1452821308842.jpeg

Uncasing a Cunning Instrument – Shakespeare & English Come of Age

One of our teachers here at the Globe said, “If you can’t improve upon the silence, don’t speak; if you can’t improve upon the stillness, don’t move.” In a similar vein, if you can’t improve upon another’s blog post, just reblog it. This is from my peer, Line Marshall:

Learner Sojourner

image A composite image of what Shakespeare may have looked like at age 13.

The language I have learn’d these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hand.
That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
Within my mouth you have engaol’d my tongue,
Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips;
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now:
What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?

(Richard II, Act I, scene ii)

These are the words of Sir Thomas Mowbray to King Richard after he is sentenced…

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carnegie hall“What she liked was simply life; ‘That’s what I do it for,’ she said, speaking aloud, to life.”

This passage from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway has followed me for most of my adult life.  It graces the front cover of all my journals as a reminder: whoever else may read my meandering little tomes, they aren’t written for a particular audience, they’re for life. On the internet my purpose is a bit different as we’re all here obviously looking for an audience, but my intent is still the same: to like  — no…love — life and to speak ‘aloud’ to it.   Similarly, I’ve placed it here to announce my presence on the net, not so much as a mission statement or an indicator of the type of content you’ll find, but as a statement of principle: I write to capture what I notice and like about life.

That’s all.

Well, that’s not really all.  I’m also interested in achieving my dream of becoming a full-fledged, published and recognized writer.  To this end, this site will not only be whimsical romp of hey-nonny-nonny, but also a repository for writing samples and testimonials for those interested in hiring me as a writer.   At the moment, however, while I work on filling up my writing portfolio, you’ll find musings on some of the following topics:

  • Education and Teaching (I’m a 12-year veteran of the NYC Public Schools)
  • Literature and Books (earned my MA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz)
  • Music and Theater (I sing with The Collegiate Chorale, one of New York’s most prestigious vocal groups, and teach Dramatic Arts)
  • Travel and History (a seasoned traveler who tends towards sites of historical relevance)
  • Health and Fitness (a regular at the gym, and seen more and more often running along the Hudson)
  • Food and Wine (a kitchen adventurer and novice oenophile)

So welcome to my little corner of the internet — it’s not much, but it’s home.