Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Old Email

Here's a copy of an old email that my mom sent, describing for me the time that I was in GECC (Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus....they're not even called that anymore.) when we performed (and rehearsed for) the Bach St. Matthew's Passion with Sir George Solti

Hi Bill, I am not at all sure about what it is you want me to tell you 
since you remember it all clearly yourself. but here goes what I remember 
about You were a little reticent at first when Dad and I 
suggested trying out for the chorus. It was somewhat out of your comfort 
zone, but very much in line with your interests. So, you auditioned, were 
accepted and began 3-4 years of twice-weekly rehearsals for various concerts 
and appearances. When the Symphony opportunity came along, you were 
interested in auditioning for one of the I don't know 15-20 spots as a "Bach 
boy" as you guys were called at GECC. You had extra rehearsals in Glen 
Ellyn(Josh-u-a! Josh-u-a!) and sometime in November, I think, we began 
rehearsals with the Symphony director. Was her name Margaret Hillis? Also, 
what was the name of the rather tall. imposing Oriental(Chinese?) lady from 
the Glen Ellyn chorus? She accompanied us on the bus for all the trips 
downtown. Anyway, I remember the rehearsals in practice or rehearsal room, 
not in the theater itself. And, when Solti came in, as you remember, 
everyone stood, rather reverentially, I thought. He was personable and in 
good spirits, almost casual, until he began the rehearsal. Then, he was 
very businesslike. And, yes, I do remember him singling you out and 
speaking with you briefly. I was behind him and to the side, so I couldn't 
hear exactly what he was saying, but I could tell that he was neither 
correcting you nor angry with you. It was a very pleasant tone that he was 
using. I only heard later from you what the exchange was all about. 
Something about you mouthing the words to the adult part of the score which 
you had inadvertently memorized during all the previous rehearsals. I also 
remember him going over and over the boys' part, saying "We shall do a 
little experimenting here" in his distinctive accent.

I don't think at the time you understood the unique opportunity you were 
experiencing. It was exciting for you, I know, to go down to the city and 
rehearse with an adult chorus, etc. But, the momentousness of performing 
with the Chicago Symphony,Hillis, and Solti, I think, was not part of your 
thoughts then.

I should also mention all the practicing you boys did on your German 
pronunciation. It seemed endless at the time, but worth the effort since 
Solti commented on it and admonished the adult chorus to learn from your 

If I remember more I'll certainly write you. But I've got to go, Jack is 
Love, M

One of my favorite pics

Laurie, Arlene and Mindy

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wife sells photos of Gary Coleman in hospital taken by production company she hired: report

[this is TERRIBLE.....scandalous even]

It turns out Gary Coleman's ex-wife is the one peddling the photos taken of the child star after he died.

In fact, she's the one who orchestrated them.

Shannon Price hired a production company to take a series of photos of her ex-husband in his hospital bed hooked up to a ventilation machine, TMZ reports.

According to the gossip Web site, the photos have been sold to an unnamed tabloid and could appear next week.

The image showing the "Diff'rent Strokes" star after he was taken off life support was not part of the deal.

The reported asking price for the photos was in the low five-figures, and Price will get a share of the profits.

Coleman was hospitalized on May 26 due to a brain hemorrhage caused by an accident at his Utah home. He died two days later at the age of 42.

Read more:

Friday, June 4, 2010

What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? (recording footage)

May 31, 2010 — Melissa Dunphy's new composition "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" was selected as the winning work for the 2010 Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition. The Philadelphia-based composer's choral work sets excerpts of public testimony given by a WWII veteran before the Maine Senate in a hearing to discuss the Marriage Equality Bill.

"What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" was performed on May 29, 2010, at Grace and Holy Trinity in Kansas City, MO and First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, KS. This video is taken from initial footage of the recording session on May 30, 2010, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Kansas City, KS.

The piece was selected from a pool of over 100 submissions, from over 70 composers, hailing from 10 different countries. In choosing the work from a narrowed-down, committee-selected pool of nine finalists, music director and conductor Simon Carrington gave his reasoning behind selecting Dunphy's work as the winner. "There were plenty of excellent pieces in the sweet-sounding modern idiom which SCCS would make very beautiful, but the strongest (and most individual) piece was Melissa Dunphy's What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? -- a bold and highly effective setting of a thought-provoking text."


Good morning, committee. My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW chaplain ... I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal, and I've never forgotten that.

I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945 ... I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton's Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe... I was in the liberation of Paris.

(I have seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice.)

I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman ... asked me, "Do you believe in equality for gay and lesbian people?" I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?"

For freedom and equality. These are the values that make America a great nation, one worth dying for.

My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that our gay son would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good.

A YouTube clip of Spooner's testimony can be found at