A few recommendations for holiday listening (that include neither Justin Bieber or Mariah Carey)

On the off chance that you’re not a fan of Justin Bieber’s and Mariah Carey’s duet rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is You”, just remember: it could be worse. There was a Christmas with no music at all. In fact, there were many. In one of history’s more egregious examples of governmental overstepping, […]

Handel and the importance of accessorizing wisely

Maybe I just run in the wrong circles, but I can’t recall an incident in recent memory in which someone required me to defend my honour. There was a time not so long ago when throwing down the gloves was serious business, and it could have life-altering consequences. For centuries, the only appropriate action in […]

Love letters from a grouchy old git

I don’t want to betray my sappy side, but there’s nothing quite like a love letter. I mean the good old-fashioned, hand-written kind. I don’t claim to have the finger on the pulse of modern romance, but I assume the majority of it is done though Tinder, iMessage and Facebook. (Maybe Instagram too, but I […]

Life lessons from The Hatfields and the McCoys

Hope can be found in the unlikeliest of places, and a bottle of moonshine may top this list. Today, the day of the American election, we could use a little hope. This campaign has been a downright nasty feud. Watching from a relatively safe distance north of the 49th, it’s hard to understand just how […]

Tchaikovsky. Or a Cautionary Tale for Hipsters

One of the realities of my line of work is spending a lot of time thinking about dead people. I don’t mind. I find it quite interesting to try to piece together a picture of the personalities of these misty characters. The longer they have been gone, the trickier this becomes. We do have a […]

YouTube is for more than cat videos

YouTube is a modern miracle. It’s an unparalleled resource that enriches our lives in ways never possible before. I will admit there is some content on YouTube that will leave you somewhat less intelligent (check out British Animal Voiceovers); and I have learned that astoundingly, the site has approximately two million cat videos. It does […]

Communication is the key for a successful conductor

About a year ago, I was stuck on a plane for many hours, so I decided to watch the movie Whiplash. I had heard about this movie, and some people recommended I watch it. It’s about a famed conductor at a prestigious New York music school; I’m a conductor, and I went to a prestigious […]

Regina Symphony Orchestra presented an opportunity too good to pass up

The great American-by-way-of-Saskatchewan novelist, Wallace Stegner wrote, “It’s easier to die than to move…at least for the Other Side you don’t need trunks.” I’m beginning to think he was right. Most of us don’t use trunks anymore, thankfully. But the boxes. So many boxes. I currently sit in a sea of unpacked boxes that I’m […]