1. I went to a tea party today! It was my second time at the home of my fellow-pianist Colleen, who besides being a brilliant musician and an excellent painter and singer, is a brilliant entertainer. Her mother, a true lady in the old sense of the word - sweet, warm, gentle, a truly excellent cook, and making us feel very much at home - was the perfect hostess, and they loved the apple pie I brought along as a surprise. The other guests were a few of the music majors and a trio of professors who are as close to us as our fellow-students: our recently retired orchestra director and his wife; Mr. Schene, our beloved master of piano studies, who is always the life of the party; and the counterpoint-professor/accompanist extraordinaire, one of the youngest professors and a really great guy. We spent the afternoon sipping various amazing teas and talking (what else?) music. In the end, of course, we started playing, and Colleen and I sang arias and chansons by Handel and Faure and played Bach preludes-and-fugues, and were very silly -- there was one point where we just couldn't stop laughing over the music; we were laughing so hard we could hardly play.
2. This morning I also had a really awesome lesson with Mr. Schene. We worked on the second movement of my Mozart concerto and I found out a lot of wonderful ways to practice -- I can't wait to put them to use!
(These next are actually written on Saturday... I'm late... but o well!)
3. The house is getting ripped apart and put back together, getting ready to sell for the move to Boston! The basement has no ceiling at the moment, and the upstairs bathroom no wallpaper; both of which are going to get replaced very soon... :)
4. Today our SSPX chapel had its pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Kaskaskia Island. The river was unusually high so the water was right up to the levees and some of the fields below us were flooded. The sky was overcast for the first half, which was great, because there is no shade at all on the levee, along the top of which we circled the island to reach the beautiful chapel built by Father Marquette for his mission among the Kaskaskia Indians. (Here is a bit of history and pictures.) The fine old organ, built in the 1800s and restored in 2003, is one of only three of its kind surviving; it has a very good sound! I love playing old instruments, and this one is glorious, though I had to omit the trumpet stop, which was horrendously flat this year (last year all of them were in good tune). I pulled together a schola cantorum of boys from LaSalette Boys' Academy, one young man from St. Louis, and a gentleman from Kansas City who directed the chant; and several girls from Springfield and three from St. Louis made up the feminine section. We sang Mass IX, for feasts of Our Lady; the propers were those of Our Lady on Saturdays; "O Mary of Graces," Arcadelt's "Ave Maria," "Panis Angelicus," "O Esca Viatorum", and "Hail, Holy Queen" were the hymns and my volunteer choir sent them soaring to the rafters! There's nothing like a well-sung High Mass and these young folk did a wonderful job -- God reward them!
5. Ultimate Frisbee is a lot of fun. It has become the traditional post-pilgrimage-and-picnic game at Kaskaskia. We didn't have too much of a game this year, alas, because we didn't think anyone had brought a Frisbee along. Next year, though...
6. My eleven-year-old sister is teaching my sixteen-year-old sister how to crochet next to me. I haven't done that in ages... I might start again. If not for the risk of tendonitis, which I got last time I crocheted something rather large, I'd do it all the time; but I guess it's a matter of caution.
7. I find it amazing how hard it is to think of seven random little things to put that wouldn't bore readers out of their minds. Of course, I don't know that I'm not doing it anyway... am I?... I hope not. :)