it’s monday! what are you reading?

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

Happy Pi(e) Day! Happy St. Patrick’s Day Week! (Yes I know it’s “just a day” but I can’t wait to listen to my Irish music and cook shepherd’s pie, colcannon, and soda bread). Anyway, the last week or so during my orchestra commutes I’ve been listening to The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. It’s a really fantastic memoir about Nelson’s experience creating a non-gender-normative family with her artist-husband Harry Dodge, who is gender-fluid. Some of the language might be graphic, but it’s real and true life. I’m enjoying it and already about 70% finished. I also started reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel before bed, but only a few pages in so far! I can already see why everyone raved about it last year.

Side note: I’ve noticed that in 2016 so far I’ve only been reading books written by women. Not a bad trend! I could probably keep it up for a while longer this year, I have a bunch more on my shelf that have been sitting and waiting to be read.

What are you reading this week?

hmc + mafb

KCMetropolis.orgI can’t believe we’re halfway through December already! I’ve been wrapped up in holiday concerts for a couple weeks now, with two of my own via the orchestras I’m in and reviewing two for KCMetropolis.org. It just so happens that I ended up covering two of Kansas City’s major LGBT arts groups, Heartland Men’s Chorus and the Mid America Freedom Band. HMC is one of my favorite choirs in town—its shows are so much fun, with a lot of humor, heart, and awesome production value. MAFB is growing by leaps and bounds itself, adding shows and break-out factions of the group all the time. What I appreciate the most about these two shows I saw, though, is that while they were holiday concerts, the programming was adventurous and creative enough to warm even my semi-grinchy heart. As a musician, the performing arts offerings can become mind-numbingly repetitive this time of year—the same carols, the same arrangements, the same Handel’s Messiah, the same the same the same—so to hear some interesting, uncommon arrangements and programming themes that stray from the usual was the best, and these two groups didn’t disappoint on that front.

Read my full reviews at KCMetropolis.org:

heartland men’s chorus: baby, it’s cold outside

KCMetropolis.orgThe holiday season is in full swing here in Kansas City! In this week’s issue of KCMetropolis.org I have a new review:

On Friday after work I ventured into the frigid temperatures for a night out. First, I had drinks and snacks at chef Celina Tio’s Collection downtown with my friend Karen before we went to our respective shows. It was great and I’ll definitely be back! I had a signature cocktail and the mac n’ cheese. MMMM.

Heartland Men's Chorus

After that I headed over to the Folly Theater to review the Heartland Men’s Chorus‘s annual holiday production, this year titled Baby, It’s Cold Outside. I always enjoy HMC’s concerts because they are usually so uplifting, high energy, and silly, not too saccharine, and with just the right amount of heartstring-pulling. This one was bittersweet in particular though due to it being artistic director Joe Nadeau’s final production with HMC (he accepted the post of AD at the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles recently). The touching tributes and looks on the faces of the HMC members made it clear he will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.

Read my full review at KCMetropolis.org:

(Photo credit: Heartland Men’s Chorus courtesy of Susan McSpadden Photography, provided by HMC)