I have about two weeks to get everything ready for my time teaching in India as well as having everything prepared and covered for the worship services at Christ Community. This is the first time in 25 years I have had the services planned 7 weeks ahead. I have one more Sunday before the adventure begins. The good news, I have all three classes outlined and almost all the lesson plans done. My goal is to finish those plans up this week.
Although I feel I do a good amount of teaching as I conduct my rehearsals, I am looking forward to being in a formal classroom setting and spending one on one time with students. As a composer, I am especially excited for the chance to do some writing and to communicate some of this experience through the medium of music. If you remember a few weeks ago I had lunch with Abe. He grew up in Thiruvananthapuram. I asked him if there would be Indian folks songs or sacred music that he thought I might be able to use to create new arrangements for choirs here. He suggested I look up songs written by Sadhu Kochoonju Upadesi. He was was a famous Malayali Christian preacher, poet and composer born in 1883 and was the leader of many missionary movements in Kerala. Upadesi wrote many songs that are now used in the churches in India. Much like the hymns of Wesley and Luther that we sing. I was able to find a website dedicated to his life and ministry with recordings of his songs. However, I could not find any scores for the pieces he had written. So one of the steps in the process will be to notate the songs I would like to use. I to translate them into English and create arrangements I can bring back for my choir. I will also be working on an orchestral work based of either some of the melodies of Upadesi or of Indian folks songs that I can program on the October concert for the Beatrice Regional Orchestra.
If you are interested in finding out more about Sadhu Kochoonju Upadesi, check out the website (www.sadhukochukunjuupadesi.com) and take a listen to a few of his songs.
Since this post already has a couple of unrelated subjects, I’m going to finish off with one more bit of information. Last Friday I sent off my piano books and the conducting books some of you helped purchase. The fee to ship a box of 25 piano books and 10 conducting books weighing 14 pounds was $90.96. I was thrilled I got off for less than $100.
Until next time!
This blog will journal my experiences as I prepare to go overseas this July and teach at the Asian Christian College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in India.