Enjoy this latest issue!
Musical Lives Go On...Here's a Glimpse

Our team is finding that even with the BMC "on pause," there is lots to do to keep the music playing, especially with so many faculty and students now having their lessons from home.

For this edition of our BMC Journal, we are delighted to  share messages from our Artistic Advisers Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, and Brattleboro Concert Choir Artistic Director Jonathan Harvey, as well as our intrepid BMC staff.

Jaime Laredo & Sharon Robinson, BMC Artistic Advisers

" As musicians and educators, dealing with Covid-19 has been a heart-breaker. Silence is golden, but not in our concert halls and teaching  studios," says the couple.

They're happy to report, "Music is not cancelled! How lucky we are to have FaceTime for online lessons, YouTube for inspiring performances, and digital concert halls for musical collaborations. We continue to seek what we know, pouring our souls into what has always healed us: MUSIC!"

The couple adds: "We send our deepest gratitude to the BMC family. Your friendship and support are more important than ever.  Stay strong and healthy!"

And please enjoy these videos of the  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor, and Gershwin's Summertime.

Jonathan Harvey
Brattleboro Concert Choir Artistic Director

"Like so many of you, I've been home with my family, missing my musical communities," writes Jonathan. "We've been taking morning hikes, and trying new cooking and baking projects. I've been figuring out how to be an effective remote teacher. And we've been focusing on gratitude, as the frightening news continues to roll in."
In the absence of communal music-making, Jonathan has been listening to more recorded music than he usually does and shares a selection of albums he's been enjoying. "I've found myself revisiting favorites, in addition to seeking out new treasures. Some are comforting, some are cathartic, and some are galvanizing."
Holland - The Beach Boys
22, A Million - Bon Iver
The Call of Rome - The Sixteen
Groovin' High - Dizzy Gillespie
Fire In My Mouth (Julia Wolfe) - NY Philharmonic, The Crossing
Volta - Bjork
Why Should The Fire Die? - Nickel Creek
Orange - Caroline Shaw / Attacca Quartet
Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa (warning - contains profanity)
Elgar - Sheku Kanneh-Mason
A Written Testimony - Jay Electronica (warning - contains profanity)
St. Matthew Passion (J.S. Bach) - Choir of King's College, Cambridge
For those of you who use Spotify, Jonathan has created a playlist that contains these works.

From Carol

Carol is happy to report the  annual New England Choral Festival going on as expected!

Say, what?

"While many human choral concerts have been cancelled in recent weeks, the ones provided by wetlands and vernal pools go on. In my neighborhood, the rehearsals began about 10 days ago, with full daytime performances starting last weekend, with the night time ones following a day later: wood frogs by day, peepers by night.

"For many of us the chirps of the spring peepers are one of the first signs that spring is truly here to stay. While peepers may be the most familiar of all 'singing' frogs, they are part of a much larger group known as 'chorus frogs.'"

Carol explains that peepers (formally pseudacris crucifer) are native to the eastern half of North America. Pseudacris comes from the Greek pseudes (false) and akris (locust), while crucifer, from Latin, refers to the cross-shape on the frog's back. (Who knew??)

Wood frogs, or  Lithobates Sylvaticus, the daytime choristers, are found in the US throughout the forests of Alaska and the Northeast, Carol says. "Did you know that wood frogs can recognize their family? When many tadpoles are in the same place, siblings seek each other out and group together."

Lithobates is Greek, Litho means "a stone," bates means "one that walks or haunts." Sylvaticus is Latin meaning "amidst the trees." Once mating season is done, these frogs prefer solitary life in the woods, says Carol, who offers the  peeper track and  wood frog track. Hear the difference?

From Solveig

"My happy thought is that we're roto-tilling a big section of the back yard where I live with my housemates and my kiddos," says Solveig. "We've been growing seeds for a few weeks now. The idea of sun-drenched tomatoes is just such a happy thought."

As for music...she offers " Music in the Glen/The Humours of Scariff" performed by the Bothy Band in 1977, the year she was born. "My mom used to play this for me while we were in the backyard garden, so it's appropriate."

From Raquel

One of Raquel's students is William Lehninger Swist, 8, who like other BMC students is spending his time at home continuing to practice, practice, practice.

This video shows Willy at the piano, playing
Scene No.1  (Of Foreign Lands and People) from "Kinderszenen" (Scenes from Childhood) by Robert Schumann.

He began lessons in January 2018, and his mom, Marcia Lehninger, explains the  video was taken on quarantine day 14, March 27th -- and yes, he's still in his pajamas. 

From Gay

Photo by Mitch Weiss

"One of the silver linings of this shutdown is that my two college-age children, Julia and Andrew, are doing online classes from home. I get to hear music by artists my kids enjoy: Sufjan Stevens, Waxahat-chee, Duffy, Dua Lipa, Jason Isbell... I have really been enjoying having them share these artists with me!

Gay also says "Like many of you, I have been able to continue my Beginning Trad By Ear lessons online - what a treat! I still miss seeing you all in person, and look forward to that day!"

From Meg

"About 20 years ago, a good friend introduced me to a very interesting and good humored American woman who has lived in Tuscany for decades and loves art, music and travel. We became friends and by chance discovered that we had both lived on the very same street in Brattleboro!

"Then, a few years later, after learning that I was working at the Brattleboro Music Center, she revealed that not only were her parents good friends of Blanche Moyse, but that Blanche was her first (and 'very strict') piano teacher. 

"Recently, my friend, who has been in isolation in Italy (though for much longer now than we have!), sent this very clever video, which translates as 'Stay at Home.'"

It weaves together art and early music with good humor that we can all appreciate at this moment, says Meg.

"It truly is a small world we live in now. Enjoy!"

From Mary

I'm finding encouragement and inspiration in changes, small and large, as spring gradually arrives. The snow pile on my deck is now gone (!), fresh bear claw marks on our house (forgot that bird feeder last night...), brave primroses peeking out on the hillside (daffodils appear in May up here), a sunny day at the stream, on Day 33,  and finally, in the courageous sign below, high in the windows at the Brattleboro Retreat.  Be well!