Tag Archives: Music

Something to Talk About…..or Sing About

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Day 26 & 27~

Crazy few busy days has got me behind again.  Thanksgiving prep and Thanksgiving take a lot of time and bring on some exhaustion!  But it was a great day with loved ones and friends near and full of many blessings!

I want to combine a couple of things again today.  In a way, I guess you could consider them the same thing, but I want to break them apart a little.  Since I am a singer and I like to talk a lot….. today I’m grateful for my voice and my vocal chords!

My voice I will consider partly as having a voice.  A voice in what I think, or what I want.  Being able to voice my opinion.  Isn’t freedom of speech a great thing?  I don’t consider myself one to be outspoken on many issues…..(at least not publicly) but I’m grateful that I can be if I so choose.

This is a photo of me singing to my husband at our wedding reception in 1979.

This is a photo of me singing to my husband at our wedding reception in 1979.

But having a voice…. one that makes sound, requires the use of vocal chords.  Apparently I was blessed with ones that can be very loud!  🙂  I was told many times when I was young that I was loud…. especially by my siblings.

Thankfully, I must have been blessed with a little of my Mom’s genes when it comes to my vocal chords because I’ve always been able to sing.  It’s just something that’s come naturally to me and has afforded me many opportunities to perform which I LOVE to do!  In fact, as I get older, I get fewer and fewer of those opportunities and I miss it terribly!  Especially this time of year!  I love singing Christmas music!  About 13 years ago, I made a quick little Christmas album just for fun for my parents.  Since that time I have shared it with several friends and they seem to like it.  Which brings me a lot of joy.

My voice and vocal chords are a part of my body that I use everyday, as I’m sure most of you do!  I’m grateful to have and use them.

As a way to start off your Holiday season…. I’d like to share a little video my husband put together with a song from my Christmas album.  It’s one of my favorites…. Amy Grant’s arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…. but sung by me!!  I hope you enjoy it!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

 

 

M is for Mouth

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Day 8~

It’s a good thing I have a mouth to talk with, cause other wise I’d have to learn to talk with my hands.  (though I’ve been accused of doing both at the same time).

My mouth is so useful…. Like many other body parts, but many would say I use my mouth far too much!  Oh… I do love to converse with people, it’s true, but I’ve also been known to talk to myself.  I guess I don’t have any trouble keeping myself company in that way!  I’m usually pretty good at voicing my opinion about things.  Probably at times when I shouldn’t.  Sometimes I need to learn to bite my tongue!mouth

I also love to sing, which my mouth plays a pretty big part in.  As I have mentioned before, music has always been a big part of my life, but mostly through singing.  Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to sing as often as I used to, but I’ve been blessed to have some wonderful opportunities in my life to sing, for which I am very grateful.

Our mouths are used to form many words and sounds.  It’s a joy to me right now to see my grand baby starting to discover his voice and mouth.  It’s fun to see babies try and mimic what you are doing with their mouth.

I’ve been accused of being a loud mouth, or a big mouth in my day, (mostly by my siblings while growing up)….. but I’m just grateful for my mouth and the ‘voice’ it gives me.  Oh, And of course, giving kisses and smiles…..  that’s a pretty important thing to be grateful for!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

The Hills Are Alive With Sounds

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Day 7~

Oh the world is made of glorious sounds!  And I’m grateful I can hear them!

So many sounds…..  Some may not be perceived as too pleasant, or may be annoying to some people….. but MANY sounds are a pure delight!

Music, for instance.  While everyone has their own taste in music, we each can enjoy how music makes us feel personally.  I love a variety of types of music.  Mostly music that I would consider mellow or soft rock.  Being a theater person, I love listening to Broadway music.  I also love Oldies and Standards and many other types as well.  Music has always been a big part of my life.  I’m grateful I can hear it to enjoy it!How-Protect-Your-Ears-Concerts

So many sounds in the world are soothing…. like the trickle of a stream, the crashing of the ocean waves, the crackling of a fire, just to name a few.

Perhaps some of the most important sounds in my life are the sound of the voices of my family.  Being with family brings me so much joy.  Hearing their voices is comforting too.  Just ask a Missionary Mom who longs to hear the voice of her Missionary and is only allowed to speak to them a few times a year!  That is one happy sound!

For now, the sound of my sweet grandson, cooing or starting to giggle…. even a little cry all bring me so much joy!  I’ve waited so long to be a Grandma that I relish every sound he makes.  I look so forward someday to having several Grandchildren around me making all kinds of noise!

So today, I am grateful for my ears!  Oh… and besides…. for us women, (mostly), we can decorate them with jewelry! Just one more thing on our body to adorn.

What sounds are you grateful for?

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

 

What Would I Do Today IF I Had the Opportunity?

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There have been many times in my life that I wondered if I was ‘born’ at the wrong time.  It usually hits me during a ‘oh woah is me’ time in my spirits….. or when watching an old movie and wishing I could have done that.  And it hits me during modern times for the same reasons.

I love to perform.  Always have.  My Mom said I would live my life through my Barbie doll when I was little.  I acted out everything with her…. including being on the stage.  Luckily, I’ve had many opportunities to perform over the years.  I really have been blessed!  But I guess, at times, I’ve kind of had ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ as far as my experiences have gone.

When I watched older movies in that ‘mood’ I just described, I would sometimes literally ‘cry’….. why wasn’t I born back then so I could have gone to Hollywood when all those wonderful movie musicals were being made?   I would have loved to do that!  Now, would I have been lucky enough to actually been cast in anything????  I have no idea!  But a girl can dream, can’t she?

Even though I’ve been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities and blessed with fairly decent talent…. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to be there ‘back then’.

 what-would-i-doIt occurred to me the other day, that I have felt that way many times with today’s younger generations current opportunities.  Where were those awesome current musicals when I was young enough to play those Ingenue parts?  I’m SO jealous of these young kids getting to play such amazing roles!  Though there are some great roles for older women, they are few and far between and the competition to get those parts is huge!  I’ve been lucky enough to land a couple, but not all that I would like to.

Then there is the non-musical theater singing that I love to do.  Another thing that I’ve done for years.  I see all these soloist and groups finding a way to gain an audience and a fan base via the internet.  Again….. where was that when I was younger and was maybe motivated enough to promote myself that way?  Maybe I shouldn’t attach it to age….. but I think I’d have a much harder time gaining a fan base today at my age than the younger crowd does.

I think You Tube and other methods of promoting your talents is a pretty awesome tool.  It still takes money to make a decent video though.  It’s helpful if you have the backing and/or funds to do it.  Also…. some creative producer can make a huge difference.

I guess the thought that really occurred to me was would I do today if I were that young again?  I’m sure I’d have the desire to…. but would I have had the confidence to promote myself?  I don’t really know the answer to that, and I’m not sure I ever will.  I guess my mission in life was not becoming a You Tube or Hollywood star.  But that’s OK.  I’ve had a great life and can still enjoy my music without ever becoming an icon.   The best part is that I have been blessed with talents and I have been lucky enough to be able to share them with others.  And for that….. I am grateful!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

We Three Amigos

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I love spending time with good friends.  An occasional Girl’s Night Out (GNO) is great fun.

The other day, my good friends and I took the opportunity to go and listen to a presentation by another friend of mine called: Understanding, Appreciating and Supporting the Men in Our Lives.  I knew that we wouldn’t have as much time to visit with each other doing this, but I also knew it was good information we all could use to help better our relationship with our husbands.

We enjoyed the presentation a lot and each learned things that will help us.  As we were leaving that night, we stopped to thank the presenter, Ramona Zabriskie, who is a friend of mine.  I was telling Ramona that these are my good friends, the ones I have been singing with for years.  Of course, being a musical person herself, she asked us to sing.

Myself, Nila and Laurie at Nila's wedding Love these ladies!

Myself, Nila and Laurie at Nila’s wedding
Love these ladies!

We don’t really do a cappella.  Everything we do is with a live band or recorded music.  But I figured we knew the harmonies to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy well enough to get through a verse or so a cappella.   So we did and Ramona loved it.  It makes me very happy to be singing with these ladies.

Whether we are singing or not, I just enjoy spending time with them!  This was the first chance we had had to get together since Nila got married.  It was fun to catch up with her and see how she is doing in her new marriage.  It’s so wonderful to see her happy after being alone for so many years.

One of the things we learned in Ramona’s presentation is that women use LOTS more words in a day than men do.  That’s one of the reasons we are such social people!  I truly believe that women need women as friends because we understand that part of being female and we relish talking with someone who understand and thrives on that too.  And I seem to have a lot to say!

I’m grateful that even with our busy lives, that my friends and I can make time to get together and just enjoy each other’s company.  And if we get a chance to sing while we are doing it…. that’s even better!  Love you ladies!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Echoes of Christmas

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A few years ago, I was asked to be a part of a live Nativity that was being put together for the community.  I decided to become a part of what was hoped would grow into an annual Christmas tradition for the community…… and I’m glad I did.

The event I’m talking about is called “Echoes of Christmas”.  It is the brain child of Virginia and Bob Baird.  The idea was a dream Virginia had many years ago, but it took a while to get the people involved that were needed to pull it off.  She was finally able to line up the talent she needed to bring her dream to fruition.

Myself and Jerry Dunn as InnKeeper and Wife the first year of the show. I know we kind of look like Mary and Joseph because the Donkey is there.... but we're not! We just are tending to the Donkey's needs.

Here’s the description of the event from off the ‘Echoes of Christmas’ website:

2008 Saw the first year of “Echoes Of Christmas” and was very well received. The event is an annual gift to the community. The performance is suitable for families, youth groups, civic groups, church groups, and other interested persons. This outdoor event features 7 performances with the Nativity as the main theme. The performances include a solitary shepherd boy; shepherds watching their flock; a high priest at the temple; wise men from the East; an Inn keeper and his wife; Mary and Joseph; and hosts of angels. Guests rotate from one musical presentation to the next led by shepherds guides. The event is produced by Virginia & Bob Baird with original music by Clive Romney and orchestration by Larry Bastian. This non-denominational, inter-faith event has become an annual favorite for the entire community.

As you can see from the description,  it’s a very interesting concept for presenting the story of the Nativity.  Each of the described scenes are set several feet apart within Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.  Far enough apart the the music from each scene does not disrupt the scene before or after it…. yet not so far that the walk to complete the visit is so long or hard.  It’s written with the intent of being totally non-denominational so that anyone who believes in the story of Christ’s birth could enjoy it.

I was lucky enough to be able to play the part of the Inn Keeper’s wife for the first 3 years of the production.  This is the 4th year running and I chose not to be a part of it this year….. but I did chose to go support it!   That’s where my husband and I went tonight.  It was really quite fun to be able to walk the path and see all 7 scenes.  When you are in the show…. you actually don’t get to see the other areas perform because you are busy doing your own little scene all night long.  It was fun to see so many people that have been there from the beginning still involved.

It’s a wonderful way to bring in the celebration of the season….. with live animals in almost every scene, it adds so much to the atmosphere.  I’m so grateful that I had the honor of being a part of those first few years of the show.   I made many friends through the experience.  It’s still something that I will continue to support and hope that others will take the opportunity to see the Nativity done in such a unique way.

I’m grateful my husband consented to going with me to see it this year.  It was good to talk to Virginia and Bob for a few minutes…. and good to see Jack… the one who played my InnKeeper for 2 of those 3 years I was there.  He’s still at it!  Way to go Jack and Shellie!

If you live in the Salt Lake Area….. you still have 4 chances to see it!  It goes through the 21st December, every night but Sunday, from 7 – 9pm..  It’s a great little family outing or date night.  Dress warm and come with the spirit of Christmas in your heart.

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

Here’s a little video clip giving you a very brief feel of what the event is like.  You can hear my voice at 1:30 for a few seconds.

Christmas with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?  I don’t think I have.  Well I do… along with millions of other people.  They truly are wonderful.

I affectionately call them the ‘Mo Tabs’ …. You know ….. kind of short for MoTown…..  Only not…..    Just the Mo Tabs…… cause I like it.  It’s clever.

Tonight, I’m sitting here in the LDS Conference center in Salt Lake waiting for the Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert to start.  They have guest star appearances by Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn.  These Christmas concerts have become very popular and are well attended.  They will record the show and then make it available for purchase in a few months…. or, you can watch it on PBS.

Oh my……just sitting here watching the choir file in to their seats is fascinating.  They are so unbelievably orderly!  It’s almost like watching a computerized program evenly filling in the seats on both sides at the same time.  That’s not a good description of what I’m seeing…..  But trust me…..it’s fascinating.

I love hearing the choir sing the sacred music they are so well known for…..  But I love hearing their secular pieces too.  Tonight’s lineup looks like a blend of both. I’ve never seen them perform live…..  So this should be fun………….

Though this is not a picture from this years concert.... it had a very similar look tonight.

(Insert concert here….)

Wow…. Just wow!  What an impressive concert.  I loved being a part of the feeling of being there live!  It’s just not quite the same seeing it on a recording as it is being there.  You just can’t feel the synergy.

Though tonight’s show was actually a dress rehearsal, you’d never know it.  It seemed to go off without a hitch.  I’m grateful for the ‘jumbo tron’ screens they have at the conference center.  That’s a huge building and we were sitting way up in the balcony….. The screens made the concert much more enjoyable.

One of my favorite parts of the evening….. And there were many…..  Was when Jane Seymour narrated the story of Good King Wenceslas.  She would tell a portion of the story in her wonderful british accent and then the choir would sing that portion of the song as well as some dancers acting some things out.  It’s amazing how much more sense the song made once it was explained that way.  Ironically, a friend of mine that is a free lance writer had just written a story that mentioned that song.  He was trying to figure out what the song had to do with Christmas….  now I know!

Though I would have loved to hear more of just the choir singing….I still loved it all.  The guest vocalist, Nathan Gunn was wonderful!  Can you imagine what it must feel like to have the Mo Tabs as your back up singers?  Holy cow!  It must be awesome!

I’m so grateful to my friend Nila foe inviting me to go with her tonight.  It brought the Christmas spirit right into my heart!  Then to be able to come out of the conference center and see the Christmas lights on Temple Square just topped it off wonderfully!  Then we ended the evening at the Lion House Pantry with some soup in a bread bowl!  Now that really warms the heart!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Singing for the Seniors

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Have I mentioned how much I love to sing and perform?  I probably have….. but during this Christmas season…. I have to mention it again!

I love singing with my peeps… my girls…. my friends.  We have sung together since college and if I do say so myself….. we are pretty darn good!  We blend really well together, partially because we’ve sung together so long. We don’t seem to get to sing much together except at Christmas time, and then it’s not as much as we’d like to.  (It’s called marketing folks…. and we aren’t very good at it…. that needs to change!)

I love doing Christmas shows.  Christmas music is some of my very favorite music.  Tonight we sang for my Mom’s Assisted Living center.  Those little old people we so cute and gracious.  The amazing thing was that they sat there for an hour before we went on.  Most of their entertainment starts at 6 pm, so they just come out of the dining room and and sit in the lobby till the show starts.

Unfortunately…. we weren’t scheduled to start till 6:30 pm which means most of them had been sitting an hour when we started.  I could tell some of them were very tired, but they loved us so much last year, they knew they wanted to hang around.

I’ve just gotten so I love performing for those older folks!  They really are appreciative of what you do.  We had one cute little old fellow in the back tonight that if he hadn’t been confined to a wheel chair, I think he would have come on stage and started dancing with us!   He was adorable!  After our show I went over to talk to him and he didn’t want me to leave.  He wanted to get up and dance with me, but since that wasn’t’ a good idea….. I ‘danced’ with him while he was in the wheel chair.  We decided that someone needs to start a ballroom dance team with wheel chairs!  And he wants to be on it!  He was delightful!

Wow! I found out that there ARE groups that doing dancing in wheelchairs! Awesome!

Many of the other residents expressed their thanks to us too.  The little man we brought up on stage for Santa Baby had to tell a joke or two before we started the song and then came over afterwards to tell us more jokes!  So cute.  George, the man in the wheelchair, reminded me a little of my Dad with his cheerful happy attitude.  My Dad was a joker right up to the end.  Thanks for making me think of him George!

I’m grateful we have another chance to perform this coming Saturday during the Christmas season.  I just wish we had more shows!  I swear….. next year I’m going to market us and get some real ‘gigs’.  This used to be the time of year when we would have 15 or more performances in December.  Not that I want to be that busy now….. but 4 or 5 more would be ideal!  (Anyone looking for some great entertainment??) <grin>

I’m grateful for this Christmas season and for being able to share my talents with a few people.  I feel blessed to have that opportunity.  It’s something that I hope I can continue to do well into old age!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

I don’t know if this will work…. and it’s not a Christmas song…. but here’s me and my girls singing a Wilson Phillips song that was posted on my Facebook page.  I hope the link works.  You’ll have to copy and paste….  These were recorded during a live performance at the Mirage Hotel in the 90’s…. but I think we still sound this good or better singing together.

Here’s another one:

This is probably one of our tightest standards we do….

Karaoke Tracks

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No…. I’m not a Karaoke person…. not in the traditional way anyway!  I don’t go to Karaoke clubs and sing.  I’m not really into that.  I did sing for the Karaoke contest on the cruise we went on a few years ago…. but I don’t do Karaoke clubs.  Not that I might not enjoy it…. I’ve just never tried, and most of the places that do that are not the kind of atmosphere I want to be around all night.  But I am very grateful for Karaoke tracks!

I’m a performer.  Have been a good portion of my life.  I’ve been blessed to be able to perform with some college friends for the last…..  (ahem)…. 30 or so years.  I remember when Karaoke tracks started being made available to the public.  They were first referred to as minus one tracks, or minus tracks, meaning the track was without or minus the lead vocal.  That was before the oriental name Karaoke started to stick.  They weren’t very available in the USA for a while.  Luckily…. I was on a DOD tour (similar to a USO tour, just sponsored by a different department) when Karaoke tracks started to become popular, so we bought a few over seas.  I guess that’s the first time I even knew they were available.

Prior to Karaoke tracks, most of my performing days have been with live music…. which is really fun… I actually prefer it!  But that can’t always happen.  So when Karaoke tracks started to become more popular, my friends and I started doing  a few ‘gigs’ without the band because we didn’t have to charge as much.  Though we still love to perform with live music…. we are still doing shows with minus tracks.

Thankfully those tracks allow us to perform as often as we can.  Which, actually as of late, has not been as much as we would like!  There are so many performing groups out there that you really have to advertise today to make yourself known.  One of these days I will talk my friends into stopping long enough to get a head shot photo of us taken so we can at least start a Facebook fan page!

Thanks to Karaoke tracks, I made a Christmas album a few years ago.  It was just for fun and I did it for my parents.  However… it has become popular with many of my friends and family.  It’s not available on iTunes because I’ve never cleared the rights to use the tracks.  Someday I will do that.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy performing to Karaoke tracks with my friends and even occasionally by myself!  I’m grateful for those opportunities to do so!  My friends and I have two shows coming up in the next 10 days!  I’m excited to sing with them and to get into the Christmas spirit by doing so!!

Do you love singing to Karaoke tracks?

I am Grateful!  How are You?

(Come back to this post in a day or so and I will have posted a youtube video of one of my Christmas songs….. I just need to make it first!)

In the meantime….. I guess I can post this one I did this summer for a….. contest!!!

Oldies But Goodies

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I know I’ve blogged about music before….  actually in several kinds of ways….. but I have been so grateful these last few days for the radio station we found down here while in St. George!  Even though the reception has been spotty since it’s a station out of Vegas… 104.7….  it has been so much fun to listen to when it did come through!

Most stations specialize in a certain kind of music.  Country, Pop, Rock, New Wave….. whatever.  Even the Oldies stations seem to limit the music they play to just a couple of decades.  At least the stations I have listened to have.  This station out of Vegas covered the gamut.  While I would classify it as an Easy Listening station….  they didn’t limit the decades they played music from.  It was so awesome!

Here’s just a very small list of some of the artists we heard the last week or so:  Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tom Jones, Rita Coolidge, Blood Sweat and Tears, Diana Ross, The Carpenters, Michael Buble, Rod Stewart….. and SO many more!  All music that I absolutely loved!  And they weren’t all necessarily blockbuster songs…. but songs I really remembered.  Every decade from the 1940’s on was represented during the time we heard it down here.  And the only time we listened was while we were in the car…  I think that says a lot for how much variety of decades they had, considering we spent a lot more time at the ball field or at home than in the car!

I would love to find a station that I can pick up from my home town area that does that big of a range of music.  It was what I would call ‘happy’ music for me!  Memory music…..  feel good music!

I’m grateful we found the station and that we were able to enjoy it for a short time.  I just wish we could continue to pick it up on our way to Arizona….. but I have a feeling we’ll be out of range!

I’m grateful for how music can make me feel and that I choose to listen to music that makes me feel good!  I love the Oldies but Goodies!

I am Grateful!  How are you?