Tag Archives: Advent calendars!

2013 Advent Calendar

As long-time readers of the blog know, I have a weakness for Advent calendars, even when they don’t include chocolate. (Although…chocolate is good.)

chocolate… nom nom nom

So here’s the second annual virtual SOTL Advent calendar, sans chocolate. After the introductory entry of December first, each day will feature a Youtube video having to do with Christmas or winter music, along with a favorite memory of 2013. (Perhaps astonishingly, given the circumstances, I have a lot of favorite memories.) Yes, it’s a weird tradition – I don’t think any other classical music blogs do this? – but I get a kick out of assembling it, and I like to spread the joy of Advent calendars, so…

http://sotladventcalendar.tumblr.com/

Entries are queued to post at 12am every morning. So enjoy, and warm holiday wishes to you and yours.

If you’re not sure what to buy for yourself or your family members this holiday season, you should really consider purchasing tickets to see the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians in-concert later this month in their Tchaikovsky extravaganza. Because everybody loves the Nutcracker, am I right?

*****

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The End of Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar

Well, it’s Christmas Eve, and you know what that means: Minnesota Orchestra CEO Michael Henson is opening the last door to the obscenely glittery homemade Advent calendar that I made and sent to him!

A poorly filmed homemade video of me showing off the pretty Advent calendar I made for Michael Henson, as well as the cards I mailed to Jon Campbell and Richard Davis.

You can see the full virtual version here, at the Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar Tumblr.

This entire Advent calendar project may strike you as being ridiculous, and I agree, it was pretty ridiculous. However, I submit that it is not as ridiculous as attempting to decimate one of the great orchestras of the world without once giving a single in-depth interview about your intentions.

And no, in case you’re wondering, of course, I never got any acknowledgment of receipt, much less any answers. Not from Michael Henson, not from Jon Campbell, and not from Richard Davis.

Ah, well. I suppose I’ll forgive them. They’re probably busy preparing to answer to the state legislature.

Wishing all my readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We’ll get this thing fixed. I promise. I know for a fact that very big things are in store for us.

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Guest-Blogging, MOA Annual Meetings, and Advent Reminder

I was asked by Mr. Norman Lebrecht over at the Slipped Disc blog to contribute a summary of the Minnesota situation. Here ’tis. As I say in the article, I welcome any clarification from the MOA. (Heck, even an acknowledgement of my existence would be nice… *waves* I know you know I’m here, MOA! It’s getting awkward never hearing from you! Trust me, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of! I’m only 90 pounds, and I’m disabled, to boot! So come on over and pull up a chair!) Anyway. The lesson I took away from writing the Lebrecht entry? It’s much more difficult to write something in 850 words than it is in 3000!

I also have an answer to a question I’ve been hearing a lot of lately: when is the MOA’s annual meeting? And that question is invariably followed up by, can we protest at it?

According to the Star Tribune, the annual meeting of the Minnesota Orchestral Association will take place on Thursday December 6. We don’t know when in the day or where, so unless information is leaked and publicized in time, sadly we cannot protest at it. (I’m guessing that the MOA is keeping the time and location under pretty tight wraps. I can’t imagine they’re very keen on the idea of a public demonstration outside their annual meeting.) We have no idea what will happen there. (Some tough questions for Mr. Henson, such as, why did you lie to the state legislature? Discussion of canceling more concerts? Discussion of hiring replacement musicians? A full vote of confidence in MOA leadership from the board? Musician bashing? Union bashing? Musicians’ union bashing? The mind boggles at the possibilities!) In years past, Graydon Royce has reported on the meeting, so keep an eye out on the Strib’s website for that.

To be a fly on the wall there. There would be so much material for this blog, I’d be busy until Christmas. Oh, well. I’ll have to make due with all the material that is public, and to be fair, there is a lot of material that is public. I’m working on a couple of essays at the moment, examining management’s latest Strib editorial and Doug Kelley’s string of non sequiturs on Almanac. And I know Mary is working on another installment of her financials series. And I know of at least a couple other people who are digging around in tax forms and Internet archives and the like. And I imagine Graydon Royce is researching stuff, as well. So take heart; this story isn’t over yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Despite any discouragement you may have, keep your chin up, and stay tuned. We’ve only just begun to fight.

Hope you’re having as enjoyable a holiday season as possible, given the circumstances. Have you checked out the Song of the Lark Advent Calendar? If you haven’t, you should! We’re – er, I’m – still accepting submissions for memories / encouragement for all those affected by the lockout(s), to be sent to songofthelarkchristmasproject [at] gmail.com. I’d really appreciate hearing from you! And if you want to send out some polite letters of protest along with your Christmas cards this year, I have just the entry to help you do just that.

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Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar

Well, the two weeks of breathless anticipation have finally passed, and the First Annual (?) Song of the Lark Advent Calendar is now live on Tumblr!

Our primary theme this year is “Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar.” Our secondary theme is “a gaudy chintzy glitter-based aesthetic.” Our tertiary theme is “accountability to patrons and taxpayers.”

For more information on the project, visit

michaelhensonsadventcalendar.tumblr.com

You can get all the sparkly details there. Watch me! In a jerky Youtube video! Adorned in a silky red shirt and a glittery garland! Yammering into a webcam for twelve whole minutes! While giving dramatic readings of three of the Christmas cards I sent this year! And showing off my holiday crafting project! And explaining for the unenlightened what an Advent calendar is, and how generally awesome they are! (There also may or may not be some Alex Ross fangirling.) (Spoiler alert: there’s Alex Ross fangirling.)

As the MOA is fond of saying, we all have a part to play! Jon Campbell, Richard Davis, Michael Henson, every reader of this blog. Let’s all come together in this celebration of the holiday spirit. Bookmark the calendar. Follow michaelhensonsadventcalendar on Tumblr. Check back daily. Answer my questions. It’s a veritable cornucopia of accountability! Yay!

If you have a memory or encouragement to share, you can email me it at songofthelarkchristmasproject [at] gmail.com. We still need more.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

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