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Notes and Beats

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By Ila Stoltzfus, Music Director 

Dateline: June 1. 2011

It is wonderful to be back from my Educational Leave. Several people have asked what I did on my “vacation.” I wish I could say I spent two months on the beach, but alas, I did work during my Leave; the kind of work I can’t usually do.

For the first part of April, Neal and I spent time in Pennsylvania. I visited three UU churches, attended the spring conference of the Joseph Priestley District. While in PA, I spoke with several people who work with music in their churches. (Some are music directors and some are part-time staff people.) I also sang in the choir rehearsal at First Unitarian of Pittsburgh. Along the way we visited family and enjoyed some wonderful excursions.

Here in Baton Rouge during the end of April and all of May, I caught up on some reading, gardening, organizing, and I studied piano and voice with two wonderful teachers. This of course meant that I practiced to prepare for the lessons. I also visited some other church services here in Baton Rouge to see and hear other music programs.

The days were full but not crowded. I could choose my pace and arrange for quiet moments. During May there were many wonderful cool and breezy days that were irresistible for gardening. I also spent many hours on the patio with two cats (Kerfuffle and Allegra) and my computer working on projects, listening to music, and dodging the anoles that were brought to me with such pride.

I was hoping to gather information and learn from other music directors and musicians and I was hoping to find some quiet. I believe that I met these goals during the two months. Again, I want to thank you the congregation for making the Educational Leave possible, and I thank all of the wonderful people who stepped forward to keep the music program moving seamlessly during this time.

As we go into July, we will hear a variety of music at our services. On Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30, the Gospel Choir will begin rehearsing for the Gospel Sunday on August 7. All are welcome to join this group directed by Marie Flowers.

The Adult Choir will begin rehearsals on August 17 at 6:30 for the fall season and the November concert. There will be more about the November concert in the August Notes & Beats.