I'm in a choir.  And a local paper did a story on our choir.  And I like it.  Read on below...

You can find the original story here.

Many thanks to Mel Sundquist, and of course, the Deseret Chamber Singers. We have concerts coming up, if you're interested.  Details are at the end of the story.
November 18, 2010
Mel Sundquist - Daily Herald

In a world where the "professional choir member" is an endangered species, many of Utah's graduated collegiate choir students become frustrated by the lack of professional outlets for their talent.

In an attempt to fill that gap in the lives of ex-choral members at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, Rex Kocherhans started the Deseret Chamber Singers in 2006.

"The reason I created the group was because I was looking for some kind of way to continue the wonderful experience I had with the BYU Singers," Kocherhans said, mentioning that the BYU Singers is a small choir with 30 to 50 members. "That experience has its own wonderful aspects. There's a lot more individual accountability and responsibility with each singer, because you don't have 10 other people singing your part. ... So there's more responsibility, but also more payoff. ... You get to know everybody in the choir better, and there's a kind of camaraderie since it's such a small group."

The Deseret Chamber Singers are different from most community choirs along the Wasatch Front in several key ways. Their membership is limited to about 30 to 50 members, the majority of their singers are in their 20s and 30s, and they maintain a professional-quality standard while working on an entirely volunteer basis.
"It is a bunch of former university singers who loved it and lived it, and miss it," said Eric Vogeler, a tenor in the choir and publicity co-chair. "They want to keep singing and performing, and they want to recapture the magic they got to experience. That brings with it that amount of passion that you can't get from a professional choir. It's just unique."

Kocherhans agreed about the singers' passion.

"Most of these people are choral conducting masters students, or have advanced degrees, or degrees in voice. ... The amazing thing to me is the lack of ego in the group. They're amazing musicians, and yet we have such a great time singing together."

The choir will perform its newest concert, "Sing Joyfully," twice this weekend. The songs in the concert represent a wide range of styles, from Renaissance to German romantic to American folk; the general theme of the concert, however, is the exhilaration of creating music.

"The common thread through all the music is this sense of the joy of singing," Kocherhans said. "It has that common thread of the joy of opening your mouth and singing, and creating music with your human instrument."

Though both performances of "Sing Joyfully" are in churches, Kocherhans said that the venues were chosen for size, price and acoustics rather than religious atmosphere. "We're not a religious group; we don't advocate any particular faith of any kind. We sing sacred as well as secular music."

For the first time since its inception, the choir created "Sing Joyfully" under the direction of a guest composer, Timothy Workman. Workman and Kocherhans have a musical relationship spanning years -- together they were in a barbershop quartet called Reprise, which won the International Barbershop Quartet Championships at a collegiate level in 2001.

"He and I go way back," Kocherhans said. "We have a really common musical thread that runs between the two of us."

Kocherhans, who works in marketing by day, was previously conducting the choir without an advanced choral degree. He said that Workman, who recently graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Ph.D. in choral conducting, brings "a new level of professionalism and legitimacy to the choir with his degree."
In addition to its live performances, the group is recording tracks for an upcoming album. For updates about performances and the album, find the group on Facebook.

If you go...

Sing Joyfully

When: Friday (November 19) at 8 p.m.
Where: Provo Community Congregational Church, 175 N. University Ave., Provo
Tickets: Free, but with a $10 suggested donation

Second performance:
8 p.m. Saturday, November 20 at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, 777 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City.

Info: deseretchambersingers@gmail.com or search for "Deseret Chamber Singers" on Facebook



How much do I love Paul Millsap?!  46 points against the Heat.

I still can't believe I haven't watched them yet.  That will change.  Soon.


Bad Choices

My wife tells me I'm brilliant...except when I'm not.

(Love you, honey! (And your honesty...except when I don't)).

In all seriousness, I make my fair share of dumb moves:

1.  Turning on the headlights on my way to work this morning.  

That in and of itself was probably a good move.  A smart move.  A safe move.  But that's where I flubbed it.  Entirely.

I left the headlights on.  All day.

The poor car probably beeped at me as I got out.  "Beep! ebv!!! Beep! Your lights are on!  Beep! Beep! (you're going to be so angry when I'm dead when you try to leave work at 5:05 and can't really leave work until 6:00)! Beep!!"

Bless the bailiff who stayed late to give me a jump.

2.  Trying to take out my contacts after cutting jalapenos.

Thankfully, I only made that same mistake twice.

3.  Watching a scary movie with a sinus infection being treated with prescription strength Pseudoephedrine
(Warning: Video Link "scary movie" not for the faint of heart).

I set myself up for this one.  I recognize that.  I didn't check the rating on the Netflix, I didn't know much about the movie, and I made the mistake of starting it alone, in the dark since erv was at school late that night and I kinda like scary movies, but erv doesn't like them and I totally respect that because they freak me out sometimes.

So the movie was chilling, but definitely not terrifying enough to keep me from falling asleep before the drugs kicked in.

And this is where things get interesting.  I apparently am one of those people that pseudoephedrine affects more drastically than others.  It makes me anxious to the point that I can't sleep, that all I can do is pace around the apartment wondering which is better--insomnia or sinus pressure so great I think my skull is going to pop.  (Definitely insomnia).

So I wake up suddenly with the movie near the end and creepy things are happening and I have no context for...wait...what is she doing?! Oh, please for the love... (and I cover my eyes but have to peek at what's going on, because pseudoephedrine also makes me six years old again, apparently).  And, whamo! The scary part really hits, I whimper a little, crawl over to the computer desk, rip the power cord out of the socket and turn on all the lights.

Then erv came home, and she made everything better like she always does.  And then everything was well and good when I feel asleep easily in the arms of my beloved...

...until 3:00am rolled around...

...and I woke up in a sweat...

...and my heart was racing and I couldn't focus on anything in the room, and I swore someone or something was in the room...


...and that something would definitely possess erv as she slept next to me...

...and what chance does a guy like me have against ectoplasmic negative energy anyway without a Ghostbusters Proton Pack?!...

...well, let's just say that I cowered under the covers for the rest of the night in my pharmaceutically enduced nightmare.

In the end, I think my lovely spouse probably has things confused.  I'm definitely more often not brilliant, except when I am.



This blog serves many (admittedly selfish) purposes--

Soap Box.
Observation Point.
Comedy Club (although I wonder if everyone/anyone laughs).
Couch (for potatoes and friendly conversation).

I realized today that I haven't written as much as I used to.  A bit of me cried when I realized I'd lost a Google "follower" (see the widget box to the upper right).  It was a little like being unfriended on facebook--somebody took the effort of cleaning me out of their life.  Like any breakup, I tend to want closure.  To know that it wasn't me, it was them.

But this one is probably my fault.  In the whirlwind that was last year, it was difficult to find the time required to write on these things.

But now I think I'm ready to be back.  Married a year, helping a lovely wife wade through her Master's Degree, working (and grateful to be doing so), etc. has finally fallen into a comfortable groove.  It is, I think, the best groove I've ever been in.

And with that groove, I think I've finally found more blog time.

So here it is, my promise to myself and to anyone who deigns to read this: I'm going to write more. 

At least once a week. 

And I'll try not to waste your (and my) time too terribly.

Keep my feet to the fire, please.