Thursday, November 15, 2012


Singing Lord Nelson tonight with Flummerfelt.  It's a really cool opportunity that I'm lucky to have found myself in!  First off, the soloists are all my friends.  Kyle is one of my besties, and of COURSE Derrick is one of my favorite people.  And I hadn't met Pam before, but I want her to be my friend forever!  She's the REAL pro in the group, sings with the Chicago Lyric, and man is it great to sing with her.
BUT, Flummerfelt!  Oh my God he is wonderful.  A breath of fresh air, even though he's very old school.  He has an intense passion for what he does.  I didn't know much about Flummerfelt besides his name and his bio.  I kind of assumed he was an early music guy, seeing as he was brought in by Crabb to do Lord Nelson.  He's NOT into performance practice at all, but that's totally okay.  I felt foolish coming in with all my inflections and trills and rubato, when he just wants me to sing as loud and accented as possible!  But he is a wonderful man and I'm so thankful to be working with him.
I am so thankful that in the midst of all the stress with my new job that I can have opportunities like this one to really SING and make music with people I love and respect.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I am listening to a lot of Magnificats today to try to plan out the magnificat portion of Lessons and Carols.  I came across a Vaughan Williams Magnificat, and Frank and I really love his work (who doesn't?), so I gave it a listen.  Oh man.  Well, the setting is really dark, but sometimes there are these glimmers of amazing soul-wrenching music that you can only recognize as Vaughan Williams.  And I told Frank that everything he writes has a moment of musical gold that makes you really FEEL something.  I think it's his instrumentation--he's really good at it (an understatement)--in that he knows how to create sounds that universally speak to people. 
And then I thought of Bach, and how I think he's the most universal of all composers.  I started to listen to Erbarme Dich, and I couldn't help but think of how the beautiful melodies and harmonies (not instrumentation, as in Vaughan Williams) tugged at my soul and had the power to instantly put me in a different place emotionally and spiritually. 
I say "univeral" because I really do think that this music speaks in the same way to people of different languages and cultures.  Surely studies have been done on this, right?  Surely someone has taken a Western musical work by the likes of Bach and asked people from non-western cultures what feelings/emotions it stirs up.  If anyone has read anything like that, please let me know, because I've always been kind of obsessed with this idea.

Sorry for the really poorly written post, but it was just on my mind and wanted to throw it out there...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Big Girl

I got the church job.  And MAN it is a big girl job.  All of the sudden I've gone from teaching a few lessons a week in my living room to forming search committees for new staff members, writing budgets and job descriptions, planning funerals, buying Christmas music, trying to figure exactly WHAT I'm allowed to do during Lent.

It's very overwhelming, but I am pretty sure that it is what I am supposed to be doing, and I think that once all the newness settles down, and new staff are hired, and Christmas is OVER (dear Lord it hasn't even begun yet...) I will really enjoy this job.  I was thinking about my grandma the other day, about how much I admired her and looked up to her.  She was a church organist and also an amazing pianist. I'd like to think that I'm paying homage to her in this job, almost like I'm saying "Nana, thanks for everything you taught me about music, and now I get to follow in your footsteps!"

That sounds corny.

BUT it's a good time in the Lang-Fleschner household.  A STRESSFUL, CRAZY time, but an exciting time.

Oh, and I'm watching the debate.  UGH.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cry Fest

We went to see Finding Nemo in 3D tonight.  Am I the only one who cries during the entire movie every time?  I think yes.
We had a "choir retreat" weekend full of looonnnngggg rehearsals, so it hasn't really seemed like a weekend.
I just realized that two weeks from today I will have just done a gig in Canada.  Boy am I swanky.  Canada.  I've MADE it.
The hamsters are rolling around my feet in their balls.  I love our funny little animal family.
Oh, and Aunt Sharon gave us a dog raincoat for Nelson.  when he wears it he looks like a little yellow butterfly and we are freaking out waiting for it to rain.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


So I applied for the choir director job at our church, I'm not sure if I mentioned that or not.   At first I wasn't sure if I wanted the job, but now I'm pretty sure I do--I think it's made for me, and I think I'm the best person for it.  It's nerve-wracking now because there are other people in the running as well, and I don't know where I stand.  This is such a stressful situation right now, but it's real nice when the choir members come up to me and tell me what a good job I am doing.  I appreciate it SO much.  It really makes me want to stay on the job, to know there are people who care about me so much.

That's all.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday Morning

Today we took the pup on a loong walk (for his standards) and it was the perfect morning.  We walked the Trolly Trail all the way to the Roasterie in Brookside, and sat outside and drank coffee while Nelson sat next to us and watching all the interesting humans.  Then Cortney and Zach joined us and we took off on a short treasure hunt.  Best Saturday.

Tomorrow is the crazy Sunday jazz service.  That is why I haven't returned emails and phone calls for over a week.  Logistics have been consuming my life.  Then job interview for said church job, then rehearsal.  Tomorrow will not be nearly as sweet as today.  But I don't think our pup could take another walk like that for a long time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Frank and I just adopted a puppy!

(Well, not a "puppy"--he's an adult...)

We are in love.  He is amazing.  Came to us house-broken and crate-trained.  A sweet two-year-old Boston Terrier named Nelson.  We have a lot of anxiety here in the beginning, though, as we remember Penny (another story, for those not in the know).  But we are constantly surprised with how well-behaved he is, and his ability to sleep through the night without barking (as far as we know).

I am still sick all the time.  But I am dealing with it.  Always using advil at every waking moment.  Started using the neti pot, which is both terrifying and exhilarating.

I'm all of the sudden struck with nostalgia watching the women's gymnastics team at the Olympics.  I remember 1996, with Dominique Mociano's floor routine and Kerri Strug's vault as being extremely important in my childhood!  And now this year's team is constantly referred to in conjunction with '96, showing old videos, me crying the whole time.  It's great.

July was insanity, filled with gigs gigs gigs, which is nice, and I am thankful, but it was exhausting.  A week-long trip to NYC with the Sackbuts, a weekend in Virginia for Frank's aunt's wedding, a week on the road with Prometheus, and then some lute songs here in KC with JEMS fest.  And then on Monday I found out I am taking over for Alan at Asbury as the interim director.  I am terrified and excited (much like the neti pot, yes).  All the while singing, babysitting, cleaning, and now raising this sweet dog.  Let's see how this goes...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat Wave

I'm going to write in this thing again.  At least right now--I have no idea about the future.

I'm not really sure if anyone reads this (wow, what a trite thing to say (also, whenever I use the word trite I think of Dr. Budds)), but I don't think that matters.  Frank is playing Skyrim right next to me, so I felt like writing a little to pass the time.

I've been really sick lately.  My third sinus infection of the year.  I thought the second was bad timing, but now that the third is (slowly) running its course, I'm beginning to think there could be something wrong.  It could be anything, really.  Maybe it's just the gross allergens around because they never really froze off in the winter.  Maybe I have a deviated septum (what??!!).  Maybe I'm allergic to gluten (please don't say I can't make cookies anymore).  Maybe our house is just dirty.  I don't know.  But it's damn stressful.  I get the kind of sinus infection (maxillary?) where your cheeks and teeth ache.  Not only do they ache, but they freak out when you eat hot and cold things, and you go to the dentist and he says nothing is wrong, and you can only eat on one side of your mouth for a few weeks, and then the other side starts hurting, so you can only live off of smoothies you sip through a straw, and the thought of eating ANYTHING terrifies you.  And all your husband wants to do is grill steaks.

That's basically been my life the past few weeks.  Sometimes Frank and I go to Oceans of Fun and jump in the fake waves and float around on tubes.  Our house is full of amazing produce from our CSA (note: everyone should have one of these, please) and we are constantly eating beautiful fruits and veggies.  I am babysitting a lot, and it is hilarious.  Frank and I both had our birthdays this month, and they were perfect (even though I thought both of them were going to be a little underwhelming...).  A Mary Kay sales associate I met while drunk at a party somehow found my phone number on her husband's phone tree from a choir gig and has called me about 5 times this month trying to give me a facial, even though I have been deliberately (and angrily) avoiding her calls like the plague.  I met and sang with Simon Carrington and he is an amazing man with an amazing career.  Everyone in the world is getting married and having babies.  Johann the fish died after being alive for 2.75 years--we buried him in the back yard under a tree and like to talk to him while we are picnicking and playing croquet.  I beat Frank at croquet ONCE.  We watched season four of True Blood in two days, and I am still terrified/obsessed.

I think that's it.  The important stuff, anyway.

I'm frustrated with how things are going.  Well, what I mean by that is I'm frustrated with all the drama from the past several months.  It's been one of those years where bad things keep happening at every turn.  It makes me emotional and tired.  I think it's good, though, that I'm able to make my career as an artist, and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to sing when things get crazy.