A New Musical: Allegiance

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Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved and differences resolved. ~ Bernard Beckett

allegianceHave you heard about the  American story now being played out on Broadway? Allegiance is a real and important tale of the Kimura family who came to America after World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Similar tales of family bonds, duty and defiance, hope, loyalty and the power of the human spirit could be told by 120,000 other Japanese-American families who fled their country in search of a new tomorrow in the United States of America.

George Takei and Tony® winner Lea Salonga star in this live theatre production. To read more about this live musical production, visit the website.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart & Soul.

World Class in the Making

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It’s my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity. ~ Ben Carson

unlocking the heart of an artist“Wow!” Claire  is one skilled young lady,” I thought as I sat in a pew with my husband at the United Methodist Church, http://bit.ly/1kd4g61 on Thursday evening, listening to the second senior recital of the week. She revealed her vocal talent with her ability to sing a huge range of compositions from Mozart’s De Holle Rahe to How Great Thou Art to more contemporary songs, such as Let it Go from Disney’s 2014 animated film Frozen.

But that was not all. This young lady did not hold back. Claire has much more under her belt of musical accomplishments. She demonstrated her ability to play two different types of  flutes, the piano and her latest interest – jazz on the saxophone. Through the song Whirlwinds Dancing, she exhibited what a Native American Indian taught her – how to play the Native American cedar flute.

One of Claire’s many teachers has been with her since she began playing the penny whistle at five years of age. As her teacher Mary Beth Norris said last evening “it has been a pleasure to work with Claire. She is like a sponge and to have watched her grow into a beautiful young lady with outstanding musical talent has been so special.” Claire’s  other music educators Christel Houston, Derek Hurshman, Hannah Bowers and James Knapp had to have felt the same kind of pride for their contributions to the talent they nurtured.

It is a beautiful thing to see a student who understood at a young age what she was gifted with and has had all the resources she needed to develop her special musical endowments. Claire will go on to study music at the college level.

Another delightful evening in the community of  Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Where athletes and artists work hard to become world-class.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

 

 

 

Dedication of a Student

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There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. Theres no such thing in life as in between. ~ Pat Riley 

Tanner Visnick

Several evenings last week my husband and I were occupied with “art events” and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Tuesday, we attended the senior voice recital of  a student named Tanner Visnick. My husband knew  Tanner only through his athletic abilities, and was astounded by his musical talents.  Tanner is also a telemark skier who is good enough to compete with the Europeans at a high level, and he is only a high school senior.

The musical compositions he chose for the evening included classical (sung in his native language as well as German and Italian) and show tunes. A mix of the serious and entertaining, his diversity of interests in music was showcased. Ave Maria, Bella Notte and An die Musik were a few of the classical tunes that he handled with great finesse. Then onto some musical theatre tunes such as Mr Cellophane (from Chicago), On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables), Ending with “Thankful,” which has been performed and recorded by Josh Groban on one of his many albums.

Tanner’s commitment and dedication to academics, sport and music has been admirable. Surprisingly, Tanner has his sites set on science as his major field of study next year. Thus, the “The Scientist” was included in the line up of compositions.

I hope when he goes on to college, he’s not finished with his telemark skiing and his music. He’s put too much work into it. But something tells me he will able to continue to handle almost anything that comes his way. He already at a young age, understands the commitment it takes to excel in any field.

Tanner Visnick.pjg

Photo compliments of Jeannie Visnick

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will digging up more young artistic talent when I tell you about the second senior recital I attended last week that was held at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/1kd4g61, presented by the Houston Music Studiohttp://bit.ly/1tY5Yxo .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Sounds of a Pioneer Valley

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The weekend before Thanksgiving I attended a concert called “What a Wonderful World” presented by the Yampa Valley Singers.

A fulfilling selection of thirteen songs was so appropriate to the season of thanksgiving; reminding me of things I am grateful for. The compositions ranged from spiritual to patriotic to contemporary show tunes. Most of the songs familiar; some  creative renditions of the originals. Here is the list of musical numbers from the event.

  • How Can I Keep from Singing?
  • America the Beautiful
  • For the Beauty of the Earth
  • Home (from the Broadway show The Wiz)
  • Try to Remember
  • Blowin’ in the Wind
  • Stopping by the Woods (based on Robert Frost’s poem)
  • A Long Way from Home
  • Blow Bugle Blow
  • All Good Gifts
  • I Vow to Thee, My Country
  • Hava Nagila
  • What a Wonderful World 

I am so grateful the Yampa Valley Singers come together several times of the year to share their artisic talents and voices with our community. I’ve gotten such enjoyment out of each of their concerts since I moved to Steamboat.

As I  sat enjoying the tune “How Can I Keep from Singing?” I thought if it wasn’t for my lack of a decent musical voice I would answer their call and join in. But, they wouldn’t want to hear my vocal utterances. Why ruin a good thing?

The Yampa Valley Singers sell independently published DVDs of their concerts- affordable gifts!  The choral group is comprised of approximately 30 -35 of people -friends and neighbors to many in this valley. To order a CD of the music from the concert “What a Wonderful World,” please click on this link. http://bit.ly/UnLPCO. There are also some wonderful cds from the Yampa Valley Boys that make for great gifts.For ordering Christmas Trail by the Yampa Valley Boys. click here.

Thank you for a very enjoyable evening, Yampa Valley Singers, and to the United Methodist Church in Steamboat for providing a space to hold the concert.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

 

Music of Americana

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“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”  ~Woodie Guthrie

Did you happen to see American Masters on PBS last Tuesday evening? Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home was a wonderful documentary filled with songs of Americana. Click for info & ordering

There are so many dramatic twists and turns in Guthrie’s life story that it made for a fulfilling documentary, giving us insight into him as a person, well beyond his musical abilities. In my opinion, he and his family’s brokenness made for outstanding lyrical songwriting. His struggles  seemed to give him insight into the human condition and  he had the ability to simply translate those feelings into inspirational songs that have been remembered and still sung four decades later. A wandering minstrel he was, with such talent as a full rounded musician.

To read more about Woodie Guthrie and the complex life he led, please visit this link http://to.pbs.org/SosT2w.

If you missed this American Masters documentary, keep your eye out for a rerun of it. It is well-worth watching and the songs will take you back to some of the most poignant times in our country’s history.

To order cd’s of Guthries music Click on this link

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

From Dust to Dreams

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Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Did you see “From Dust to Dreams” on PBS on Friday night? What an outstanding program; made for a fulfilling and fun evening. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been at the opening evening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. http://www.thesmithcenter.com   A stunning arena!

The 2,050 seats in the auditorium were filled to capacity reminding us as they pointed out in the show that “if you build it, people will come.” Like other top performing arts centers in the country, this creative space will stay booked and busy. It is in the city of Las Vegas, long known for its outstanding entertainment.

The show could not have been better orchestrated. Stars like Martina McBride, John Fogerty, Willy Nelson, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King, violinist Joshua Bell and many others ushered in the opening season and nearly brought down the house of this much heralded new venue that opened on March 10, 2012.

For me, however, the crème de la crème, were the artists trained in musical theatre; they sing so succinctly and clearly. Musical theatre is my favorite form of art, bar none. The range of tunes, from some of the most notable musicals in history, really carried the night. The audience heard songs from West Side Story, Ragtime,Man of LaMancha, Rent, Life of the Party, Sweet Charity and The King and I.  Some of my favorites.

The cost to build this facility was $470 million dollars and construction took 33 months to complete it. The finale was so appropriate to the evening. “Take Care of this House,” sung by Jennifer Hudson was performed with panache.

If you missed this show, there is a DVD of “From Dust to Dreams” available to the public, thanks to PBS. It is well worth buying and it would bring personal fulfillment as a Christmas present to the fan of performing arts in your family. Here is the link.From Dust to Dreams.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

“Explosive Growth” says Bowker

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The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

We are breaking away from our Friday film routine today because finally, I have found what I have been looking for. The storehouse of all publishing statistics, Bowker, has finally released their numbers for the year 2010. And it is indeed fulfilling news! 

Traditional publishing grew a 5% last year, whereas, “non-traditional publishing” continued along its path of “explosive growth” says Bowker. There were 1,033,065 non- traditionally published books put out into the marketplace in 2009 and these figures more than doubled in 2010 to 2,776,260, thanks in part to the availability of print on demand. The majority of these non-traditional titles are sold and marketed over the internet and are about “micro-niche” subjects. One can safely say, people are looking for publications that are different and unique. To read the entire Bowker report, please go to http://bit.ly/mBW02G

Although e-book sales are exceeding the sales of paperback books, http://huff.to/5f6hAJ, books in print are by no means a thing of the past. Many self-publishing authors and independent publishers (otherwise known as non-traditional publishers) opt for selling both print and e-books, so their presence is known in both digital markets and brick and mortar stores, libraries, colleges and other retail environments. 

So that’s the latest word folks, on this ever changing and fascinating world of publishing in this 21st century. We will see what next week brings.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.