"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" - Hebrews 11:1 (the Bible)
I can honestly say that I have had moments of extreme faith and moments of extreme faithlessness since the day I announced that I was going to do another album. Even today as I write this blog, I am feeling a bit anxious about the preparations, collaborations and coordination that I will initiate in the coming months. Right now, I am securing a date and venue for the recording, reviewing the budget, hiring personnel etc etc. I am truly excited, focused and decidedly faithful on making this album the best that I can produce. There's a lot to do to get ready! And again, I will be blessed to work with some of the best players in NYC. You can be sure that my dear friend and celebrated pianist Donald Vega will be back. I am also including another pianist David Budway on several songs. Because you have so faithfully supported me, this blog will serve to keep you up to date on the latest happenings as we count down to the recording date and eventual release of my second musical baby. I look forward to having you join me on this adventure. Welcome! We are finally going to do this! Look for weekly posts on or about Saturday morning to stay up to date on the latest news.
Love and Happiness,
Last weekend was devoted to attending performances of present and former students. It was a little bit hectic getting to all of the 3 consecutive nights of shows. My weekend is usually all about catching up - cleaning the house, doing career type things, stuff like writing this blog, and finally making sure that I stay on top of the responsibilities of my very much needed "day gig". A great weekend includes working on developing a new skill of writing music and of course, practicing. Driving back home from the last performance, I really thought about my life and how over the last 20 years of mentoring young people, I have tried like those before me to inspire, encourage and lift up "my musical children." Trying to get them to believe in themselves and their ability to sing, dance or act has not been easy. Young people have such little faith in themselves. To simply be the singer that God created them to be seems hard for them to accept. They need someone to believe in them . It made me think about my own journey to believe. Without people like my first voice teacher, Dr. Margaret Franzone, my sister Deborah, brother Steven and my wonderful Mom and Dad, I am sure that I would have ended up in an insane asylum or a rehab facility - worn out and ready to give up. I surely would not have been able to get to the point where I now can say that I make my entire living making, giving, and sharing music. Its been 21 years since Dr Franzone died and I still think of her. Her voice, her kindness, and her love still speaks to me - "I believe you Shirley" One of the many joys that I have as a mentor is knowing that I can be that voice of encouragement that helps a not-so-sure and slightly unbelieving youth become a beautiful musician.
Obituary for MARGARET FRANZONE, 80, A FORMER EDUCATOR Margaret S. Franzone, 80, of West Chester, a former educator, died Saturday, at the West Chester Arms.
In 1969 she received a doctorate in education from Columbia University. After that she worked as a music and art coordinator in the Pearl River, N.Y., school district. She retired in 1978 at the age of 65.
Posted: January 9, 1994
and to this I add...
She changed the life of more than one insecure, young singer and helped them to believe that they had something musical to share with the world.
Still thinking of you Dr Franzone, rest in peace.
"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." Steve Jobs
I really love this quote from Steve Jobs, my MAC hero. For those who know me –you know that I am a complete Mac addict and was very sad when I heard that Steve Jobs passed away. He has certainly been a huge part of my life - as I have owned Macs for at least 20 years. My favorite part of this quote is “have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition” Over the past year, I have tried to make that idea a guiding principal in my little journey here. I think that anyone who even attempts to have a career in any type of creative endeavor, be it computers or music, must have a ton of courage and plenty of good intuition – (My kudos to all of my creative friends – you are awesome!) May Steve rest in peace and may his example be an upward calling to all.
Until next time...
Love and Happiness,
Well, I made it to the semi-final round. Rumor has it they were fighting over ho the top 5 would be. I sure hope they were fighting over me. all in all it's been a ton of fun watching this all play out. Getting the letter and knowing that out of 900 people - I was one of the best. Bravo Shirley and congratulation son being one of the 2012 Semi-Finalist in Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition!.
Click on the link to listen to my interview with NCPR's Joel Hurd of North Country Public Radio