Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last day

The last day of school is always bittersweet for me. I can easily shed a few tears...or more. I really loved this group of 8th graders. They were extremely talented, full of personality, way too chatty, and very receptive to what the music offered them each day. The groups that follow them have their own personalities. My 8th grade girls are generally very quiet and compliant - it will make rehearsals more disciplined and create better flow. They are all very musical and want so much.

At the end of 4th pd today, I had a discussion with my 7th graders who are currently in Advanced Treble - they are the returning members of thisTMEA group.

I asked, "What are you looking forward to about 8th grade?"
They all answered very confidently, "TMEA!"
My heart swelled!

I hope, as a teacher & choir director, I can create an musical experience that stays with them forever.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Choir members revealed

Today, during 7th period, letters of congratulations were delivered to the newest members of Advanced Treble Choir (AT). I asked 3 of my 8th graders to deliver all of the letters. They said the girls were very excited. There were a few disappointments and I've already heard from those parents. This sounds crass, but I do this every year, I'm used to it. I know what to expect.

Tonight, we had a student/parent meeting of new AT members. About 75% of the membership was present. I talked about the submission process, the extra rehearsals, costs, etc. All of the information was received positively. There is so much parent support in this group of kids.

I must stop for a moment and mention that over half of my present 6th graders (who will be 7th graders in August) went to TMEA in their 5th grade year. In 2011, Benignus Elementary Chorale and Schultz Elementary Shining Star Orffestra were both TMEA honor groups. In 2012, Schultz Elementary Drum Corps was a TMEA honor group as well. So, these 6th grade parents know the expectation level changes with this invitation. There are a few differences though. Learning the music is different and rehearsal time is exponentially greater.

I guess I gave all of the needed information because there weren't many questions afterward. Parents are very happy to have their child involved in this group and they are happy to get involved in the process.

Tomorrow is the last day of school. This is always the hardest day of the year for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Composer Dialogue #2

Today, I gave the idea of pairing 2 folksongs in a musical set to the composer. I told him that I want to use the a cappella, slow folksong first then musically transition to the more brisk folksong. I stopped myself and said,
I have to be careful b/c I want to tell you what I envision, but I don't want it to come across like I am telling you how to compose. That is not my intention.
 His response was honest & exactly what I needed to hear:
The more I know your intentions the more I can give you a song that you will be happy with. Please tell me what you want and I will work with it. I would much rather spend time getting what you want early on than re-write over and over to get there. I view this as your program and composition.
Aside: On the first piece, I have begun a music theory analysis - so that a teaching plan will evolve. I'll do this on each piece. Also, for each piece, I will utilize a "teaching copy" of the music and a "conducting copy" of the music. The teaching piece will have all rhythms, solfege, music theory analysis, etc. Anything that dominates the beginning of instruction will go into this copy. It is a messy copy of music. All pencil markings and scribble. All polishing - markings, dynamics, cues - will go into the conducting copy. This looks like a beautiful map of the music with beautiful, neat colors and lines.

I received 3 shipments of single octavos today. Perusal copies. It is all I can do to leave them on the table and not go through them. Until Friday. That's the first real dig into the music.

The Final Number

30 girls? No. It's 32 girls. I added 2 more girls. They are good sightreaders and follower voices. What they lack in vocal strength they make up for in tremendous positive energy.

Tomorrow, the congratulation letters go out during 7th pd and we will have a welcome meeting in the evening.

As I look at the list.....I am in awe. This is a really NEAT group of girls. Girls with so much dedication to discipline and being a part of a team. I can't wait to see how leadership evolves from this group because there are not super standout personalities. None that take over the room.

This group is made of
  • the best singers
  • the best dancers
  • the best athletes
  • 10 instrumentalists
  • 3 triple threats
  • 11 oldest children
  • 10 youngest children
  • 11 middle children
  • the list goes on & on...
Yet, they are just girls who love to sing.

Tomorrow, the excitement REALLY begins!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Glorious Letdown

During 4th pd - I told Advanced Treble Choir that next year's group has been invited to perform for TMEA 2013. Most of them are 8th graders, so they were not as pleased as I was. As the 7th graders were. I tried to tell them - YOU laid the foundation for this invitation. You are the reason we are going. That didn't work. They were still disappointed. ugh. my reality check.

To those paying attention....

Thank you for reading this blog. This will be a long journey, but already there is a ton of traffic on this site. It is scary on one hand, and makes complete sense on the other. Scary because people are really paying attention to what I say & some from very far away places (Russians & Germans are reading?). It makes complete sense because this is the 21st century. I work on a school campus that revolves around technology-enhanced learning. Blogging is my journal. Truly, it is my therapy. Fortunately, blogging doesn't cost $150/hr. I figure if I empty my thoughts each day into this medium then I can maintain some shred of mental balance along the way. I've tried blogging before, but it always turned into a rant of some sort that ultimately disgusted me. This TMEA experience is meant to be a positive one, so it stands to reason that these blog entries won't be rants. These entries will be stream-of-consciousness prose or daily accounts of any TMEA preparation. Comment. Question. Enjoy.

The Top of the Funnel

Today, Michael Goede & I met for brunch @ Black Walnut Cafe. Michael is the Choir Director at Klein Oak HS - which Krimmel feeds exclusively. We debriefed the year & began planning. We haven't had much time together in the past few weeks, needless to say, it turned into a 4 hr meeting. But it was so good to speak honestly to a trusted friend & colleague. He & I are very like-minded in our passion for teaching students music - it makes one conversation topic flow into another in one fluid motion. And sometimes odd, funny little tangents.

I shared with him my extra rehearsal & clinician scheduling ideas.
  • I will be scheduling morning section rehearsals plus 1 afterschool rehearsal each week. Every 4-6 weeks, I'll extend that afterschool rehearsal in order to invite a clinician to work with the choir.
  • We discussed WHEN to schedule those rehearsals. Either a Tuesday afterschool with a WThF sectional schedule OR a MTW sectional schedule follwed by a Thursday afterschool rehearsal.
  • There is so much to consider in scheduling and being consistent - athletic practice/game schedules, church meetings, dance rehearsals, voice lessons, piano lessons, etc. This list is endless with a group of girls.
  • We discussed a welcome back event in mid-August for the girls, then a retreat in late September/early October to dig into the music. He made suggestions for how to structure these rehearsals.
  • We discussed possible clinicians - who I want to work with the girls directly and who I want to observe & take notes for specific feedback.  This area requires much thought & preparation. More discussion needed.
We discussed repertoire in detail.
  • Gia il sole dal Gange is at the top of the list. Such a beautiful piece & possible opener. I want a string quartet accompaniment & have someone to transcribe it. I hear this setting in order to lighten the tone of the girls. The piano creates a plodding feel. I want it to float.
  • He looked at Pourquoi for me. Possible.
  • He looked at The Turtle Dove - we discussed pairing this piece with a folksong that I am considering. Not a medley, but a musically transitioned set.
  • Programming - I told him my lofty goals, he thought they were accessible.
  • A possible theme for the program? This is difficult for me. I don't find themes well unless they jump out at me. I could go with a "love" theme since we will be performing on Feb 14 or 15 - this is a bit cliche' though. Michael's suggestion is to pair 2-3 pieces that explore the theme of young or early love - this from my idea of young teenage girls singing about being in love. It is what their world revolves around & it creates so much energy!
  • Possible composers to explore Nicolai Porpora or Joan Syzmko for treble music.
We discussed many other topics. But these are just a few.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Look & Listen

This weekend, I brought home a work basket. Folksong books, single octavos, past TMEA printed programs, notepad, pencil bag of writing tools, laptop, UIL perusal books, etc., etc., etc..

After Meg goes to sleep each night, I have time at the computer to roam, piddle, listen, read, etc. I can't get on the computer in her presence b/c she wants to sit in my lap and "play", too. With the mouse, the keyboard. Our 11mo old is quite tech-saavy already. We embrace it.

Tonight, I am diving into a document of repertoire suggestions that was given to me by the Meryl Streep of my little choir director world - Denise Eaton. She has the power of EF Hutton. I am looking/listening to each piece & making comments - as I do with every piece. Right now, it is very important to WRITE down my thoughts since I am listening to so much music each day. My brain is on music overload and will remain this way until after TCDA. I must remain open to anything TCDA puts in my hands at a reading session.

I also requested a list from Joel Price - he's been on the UIL PML Committee for a few years, judges lots of contests. I asked him to give me a list of pieces from the PML that were not over done at contest and would be worthy of a TMEA program. This is a great list with lots of gems. I have skimmed & tagged these pieces (see the blue tags in the picture above) for further perusal.

Here is what I have looked at so far....
  • Singin' Texas by Francis Abernethy & Texas Folk Songs by Owens/Koehn - trying to find a possible "Texas" folk song to use in the program or have arranged for composition. Most of these songs are transplants with slight lyric changes. I found one song I like, but I want it arranged for boys.
  • The Owl Sings, edited by Susan Taylor-Howell, published by OAKE. I LOVE this book of folksong arrangements - by uncredited music teachers. The Turtle Dove & Pourqoui jump out at me. The Turtle Dove - b minor, open harmonies, wide range (low G for altos, high G for sopranos), difficult to tune, the most beautiful setting of this song I have found. Pourquoi - such a fun, happy little tune. I used to teach this piece when I taught elementary music with visual manipulatives. This setting is for 3 pt treble and SAT recorder ensemble. I dearly love it. It would be a fabulous tribute to Klein ISD elementary music teachers - all that they do to teach the Kodaly concept & Orff Approach daily.
  • The Prescribed Music List (PML) - the music bible of my life. Such a wonderful list of repertoire. In the Grade 2 & 3 lists, I have tagged everything I have performed, taught, don't like, want to look at, etc.
I told Michael tonight - I stand at the top of this funnel and it seems overwhelming. His response - It's a treasure hunt, tedious but exciting to find the gems. I've begun the hunt. He & I are meeting for brunch tomorrow morning to begin the dialogue.

Past Programs

Tonight, I spent time going through programs of TMEA choirs from 1996-2010. It is interesting how much repertoire is repeated within a 5 yr span. The task of creating a unique program that is not too challenging for the girls is daunting. Too challenging & they will sing out of tune. Too easy & everyone is bored.
I want to create a program that
1. Has at least 2 PML selections
2. Has at least 3 period pieces
3. Has at least 3 language pieces
4. Has at least 2 SA part pieces
I may be shooting for the moon. I have no idea until someone starts to play devil's advocate. Until then, this is all a bunch of lofty ideals.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I am quite positive that this TMEA invitation is not just based on 2 years worth of recordings. It is BUILT on the last 5 years of girls who belonged to one another and created music together. This is no small feat. When I watch my former students sing, I am reminded of all those rehearsals that we had together. The good, the bad, & the ugly cries.
2012-2013 needs a theme. We will find it.
If you dance then you must have boots of shining leather,
Money in your pocketbook
In your cap, a feather.
But if you would sing with me
You don't need a cent, you see.
So, come & sing together!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Final Exams Day 4

The last few students took their final exams today. Several have been out sick for the past few days. They were very worried about how they would sound. I wasn't. The final exam is just a snapshot of musicianship, but the whole year is taken into consideration.
In the past 4 days, I have heard some surprises (wow, they really get it), disappointments (hmm, they don't know as much as I thought), problems (vocal difficulties), and  proud moments (when they firmly grasp pitch matching & sightreading). Next year's sightreading plan will change to incorporate more tonal memory exercises. Evidently, I don't teach this concept as well as I hoped.
After I finished grading, I began character evaluations & attendance/grade checks. The character evaluations are subjective yet based on 9 mos of working with these students. Attendance & grade checks are all objective. The pile of evaluations is going to sit for a few days....ruminating.
Tomorrow, we go outside for snowcones!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Final Exams Day 3

After 3 days of listening, I can hear a TMEA choir next year. I have a few more to listen through in the 6th grade girls tomorrow. I have heard a couple of near perfect final exams. Perfect vocals and sightreading. I hear 26 definite singers and 4-6 more that could be molded easily enough. My goal is 30-33 singers, no more. The next step of the process is tough - checking this year's attendance records, grades, behavior, etc - all in an effort to bring the right group of kids together. Who knows? There may only be 24-27 singers in that group.

As for the boys - WOW - my 6th grade guys are gonna be rock stars in 2 more years. I went through 6 years of teaching boys that were, for the most part, not great people and trying to mold them into a good choir. What a struggle. Ok, that's not true. There were some true gems in those groups. Diamonds in the rough. We found success, but it was always such an exhausting struggle. This year, my boys have been squirrely, but delightful. I have loved them every year, but this year has been.....relaxing. They like each other (for the most part), they are very funny, and they get it. They LOVE singing. They understand sightreading. They WANT to do well. It was the right mix this year. I gotta keep finding more guys like this who will keep up this momentum.

Don't get ahead of yourself

I want to plan everything RIGHT NOW. I can't. There is a sense of urgency that causes great anxiety. I need to settle down for a few days & wait for school to finish.
In years past, I have become very adamant that my 8th graders be allowed to enjoy the last weeks & months of middle school. Mainly because they are encouraged to begin the high school journey so early - cheer, drill team, color guard tryouts, for instance. Getting these groups together for next year, practicing all summer, ordering uniforms - it distracts an 8th grader from the final moments of middle school.
Now, I am guilty of this same situation. I must enjoy these last few moments of the school year. Enjoy these kids who have been been so very, very wonderful in the last 3 years. I will miss this group of kids.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final Exams Day 2

Today was a better run of vocal/sightreading exams. There is much work to be done, but I am beginnning to hear a core sound of solid voices. Yesterday, I thought I was going to need to resend this invitation based on the singers I heard. So scary.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Final exams Day 1

My students take a Choir Final Exam. Part 1 is a written exercise of 16 measures. The student has to write in the rhythms & the solfege. Part 2 is the vocal exam - sing America (My Country Tis of Thee). Part 3 is Sightsinging 4-8 measures.
Day 1 reveals so much. #1 - my students can identify the printed notes by sight, but cannot find those pitches in their voices. No tonal memory. Ack!!! Not good!

Just the facts, ma'am....

The Krimmel Advanced Treble Choir will be the 32nd music group from Klein ISD to perform at TMEA since 1986. The group is the 3rd middle school choir to perform from our district. The others were Strack (1995) and Wunderlich (1990). The last KISD secondary choir to perform was 2006 from Klein Collins HS.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Composer Dialogue #1

Another career goal of mine (beyond TMEA) has been to introduce my choir to new music - whether it was written for them, newly published, or about to be published. I have never had a piece written for any of my choirs. I have taught newly published, about to be published, and submitted for publication music.

NOTE: I am not a composer or arranger. It is not my skill. Not every musician is a composer.

A couple of years ago, I established a relationship with a composer in the area. She gave me several pieces of music to peruse for feedback. That was a fun experience - she has an interesting view of harmony. It is not a view that I completely agree with - in terms of a middle school choir. Out of that perusal came the opportunity for my choir to read her music and record it. We recorded 2 pieces that she submitted for publication.  One of these pieces, I did suggest she take it from SA to SSA b/c her harmonies were very open in the 2 pt arrangement. This composer had a piece being published by BriLee, not one that we read or recorded, but we did use it for our 2011 UIL program. It was a lovely madrigal-type arrangement. The girls loved the piece. We invited the composer into a rehearsal to hear her piece prior to UIL. That was a lovely experience as well. I gave the composer time with the girls to talk about the piece and then they asked questions about how the composition & publication process worked. They were amazed that the process could be 2-4years long, in some cases.

In the last year, I have conversed several times with a colleague/composer in the area. He has emailed me "in process" songs for feedback. Again - this is such valuable & fun knowledge to gain. The opportunity to look at someone's original compositions - it is a tunnel of light into their brain. Or see on paper how a person hears a folksong arrangement. Fascinating.

When the TMEA invitation came, I knew I wanted to call him. I needed to start this particular process very early. In the last 5 days, we have emailed a couple of times a day regarding possibilities. I hear a medium-fast tempo folksong arrangement on my program. Does he have something in mind?

He emailed me an SSA arrangement to peruse and a couple of folksong melodies that he would like to do something with. The composed SSA arrangement has lots of open harmonies and dissonances. It's a Teasdale poem, very nature-centric with a deep, contextual question. The folksong melodies are from across the pond. One English in compound meter, the other Scottish in c minor. First thought - c minor, Scottish, yummy! And yes, I loved the melody more than the English melody. He has toyed with the English melody more than the Scottish melody in his composition process. But he is willing to see where the Scottish melody leads.

What I love about my conversations with this particular composer is that he is still in the middle school choir classroom. He understands the needs and limitations of the middle school voice. He is willing to discuss the discovery process of a composition with me. He admits that he may not be able to provide me a piece worthy of a TMEA program. I beg to differ, but I'll respect his self-awareness.

I'm not looking for anything grandiose. Don't get me wrong - I love grandiose. I love those lush, romantic, inspirational pieces that melt the heart. A piece of music that can schmaltz my heart is a winner. I'll find that piece, I'm not worried. My goal is to perform a composed piece that 1.) the composer can have published and hopefully, sell to the masses, 2.) is accessible to middle school choirs and their directors. After all, that's what I am looking for - good quality literature that is readable, teachable, and singable. But that's another conversation - Choir Library Building 101.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let the perusal begin...

The perusal of music has begun.....I was doing it today while my students took part of their choir final exam. Looking at music, listening to recordings, scouring the PML, etc. I need to like the PML selections more than I do. I dig into it this summer. Fortunately, I have made notes on pieces that were perused in the past few years. Post-it tags are ready. A pile of books began to form today. When school is out for the summer, the stacks of music will begin to form. Folding tables will be needed. I LOVE this part of my job - finding choral literature.

There is only 1 piece that I want on the program, but I don't know if it will make the cut. I am trying to emotionally detach from it, which is difficult. I taught the piece 7 yrs ago and did a good job with it. I want to do it again, but transcribe the piano accompaniment to a string quartet. It'll work, but will it FIT in the final program? I do not know that answer.

Fortunately, publishers are taking full advantage of the internet by letting customers peruse digital copies and recordings. Wonderful, valuable resources. Carl Fischer/BriLee probably is the best with this service. Santa Barbara Music Publishing - you can look at most everything online - Scorch viewer is needed to see the printed music. And they have a good audio player onscreen. Colla Voce and Alliance give you titles, but not audio or digital viewing options. I called Colla Voce and they are sending a perusal packet. SBMP - not willing to send perusal packet b/c of everything online. I ended up calling their distributor, Lorenz Corp, and buying single copies for perusal. My music dealer, RBC, won't order single copies for music they don't already have in stock. Understandable. I will need to call Alliance next.

Perusing the PML will take some time. I have done a mix of Grade 1, 2, & 3 literature over the last few years. I am surprised at how much Grade 3 I have done and I find Grade 2 very easy or not appealing. Hmmmm.....I need look at these pieces again.

Next week, I will focus on finding the singers needed for this group. One by one, I will listen to every choir student next week. I love this part. It is exciting.

The rest of the evening is for my daughter. All of tomorrow will be spent at Schlitterbahn Galveston with my students. This is the final big event of the year.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

Sherrie asked me today if I was scared. I said no. I'm not scared. Yet. Over the next 4-5hrs, a tidal wave of emotions began to rock its way through my body. At one point, I just wanted my Momma. Then I reminded myself of this TMEA goal that I have harbored for 17yrs. What is the purpose? Is this important? The purpose is create & make music. And yes, it is important. This invitation is the opportunity for student success. I can do it everyday in my classroom or in the cafetorium. But TMEA is an opportunity for not just student success but greatness. It is opportunity to find the intangible parts of music & teach students true ownership. The next 9 months will be nothing short of amazing. A year from now, this will all be over. But I want to remember how I felt along the way. This is our time.

Hurdles cleared

The load was lightened when I met with Monte this morning. Klein ISD pays for everything except meals & t-shirts. That is amazing. I am so humbled by the district's generosity in order to ensure student success. I have spent much of the day emailing Denise & Michael regarding programming. I've made appointments with both of them for this subject. And what I am most excited about is Sherrie McMahon agreeing to be my TMEA accompanist. The first 2 hurdles cleared - budget & accompanist. Now to begin hearing singers & the process of programming. I am stoked.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whirlwind #1

Today - what a day. My phone has blown up with calls, texts, emails, etc. It's so exciting to share this honor with "a great cloud of witnesses". I tell my colleagues in the district. I contact a colleague about a composition. I contacted Julie Birkner, Dennis & Judy Boyter, Denise Eaton - to share the news and to begin the quest.

During my phone conversation with Julie, I realize that I am using my cell phone in a school zone and the cop is slowing down then turning his lights on. Julie's comment, "Well, I hope this conversation was worth it. Talk to you later." It was, but he never came to get me. hmmmm.....

I began looking at music websites, starting at Carl Fischer. Then I emailed Denise Eaton. She is Wonder Woman of our little choir director world. If that is not true, then I am positive she has superhero powers. We immediately email back & forth - beginning the programming conversation. She knows choral literature.

The Call

May 11, 2012 - Pop Show - amazing concert!

May 15, 2012 - Pop Show Tour with 107 students at elementary schools. An exhausting and fun day. My daughter was with grandad at home trying to be fever free for 24 hrs. During the day, I thought, "Well, it is mid-May & I haven't received a phone call. Not this year, I suppose." Afterwards, Steve, Meg, & I met for supper at Mi Rancho. We finished dinner and put Meg in the car.

7:44pm - the phone rings, a local number. I thought, "Great! An angry parent about something that happened today. Who knows what went wrong!?" I answer the phone. The person on the other end has difficulty pronouncing my name - what else is new? Then she says, "This is Janwin Overstreet-Goode and I'm calling to invite your Advanced Treble Choir to sing for TMEA in 2013." My breath caught, I put my hand on Steve's chest. All I could do was mumble "Uh-huh?" She said, "Are you there?" I eeked out, "Yes, we'd be happy to be there." She went on to say that she would send me a packet of information and hung up.

People downplay this experience and the moments therein, but I felt like I had been handed an Academy Award. Awestruck with the huge task that I have dreamed of for 17 years. Happy to be near my best friend/husband for this moment - he is so proud and happy for me. Who do I call first? My boss. Then the HS choir director. Then whoever I could think to tell. But NO ONE would answer their phone. Then I called Felicia - my very best friend in the world - she answered. Telling her was amazing - she gets it and is joyful! Finally, people started calling me back. Sharing the news was amazing.


It's been a 24hr whirlwind, so let me backtrack.....

March 6, 2012 - UIL Choir Contest
Krimmel Advanced Treble Choir performed and received Sweepstakes - first divisions in each category. One of the concert judges suggested that I submit for TMEA. Contest was much earlier this year, I wasn't sure if a good recording was even possible. Those girls defied the odds and sang the art of each piece of music. It was magic.

Spring Break 2012 - I met with Sally Schott for lunch to discuss a variety of subjects and to give her my UIL recordings of the group from 2011 & 2012. She listened, provided feedback of each piece, then made suggestions for the order of the recordings. Plus, the recording levels from year to year was vastly different - that would need to be adjusted. During this time, I had lunch with Don & Sandi Parks - 2 of my mentors - I gave them a CD of the original recordings to listen and gain feedback.

Late March 2012 - Stan Lee got the recordings. He adjusted volumes and equalized them, plus reordered and did some simple editing. Per Sally's suggestion, he took out starting pitches on a cappella pieces, cut long piano intros with a 2 measure fade in to the choir, and eliminated applause at the end of tracks.

April 2, 2012 - Sally listened to edited recordings. Hmmmmm.....too much treble EQ in the 2012 pieces, some hissing sounds. Take the hiss out and switch the order of a couple of pieces.

April 6, 2012 - Stan & I go back to the original recordings and go piece by piece together. It takes a couple of hours. With his audio engineer skills and my ears, we find the right balance. The volume level of 2011 pieces was really good. The volume level of 2012 pieces was very low. We adjusted them to equal volume and the 2012 pieces came out with a hiss in the 12.5k and 16k channels. Stan lowered those channels and we found a sound that was within the range of "normal" and "natural". He made 3 CDs for me.

April 10, 2012 - I farmed the CD out to finely tuned ears - Jan Juneau - for feedback. Her question - Do you have the group next year to do this job? The answer - there is work to be done, but yes, the singers are there. Immediately, I began forming a plan to tackle those issues.

Lots of positive feedback was received. Then I sat on the CD for a couple of weeks.....just to detach from the process for a bit. Take my emotion out of the game. Just submit for the sake of submission. I have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Last week of April 2012 - I mailed the CD and set my mind on Pop Show.