Category Archives: Author Visits

Monterey Pops honors vets on Memorial Day

Old friend Dr. Carl Christensen is conductor of the Monterey County Pops. The orchestra is comprised of professionals, but their concerts are free. I was honored to play a small part in their Memorial Day concert on the lawn of the Colton House (City Hall) in Monterey.

Featured artists included Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools conducted by Jim Paoletti; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez and me.

Musical highlights were the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley included A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections were “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is central to my life, to all Americans’ lives. It is somber, sad, cautionary – though filled with our shared aspirations – and true. Reading it aloud – especially when its timeless words are illuminated by great music played by great musicians – can only help heal our nation’s present divisions.

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I get to read Lincoln’s words on Memorial Day!

Here’s the announcement from the Monterey Pops website:

The Monterey City Hall Lawn performance(2 p.m.) will present a program of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites.  

Featured soloists include Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; narrator, Robert Walton;and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez.

Musical highlights will include the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley includes A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections include “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

https://montereycountypops.org/events/memorial-day-2018/

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Interview with Trin Carl

Pinnacles climbing on 12/10/17

Minnesota writer Trin Carl recently interviewed me for his blog. He asked thoughtful questions about my writing process and allowed me to ramble on. I even got to share my reminiscence about Tony Hillerman! I think you’d all enjoy the exchanges, so I’ve included a link below. Please do let him know you visited!

http://theglobaldig.blogspot.com

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The Gettysburg Address – its power grows.

The Monterey Pops performed a great concert at Stanton Theater in King City on November 11th. I was honored to provide narration for one of their pieces – A New Birth of Freedom by Randol Bass. The text? Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I got a lot of help from the Pops, but Lincoln’s words needed no help at all. He made it clear forever what being an American means and requires. Thanks, Abe.

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A Bear Story for the Ages at Gold Rush Days

The bear comes out of the tent. He’s looking for Bill!

I told “THE BEAR” story and sang campfire songs with 4th grade students at MCARLM’s 2017 Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park. I saw fifteen groups of kids over the two days of the May 24th-25th event. Among other things, they also visited a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store and a chuck wagon. Best of all, they panned for gold! My many colleagues did a great job and California history came to life!

Bill scared that old bear!

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Mission Days – April 1st, 2017

Mission San Antonio de Padua holds an annual celebration of California history. I was most pleased to participate in the 2017 event as story-teller and visiting author. The hundreds of visitors and dozens of presenters enjoyed an April spring day – mild sunshine, warm breezes and perfume of wildflowers – that only the  San Antonio Valley can produce – a heavenly visit to old California. I got to share Native American stories about silly Tarantula and how Kangaroo Rat got his blackened tail. I hope to be included once again next year!

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Authors Shine at Sol Treasures

sol-authors-2-24

Meet the artist events at Sol Treasures – intimate and collaborative – often blur the lines between presenters and audience. Such was the case on Friday evening when John Miller and I shared our books with a lively group of friends and visitors. John offered a concise though wide-ranging context for his bestseller Minecraft Lab for Kids. It was fun to see illumination bloom on attentive faces as he revealed the power of this new learning-through-play technology. I was pleased to offer a Presidents’ Day reading from my Dawn Drums. We cannot hear enough about Abraham Lincoln these days – we just can’t.

John and I have collaborated in teaching for decades. May it always be so!

P.S. Note my “Lemon Tree” shirt. Thanks, Kerry’s Mom! Your artistry endures!

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