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By Pinkall @pinkall
It is snowing!
Today, is the first day of the new semester at the Conservatory of Music at UMKC.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, most of the teachers were not able to come to school today, so I am able to sit in one of the commons areas and watch the beginnings of what could be a blizzard later on today.
As I am waiting, literally, for the next semester to begin, I can't help but be amazed at what has happened since the last semester began only five months ago and I am so excited for what the next few months have in store.
These last five months have been hectic but very exciting.  I began work on my Doctorate (I still cannot believe that I am this far along already!) and Dusti and I moved to a wonderful neighborhood in Overland Park.  I got all A's (except for one class that awarded me a 3.7!? - I thought an A was 4.0 and B was 3.0).  My life last semester was spent preparing for many concerts and events including auditions in New York, covering the Conservatory's opera in November, several solo concerts and competitions including finishing second in Missouri NATS and singing the tenor solos in a production of Messiah.  I also had one of the most exciting performances of my "early" career as soloist for Monteverdi's Vespers with the Conservatory Singers and a couple of professional ensembles. My music education project, the Kansas City Vocal Institute, has been a great success raising scholarships for children, creating professional ties to performing artists, and offering great programs, lessons, and events - like the celebrity auction which was mentioned on USA Today's website.  And thanks to you all, this blog is currently ranked number 32 by Wikio in their list of the Internet's Top Classical Music blogs - thank you everyone!
On the lighter side of life, I learned how to ice skate and still haven't fallen.  Someone accidentally nose bled on me at a football game.  Dusti and I were able to see #3 K-State play #1 Duke among many other sporting events.  I got a new leather coat as a gift to replace the one that was peed on by a white Bengal tiger, which I took on a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and to the 2011 Ball Drop in Times Square, where I also sprained both ankles.  I also visited the Met for the first time where someone had a heart attack during Melisande's death scene - oh, and the tenor cracked. What a crazy semester!
As I am writing this, I have received warning that the University is closing due to the weather, well hopefully it won't lock me in the music building.  I guess that wouldn't be the worst thing.
Now, on toward a great 2011.
This first week of the New Year began with large amounts of free time.  My wife can attest that I am horrible at relaxing.  Fortunately, there was some great excitement during the week in that my parents-in-law gave us some tickets to the Kansas City Chief's playoff game versus the Baltimore Ravens.  Check out the video featuring my pointer finger (sorry the sound is a little off).

The highlight of this coming semester will certainly be my role as Don Ottavio in the Conservatory's production of Don Giovanni.  I am planning some neat things leading up to the dates March 17-20, similar to the (evidently) widely popular Weird and Ancient instruments segment that ran the last several months.  But here is the current upcoming schedule.  Please come and visit me or see my performances any time, and if you are making a special trip to Kansas City, please let me know because I always will love to see you when you are in town.
JanuaryTrip to Salina, KS to sing at University United Methodist Church (tba)Conducting the North Central Kansas Youth for Music choir in Concordia, KS (still in the process of confirming this) - 1/29-1/30
Submission Deadline for Carmel Bach Festival YAP (California) - 2/4
Kansas City NATS Contest - 2/6
Super Bowl Party - 2/6
Opera North Auditions (New Hampshire) in Lawrence - 2/8Conservatory Singers Concert of Bach Cantata No. 4 "Christ lag in Todesbanden" and the World Premiere of An American Requiem by William Averitt - 2/22
Kansas City Lyric Opera Auditions - 2/26
Operation Breakthrough Benefit Concert at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence (where Jan Kraybill is the Principal Musician - she's one of my favorite people in the whole world) - 3/5
Don Giovanni - Conservatory Opera - 3/17-20
Wichita Symphony Orchestra Naftzger Young Artist Auditions - 4/2-3
Conservatory Finale  - Poulenc Gloria (probably on my top 10 favorite pieces ever) featuring the Conservatory Choirs and Orchestra - 4/23
Hopefully an opera program somewhere
Administrative Director of the 33rd Annual Summer Choral Institute!
KCVI Summer Music Camp (hopefully)
Kansas City Symphony Chorus Auditions

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