Tag Archives: Jazz

(Mostly) Classical Christmas

This week I’ve shared a lot of samples of classical music that we all know, but didn’t necessarily know that we knew them. We’ve heard this music in cartoons and movies, but possibly didn’t realize their actual origins in classical music. My hope is that you’ve discovered one or two new pieces of classical music and will start to listen to it a little more often than before.

Today I thought I’d share a few pieces of Christmas music – that you didn’t necessarily know are Christmas music! And well – if they’re not, they sure sound great on some of the “Classical Christmas” albums that are out there. Besides, Christmas music or not, I always enjoy listening to them around the holidays.

This is a link to Shepherds’ Music by the Boston Pops under the direction of Arthur Fiedler from their White Christmas Album. I have no idea who wrote it since I only have the CD and not the booklet that came with the CD, but that’s ok – it’s very pretty and I enjoy hearing it this time of year. If you know who the composer / arranger is (Could be Fiedler himself?!), please let me know.

Celtic influence

This is a Galician Carol by Spanish musician, Carlos Nuñez. I originally heard him perform several years back when he stepped out on stage with the Chieftains who were sharing a concert with Sarah McLachlan. That was such a fun show and this song will definitely make you think of celtic music – since that’s what it is

A bit more traditional

Here’s one by Mozart that you’re probably heard a time or two: Sleighride!

I first heard this on another one of my Boston Pops Christmas CDs: The Dream Pantomime from Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. It’s a gorgeous piece of music originally written for a ballet. At the Holiday Pops concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, we were treated to a pair of ballet dancers who performed in the front of the state when the orchestra played this for us. Gorgeous! Here’s a version by the Tulsa Youth Orchestra.

Ever a fan of J.S. Bach, I had to include this version of Sheep May Safely Graze, played here by the New River Orchestra out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Finally, here’s a piece I enjoy by Michael Praetorius: In Dulci Jubilo, performed by the Gabrieli Consort and Players under the direction of Paul McCreesh.

Yeah so what – it’s not Classical

…but it is Harry Connick, Jr, so that’s the next best thing, right?  Besides, he’s performing in a church and a lot of classical music was written for the church, right? OK, I’m stretching it a bit. Here he is performing a jazzy song of his called “It Must’ve Been ‘ol Santa Claus.” The song itself actually starts about 1:15 into the video.

Call for Audience Participation

This is a blog so it’s a little hard to organize an online sing along, but I would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite classical (or not quite classical) Christmas songs? Anything by Bing Crosby? His music in in my holiday playlist. Leave a comment below to share your favorites.

Merry Christmas!

 - Heather


Buskers: Paris, France

On our last day in Paris back in 2005, Mom and I were walking around the Left Bank before hopping back over the Seine for one last walk around the Notre Dame.  As we passed Eglise St. Séverin, we heard music – some really fun music!

This is Borsalino, the jazzy band we heard that day in Paris.  They played some fun music with a good beat that made you want to just tap your foot and stick around for a while, so we did.  They reminded me a bit of some of the music played in the movie Chocolat.  After buying one of their albums, A Little Taste of Paris, I understood why: Minor Swing, one of the songs they played and was also included on the film.

DSC00066I found a handful of tourist videos of Borsalino and include a couple here.  It looks like they have a rotation of musicians, but some are still the same.  On a happy note, one of their albums, Metropolitain, is available on iTunes now.  Like everyone else, they’re on Facebook, too.

Here are some pictures of Eglise St. Séverin where we heard them playing.  They were outside on the far corner, just across from the green awning in the lower left. Behind those buildings is the Seine River and then the Ile de la Cité where we were treated to more fun music – of another jazz band – which I’ll save for another day!


France has known no shortage of talented artisans.  Just look at some of the stained glass inside St. Séverin.  Amazing, isn’t it?



It’s been eight years since my last trip to Paris.  I miss it terribly!  I miss the beauty, the history, the culture, the people, the food…and I especially miss the music!

CSO Online Donation Update: September

It’s time for another update on the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Online donation process.  It’s been about a month since my last $5 donation, so I made another to see what, if any, improvements have been made.  I first have to say how I’m amused when I get my Email receipt that says,

“Thank you for your purchase! Below is a summary of your order.”

I’m amused because I didn’t actually purchase anything.  I made a donation.  There’s a difference, but Ticketmaster doesn’t yet know this.

Has it improved? No.  Not at all.

Any fewer steps?  No.  It still requires about 15-20 steps (depending on whether or not you’ve already set up an account) as well as navigation through many screens in order to donate. (Click here for step-by-step work instructions)

Any changes? Yes, but just a few “clarifications” which only result in increasing the level of confusion in an already-convoluted process. How many accounts can I have?  One at a time, but I need one for each organization I support? What?  Huh?

Look.  Is it worth your while to donate to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra?  YES!  Absolutely!  I firmly believe this which is why I keep writing about this process – in the hopes that the folks there will see the light and make donating much more user-friendly.  The symphony itself, the musicians – they really are that good!  Best musical ensemble in town and they deserve our support.

Better yet, just buy a ticket and go. Hear for yourself how well they play. Concerts start up next month.

CAPA Umbrella

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, or CAPA, has several organizations under its all-encompassing umbrella.


Columbus Symphony Orchestra

CATCO Theatre

Opera Columbus

Lincoln Theatre

Jazz Arts Group

Columbus Children’s Theatre

I’ve linked them all above in the hopes that you’ll take a few minutes to check some of them out because they’re all good and offer some great things!

As you can see above, there are a variety of options in this town for anyone who enjoys the arts: live classical music, jazz, theater productions for all ages in which you can either be on stage or just sit back and watch.  Silent movies with a world-class talent at the organ and a variety of musical and entertaining acts at various theaters around town – the Ohio, Southern, Palace and Lincoln theatres.  Seriously folks, we have a lot of great stuff to do in this city and I haven’t even started talking about sports!

Of these organizations, I’ve only ever seen Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Opera Columbus, but I’d love to check out the Jazz Arts Group and though my weird work hours unfortunately conflicted with a bunch of the CAPA movie nights this summer, I know I’ll eventually get to one.   I’m not worried.  CAPA’s not going anywhere! :-)

4 out of 7 ain’t bad

As you all know I’m clearly unimpressed with the online donation process for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  I don’t hide this.  I love the orchestra and I think Opera Columbus rocks.  The online donation process however?  Um…not so much.  It kind of picks and chooses the organizations to which a donor – casual or otherwise – can actually donate.  It’s very weird because they’re all part of the CAPA family, yet it’s as if there are definite favorites.   I’m just not sure what constitutes being a favorite – or if I would want to be one!

For starters, if you’re making an online donation to one via Ticketmaster, you’re stuck there.  You can’t even get back to the organization you started with unless you hit the back button a zillion times (about 15-20) or open a new tab and plug in the address again. This picture at the top of most every page within Ticketmaster, is misleading.


For those of you who are wondering, the above logos are included as part of one single picture, which is how I was able to include it above, so they only go to one link, which happens to be the CAPA website.  I think it’s great to have the logos up there, but here are my suggestions:

  • Make them seven individual pictures / logos / .jpgs with seven individual links to seven individual websites.


  • Update it so it’s obvious we’re going to the CAPA website instead of leaving us disappointed when we end up at CAPA after clicking on the Lincoln Theatre.

A tad inconsistent

As stated above, the picture with all seven logos is misleading. Within the Ticketmaster donation process, we can only donate to CAPA, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, CATCO Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre.  We are NOT able to donate to Opera Columbus, the Jazz Arts Group or the Columbus Children’s Theatre, yet their logos are included in the above picture, thus implying otherwise.  So of the seven organizations, we can donate to four under Ticketmaster (assuming we have the stamina necessary to make it that far), we can donate to two via their own – far better and far more user-friendly – online donation options within their own sites and the last one doesn’t offer an online option at all (it’s “under construction”).

I again have some suggestions.

  • Allow for donations to all seven arts organizations

OR (and this is my favorite)

  • Dump Ticketmaster and model all your CAPA family organization online donation processes after the Opera Columbus model.  Is it not included within Tickemaster because its online donation process is so much better?  Opera Columbus has its own – ridiculously more user-friendly – online donation process.  Click donate off the front page, click contribute online.  Fill out the form, submit.  Done.  I mean, it’s so user-friendly that it’s almost along the lines of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra user-friendly.

The Jazz Arts Group has a similarly user-friendly online donation option within its own website as well.  Why do some CAPA organizations have their own user-friendly online donation forms yet others are forced to suffer under Ticketmaster?  And why so inconsistent?  Do they not want to raise money online for all seven?  Well 4 out of 7 ain’t bad, but it sure as heck ain’t good, either.

If they really did want to raise money, they’d instruct their webmasters to switch it over to the Opera Columbus model.

As for the Columbus Children’s Theatre, its donation page is “under construction,” so right now nothing is there to guide a potential donor.

And as for the Lincoln Theatre, you can make a donation to it from within Ticketmaster, but you can’t actually get TO Ticketmaster from its website.  It just doesn’t have a link to it at all.  So, to donate to the Lincoln Theatre, you have to enter the online donation portal via CAPA, CSO or CATCO and then choose Lincoln Theatre for your donation.

Who would ever know or think to do that?

Does this seem a bit – odd – to you?

If you’re new to these posts and it seems a little weird to you – don’t worry.  It is weird.  I have no idea why any organization would want to force donors – especially casual, one or two-time donors who, for a fleeting moment might want to give away their money – to endure such a pathetically awful online donation process when they could just easily fix it by modeling one of their own organizations – something they already have at their own disposal!  With everything one must endure to donate to the CSO, CATCO, CAPA and the Lincoln theatre, those casual donors would never make it to the point where they’d plug in their card info.  They’d never make it as far as is necessary to actually “make their purchase,” i.e. make their donation because no one has that kind of patience (except crazy bloggers doing research).

Why is CAPA so uninterested in raising money from everyone but the richest of potential donors?  Same goes for the Symphony, CATCO and Lincoln Theatre?  If they wanted to raise money, they’d all have online donation forms that look just like Opera Columbus or ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

Still skeptical?  Well, do you have 3 minutes?  Grab your wallet and visit Opera Columbus to make a $5 (or more – your choice) donation to them.  It’s a great organization and like all arts organizations, could use your support to keep their performers on stage (and in the orchestra pit!).  While you’re at it, buy a ticket.  Madama Butterfly is coming up pretty soon.  The Pirates of Penzance is next spring and those are just two of their upcoming performances.

Remember what I was saying earlier about our having a lot of great stuff to do in our town?  Go back and start clicking on those websites I linked up there.  You’ll see for yourself I wasn’t kidding! :-)

Previous posts about the CSO Online donation process: August 2013 – July - Part I - Part II - Part III

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