Bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

On Sunday morning, I awoke to discover that my home had been burglarized while I was asleep. The perps came in through a kitchen window that they forced open. They took the mobile phone from next to my bed and the ipod from my bedroom. They also took three flash drives, my Playstation 2 and game controller, and about $80 from my wallet. My viola is also missing but I haven’t seen it in some time so who knows. My car keys were on a table inside the front door and with them, the thieves got into my car and took my camera bag with all the equipment therein and the ipod fm transmitter. Other stuff may be missing but it may take time to realize it.

I reported the crime to the police, the neighborhood security patrol, and to a few neighbors.

Monday night at around 1:15, I woke up when I heard shouting outside my home. It was Modesto PD in the process of arresting three teens who had been in the middle of breaking into my house. Within a few moments, several police cars arrived and the officers spent the next hour or so questioning the perps and collecting evidence. It turns out that the neighbor across the street has noticed these dirtbags prowling around my house and called the police. Many thanks to him!

I can only assume (and hope) that this was the same group of knuckleheads that broke in a couple of days before. If so, I may have some slim hope of recovering some of my stuff. I’m hoping for the return of my camera and with any luck, my viola as these were the most expensive items.

Music at St. Stanislaus

The Dedication Mass went well however my attempt to record it did not. I’m told that the video is still in production.

Since then, we also had to plan for Holy Week and the Triduum. It was hectic but I think that Holy Thursday went exceptionally well. Good Friday was meh, and the Easter Vigil went well, but again, Thursday was really good. Several musicians from the Spanish choirs as well as several people that were new to music ministry at the parish sang with the choir for one or both days. It was the first truly bilingual Triduum that we’d done at St. Stanislaus.

For weeks prior to Easter, I’d been saying that I couldn’t wait for the 13th and be done with the preparation for Holy Week, etc. But come the 13th, I was already trying to look ahead and plan for the next big thing(s) for music at the parish. I identified four specific things that I want to move forward with.
• First, we need to be looking for more opportunities to bring everyone together to do (bilingual) music. Perhaps Pentecost will be the next logical opportunity.
• Second, I want to try to restart the local chapter of NPM (National Pastoral Musicians). Maybe instead of trying to organize this on a diocesan level, we can work on a greater Modesto area gathering. Anyway, I’ve asked Beth Holtan, Music Director for Our Lady of Fatima to consider taking a lead on such a project.
• Third, I want to start a hand bell choir at St. Stanislaus. I believe that we can make a start at this with 2 octaves of bells and 6 ringers to play them. I’ve asked Jeff Bonilla, my friend who teaches music at Central Catholic to consider directing such a group. Or even if he’s not willing to do that, maybe we could borrow the school’s bells. I think a hand bell choir is doable and I’m setting Christmas 2009 as the target date for the debut of this group.
• Fourth, I have long lamented that there are all these kids that study instruments in jr. high and high school (and college) and never do anything with that experience after graduation. Parallel to that, we have all these kids in the parish who play clarinet, or baritone, or tenor sax, or whatever and we do very little if anything to allow them to put that gift to work for the church. I’d like to try to put together an orchestra of these kids (and adults who still want to play) that could play a couple or three times per year (Christmas, Easter, mid-summer maybe). In addition, if there were a few parishes doing the same sort of thing, we could even get together for combined orchestras now and again. Now, I say orchestra, but it would probably be more like a concert band, and not a full one at that. I imagine that we would do stuff like four-part choral arrangements of hymns arranged for A, B, C, & D parts so that any instrument could play one of the four parts.

Any suggestions about how to approach any of these ideas?