First performance of the 2013-2014 Westminster Choir



First performance of the 2013-2014 Westminster Choir

So this is what I’m doing this weekend. I am totally honoured and humbled to be in this ensemble.
(We also will be performing it on Saturday in Doylestown, PA:


Best news ever!


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My parents just surprised me with the best news ever: they and my sister are coming to NY for a quick trip in December.  No, not for Christmas: we’re still going home for Christmas.  They’re coming to attend one of my performances.  Actually, they’re coming to attend one of these performances:{AA4D1FF4-2E7D-4A89-8E56-CCF6FCA67022}

Westminster Symphonic Choir, singing Handel’s Messiah, with the New York Philharmonic, at Lincoln Center.

I’m over the moon.

I’m 77% Lutheran!


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Okay, I don’t normally post quizzes, but I’m a graduate student studying sacred music and I thought this was fun.

I was raised in Calvary Chapel, but my first church job was at a Lutheran church. Since then, I have jokingly thought about my Christian heritage the way I think about my familial heritage: I’m part Chinese, I’m part Portuguese, I’m part Methodist…

Anyway, have fun.  Leave a comment with your result! ^_~


Which Christian denomination do you belong to?
Your Result: Lutheran
You adhere to the theologies of Martin Luther, one of the first great figureheads of the Protestant Reformation. You believe firmly in salvation through faith alone, the issue which caused Luther to split with Rome. However, you do not accept the doctrine of predestination as it is interpreted by Calvinists, instead believing that anyone is capable of accepting God and entering Heaven. However, Lutherans do believe that all men are born sinners, and as such cannot reject sin through their own free will. Lutherans do have a broad range of views on church organisation, and while they are widely recognised as Protestants, many do not accept this grouping considering it was Luther’s intention to reform the Papacy, not split from it.
Result Breakdown:
77% Lutheran
69% Baptist
63% Puritan
61% Pentecostal
59% Calvinist
45% Methodist
39% Episcopalian
24% Restorationist
18% Catholic

Quiz URL:




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So…this is my life now.  (?!?!)

Philadelphia Orchestra

I am completely amazed, humbled, and overcome with emotion.

This weekend, the Westminster Symphonic Choir sang three concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  It all seems like a dream: I’m not even sure it was real.  But I am different, so it must have happened.  I am so moved…by the music, by the text, by our inspirational conductors, by my colleagues with whom I sang, by our Creator God who sang this world into being.  For the first time in a long time, I feel that I’m in the place I’m meant to be.  And yet — and yet — I’m in awe that I have a place among such wonderful music-making.  I’m beyond words, so I’ll sign off with the only word that seems to encapsulate what I’m feeling.



Below is the performance list from the program, and you can read a review of our concert here.

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor
Twyla Robinson, Soprano
Mihoko Fujimura, Mezzo-soprano
Shenyang, Bass-baritone
Westminster Symphonic Choir (Joe Miller, director)
Beethoven            Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, for chorus and orchestra
Nico Muhly            Bright Mass with Canons – PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
Beethoven            Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”)


Today’s mail


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Today's mail, 15 September 2013

I love checking the mail.  I love it so much, I never forget to do it.  Except yesterday.  I forgot yesterday.

This morning, I felt so homesick I cried.  So when I checked the mail this afternoon and found all these goodies, I cried again.  My mom sent a sweet note on a postcard from my hometown and a cute Fresno t-shirt.  Little Lucy B sent some original artwork.

Also in today’s mail came the latest issue of Choral Journal and my newly-renewed ACDA membership.  I don’t really look for hidden meaning in things, but this juxtaposition did make me think.  I’m in the right place, doing the right thing.  I’m equipped for the year.  And I have the love, prayers, and support from everyone back home.  This encouragement is exactly what I needed.  And it came in the mail on a Sunday, which, in a silly little way, tells me the message is from God.

Staying thankful.

I keep thinking, “I’ll write my next entry after I finish ________.”  Newsflash: That will never happen!  I just need to make the time.

Today is Friday the 13th.  These have historically been good days for me, and today is no exception.  It’s just been a pleasant day.  Even though things are stressful, yes, and I have to get back into the swing of being in school, yes, and apparently I will never have another weekend, ever — I am thankful to be here. I’m trying to keep that perspective when I have the urge to complain.

For instance, I’m in almost every single Symphonic Choir performance, and there are SO MANY performances!  There are extra rehearsals, and you know, you don’t just show up and sing whatever/however.  This is work.  This is what I do.  But on the other hand, these performances are with some of the top orchestras and conductors in the world.  That’s something incredible that I don’t want to take for granted.  Yes, I have to stay on the east coast through December 21 because of concerts, but hey!  I get to sing Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic!  That’s pretty cool.

Maybe this time next year I’ll be jaded and apathetic like so many other students, but I hope not.  In any case, I want to stay thankful.