The Blindness Arts issue of Disability Studies Quarterly is finally here! This special issue, edited by Hannah Thompson and Vanessa Warne, represents several years of work, research, performance, and art among disabled contributors. My piece is called “Sacred Positions: A Personal History of Blindness and Singing.” This is how it begins… On a crisp December evening, … More My musical essay in Disability Studies Quarterly!
April 26 is International Guide Dog Day, a chance to celebrate the countless beautiful handler-guide dog teams around the world. It is a day to honor not only the hard work we do with our companions but the circle of loving support that makes this work possible. From the families that encourage us to go in for training to the trainers, volunteers, and … More #InternationalGuideDogDay
Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, age 53, is an associate professor in the Department of English at Bowling Green State University (in Bowling Green, Ohio). She teaches technical linguistics courses for people who wish to teach English to speakers of other languages. She says it’s a marvelous job: “I sort of love it.” She has a scattering … More October Interview: Spark, Startle, Enlighten!
Today the September issue of Wordgathering is live, and my essay, ‘Sketching the Rose,” is the sole piece in the Music section! Here’s how the piece begins: Summer can be a slow season for my barbershop chorus. We enter regional competition in April, and if our scores are good enough, we’ll compete on the international … More “Sketching the Rose” in the September issue of Wordgathering!
Today two of my essays appeared in the June issue of Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. The first, “Designing the Parachorus,” was originally posted on this blog (that’s right folks, you read it here!), and is now in a section of the online journal called “The Arts.” In this piece, I described … More Two Essays Published!
My three-part essay, “Sight and Singing,” appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Breath & Shadow: A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature: “I enter the large conference room, holding Kerry’s elbow. High ceilings and bare floors amplify the sound of our students’ voices as we find seats at the long folding tables. Most of … More Essay: Sight and Singing
Today Minnesota Public Radio published my piece about York’s presence in my musical life: “JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s Tuesday evening, and after a four-week hiatus, I’m finally attending chorus rehearsal again — but I haven’t assumed my usual place on the risers. I’m seated toward the back of the hall, awaiting a cue from my … More Article: Introducing my guide dog to the world of classical music
Today Classical MPR published my interview of a Jacksonville musician: “With a master’s degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music, Edith Moore-Hubert has performed in academic, liturgical, medical, and concert settings for almost 30 years. In 2010, she released a solo CD, Music to Calm Your Soul. She describes her music as therapeutic, … More Interview: “Therapeutic music: Edith Moore-Hubert on the healing properties of classical music.”
This short piece appeared in the Graduate Corner section of Forward Together: A Newsletter for Graduates of Southeastern Guide Dogs (August/September issue). * * * Before I started training at Southeastern, I spent hours dreaming of the moment when I would meet my pup. In my mind’s eye, the dog – features unspecified – would … More Love Songs: Guide Dog Training Part 4
If a friendship starts with a conversation about books, the two friends are hardly surprised when literature itself becomes a third, equal presence in the relationship. This is how things began for Katie and me. Katie became my first “college friend” when an orientation team leader asked her to look after me. Both Katie and … More “Singing Over the Bones”: The Miracle of Art and Intention
In his book Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness, John Hull calls himself a “whole body seer,” one who lives in a world seamlessly comprised of four senses. Like many blind people, Hull can detect seemingly visual features of his world through senses other than vision. He can understand where and how the rain … More The Character of Sound
Eleven years ago, I sat in a cold, hard folding chair, ready to meet my high school chorus director and fellow singers for the first time. Arranged in three concentric semicircles, the chairs faced a creaky metal music stand, a sturdy conducting platform, and a white board, designed to resemble a giant sheet of staff … More Music Lessons
At 6:45 on Tuesday night, Sherry and I enter the rehearsal space. We are among the first to arrive. We thread our way through the round tables toward the front of the room and deposit our bags. Internally, I’m bouncing with excitement. After six long years of absence, I finally get to sing with these … More In the Care of a Chorus
After I graduate, I want to audition for a group that brings musicians and artists to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and similar facilities. The idea of singing as healing has always appealed to me, much more so than the thought of performing. I don’t feel the urge to be the center of attention onstage where … More The curing hymn