Pops of Sillery: An Evening Benefitting the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston

Gilbert and Sullivan - Pops of Sillery Join me and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston as we celebrate at our annual spring fundraising Gala! This year will feature a cocktail party atmosphere with pop-up performances by Alistair Donkin and featured Society performers throughout the evening. Enjoy “pops of sillery” (champagne), light bites, and the wonderful songs of Gilbert & Sullivan while bidding on the silent auction, trying your luck on the wine pull, and enjoying a parade of G&S costumes.

This evening will also honor our outgoing Society President of 33 years, Steve Robbins, as the Society thanks him for his many years of devoted service. Help us ensure that the magic of Gilbert & Sullivan is available to Houstonians for years to come by hobnobbing with people of similarly exquisite taste while raising money for a delightful cause!

Dress: Cocktail Attire

Saturday, March 24, 6:00-8:30PM
MATCH – Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002

Tickets: Order Online or call 713-521-4533

Music Random News

Open Letter to Classical 91.7

Lisa Trapani Shumate
Executive Director & General Manager
KUHA-FM Classical 91.7 Houston Public Radio

Mrs. Shumate,

I am terribly disappointed at the news of the staff firings today. To do so after having just conducted a membership campaign is truly reprehensible. Therefore, I have cancelled my membership.


Joe Carl White

N.B. Today, Mrs. Shumate fired 10 of the local announcers on our classical public radio station, after they completed the membership drive.


Sentimental Journey


I would like to invite you to my concert Sentimental Journey: Threeton & White Do Songs of the 30’s & 40’s, on Saturday, October 12.

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Deals Music

James Kibbie – Complete Bach Organ Works download for free

What a deal! Sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Music.

This website offers free downloads of the complete extant organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, recorded by Dr. James Kibbie from 2007 to 2009 on original baroque organs in Germany.

Exactly which works should be recorded? More than 250 years after Bach’s death, it is by no means certain exactly what he composed. The selection of works for this series draws on the Bach Werke Verzeichnis, Kleine Ausgabe (Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998), supplemented by other recent scholarship, including the work of Prof. Christoph Wolff and the research of the Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Institut Göttingen. Bach’s organ transcriptions of works by other composers have been included. Dr. Kibbie has also recorded those works which survive only as fragments, leaving these works incomplete as they exist in the manuscript sources.

For the “dubious” works which may or may not be by Bach, Dr. Kibbie has chosen which to record, including especially those long associated with the Bach canon, such as the Pedal-Exercitium, the Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth and the “Gigue” Fugue. On the other hand, some works long identified with Bach are now widely regarded as spurious, and so have not been included (for example, the Eight “Little” Preludes and Fugues).

Bach composed for organs ranging from the 17th-century North German instruments he admired in his youth to the mid-18th-century organs he himself helped design during his Leipzig years. For these recordings, Dr. Kibbie has selected seven historically significant instruments matched to the varying stylistic requirements of the Bach repertoire.

[From James Kibbie – Bach Organ Works]


Floppy drive organ plays tocatta-boingboing

YouTube user FunToTheHead has created a working organ that uses finely tuned wheezing floppy drives to play rather impressive renditions of music. It’s not easy to sequence for four-note floppy-drive organs, but FunToTheHead has done a rather good job with Tocatta and Fugue — a solid choice for any mad-science organ! I love that he’s got the blinkenlights synched with the music.

People have made floppy drives sing before, but this is my personal take on it.

Features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.

As it can produce only four simultaneous notes, and each drive has a different range and tonal characteristics, best results are obtained by arranging compositions by hand. However, it features two modes of operation: in one mode, MIDI channels 1 through 4 are played directly on floppy drives 1 through 4. In the other mode, all 16 MIDI channels are read, and notes are “intelligently” divvied out on a first-come, first-serve basis. “Note stealing” ensures that melody lines sound, but chords are often cut short. One or the other produces acceptable results for many unmodified MIDI files straight out of your favorite media player.

Phantom of the Floppera

So I built a musical instrument out of antiquated PC hardware… (Reddit)

(Thanks, Evan!)

[From Floppy drive organ plays tocatta]