Summer reading list

I don’t recall growing up with the concept of a “summer reading list” and really have no hook on which to hang that idea.  I remember the Arrow Book Club and some other monthly offer in school.  I remember liking the “Encyclopedia Brown” young detective series, and later, the Hardy Boys.  I liked reading when I was kid, I guess, but not now, so much.  Still, I feel that I should read, and am usually glad to have read something once the process is done.

Is a summer reading list a function of the academic year, or of a particular climate, or not?  I mean, I’ve been in schools for most of my waking years, so I’m not sure if nurses and salespeople and programmers and clerks have summer reading lists or not.

This summer, I have some professional reading to do, but more important is something I started (gasp) in the summer of 2009:  reading the book of Genesis aloud.  Without exception, I find that reading something aloud is better for me, when I have the time.  Ignoring the reading for the summer course I’m teaching, my reading list goes something like this:

  • Moses (?):  Genesis
  • E.H.  Broadbent:  The Pilgrim Church (2/3 through, and I want to finish this exciting set of accounts)
  • Erich Leinsdorf:  The Composer’s Advocate (1/4 through, and I want to glean more from this master conductor’s insights into music)
  • Dr. Luke:  Acts (and a couple of commentaries I picked up recently from the library—by G.K. Barrett, Marshall/Peterson, and N.T. Wright, respectively)
  • James Jordan:  Evoking Sound (skim … sifting out the Eastern philosophy and other aberrances from the profound musical advice!)
  • Edward Lisk:  The Creative Director: Conductor, Teacher, Leader (already scanned and took notes on the first two sections, picking up some helpful tidbits, thanks to a colleague)
  • Max Rudolf:  The Grammar of Conducting
  • Bruce Adolphe:  The Mind’s Ear:  Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination for Performers, Listeners, and Composers

For a musician, audio media and musical scores should of course constitute at least a portion of the “reading list.”  Here are a few on my list in these categories:

  • Prokofiev piano, string, and orchestral scores (preparing for rehearsing the Classical Symphony in the fall)
  • Persichetti orchestral and choral works (preparing for rehearsing the Symphony No. 6 for Band in the fall, and knowing the other wind works in some measure, digging in to his writing for other media seems to make sense)
  • Mozart:  wind serenades, op. 375 and 388
  • Maslanka:  Symphony No. 8 for winds
  • Gillingham:  Waking Angels
  • Alfred Reed:  Russian Christmas Music
  • relatively new composers to investigate and program:  Jason Nitsch, Margaret Brouwer
  • music of Henry Chadwick, Arnold Bax, and more ….

Please share your summer reading list … or, if you don’t have one, why not?

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