Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bach Vespers This Weekend

See also the sidebar to the right for Upcoming Performances.

The Bach Society presents Bach Vespers on Sunday, November 1, at 6:00 pm. The program features works reflecting on the themes of All Saints Day, including J.S. Bach's cantata Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, a setting of the German Nunc dimittis from the Musikalische Exequien by Heinrich Sch├╝tz, and the cantata Bestelle dein Haus by Christian Boxberg.

The Bach Choir is joined by soloists Nathan Medley, countertenor; Randolph Lacy, tenor; and Paul Busselberg, bass. The Bach Orchestra (on period instruments) is joined by the musicians of the trio Tinta Barroca, including guest organist Sebastian Knebel, who will play Bach's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 544.

Christ the King Lutheran Church is located at the corner of Rice Boulevard and Greenbriar. There is no admission charge; a free-will offering will be received to support the series. For more information visit our website at or call (713) 523-2864.

Limited free parking is available on the lots west and south of Christ the King Church. Ample parking is available for $1.00 (credit card only) across the street at Rice University's stadium parking lot on the southeast corner of Rice & Greenbriar.

Houston Arts Alliance KUHF

The Bach Society is funded in part by grants from the
City of Houston
through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Push-ups and Bach

They have nothing to do with each other, as far as I know, except that I'm going to mention them both in this post.

The push-ups part

I have done push-ups on a regular basis for most of life, since I was an adolescent. They work out a lot of muscle groups at once, and don't require much time, space, or any equipment. My limit has always been "about 60". That's how many I could do in a row when I was at my peak of fitness in college, that's how many I could do in high school, that's how many I can do now. It is interesting (and somewhat frustrating) to me that the number never goes up. To be fair, in college I think I could hit 67 in a good set, while now my top number is 64. Still, not much difference.

There is a website called One Hundred Pushups that lays out a plan to work up to doing 100 push-ups in a row. According to their schedule, if you can do 60 push-ups, you're on week 6, the final week. You will do multiple sets of push-ups, with prescribed rest periods in-between. No doubt this is the key to building up endurance. However, when I tried, I was unable to even come close to doing the prescribed workout, which is (again) instresting and frustrating.

Anyway, five sets is too time-consuming, so I've been doing three sets: as many as I can do (about 60), 30 seconds rest, as many as I can do (about 13), 30 seconds rest, as many as I can do (about 10). We'll see if it leads to increasing my maximum. I know it has to be possible. Look at all the records!

Another exercise I like is Burpees. Again, it works a lot of muscles at once, in a short time, and requires little space and no equipment.

The Bach part

We had our first vespers of the new season with the new, smaller (16 singers instead of 24) Bach Choir. It went well. We were situated on high risers so that our voices could carry over the orchestra. Having heard the recording made by KUHF, I have to say we sounded really good. So if you get a chance to come hear us, please do. Next service is Nov 1 (see the sidebar).