Hello, cold cruel world. I’m Amanda Keil. When I’m not singing, running an ensemble, or writing grants, I write and think about music, which is what this blog is for. Specifically, I’m troubled by the shrinking status that classical music occupies in American cultural life, and I’d like to contribute to the lively debate on its future. I plan to address various opinions and facts on the topic, highlight good (or bad) efforts to cultivate audiences, and, hopefully, offer inspiration to my fellow performers to use their creative talents to promote the art form.
Qualifications? Two of the most useful degrees in humankind: a bachelors in French horn and a masters in Baroque voice. I also do a lot of teaching, and carving out a life for myself in multi-music-related worlds has taught me many things about today’s state of music making.
I am joined on this endeavor by Michael, my Highly Opinionated Companion (and the guy who took that picture), who used to sing in this group, and whose CD, download, and record collection (yes, records) spans most of Western classical music. We both like to discuss how classical music fits into the broader patterns of our culture, and how it can continue to do so without losing what makes it unique and compelling.
What’s in the name? We took the blog’s title from the following fragment by Coleridge:
What is the meed of thy Song? ‘Tis the ceaseless, the thousandfold Echo
Which from the welcoming Hearts of the Pure repeats and prolongs it,
Each with a different Tone, compleat or in musical fragments.
The header is taken from Edward Hopper’s Front Row Orchestra (1951), now in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.