September 2019 Muse Letter

GRADUATION CELEBRATION IN TEN PODCASTS ON THE WEBSITE

Over the last couple of months we have been posting sections of the Graduation Celebration as weekly Podcasts. The entire celebration is now available to watch on the MarkPearsonMusic.com website as well as the YouTube channel. The themes of the celebration are summed up in the 10th Podcast:

At its best among the gifts that higher learning affords us is the time and the chance – in a safe and challenging environment – to grapple with essential existential questions: who are we – why are we here – what are we meant to do with our lives?
What did I learn on my return? That shame can be a trailhead to grace – that in the end it IS about faith, hope, and love – love the greatest but faith perhaps the most important – also – like it or not – know it or not – we are not alone – what we do is important – but who we are is essential – and, blessed are the defining moments – that may give us meaning – and can lead to understanding –
The last few sentences of my final paper are these: This I know: Everyone has a story. Everyone has value. I want and can be someone who tells my story and gives a space and a place and ways for others to share theirs. I say this believing in our collective sharing that we may find the ties that bind. And at the core of what we find may there be love.

The Graduation Celebration was a chance for me to share some of what I believed. I also talked about how shame defined parts of my life and how there have been times when I lost faith. It was an opportunity to share the stage – for the first time in more than 50 years – with the group I sang with in college. It was a chance to perform for the first time ever with Mike Kirkland – the person I replaced in The Brothers Four in December of 1968. It was a chance to reaffirm in front of family and friends the importance of defining moments – moments that help define us and that we can define. 

The next weekly Podcasts will be songs from the Gratitude, Grit, and Grace album that we introduced at a concert at Benaroya Hall in May of 2017. Each Podcast will contain two or three songs. During the week that the Podcast is posted I will be introducing the audio recordings of the songs as well as giving some background on each tune.

BROTHERS FOUR NEWS

As I shared in an August Blogpost, the video that The Brothers Four did at Wheeler Theater in Port Townsend as part of One of Those Times in a Life has had more than four million views. Here is a link to it if you haven’t had a chance to watch it. If you do you might also want to join the more than 11,000 subscribers to the YouTube channel.

In September the group will be doing some shows with The Kingston Trio and the Limeliters. We are looking forward to it. The dates are listed on The Brothers Four website

Fifteen years ago The Brothers Four did a season of concerts with The Kingston Trio and Glenn Yarbrough. It was a lot of fun. The audiences tended to be large and enthusiastic. In the October Muse Letter I will give you a report on how the upcoming shows go.

SHARING WHAT I BELIEVE

I don’t know how you are feeling about the current state of our country. For me the amount of noise and negativity in the “air” is heartbreaking. So much of the way we talk at and about each other – often those we have never met - is downright mean spirited. One of the saddest things is how much the current President appears to enjoy and encourage the chaos and the division. Because I believe as an individual and as a nation we should be inspired and led by our Better Angels and not our Bitter Angels, I felt a need to declare what I believe when it comes to some issues of the day in a Blogpost. Here is a link. 

REMEMBERING THE DREAM

It was my good fortune to visit Civil Rights sites of the 50’s and 60’s half a dozen times and to spend time with a number of people who were part of the Movement. At this time I am putting together a performance piece that combines the history of those times, the music that helped give it a voice, and my personal experiences. I look forward to sharing more as the project continues to develop.

PATREON

It means a lot that you would take the time to listen to the songs and the stories that I am sharing. I continue to search for ways to make this journey financially self-sustaining. One way I am trying is to ask folks to become PATRONS through PATREON. With a contribution of any amount you are entitled to your choice of any CD I’ve recorded as a solo artist or with McCoy. If you are willing to give $10 per month for a year you will receive a video of the May 2017 CONCERT AT BENAROYA HALL or a video of the GRADUATION CELEBRATION as well as two CD’s of your choice.   

PHOTOS

Besides a photo of the diploma from the University of Washington, many of the photos are from Hong Kong. The large hall was full and the audience was boisterous. A fun night was had by all.

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