Showing posts from 2010

New Year... need less, not more.

What would happen if we all tried to make do with little less every day, week... ?  I don't know for sure, but I have trouble thinking that it would be anything bad.

Real success is derived with asking less from more, not more from less..  management, leadership, fundraising, business.. the list goes on.

Want to make a difference? start here.. stop expecting others... and carry your weight as a model of service and humility, not a badge of honor.

Merry Christmas from VaTenor, Tenor style...

No Christmas can be complete as a tenor without  "Comfort Ye and Every Valley" from Handel's Messiah.  This year, I had no Messiahs to perform in full, but I enjoyed this wonderful opportunity during a recital at Bon Air Presbyterian Church for their Second Sunday South of the James series.  My favorite portion of these two iconic works...

"The voice, of him, that cryeth in the wilderness.  Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert, a highway for our God."

Merry Christmas!

Is quality job one? for church musicians..."a conversation"

re: Music in worship... Church music.. professionals and amateurs interacting to worship GOD...
---taken from a lengthy FB exchange on the subject with some excellent friends and colleagues and fellow musicians in ministry

Intention is critical but it must be followed with execution. Quality doesn't come from quantity. 
Finding the balance. It is quite a challenge. I despise the loss of commitment to excellence. Not about style. It's about understanding that there is a bar. And not everything is good enough.

How would we define quality?

How about using a measuring stick for something beyond karaoke level. I would say: Elegant, diverse, stylistically uniform, innovative, flowing, alive, cohesive... In tune, right notes.../rhythms, coordinated and inspirational both for performers and audience The list can easily go on.

Success here is about seeking not settling. Too many music ministers settle... With such low levels of expectation. And then overuse words like amazing, awesome, li…

Monopoly is a big deal..

Primer on economics and how they relate to Monopoly.. and gov't.  Everyone should read this important article

Whois VaTenor according to FB's new profile?

wow.. good thing I have this.. helps me remember who I am.. ;-)

Performers... from the board room to the concert hall...

Perspective matters:  Seeking to meet expectations creates an infinite pressure loop brought on by self imposed, but well learned knowledge of imperfections... Usually stifling creativity, innovation, and energy...

Exploration creates an infinite opportunity for pursuit of excellence and exceeding expectations.

In the end you will be judged on
If you have to choose one... above all else.. Passion is the key..  goes by many names... authenticity, heart, devotion, consideration, commitment, connected...

The discipline and execution are table stakes.. if you can't demonstrate those, you should quit now...

Tip of the spear

Team meetings are really pretty amazing these days.  Enough said. The picture says it all. Video really is the tip of the spear for creating a culture of collaboration with a geographically distributed workforce... there is no substitute for face to face interaction..

Choosing a side is not a solution

Bush did it. Obama did it. Carter did it. Reagan did it. Clinton did it. Since we elected them.. in reality, WE ALL DID IT.. whatever it is...

The blame game is useless even if it can be amusing.  We look back too much and we barely even look at where we are. When we do, we end up fighting among ourselves rather than seeking a route forward, together.  American's capacity to only seek out views and consume news and analysis which support a single sided agenda is terrifying.  Self selecting "spin" and lack of diversity is dangerous for the future of all. Civil discourse honor and a "bipartisan" approach to our future is possible.. even today. 

Open debate, and disciplinedprocesses lead to decisions and then consequences. Strength for all of us comes from diversity of ideology blended with strong leadership and action. 

Actions must generate results not rhetoric. All we can know for sure is that the leadership and actions of the past got us where we are today... &qu…

Ministry Moments - wondrous, joyous, mundane

This morning begins much as many before it.  A fresh day with all of the challenges and opportunities I am accustomed to "managing".  Yesterday was a good day. It was a blessing to perform as an artist, using the pieces of me which God created and refined through so many days gone by in the years past.

Sacred Home was a worship journey.. and as such, it can never be complete but here are some moments I want to remember.

Staples had a cold.. so while we could make intimate music with him.. he was off limits for "touching"The power emanating from the piano in Postlude.purity of the sounds in the soaring of Heidi's Water is wide.The build and release of the lines in Pieta Signoreaudience members mouthing the word "Jerusalem" in the Holy City... as I told the story mixing up children and angels.. perhaps that is because they are interchangeable? The diversity of the soundscape generated in each set. unconventional to be sure, but it worked by showcasing t…

Program to be proud of...Sacred Home

SACRED HOME Presented at Second Sunday South of the James at Bon Air Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Nov 14, 2010 4pm.

God fully expects the church of Jesus Christ to prove itself a miraculous group in the very midst of a hostile world.  Christians, of necessity, must be in contact with the world but in being and spirit ought to  be separated from the world. --- and as such we should be the most amazing people in the world.  A W Tozer 1897-1963

“If with all your hearts”  Recitative & Aria from Elijah  Felix Mendelssohn
“Simple song” from Mass Leonard Bernstein
The Water is wide arr. Brant Adams

I am a part of Your living body, Lord Jesus, Fill me afresh with Your Spirit and open my eyes of faith so that I might understand not just in theory, but in day to day living, what it means to be a part of your body.  Teach me to think Your thoughts, to see with Your eyes, to hear with Your ears---to live and move and have my very existence in You.

Pieta Signore att. A. Strade…

Right person, right time?

Watching Babylon 5 on Netflix last night, I enjoyed episode 21 "Comes the Inquisitor" in season 2 where Delenn is interrogated by the "inquisitor" and asked repeatedly "who are you?"  She gives all the answers you would expect, name,  rank, serial #,  family, religion, race... and none are correct.  In a sadistic turn, she is punished "nearly to death" by a cruel interrogator who is himself being punished.  This episode is a microcosm of the brilliant writing on this television show.  perhaps overreaching at time in tone and rhetoric, but the relevance is shocking even when applied to our culture today.. 15 years later..  In the end, Delenn is Delenn, the most important and at the same time the least important. Her authority, identity and power are drawn from her mission and as she says.. "if I fall, another will take my place" she is willing to sacrifice herself for life... one or many.. the number don't matter... fame and positio…

VaTenor bridges music and ministry "to the Rivah" in Richmond

YOU ARE INVITED  to Sacred Home

Please come out and join the artists in a special "music as worship" exploration! 

Lyric tenor, Jeff Prillaman will return to theSecond Sunday South of the James concert series at Bon Air Presbyterian Church on Nov 14 at 4pm.

He will be joined by friends and local favorites Flutist, Heidi Thurmond and Pianist, Charles Staples for an afternoon exploring the integration of worship and music through favorite classical songs and arias and exciting new works by American composers Dr. Charles Hulin IV and Brant Adams.

"Sacred Home" was conceived as part of a collaboration with Dr. Hulin at the Lasker Summer Music Festival in the world premiere of the new cycle "Come thou fount" written specifically for Mr. Prillaman.  The cycle blends traditional sacred harp hymn tunes with a fresh, powerful approach to the music and the message, effectively leveraging the sweeping lines, power and ranges of vocal color which are the hallmarks of M…

Every once in a while Google scares me..

These quotes are just perfect for what I'm thinking today.. That scares me more than a little.

The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
  - Ronald Reagan Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.
  - Gertrude Stein Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
  - Soren Kierkegaard There are only two ways of telling the complete truth--anonymously and posthumously.
  - Thomas Sowell It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'
  - Sam Levenson

Personal attack is okay.. this is the internet...

Yet another sad FB commentary ensued after a friend posted this article  from HUFFPO: I'm capturing the conversation here so I'll remember it, and read it.. repeatedly.. reminding myself that personal attack/judgement is the last refuge of a lost debate, or an ill equipped debater. -- whether it is in person or on the internet matters not...

Highlights from the conversation are below...

JEFF: Freedom of speech much? Article misrepresents the entire affair and would be better targeted at the Huffington Post or NPR..

"When a journalist takes a job at the Huffington Post or NPR, does the agreement state he or she must throw out all objectivity and spin every word to support the "liberal" agenda?" -- YES and if they speak out about a personal fear and demonstrate honesty and transparency in a "liberal politically correct" society, they will be summarily fired.. despite there true beliefs, body of work... reality.. etc.. Clearly freedom is not free and sp…

Da Capo Va's first 10K

DONATE NOW: Join me in helping Da Capo reach our first giving milestone of 10K. Please!

Special charges

We as musicians have far more impact and value on our society than most think.

I believe that there are many more musicians among us than we acknowledge and truly value. in our corporations, small businesses, restaurants, neighborhoods, churches. DaCapoVa attempts to find them , empower them, and make a difference for them and through them.

I charge you to share your skills and passions, seeking to find new common ground in a grass roots movement. We must pass civilizations’ quality test while at the same time, remain true to our personal identities and passions. We must be true to who we are and embrace others in a shared journey.

President John F. Kennedy said, “The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation is close to the center of a nation’s purpose—and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.”
I think we would all agree that even among our privileged Americal lifestyles, Our “civilization” is far from what we all would wis…

Point by point.. positions and politics.

To my liberal friends who have "attacked lately"

We agree on so much.. I wish more people could come to that understanding.
I am no Beck or Palin apologist, but some of their ideas do resonate with me.  I lean right, but I am far from "right" on many things.  BTW, I've never listened to Limbaugh, not even once.. nor any other talk radio..

Before you attack me in a discussion.. Please remember:

People and ideas are not the same things though they are closely related. Choice and public discourse rely on honesty, and transparency, and "we can disagree, without being disagreeable"
offensive, and uncivil commentary/behavior are a massive cultural problem but an unavoidable outcome of freedom I guess..  time will tell...

Liberal: not a bad word though I often disagree with tactical application of the compassionate agenda...
I am ultimately a conservative, though I don't like labels any more than you do...
I do think we are on wr…

DACAPOVA At a Glance!


Summer of stress followed by soaring

This note is to inform you, my friends of a true answer to prayer.  Yes,  I have secured a new joband will start on October 4 as a solution architect with Cisco Systems.  The Prillamans will be able to remain right here in Richmond, and I could not be happier or more pleased with the outcome of my "Summer of Stress".  This new role gets me back to my technology roots in infrastructure, video, and workplace transformation. Excited, just doesn't cover it. (

I firmly believe that God has once again faithfully provided for me and my family and I know that He is an awesome God.  In the past weeks, I have had many doors close but I continued to pray, study, and persevere in the daily grind of the job search process.  In the end, God provided gave me a difficult choice and then helped me through it.  I was led to understand with clarity, who I am and what I sought for a future rooted in service to His plan rather t…

Producing theological journalism vs directing historical period study


No Other choice -- subversive, viral... Kingdom Agents...


Its just not enough to be right.

Yesterday I got involved in a pretty big debate on Facebook where I ended up in the role of "GlennBeck defender" based on a recent political comic caricaturing his Restoring Honor 828 rally. (BTW, I don't know the source of the comic as it was shared via a wall post on FB.. but I've attached it to the right for reference.)

I have a long history of stirring folks up on FB because I enjoy the discourse, the debate and I continue to strive and struggle for middle ground even in the most extreme positions. Ultimately I want to learn and influence in a fair approach, embracing discourse and opinions openly.

The starting comment was what got me all worked up.
"And to my "friends" who like and regurgitate Glenn Beck's Goebbels-like propaganda, I am putting you on notice. I will not be silent. I will not respect the boundaries of polite society and avoid calling you out. If I see it, or hear it, I will put you in your place and I will not be nice about it. …

Fortune: Divine science of politics and an "independant statesman"

"What is to become of an independent statesman, one will will bow the knee to no idol, who will worship nothing as a divinity but truth, virtue, and his country? I will tell you; he will be regarded more by posterity than those who worship hounds and horses; and although he will not make his own fortune, he will make the fortune of his country." - John Adams

5000 year leap quotes  John Adam on p.63...
When I read this it struck me as so poignant and relevant to today's world.  Perhaps here is the standard by which we should be selecting our political leadership, even though it is a high bar.

Perhaps, this thought is at the root of "Restoring Honor" to our electorate.

Boot strap, Simple, collaboration 2.0, - 37 Signals

Great quotes from an Entrepreneur.. A Successful one! -- Jason Fried

"Things are actually pretty simple until you make them complicated"

"If we need it, maybe someone else needs it to"

"Better off learning to make money, not spend money as an entrepreneur"

Collaboration 2.0:  - "best if people stay away from one another" - 37signals

"In most industries, you make money by selling things.." shocker...

37 Signals Blog Entry -

Local, Free, Fun... CONCERT with Capital City Summer Wind Band

Great concert featuring lots of Gershwin tunes!

Featuring Music Director Mike Goldberg (local meteorologist), Host Tony Booth (from Big Oldies 107.3), and Guest Soloists Tracee Prillaman (soprano) and Jeff Prillaman (tenor)

Sunday, August 15th at 6:00 P.M.
At Walkerton Tavern
2892 Mountain Road, Glen Allen
(Bring your lawn chair and/or blanket!)

WEATHER FORECAST Mike-Goldberg.comDA CAPO VA  "Music is a lifestyle, not just lessons" - Jeff & Tracee PrillamanAFTERNOONs with BIG OLDIES 107.3 Tony Booth
More info...

The Capital City Summer Wind Band with Mike Goldberg, Music Director, will perform Sunday, August 15th at Walkerton Tavern.  The performance begins at 6 P.M. and will feature local radio DJ Tony Booth, as well as guest singers Tracee Prillaman (soprano) and Jeff Prillaman (tenor).  The program of familiar tunes includes big band, Broadway and movie music, including works by George Gershwin and John Williams. 
The Capital City Summer Wind Band is comprised of community band…

Do you have flair?

A few years ago, I spent some time assembling my "flair" board on Facebook.. I looked at it just now and was stunned at how comprehensive it was. I guess we all have more flair than we realize!

One man can make a difference - Bruce Andrews

Yesterday, a treasured mentor, friend, and a Christian role model of the highest order finished his "race".  Bruce Andrews passed from this world and is now with our heavenly father.  Bruce met a young, headstrong, arrogant tenor and played a pivotal role in teaching me to see and understand my place in the world, as a minister, father, musician, and even as a businessman and realist.  He showed me the ropes on more than one occasion from cleaning grease traps, to handling flooded basements, to wiring sanctuaries.

The picture used in this post is of Somerset Hills Baptist Church, on Mt Airy Rd in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Bruce "supposedly" reinforced the rostrum when I was music minister there "just to be safe" as I often got very excited and physically animated as a young choral conductor during anthems and even congregational hymns... I wonder if he knew how his example of service touched me and so many others.  His actions reinforce my thoughts and actions e…