Showing posts from 2017

Choir expertise.

If you have a degree from a college with “choir” in the name you are by definition a certified choral expert. Add some real world experience and you become #WCCstrong and that makes you a true choir guru geek. Elite of the elite.

There is a standard to conserve and a future to explore.
Joseph Flummerfelt said to alumni a few years ago. “If you don’t hold the line, who will”

- we can’t expect others to see it or even know where it is. We are the standard bearers. #ChoirIsLife

as I prepare for my Christmas concerts this week I’m reminded that my charge is to inspire and deliver “life” through singing. We aspire to excellence. Aspirations are good. Results are better. The journey is the goal. To cross line after line after line... this concert better than the last... tomorrow better than today...

Some day I’ll come to a decision on what is good enough... then I’ll get better than that.

#DoYourJob #JustSing #WestminsterChoirCollege

Alabama: Moore v Jones for US Senate

The speed of this cultural prosecution in the 24hr “news” cycle is an interesting challenge to a deliberately slow and careful governance model.

Alabama. Voters spoke. A State’s power is resident in its Senators most of all.
Moore was poor candidate.

Media has too much power and this culture of allegation prosecution must end.
Government must be executed bottom up for efficacy, starting with citizen accountability and voting and caring and serving.

Representative Democracy is a tricky game people. Our freedom stands in the balance. The people and the states speak differently via our representatives, the POTUS executes policy and law and SCOTUS is the authority.

Hump day THINK

All the stuff you think I am thinking.. I am... but I'm not thinking about it the way you are thinking I am. It is almost never about me, and rarely about now.. and as to you.. well, you may be an inspiration for a thought, or a complaint, or even a criticism, but changing you is not part of my calculus.
What I think is always about changing me and perhaps, what I think.

Maybe I'm selfish, maybe not.
I am what I am.
I think, therefore I am.
I say what I'm doing and I do what I say.
Morality is not dead, but it is not anywhere to be found in government or the media.  #LookAround #idiotseverywhere and some of them are actual criminals.  and some have just been accused... and most are not worthy of an ounce of the attention they receive.

Such is the world which we make.  #WeThePeople are responsible.

How you spend your time and money shows your priorities.

What do I do to manage? I try to turn off the "illusion of the world" and act in my world locally... in schools, churches, neighborhoods.. with friends and family...

I Choose to give in spite of what I know...

It is all that I can do. That is how things change. Every day is an opportunity.

Am I good enough? in my book? no.. tomorrow is another opportunity to do better.. and so on and so on.

Christmas Choir rehearsals 2017... SWITCH IS ON! Now Is the TIME!!!

Here is what I told and sent to my crew at FHPC in Martinsville VA.

You are needed. Each of you matters immensely. If you cannot attend, you will be missed. Your absence diminishes US… and our ability to execute. Make our time together a priority. 
Your attention and mindset matter as well. I would like you to spend some time outside of rehearsal preparing…  Review texts.. Listen along with the reference recordings…. Note your entrances and any surprise spots…   Come prepared.. and we can all help one another more effectively.  Be on time, be focused. Make the extra effort to set and example for those around you.  Reject the idea of “good enough”.. Embrace our journey and instead focus/imagine what we can be… Believe… and and work..Inspire the person next to you with your personal example and contribution.  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,…

At the core of "hope and change" and yes we can... and making America great again.

Blaming “others” is part of problem. We the people are the problem.

Trump represents a disconnect between principle and practice in civility. Obama did as well.  Neither has demonstrated results in unifying and inspiring the entire country to step forward. They have chose small, petty paths to build their own egos through division and demagoguery.. diminishing any who don't fall in line.. it is pathetic leadership.

We are at war in and out. If we don't solve the war within.. we cannot win any war against a "foreign" threat.

I believe that a culture of love and peace and respect and family and community, and FREEDOM is no longer valued.

THAT is at the core. THAT is why we see violence. THAT is why nothing is changing.  Until we take responsibility and act on our own valuing love, and peace, and respect, and family, and community... and others... NOTHING will change.


In response to attacks on church in TX and Senator Rand Paul....

Violence is not even a little bit new in this world of ours... We stop it with love and vigilance, and we must stop it.

Society as a collective cannot stop it. We(each of us) stop it one day at a time, one relationship at a time.

We stop it when we prioritize loving one another over being right.
We stop it when we forgive, in place of seeking retribution and vengeance.

Do share. Live out loud.

Living out loud isn't about changing others. It is about sharing your own ideas because they work for you. Your words (and posts) and your life decisions stick... including votes. Posting on social media is not about changing others' minds. It IS about sharing our lives. And ideas. And philosophies. And opinions on current events.  Don't judge. Do share. #FreedomOfSpeech

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer

Focus and let it go.

Focus.  If an activity is not generating a positive result.  Let it go.   Activity is not success. Results are success.  How results are generated and planned is key.  Execution is the differentiator.  Most people have great ideas.  Few people execute on them.  Failure is okay.  It creates opportunity for new plans and actions.

Stop... Who said it?

What? Exactly what? And Who? Exactly who? Is stopping you from doing what you want to do?  - hint: most of the time it is you.  Identify problem/opportunityDevelop a platform of action. (People, process, tech,$) Execute Measure results and repeat for optimization. 
Successful outcomes take considerably more more time and many more iterations than you will plan. 

5 Best Leadership Lessons with hashtags

1. when faced with a ticking time bomb... remove the fuse... move on. #WalkAway
2. when another group wants more "rope"... but you know they can't handle it.. .Give them the rope, all the slack they want... if you are right.. they will tangle it up, or hang themselves up in a mess... #LetItGo
3. when shots are fired... put your head down, and do your job. attempting to be a hero will likely get you shot. #DoYourJob
4. When appropriate.. disregard reason and logic, and go with your gut. #EverythinginModerationIncludingModeration
5. principle and practice are NOT at all the same thing. only rookies, focus on being right. Outcomes, relationships, and engagement are the key to long term success. #NotEnough2BeRight


Every morning God looks down on his creation. 
He sees billions of children and like every parent... he shakes his head at their behavior and decisions. 
He still loves us despite us. 
THAT is why every day is an opportunity.

Trump's NFL

For the record: My criticism of the NFL behavior applies equally to President Trump. There is a big difference though. I do not despise or believe that my country is shameful. I can respect the president of the United States while disliking and disapproving of his behaviors and policies. I can choose to NOT watch or support the NFL because of their behaviors. I can choose to speak out and fight against oppression and injustice as a conservative. Freedom means we can choose. Respect doesn't mean blind devotion. Citizens can watch and discuss and observe and even be wrong without being evil or moral failures. Until this Identity division crap plays out, nothing will change. We must stand for a shared purpose and let our actions speak... accepting the consequences as adults. If this is lost... then the union is lost.

We are NOT the USFL.

Tragedy and choice. in the wake of Vegas.

Last night was a tragedy for America. Tonight will be what we choose. 
We can only seek a path forward. We choose division, demagoguery and destruction or we choose to love and live together in the the only “free” country of this size and scale that has ever existed... maybe ever will.
We are not perfect. We are not morally superior. We are not the world...  We are quite simply Americans and we must pledge allegiance to this land... to this way... to a future together. Stand and defend one another. Trust and live according to the rule of law in practice while embracing the principles of liberty.
We should Stand as members of a free society seeking a path to lead the world through example not force. We must protect one another from evil. We must love and live with one another and “others”. We must find a balance between principle and practice. It is not enough to be right. It never was. We need one another.

Vegas shooting targeted Americans... All of US.

Vegas was "an act of pure evil" indeed. 

Americans were slaughtered. not Rs, or Ds, or whites, or blacks, gun advocates, gun controllers, or any other of 100s of divisions ... --- 

Americans were killed. We as Americans must stand together and respond with love but it is very hard. 

My instinct is to lash out and blame. 

I reject this base emotion and I seek a higher, better place.. with all of my fellow americans.

Just say no... that is your example.

We can't do everything. Each of us does what we can do. Period.

NFL protests America

re: NFL protests:

Good thing... country is discussing what it means to be American in public.
Bad thing... majority of country is basically clueless and has forgotten how to even talk about important issues with civility and respect.

REMINDERS #jeff2jeff
Personal opinions and ideas are vetted at polls with votes and systems of governance for a reason. History and precedent matter. We didn't get to where we are without discord, and division, and then unity... There is a HUGE difference between public and private America. NFL is licensed, and wholly private... but consumed in public. Individuals need to step up and speak out, and be willing to deal with consequences of those choices. That is the rub. Public addresses, commentary, and protests are best left to actual adults who understand all of the above.

What is a "snowflake" in today's lingo?

Question: "how do you define a snowflake?"  

me: anyone not interested in substantive debate and dialogue because they cannot keep their emotions in check. -- Offended too easily.. -- takes discussion personally and cannot separate ideas from identity. -- can't understand that that people are all equal, but ideas are not equal.. and never will be. -- quick to seek to blame rather than remediate... -- too flipping fragile for practical reality and probably should not be on social media at all...-- willing to infringe on rights and free speech of others so that they aren't offended -- unable to walk away and ignore ugliness and idiocy -- elements of both political ideologies come to mind immediately.

Catastrophe makes America great again

Catastrophes are making America great.  We are all in united states as we work together.. locally..  The more the TV is off, and neighbors work together..the better we all are..

#MAGA  As Americans help one another... one community at a time... EVERYTHING changes.  We can and must choose to focus on unified purposes.. and prosperous future.. NOT gloom and doom and division and demagoguery which dominates the media narratives...

Go next door. Help your friends and family. Do something they wouldn't expect. THAT makes america great again and it is how we became great in the first place...  personal choices, accountability.. hard work... perseverance...

If we fail.. or hurt.. we will fail and hurt together.. reverse applies.. We succeed together...

"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sw…

I like FB Featured Photos.

Picture tells a thousand words.  or at least hundred... or maybe just 5 or 10.

Be a dictator.

If we allow the media to dictate our agenda as Christians... Flipping from one disaster and tragedy to the next... We are acting where we choose. Not where God is working. 

Disaster and tragedy abounds in our world, but faith and love and obedience are in short supply. Seeking to find where God is working and to join him is profoundly difficult and countercultural. Our missions are as unique as our design. They are revealed to each of us, not all of us. 

If we are obedient, God provides the opportunities for collaboration and we must seize them. Our responses shouldn't be dictated by the breaking news, or disaster of the week. We can weep and mourn but we must carry on in Gods purpose or we risk allowing Satan a foothold to divert and divide us. 

We must trust, listen, and act boldly... Not conforming to expectation and emotion.  We must dictate a different standard... through word and deed.

Job in a choir is...

Do your job!
Choir Members have a job to do…  in service to one another, our congregation, and our GOD. Results come with passion, discipline, and application.   Where do you need to focus today?  Practical and Tactical…  Do your job, Trust in the Lord to manage the big picture.  Trust your director to call out the path and plan for the day. Do your part, lift your voice…  Put one foot in front of other and open the eyes of your heart… Sing Out!  
What does your director expect?
·      Take ownership of your space and time and show deep respect for others’ in your actions and choices..
·      Show up early, have your music and materials together, help one another.  
·      Use notes:  Put your personal items aside for before and after rehearsal.  (calendar, commitments, conflicts, concerns)  
·      Do the little things on your own for your space. Robes, chairs, seating, folders, pencils… Keep them clean and ready to go. Many hands make light work.  Your space is part of our space. We are a…

I pledge allegiance

Jon Snow impressed me with his allegiance. Of course it was written in the script and he isn't real but that is our America in 2017 all too often.  Pledging allegiance is a lost concept in the 21st century culture. To God... to country... to family... results speak for themselves. We the people have replaced the we with me. I'm as guilty as anyone else, but I see it most clearly in the arts.  Principle has become an idea allowed to exist without practical and real consequences. It doesn't require action or allegiance and most of all it is useless as it is quickly ignored and replaced by the tyranny of the urgent. I watch my friends blame rather than solve and change.  I see a spirit of whining about what could have been, reminiscent of Theon Greyjoy.  I see a "kingdom" absent a king, absent honor, and absent allegiance.  The battle is indeed between life and death but most are unable to see it.  As for me and my house... if you know me, you know the rest.

Writing in my book of life.

I was moved today as I prayed together with a "family of Christians" and Virginians in uptown Martinsville.  

We didn't know each other. We chose to prioritize this brief time to commemorate and offer up a piece of our day in respect and humility... as humans on a planet spinning... struggling and searching for common ground.  

We were in the midst of uptown, on display, showing ourselves for all to see. We stood and sat together. We talked briefly after the service and then returned to our daily schedules. I do not know if others were moved as I was. I hope and pray that they were.  

The entreaty to serve where we are as Jeremiah, the scripture from 1st Corinthians and the quotes from MLK burned into my brain... an image of a world where we are not at the center... but our service to one another takes priority and practice. It is a dream indeed.. but a powerful one which I strive to bring into focus only for me. As to the entire world seeing it clearly, and hearing a…

Passive: Aggressive: NEUTRALITY is useless.

Don’t just stand and watch…Don't just sit and read... 

 at the very least you can drop to your knees and pray.. 

We MUST speak out with principled and disciplined words… absent the political correct “tolerance” so prevalent in our society and uneducated/inexperienced culture of 2017… 

We must call out hatred and bigotry and yes, violence… in every form. AGGRESSIVELY!  DIRECTLY!  AUTHENTICALLY! 

#Charlottesville was a turning point for this Virginian... it signaled a change in perspective... Principles which allow for practical violence and bigotry.. are not principles. Free speech does and must have limits because We the people are not educated to understand and act accordingly.  We don't seem to be able to handle the truth.

Online Lines

If you can't manage some emotional distance and rational logic in your discussions... you will have escalating relationship problems. Timing, tone, reputation and legacy of interactions all matter. Friends you "keep" matter.  Social media is powerful tool, it requires discipline... or... just keep on doing what you are doing... free speech is free... unfollow works just fine. Continuing irresponsible behavior will bring on the almighty block.  Works just like this in real life and always has. If you can't be "appropriate", you will quickly find yourself marginalized and on the fringe in every way. That is not good for anyone.  There is a line. It is different for everyone. Finding and defining "the line" gets more complex as you increase the breadth of audience.

Conversations 080117

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK:   Ideas that follow have evolved from conversations, and experiences at the Lasker Summer Music Festival 2017 where a small group of elite artists explored hospitality in performance and music.   This discussion is best suited for exactly that type of audience… small, face to face, with the ability to agree on bounding scope, guiding definition and with a community minded facilitator.   This written forum tends to be best suited for “sermons” where little or no diversity, discussion and dialogue can even occur, but I have come to believe that a written outline is necessary to explain some of my own personal assumption and ideas as I explore further.  
Classically trained conservatory artists have spent years, decades, sometimes entire lifetimes in pursuit of a standard.  We have been trained to conserve how our music has always been done.  We embrace “tradition” and history and legacy and pursue perfection through discipline and practice all the while embracing…

Answers NO

No I don't know the answer. No, I don't think you know the answer.

Most of the time, I'm not even sure you can logically pose a question. I do know that I have enough trouble with that for the both of us.

Foolish one, it is not enough to be right. Without a "platform" of support and tools to execute and deliver results... nothing you say will really matter. Note: popularity is not a measure of support nor is it a validation of any idea.

Are you able to understand the questions, applications, and themes embedded within this message?

If the answer is no... start over... read and study, and listen a hell of a lot more instead of talking and pretending... mimicry and parroting are not flattering to those who recognize it.

Repeat after me. "I do not know the answer and it is not enough to be right. Popularity is a false god."

Be Real. but be careful with audience.

Be real with friends. They know you and forgive a wide range of words.
Shields have to be raised in public. Skill is required to communicate one to many.   Facebook Public = Public. --- it is hard to be real and share without whining and complaining.  Communications skills are a real thing. Study them and practice them. 
Results in relationships are the metric of success
Popularity does not equal success. 
Honesty requires subtlety and context.

Destructive judgement required?

Respect is a two way street.  It must be earned.  It can be lost. It can be restored.
Judgement is a journey between two poles of human relationship.

Disrespect is a word, a concept that is more than the absence of respect.
I find myself embracing the more active cousins of disrespect all too often lately.  The causes are too many to list but they are real. Like a coin, they always have two sides. I can see my side clearly and the other seems to be beyond understanding.

Disgust is a word I can respect. As a concept it is difficult to consider as applied to another human being.  
Disregard is related to disdain in my lexicon. Because I have lost respect, I choose to disregard another.

Perhaps the most powerful emotion between individuals is disappointment.  It is a fact of life.  Where it continues, it calls judgement into discussion. It is a consequence of an expectation. The failure to meet expectations is destructive.

Repairing the divisions which occur in a very short time can take…

Why don't I go to the opera... or even the theater enough..

I have trouble connecting with live performance arts...from opera, to theater...

Why?  because it moves me too deeply.. It is my passion.. it is my skill.. it reminds me of what I have chosen to not do and it fans the flames of jealousy when I see others partake...

and it does not support my practical life demands for family, money, even ministry.

There is something here that is troubling... almost like  cancer in a performer's livelihood.   I spent last week performing. (LSMF) I was indeed alive.  I explored.  I created.  I performed as the specific, beloved, first born, Christian... as I am made...   #LSMF2017

Was it self serving?  of course it was..   but I am a performer... that natural performance instinct is at my core.

There is an element of self loathing in a whining commentary such as mine.  There is also a brutal honesty.  I can't partake of something I can't control.  If the spark fans into a forest fire, and destroys all... in my world view, that destruction …

Firestarter : the spark : I am good enough

Liberty to be. 

I am free to be good enough. I reject you, o concept of perfection. As I seek "excellence" I accept that I will always journey on the road with those who wish to define the road. The definers easily and often become the defilers of my spark.  My spark is derived from my God. His blessing and his love free me to be good enough. 
It is my task to see the systems of control placed on my flame. They are necessary but they must be necessary according to my need to serve.  My flame, my spark, it burns, it sustains. It explodes and it can destroy. Me. You. 
But the spark. The spark is good enough. It cannot be extinguished by its declaration. It has no need to be universal or uniform. It forms. It provides. It creates in me a purpose. A reason. 

I am good enough. I will never be good enough to my jailers. I am as I am made. Beloved. Specific. First born, a child of a living God. A journeyman. An infant. A master. But never the spark. I am the flame and I seek to inc…

I remember, and I'll say whatever I damn well please... #Lloyd

I’ll be away this weekend at the Lasker Summer Music Festival.. .  with virtually no internet connectivity.. that is just how rural Eastern NC is…

 Here is a picture which made me think of him.. and two articles about my friend Lloyd Arriola.

He along with Charles Hulin are my major "connections” to my performing self and NY, and Classical singing… at a different level of expectation.

 I miss him and will be singing and remember him for the next few days. I’m sorry you all didn’t get to meet him.  he was a force and a pillar.   I’m struggling a bit to reconcile so much loss in the past year..  Romans 8 helps most days.  On others, music engages my soul.




The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms

8 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.…

FB Thinking Way2Wide Way2Much : June 2017

FB posts from Jeff Prillaman, selected from many in June of 2017...  thoughts to remember.  Interesting to try and create a narrative from an "online journal" 
I talk about my life and my thoughts. Why do so many want to control and direct my life and my thoughts? I have no desire to control and direct their lives... of any flavor. Libertarians are not crazy. Conservatives aren't evil. 
This punitive faux moralist position of so many collectivists is ridiculous. The latest is to attack the morals and theology of conservative and liberty minded Christians. I admit that their mean spirited judgement provokes me to respond. I keep reading and reading... nowhere does Jesus invoke the Roman Empire to enforce his expectations through power. NOWHERE. This collectivist indictment and reading of Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25 is just human just benevolent theocratic autocracy. To impose will and morality and intention requires judgement…