2008 In Review

Although 2008 isn't done yet, it seems close enough to look back at what happened. Here are some of the major things that happened to me this year:

Started playing and listening to (almost) exclusively classical music. I think that this started in Wind Ensemble last year when we played things like Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Rhapsody in Blue, and the Pines of Rome. I knew that this year we would be playing Holst's Planets, and so in preparation I bought a whole bunch of CDs to help me learn. And I really, really liked them! I haven't purchased a jazz CD since the summer, but have gotten many classical CDs. Not that I don't listen to jazz anymore, but I have discovered a deep love for classical music. This has filtered into my trumpet playing as well - I sound more like a classical player too. I guess that this is probably because I now know what type of sound I want to emulate - a full, rich, dark, deep sound.

Camps - I worked at Prov Arts Camp again this summer, which was nothing new, but I also spent 2 weeks at Gem Lake Bible Camp - a camp without electricity on an island in northern Manitoba where I worked with inner-city kids. Quite an experience, I have to say. Also, I attended the U of M trumpet camp, where I got to work with Ronald Romm (of the Canadian Brass) and Chase Sanborn (from U of T). It was worth every penny, and I will be back next year.

Other music - I had my first commission - three of my friends asked me to write them a piece, and they premiered it in April. That was really exciting!

Friends - This year I was very privileged to meet Francesco's girlfriend Amalia and all of her friends. Even though Francesco is in Africa, Amalia has made sure that Andrew and I are still a part of her and her friends' lives, which is super cool. I wish I saw my friends from Prov more, but I realize that we're all in different places now. And I'm very thankful for my friends from Bible Study.

Other interesting things I did for the first time this year: Got into wall climbing (thanks Nate and Francesco), recorded my first CD (with the Wind Ensemble), got a laptop, hiked in the snow, learned how to drive standard.

Book: JPod by Douglas Coupland
Movie: WALL-E
New restaurant: Dim Sum Garden
CD: Morten Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna, Madrigali, Latin Motets (as recorded by Stephen Layton and Polyphony)
Concert: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival (for jazz), The Planets, by Gustav Holst, performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Course: Music of the 20th Century, taught by Dr. Paul Guise
Video game: Persona 3, and Persona 4 is probably going to be my game of 2009 because that's when I'll finish it!

What I'm looking forward to in 2009:
Student teaching!
20th Century Music II
Wind Ensemble Trip to Calgary
Francesco returning from Africa (and Tim and Justin later in the year)
Having my arrangement of Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium" played by the Wind Ensemble in January
Meeting new people and becoming closer with people I already know

That's my year in review. To sum up, I have to quote my friend Dann: "2008? More like 2000-GREAT!"

Happy New Year!


Your input required

Rejected X-Men powers. Your input required.

Here are a few to get you started:

1. The ability to age rapidly.
2. The ability to go without blinking.
3. Being able to converse with inanimate objects. Problem is, they're inanimate so they can't talk back.
4. Being able to see two seconds into the future.
5. PG-ray vision (instead of X-Ray).



Hi all,
The Wind Ensemble is presenting a concert full of Gustav Holst's music. This includes Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, A Dirge for Two Veterans (featuring the Bison Men's chorus), and First Suite in Eb. It is from 8-10 on Friday, November 28th at MBCI (Jubilee Place). Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students at the door.
Hope to see you all there!



I just realized that the version of Rhapsody In Blue I have on Ronald and Avis Romm's CD "Living The Dream" was arranged by Timothy Dokshitzer. This is the arrangement that they tell stories about. Wow.


This just in...

Jack Thompson has been disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court due to inappropriate conduct. It comes into effect on October 25th.

If you don't know who this is or why you should be excited, this post probably isn't for you. If you're curious, then wiki him.



Ugh. I just finished two journal entries for Teaching The Arts in the Senior Years, so I am all caught up now. I feel like I still haven't learned anything from that class that I don't already know. I'm doing my best to keep an open mind, though. This week's readings pointed me to www.wefeelfine.org which is a really neat site, and an exercise in transmediation (20 bonus points for me using an Educational Strategy (tm) ).

So, tomorrow is Election Day. I'm facing a dilemma that I haven't had to face yet. Now, those of you who know me know that I usually vote for the blue team. However, the captain of the blue team made some remarks that made me very unhappy (about the arts). So, I really dislike said captain now. However, I think that the red, yellow, green, and french teams do not jive with my economic/political views. Also, they may or may not destroy the country if they get in. But I'm sick of minority governments because they can't actually accomplish anything. And I think that the blue team is probably the best one to see us through our current economic turmoil. But I don't like the blue captain, once again. However, I have to vote, because if I don't vote, then I feel that I am not entitled to complain about the government.


p.s. happy thanksgiving, all! I am very thankful for my friends and family, who never cease to amaze me in many different ways.


Classical Music for you to listen to.

Here are some "classical" pieces that I have become familiar with over the last few months. You should acquaint yourself with them if you can.

The Planets - Gustav Holst

First Suite in Eb - Holst

Second Suite in F - Holst

Quiet City - Aaron Copland

Sonata for Trumpet and Piano - Paul Hindemith

O Magnum Mysterium - Morten Lauridsen

Quintet - Michael Kamen (for the Canadian Brass)

Sonata Pathetique - Ludwig von Beethoven

Phrygian Gates - John Adams

Symphonies 1-9 - Gustav Mahler

This should be enough to get you going for a while.




Matt Neufeld

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem. Exaudi orationem meam; ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Rest was a luxury not afforded to me.

Kyrie eleison.

My life was spent for the sake of those I served.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine; In memoria æterna erit justus, ab auditione mala non timebit.

Seeking shelter for the displaced, balm for the wounded, justice for the powerless.

Absolve, Domine, animas omnium fidelium defunctorum ab omno vinculo delictorum et gratia tua illis succurente mereantur evadere iudicium ultionis, et lucis æterne beatitudine perfrui.

I was faithful to my country.

Dies iræ! dies illa solvet sæclum in favilla teste David cum Sibylla!

I shed my life’s blood for them.

Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla judicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus.

No tears were shed for me.

Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriæ, libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de pœnis inferni et de profundo lacu. Libera eas de ore leonis, ne absorbeat eas tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum; sed signifer sanctus Michæl repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam, quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus.

I, a soldier, served my people.

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus; tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam facimus. Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam. Quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini ejus.

My nation, in turn, betrayed me.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth; pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.

To restore my honour, remember me.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

Remember who I served, and the zeal I had for their well-being.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.

Though war is distasteful to many, letting innocents suffer is a grave sin.

Lux æterna luceat eis, Domine, cum sanctis tuis in æternum, quia pius es.

If you value my sacrifice, then do this:

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Cherish my life, poured out for you.

Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.

Then I can rest.


This is another piece that I wrote for my introductory creative writing course. For a translation of the Latin, you can go to the Wikipedia site for the Requiem mass. Comments are much appreciated, as this may go on to be published (I hope).

Also, I'm at Gem Lake Bible Camp for the next 10 days. No electricity/internet. See you in 10 days!


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Canadian Brass

From the Canadian Brass: a Quintet by film composer Michael Kamen (Die Hard, X-Men, Mr. Holland's Opus). From the Magic Horn CD.


Isn't this neat?

The USB MSN Missile Launcher. A foam missile launcher that has a webcam, and can be operated from anywhere if you have a MSN account.
Neat, eh?


The Collector

The Collector

Matt Neufeld

Everyone collects something. Some people collect stamps, others gather antique furniture, and others amass hundreds of those hideous Anne Geddes pictures. You know, the ones where they have babies dressed up as fruit or animals. My friend Steve collects insects. Big ones, little ones, purple, green, hairy, slimy – you name it, he’s got them all. He travels all over the world to find these things. You might say he’s a closet entomologist.

I first met Steve at a party hosted by my friend Mary. Mary is one of those people who has friends in every corner of the city, no matter where you look, so there were dozens of people I didn’t know milling about her place. Big place with a pool, six bedrooms, palm trees that were lit by artistically hidden spotlights when it got dark. You know, real swanky place. Mary liked her things to be first-class, and her friends at the party were no exception. She had doctors and lawyers, musicians and poets, and even some obscure city officials. People with big jobs, and egos to match. All really interesting people, really. I loved coming to Mary’s parties. But I digress.

The first thing I noticed about Steve was his hair. He had normal reddish-brown hair like lots of other guys, but the thing that stuck out was this shock of pure white right in the middle of his forehead. It was fascinating. He must have caught me staring, because he came up to me and introduced himself. Steve pointed to the top of his head, and made a crack about buying the wrong conditioner by mistake. We both laughed, and Steve said something about the pigmentation in his head being miscoded or something like that.

I asked Steve about his job, and he said that his job was to take pictures.

“Pictures of what?” I asked.


Turns out Steve was actually a photographer for National Geographic. His job was to travel all over the world taking pictures of rare insects for posterity. He had photographed everything from the mighty Ornithoptera euphorion to the rare Orthetrum cancellatum. Steve had pictures of himself covered in fire ants from head to toe, ones of him eating termites, and ones where he was holding a cockroach the size of his forearm. It was fascinating, I must admit. Steve’s claim to fame was his photographing this rare weevil that only lives in a six-square-kilometer area in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. I think he won an award for it in Annual Entomologist or some fancy journal like that.

The other interesting thing about Steve is that if you look really hard, and maybe squint a little bit, he looks a bit like a beetle. He had these glasses that were round and a little tinted, and a round head and body to match, so you could kind of imagine the shape. That night, he even had a sweater draped around his shoulders so it looked like he had two extra arms! You should have seen it – he was the perfect specimen.

The party didn’t last that long – all these important people had people to see, places to be, important things to do, so around nine o’clock, Steve and I found ourselves to be the last people at the party. I had been hanging out with Steve for most of the evening, and we seemed to get along well, so I invited him over to my place for beers and photos. I’m a bit of an amateur photographer as well – nothing really fancy, but I did have a picture of this dog published once. The dog wasn’t anything special, but there were about four of them that looked almost exactly the same. I submitted it to the Friar – our local “coffee news” paper. They published it with the caption…well, it’s not important. What is important is the fact that I had a photo published as well, and I figured that maybe Steve could give me some pointers.

We arrived at my place around ten (I had to say my goodbyes to Mary), and I pulled out my photos. Steve had a few of his along as well, so we started comparing. I grabbed us some beers from the kitchen (Coors Lite – not my favourite, but I figured I should save the good stuff for later), poured them into glasses, and started talking about photos with Steve. He showed me some pictures of his collections. Bugs behind glass, every one on a pin, neatly labelled with common name, Latin name, and date and place of collection. From the look of it, Steve was quite the collector as well. All his bugs were dead, though. I asked him why there weren’t any live ones.

Steve pondered for a minute. “Because,” he said, “they are more interesting when they are dead. You can see them from all sides. Plus you don’t have to feed them anymore.”

“Hmm.” I mused. “That makes sense.”

We sat in silence for a while, pondering.

We talked for a bit about families – Steve’s brother lived a few counties over, he didn’t have a girlfriend but he did have a dog, and he thought Mary was cute. I agreed on that.

After more interesting conversation, Steve decided that he should head home soon. I poured one last beer for him, this one out of my special stock (Guinness, the ones I use when I have special company).

“To collecting.”


I excused myself for a minute. Nature was calling, and I had to think about what Steve had said. And about the bugs. I’ve never liked bugs. Too small for me. What use is something that you can step on?

I came back to the living room.


I heard a thump, and I saw motion in the corner of the room. There was Steve, foaming at the mouth, crawling towards the door. I looked him straight in the eye.


Now Steve is sitting behind glass in my basement. I even labelled it and everything. Steven MacAllister, Homo Sapiens. May 16, 2008. My place. I thought he would fit best near the front beside Mary. It only made sense. I may try to see if I can get his brother next. Maybe his dog, too. After all, everyone collects something.


I couldn't resist posting this.

From "Greatest Quotes from Fundamentalist Christian Chat Rooms":

Everyone knows scientists insist on using complex terminology to make it harder for True Christians to refute their claims.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid, for example... sounds impressive, right? But have you ever seen what happens if you put something in acid? It dissolves! If we had all this acid in our cells, we'd all dissolve! So much for the Theory of Evolution, Check MATE!

Aargh. Is it even possible to respond to this?



From the Winnipeg Free Press:

A four-time graduate of the University of Manitoba is now its biggest philanthropist after donating $20 million to the university's school of music.

Marcel Desautels, former president and CEO of Creditel of Canada Ltd., the largest commercial credit information and debt recovery provider in the country, announced his gift this morning at the Fort Garry campus.

Desautels, who had previously donated $6 million to the U of M and millions more to McGill University and the University of Toronto through his foundation, tried to downplay the donation. He said it paled in comparison to the $47 million recently allocated by the province to the U of M’s Project Domino campus renovation plan.

Desautels said it was a natural to donate the money to the school, which has now been renamed the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music.

“I have four degrees from (the U of M),” he said. “I believe when you’ve been fortunate in life, you have an obligation to give back.”

Wow. Just...wow.


Complaints, or Why the CBC is awesome.

This definitely restored my faith in the CBC, and in Canadians in general.



Some lolcats to brighten your day!
funny pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Humorous Pictures
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Funny Pictures
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Funny Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Funny Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

funny pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Have a good week!


Better Late than Never

I found out about this yesterday, and just had to post. Here's a link to an article about a chimpanzee that was taught to play clarinet!

Something else awesome

Check this out.

This is the Legend of Zelda Overworld theme on a theremin. Don't know what a theremin is? Look it up!


What is this?

Apparently Chuck Norris endorsed Mike Huckabee's campaign for the Republican nomination. Why is Mike Huckabee not President right now?


New post

New post on Sojourn. Check it out.