Songs at the Center Taping Pics

The taping of Songs at the Center was such a great experience! What a fantastic opportunity. Congrats to Eric Gnezda, Todd Burge, and Bob Thompson on their great performances. What a trip to share the stage with people of their caliber. Thanks to Eric Gnezda, Jack Fitzgerald, Karen Claborn, and the rest of the wonderful crew at both Songs at the Center and Peoples Bank Theatre for their hard work in making this show happen.   

I'm not sure when or on what stations the taping will be aired, but I'll let you all know as soon as I do!

Finally, thanks to Dan Mitchell (Mitchell Multimedia) for these fantastic photos! Dan specializes in live music photography and is based in Columbus.

Spring and Summer Preview

Here's what's on the docket so far for spring and summer:


Apr 22: Songs at the Center TV Taping

I'm so honored to be sharing the stage with Todd Burge, Bob Thompson, and Eric Gnezda for a taping of Songs at the Center, which is viewed on over 150 American Public Television stations. We'll be sharing originals in the round. This performance is free and open to the public, thanks to the Ohio Arts Council, and is part of the new Brick Street Arts Bash that's happening that weekend in Marietta. More info here.

May 20: Soloist with River Cities Symphony Orchestra

I'll be the guest soloist for the River Cities Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, singing some hits from mid-century musical theatre.  

Aug 23: Jess Baldwin Quintet at Lakeside Chautauqua 

My quintet will be performing at lovely Lakeside Chautauqua! I'm excited to be performing again with Sean Parsons, Ryan Kennedy, Andy Hall, and our newest addition, John Inghram.


Columbus Sessions

I'll be in Columbus the second weekend of each month. If you're a gigging singer in the Columbus area, click here to schedule a spot.

May 16: 1 Year Anniversary of Commercial Voice Resources Launch

May 16 will mark a year since the launch of my website Commercial Voice Resources, which is for teachers who work with singers in commercial and popular styles. I'm excited about the great master teachers slated to write guest blogs and do interviews for the coming year. 

June 4: Presenting at Voice Foundation Symposium

The Voice Foundation is an international organization made up of voice scientists, doctors, therapists, teachers, and other professionals. At its annual Symposium, I'm presenting the results of two surveys I'm conducting with Kat Reinhert and Matt Edwards. Through this research, we hope to....

  • encourage the study and performance of popular genres of music.
  • help high school and private music educators better understand the programs when advising college-bound music students.
  • help post-secondary institutions better prepare future educators (particularly voice teachers) to teach in the programs.

June 14-17: Presenting at Association for Popular Music Education Conference

APME exists to empower music educators who include popular music in their curriculums. I'll present the two popular music program studies at this conference, and I'll also be giving a vocal technique workshop.

July 15-20: Teaching Assistant at The New CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute

The CCM Institute provides a foundation of instruction for people who sing and teach voice in contemporary commercial genres of music (non-classical music). Most college programs only teach classical singing, and the CCM Institute is one of the few programs where the science and voice function behind other genres is taught. I've studied at this institute since 2009, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it this year.


The Fields of Gettysburg @ Peoples Bank Theatre This Friday!

Statue of Brigadier General John Buford. Photo by Dave Sandt.

Statue of Brigadier General John Buford. Photo by Dave Sandt.

I've been honored to be a part of the song cycle / concept album The Fields of Gettysburg for the past couple years. This is such a special album...a labor of love by singer-songwriter John A. Walsh, an MOV native. John served in the military as a young man and later developed a strong soul connection to the stories of the people involved in the Battle of Gettysburg after a visit to the site of the battle. He cites the moment when he came upon the statue of John Buford at the battlegrounds as the starting point when he felt compelled to tell the stories of General Buford and others through song. His inspiration has come full circle: the album is now on the shelves at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.

John chose six diverse historical figures for the story: two generals (Confederate and Union), two young soldiers (Confederate and Union), and two civilians, mother and daughter. From these six perspectives, the listener gets a mutli-faceted view of this historical day. 

I don't think you have to be a history buff to appreciate this cycle. On the contrary, I think John almost tricks you into appreciating the history because he interweaves it with these compelling, universally-relatable personal stories.  

For the musical style, John chose Americana styles like country and rock. He wanted the project to stay local, so he and producer Todd Burge put together a cast of regional folks that I'm really proud to be counted among:

Clutch MOV (one of my new favorite things where I live) chose The FOG as the subject of their first podcast, where you can hear more behind-the-scenes info about the cycle and the people who made it happen.  

In 2013, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the battle, we had the honor of performing selections from the cycle on NPR's Mountain Stage, which is broadcast to 150 stations around the world.  

Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, Ohio

After having a few performances around the area in smaller local venues, we finally get to stretch out into a big space, and it's the newly renovated, gorgeous Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta. We'll be there this Friday. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The concert will begin with music by solo artists Larry Groce and Colton Pack, followed by an intermission and then the cycle. You can buy tickets here.