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Brand New Me

Aug 25, 2021

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do you choose the players for Portraits of White first or the music first? So many questions!

Hear the answer to this question and take in another journal entry from Frances in this episode. You'll also hear a beautiful arrangement of "When I Survey" with Frances on the piano and Doug Cook on flute.

As for the chicken question...we had chickens on our farm and I don't ever remember having trouble deciding which came first...the chicken or the egg. It was obvious to me. The peeps came first. 

My mother and I would drive the very curvy and hilly Pennsylvania back roads to a little poultry farm near us and pick up boxes of peeps. They'd "peep" all the way home. The sound was comforting to me. Then we'd unload the boxes of the little yellow fuzzy balls into our chicken house. My mother, along with our apricot poodle, Angie, and I would sit in the chicken house and watch them for hours.  It's one of my favorite memories from childhood.

What do chickens and eggs have to do with Portraits of White, you ask? 

It's what popped into my mind when I read this week's fan question. It's really one of those "chicken or egg" questions.

"Do you pick the musicians and then select the songs and arrangements around those musicians? Or do you select the music arrangements and then find the musicians to fit your needs? 

Thanks to Doug Cook, Eastman School of Music alumni [Performer's Certificate]—one of the star players of Portraits of White, I can select just about any arrangement I want, because we have such great musicians to draw from. Doug was the first person I approached about playing in my "orchestra" and his musical network consisted of pro musicians throughout South Central Pennsylvania. Since he knew that I wanted to put together an orchestra, he made a very special offer. 

"Would you like me to be the music contractor for your Christmas show?" 

At the time, I didn't know what a gift Doug was giving me when he offered to do this. I knew anyone he chose would be amazing, so I immediately said, "yes!"