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When I attended Hume-Fogg Academic High School in Nashville, the unofficial school motto was "If it's not due today, it's not due." You could often find students in the halls still reading books when they had a 30 page journal due on the book in just a few short hours.  While I was not the worst (best?) at following these practices, I certainly had strong social support for my procrastination habit.
Moving on to Westminster Choir College, the level of music-making was spectacular, but academically, there wasn't much of a challenge for someone coming from a highly competitive high school like Hume-Fogg. I acquired a certain discipline in practicing that enabled me to make regular consistent progress at the organ and still carry a heavy load of classes and activities, but I don't think it did anything to modify my procrastination habit.

Weekly production

Finally at the University of Notre Dame, I had a weekly production deadline at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. I chose to make it my task to write a psalm every week. Initially, my procrastination habit meant that I was doing this on Monday before the Tuesday bulletin printing deadline. Getting the creative juices to flow while under the gun was not always an easy thing, so I know some of those works were less than stellar, but I never missed the deadline, and eventually got to where I would work a couple of weeks ahead so that I had more time to polish the compositions. The easy part about the psalms was that I always knew what the required text was, so could focus completely on the music and not worry about the words.

Not so, not so

Last month, I received a request for a choral piece for use at Evensong on the Feast of C.S. Lewis. Knowing Lewis is a well-respected author, I started looking to find a text that he had written to serve as the lyrics. Until I identified the lyrics, it would be impossible for me to write a note of music. After a couple of weeks of searching for something suitable, and with the deadline quickly approaching to begin rehearsals, I thought to ask Dr. John Dalles if he might have something appropriate. He very kindly shared a text that he had written based upon a passage by C.S. Lewis that proved perfect for the occasion. Amazingly, I was able to still meet the deadline and provide a virtually completed score for the first rehearsal read-through last Thursday. While produced under a looming deadline, I'm very pleased with the result, and invite you to come hear for yourself if you are in the Orlando area on November 17 at Knowles Chapel on the campus of Rollins College.

Next up

For each of the three events listed at the end of this newsletter, I plan to have a new piece written. As of right now however, the last event is the only one that has been completed. Apparently, that high school motto has still stuck with me. While I may have improved in some areas, it seems my composing still needs that deadline in order for me to push through and get the task accomplished. Do you need a deadline to get your work done? What motivates you to complete a task? Two of my deadlines will have passed by the next issue, so I'll be sure and let you know how those pieces turn out.

Happy Halloween,
Wm. Glenn Osborne

Upcoming Events



October 29, 2013
7 pm
Chapel at the Towers,
Orlando, FL
November 3, 2013
3 pm
Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe,
Orlando, FL
November 17, 2013
4 pm

Knowles Chapel,
Rollins College,
Winter Park, FL