I have been accused of not updating on what the Maestro is up to, and how he is liking it here, since he is the reason we are here in the first place. I apologize profusely, and offer the following information:
1. He teaches two MWF classes at the University. Music Theory 1 and Music Appreciation. He really enjoys teaching the Music Appreciation class, as he is a Music History guy, and only tolerates teaching theory.
2. He directs the Symphony Orchestra, which rehearses every Tuesday night from 7-10. (What is it with Joel and Tuesday nights? He has always been teaching some class or conducting some orchestra on Tuesdays. Weird.)
3. Compared to his crazy schedule in Cedar City, this has been a dream! Even if it is his first year and he is still doing course development, at least he has plenty of time to do it!
4. He does not yet have a calling in the branch. Some may think this is odd, but I do think it is a bit of a tender mercy right now, because he really has been working hard to get settled into the University. He couldn't have handled something right away, but he's looking forward to hopefully receiving a calling sometime soon.
5. He had his very first Symphony concert this past Saturday night and it was a smashing success. They played Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2 (think Loony Toons, they used this piece a lot), some Stravinsky pieces, and selections from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, including the well known Overture and the better known Wedding March. It was a full house, which apparently hasn't happened for the orchestra in a really long time, and the audience clearly loved it. Except maybe the Stravinsky stuff, but who loves Stravinsky?
6. He loves it here. Everything about it. I haven't seen him this happy in a long time. And if he's happy, I'm happy. It's a win-win situation for all of us.