This past August before leaving for Washington State, I had the good fortune to spend a weekend with a former mentor and now colleague, Dr. Carl Schmidt, and his wife Betsey in their Baltimore home. Carl has always been a revered musicologist, and has published multiple volumes on both Francis Poulenc and Randall Thompson, including a thematic catalogue for each composers. He was also an esteemed professor of music (now emeritus) at Towson University just north of Baltimore, and helped outline the breadth and depth of inquiry that is required in sound music scholarship for so many that he taught. Not only that, but he placed a premium on what was required of a well written research paper or article, with a meticulous scrutiny on grammar and syntax, which would enhance and not undercut one's argument. I should also mention that I am the proud recipient of the MUSIC 302 Outstanding Term Paper Award in the Spring of 2005, as awarded by Carl for my paper "Bruckner's Sacred Music: The Reflection of a Man." It's still one of the best papers I've ever written, and these standards helped to fashion my recently completed dissertation.
During my visit, Carl & Betsey regaled me with stories from their fascinating life including their time at Harvard, his time studying with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau, and his meeting at Poulenc's house. They also shared with me a number of rare scores and manuscripts including those for Thompson's Glory to God in the Highest and A Feast of Praise. These were written for Carl's father Harold, a noted professor and choral conductor at Stanford University. I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted a large collection of Harold's personal choral octavos as well as his score of the Florentine Intermedii 1589, after mentioning this work specifically in one of our late night conversations. I'm very grateful to be carrying a small part of that legacy with me as I embark on my career as a musician and conductor.