May 25, 2017

The Music In His Soul

The music gently called him in his cradle
While he was just a child
Before he could even talk

He hungered and reached to play along
They made him wait.
Made him wait until he was six years old
then he took to it like bees make honey.

The longer he studied
the elss he understood
how to sing the song
in his soul

Eventually he left those lessons
and started searching on his own
Some see that he is searching still

What is the music in his soul?
What is that song that weaves
his parts into a whole
He is searching, always searching
to play the music in his soul.


He'd listen to Gospel choruses
study folk performers
he'd pick the Lester Flatt Bluegrass G run
explore jazz chords and Celtic rhythms

He'd seek out traditional players
and try to learn their songs
delighted whenever he could play along.

Then one old fiddler
put down his bow and asked,

"Sonny, you're always asking me for the tunes
I like to play, and
I am glad to share them with you
But a thought occurs to me
don't know if you knew,
but I wonder,
don't your people
have some music, too?"


What is the music in his soul?
What is that song that weaves
his parts into a whole
He is searching, always searching
to play the music in his soul.

Journal entry 7/30/08  SBE

On Music

by Ann Porter

This poem was shared with me by a friend who has studied music with me for several years and I want to share it with you.
(You can hear it read aloud by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Alamanac here.)


When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I’ve never understood
Why this is so

But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.


Farewell to Fort Collins (or How to Start a Musical Career)

(Here is the original edit of my Farewell to Fort Collins "Soapbox" Article for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.  You can read the shorter, Soapbox edit here.  If you'd like to explore making a living in music, come to the workshop I'm hosting Dick Weissman on February 1, 2014. More info here.)

When we moved to Fort Collins, about 40,000 citizens ago, I had no idea what I was going to do  with my time and skills, other than parent our two children.  After a dozen years of serving as a pastor in the innercity of Kansas City, I was exhausted and ready for a change, and I was feeling a vocational tug in the direction of music.  To be honest, this was the tug that had been there since my earliest memories as a child.  I didn't know exactly how to go about starting such a career, although I felt confident in both my performing and teaching abilities since music had been a key organizing tool for our multi-ethnic congregation in Missouri.

The short story I like to tell is this: I threw every line into the water and pulled on the ones that bit.

I played special music for worship at an ecumenical set of congregations, I gave programs for   Church Women's United, the CSU Women's Association, Rotary and Kiwanis.  I contacted the local funeral homes and provided music for several funeral and memorial services.    I led music for Brownie and Girl Scout Day Camp at Lee Martinez park for two years.

I walked a block from my house to meet Russ Hopkins at KIVA studio, and he became my recording engineer, mentor, co-producer and peer.  With him I recorded and produced many records which have gone on to win awards and acclaim and continue to find the ears of appreciative listeners.

I went weekly to the Bluegrass jam at Avogadro's Number on Wednesdays, and was warmly welcomed into the experience of learning, playing and sharing music by ear.  I played the weekly Open Mics at Avo's and Lucky Joe's, and several others as they cropped up around town.  I auditioned to play at Barnes and Noble, and landed a Wednesday lunch-time gig at Deja Vu (at the time, the oldest continuously running coffeehouse in town) that lasted for 10 years!

I auditioned for the accompanist job for the Rainbow Chorus, and didn't get it.  But I filled in when they needed a sub and then was commissioned by them to create and arrange a suite of songs for their millennium concert and recording.

I've played Noontime Notes in Oak Street plaza and on the Old Town stage, all the stages at the Lincoln Center, the Fort Collins Museum in both of its locations, several locations on the CSU campus, Walrus, Ben and Jerry's, Stone Lion and Starry Night for First Night, and most Old Town street corners with Streetmosphere and countless weddings all across the Front Range.

I was the guitarist for Agua de Vida Luterana, the Music Director of First Presbyterian Church in Loveland, the choir accompanist for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins and the Director of Music for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU.  I have been a Substitute Teacher and para-professional in the Poudre School District at Lincoln (then-) Junior High.  I have taught well over a hundred students in my private music studio and have watched some of them go on to music careers, while others enrich their lives with their musical participation.

I started and ran the Colorado Dulcimer Festival located here in Fort Collins for 10 years and have passed the mantle of leadership on to an able and dedicated crew who are preparing for the 11th one next Feb 7-8. (coloradodulcimerfestival.com)

Fort Collins, it turns out, was the perfect location for me to root and expand a new career that has taken me to perform and teach across the USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland and Germany.

And now It is time for us to pull up the tent stakes and move. 

My spouse, Connie Winter-Eulberg, has been pastor of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU since 1997, and has accepted a call to become the pastor of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on San Mateo, California.  So that means it is time for me to re-establish Owl Mountain Music in a new nest.  But I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for all that the citizens and community of Fort Collins has meant to us.  I will be back, and in fact have some events already planned early in 2014, so I look forward to seeing many of you then.


If you would like to bid us farewell, come on by our Bon Voyage Hootenany at the Community Creative Center at 200 S. Matthews In Fort Collins on Saturday, Dec. 14th from 6:45 to 8:45 pm.


Farewell to Fort Collins (or How to Start a Musical Career)

(Here is the original edit of my Farewell to Fort Collins "Soapbox" Article for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.  You can read the shorter, Soapbox edit here.  If you'd like to explore making a living in music, come to the workshop I'm hosting Dick Weissman on February 1, 2014. More info here.)

When we moved to Fort Collins, about 40,000 citizens ago, I had no idea what I was going to do  with my time and skills, other than parent our two children.  After a dozen years of serving as a pastor in the innercity of Kansas City, I was exhausted and ready for a change, and I was feeling a vocational tug in the direction of music.  To be honest, this was the tug that had been there since my earliest memories as a child.  I didn't know exactly how to go about starting such a career, although I felt confident in both my performing and teaching abilities since music had been a key organizing tool for our multi-ethnic congregation in Missouri.

The short story I like to tell is this: I threw every line into the water and pulled on the ones that bit.

I played special music for worship at an ecumenical set of congregations, I gave programs for   Church Women's United, the CSU Women's Association, Rotary and Kiwanis.  I contacted the local funeral homes and provided music for several funeral and memorial services.    I led music for Brownie and Girl Scout Day Camp at Lee Martinez park for two years.

I walked a block from my house to meet Russ Hopkins at KIVA studio, and he became my recording engineer, mentor, co-producer and peer.  With him I recorded and produced many records which have gone on to win awards and acclaim and continue to find the ears of appreciative listeners.

I went weekly to the Bluegrass jam at Avogadro's Number on Wednesdays, and was warmly welcomed into the experience of learning, playing and sharing music by ear.  I played the weekly Open Mics at Avo's and Lucky Joe's, and several others as they cropped up around town.  I auditioned to play at Barnes and Noble, and landed a Wednesday lunch-time gig at Deja Vu (at the time, the oldest continuously running coffeehouse in town) that lasted for 10 years!

I auditioned for the accompanist job for the Rainbow Chorus, and didn't get it.  But I filled in when they needed a sub and then was commissioned by them to create and arrange a suite of songs for their millennium concert and recording.

I've played Noontime Notes in Oak Street plaza and on the Old Town stage, all the stages at the Lincoln Center, the Fort Collins Museum in both of its locations, several locations on the CSU campus, Walrus, Ben and Jerry's, Stone Lion and Starry Night for First Night, and most Old Town street corners with Streetmosphere and countless weddings all across the Front Range.

I was the guitarist for Agua de Vida Luterana, the Music Director of First Presbyterian Church in Loveland, the choir accompanist for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins and the Director of Music for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU.  I have been a Substitute Teacher and para-professional in the Poudre School District at Lincoln (then-) Junior High.  I have taught well over a hundred students in my private music studio and have watched some of them go on to music careers, while others enrich their lives with their musical participation.

I started and ran the Colorado Dulcimer Festival located here in Fort Collins for 10 years and have passed the mantle of leadership on to an able and dedicated crew who are preparing for the 11th one next Feb 7-8. (coloradodulcimerfestival.com)

Fort Collins, it turns out, was the perfect location for me to root and expand a new career that has taken me to perform and teach across the USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland and Germany.

And now It is time for us to pull up the tent stakes and move. 

My spouse, Connie Winter-Eulberg, has been pastor of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU since 1997, and has accepted a call to become the pastor of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on San Mateo, California.  So that means it is time for me to re-establish Owl Mountain Music in a new nest.  But I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for all that the citizens and community of Fort Collins has meant to us.  I will be back, and in fact have some events already planned early in 2014, so I look forward to seeing many of you then.


If you would like to bid us farewell, come on by our Bon Voyage Hootenany at the Community Creative Center at 200 S. Matthews In Fort Collins on Saturday, Dec. 14th from 6:45 to 8:45 pm.