By the way, in case you haven't heard of Alan Hovhaness or anything composed by him, here is an arrangement of his "Prayer of St. Gregory," played by famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
And, for something completely different, a selection of Richard Cheese, whose clever parodies Robert introduced to me last year (pardon the graphic frontispiece):
My high school friends and I used to compose mix tapes for our car rides. In this venue I would discover a broad swath of genres and artists, ranging from classic rock tunes like "War" and anything Queen, to pop classical pieces such as Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (as heard in the movie "Platoon"). My tapes weren't as popular because my tastes weren't. Thanks to my mother and late grandmother, Engelbert Humperdinck became a favorite, supplanting but not altogether replacing Elvis.
But my senior year English teacher George Repella's fondness for Frank Sinatra turned me on to arguably the greatest entertainer in American history. My appreciation for Sinatra blossomed while I was in the seminary. I collected as many of his albums as I could. But meanwhile a classmate of mine got me interested in Led Zeppelin. He tried his best with Pink Floyd, to little avail. Another fellow seminarian got on a country kick. I did not follow suit.
Today, thanks to iTunes, I have discovered contemporary artists. Most recent additions to my library include the latest album from Nicole Atkins, Slow Phaser. Atkins' rich, dramatic voice has reminded people of one of her respectable influences, Roy Orbison. She has released three or four albums since hitting it big, but she has also covered Linda Ronstadt, Mama Cass, and The Doors quite artfully.
I listen to music as a musician does, attentive to chord progressions, rhythm and time signature (Burt Bacharach is good for that), other facets of music. I could use a refresher on Music Theory, for all the complexities that can delight the ear!