On an 80th Birthday

(in the time of Covid)

May 15, 2021

To us, this date has special significance: it is our 50th wedding anniversary; it is also my 80th birthday. Dee (who is sometimes known as Adene--her given name) has chosen to mark the occasion by enhancing the appended website. I am endlessly grateful for all of her efforts toward that project. After all, of my 80 years, at least 73 have been spent, in one way or another, in music. Slightly more than 50 of them have been spent teaching music at Vassar College, from which Dee graduated, as a music major, in 1969. Without Vassar, we would never have met (in an elevator, in fact).

I don’t really want to turn 80. But the only palatable alternative is one my mother adopted: she had her age legally changed, dropping off five years. This is harder to do if one is a composer. Nearly all programs list one’s birth year. So I turn my attention to the happy fact of being married to Dee for 50 years—what a blessing that has been.


A Montage in honor of this past year of shutdown, of being together.

Four Solitudes in the Time of Covid

Richard Wilson, composer

James Austin Smith

Four Solitudes

for English Horn

Catherine Gregory

Four Solitudes for Flute

With George Williamson many years after he "married" us. By Sunset Lake, early in the morning, with just the two witnesses. When we asked him to do this, he laughed and laughed. Said he wouldn't miss it for the world.