Judy Fjell Newsletter <$today>

Judy Fjell Newsletter


Greetings to all from Montana November 17, 2012!

THE WEATHER (of course)

It's good to write to you on this bright winter day in Helena, MT. It was a hot and smoky summer, so we're all happy to be breathing cleaner air and seeing the earth get some much-needed moisture. Of course, I'm not sure that we would have chosen to have 18" of it all at once in white fluff last week, but, as we say in Montana, "We'll take the moisture any way we can get it."

CANCER (what?)

I haven't written an e-news or paid much attention to my website for several months as I had a bit of a curve ball thrown at me this spring. Many of you probably have heard, but, in case you haven't, I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in May so I spent a good part of the spring, summer, and early fall in the medical realm. First came the lumpectomy which was followed by 30 days of radiation in July and August. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, it's a slow-growing "garden variety" cancer and was caught very early so my recovery outlook is as good as it gets. I have mostly felt okay through the whole treatment including riding my bike back and forth to radiation here in Helena. I have been well-supported all the way around and am glad to have it behind me for the most part. It wasn't that easy to keep up with my daily tasks, thus some things like e-news and keeping up my website fell to the bottom of priorities, but now I'm back to it. The radiation fatigue should all be behind me over the next few months.


Before all of this came to pass I had really been "digging in" on my guitar. One of my dear friends has been after me for a long time to record some of my guitar originals and I had been thinking I should record them soon, as my hands aren't getting any younger. When I moved to Helena in the summer of 2011 I began to spend quite a bit of time practicing guitar solos every day. Before long more new originals began to emerge with titles like "Pure Joy" and "Highland Home." And I began arranging other favorites including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "What Wondrous Love Is This" and "Lonesome Moonlight Waltz." Playing the guitar was great therapy while I was recovering from the cancer, sometimes I played as much as 6 or 7 hours a day. In these past couple of months I've been setting up my recording studio again and getting the "sound" I want for these guitar solos. I continue to bring them as close to perfection as possible for recording a new CD collection. I'll keep you posted on that. And, by the way, ironically my hands are stronger and more facile than ever, so I'm pretty excited about my future as a guitar player!


In the meantime I have finally recorded a song I wrote over twenty years ago - "To Chin the Moon - The Ballad of Fannie Sperry Steele." I first heard of her when my friend Dee Marvine let me read her original manuscript of the biography of this celebrated lady bronc riding champion, who was born in 1887 near Helena at the Gates of the Mountains. Her life was inspiration for a ten minute ballad! I've recently made the acquaintance of some of her family members and am enjoying learning more about her very interesting life. I've just put the song on a CD and have made it available for download from the store on my website, too. If you'd rather have me just send you a CD, let me know. http://judyfjell.com/store_songs.htm#ecom_section_0. By the way, "To chin the moon" is an expression used to describe when the bronc has lifted so far off the ground that the moon is visible under the horse's chin.


Many of you are already making plans for Summersing in 2013. I am excited to let you know that we will once again gather at beautiful Camp Mimanagish, south of my home town of Big Timber, Montana. Mimanagish is where Summersing was born and where Women Making Music retreat got its start. It's one of the sweetest places in the world with the beautiful, clear Boulder River rushing by. If you'd like to see more about Mimanagish, check out their website: https://www.campmimanagish.org/main/ To download a Summersing camp flyer or registration form, see http://judyfjell.com/camps_summersing.htm?_p=Y


Even though sometimes I'm ambivalent about Facebook, it is a source of great fun and connection. I invite you to be my friend (I think I'm almost up to a thousand friends!) and explore groups that keep us connected - Fans and Friends of Judy Fjell, Montana Women's Chorus, Women Making Music, Summersing Camp.


I'm scheduling winter and spring tours now. My general plan at this time is below. Thanks to so many of you who have helped with producing concerts and workshops. I'm still working on firming up dates, I'd love to hear from any of you who might have ideas or venues for other concerts.

Coming up . . .


Wednesday, December 19, Benefit for Hopa Mountain 7 PM - Emerson Cultural Center (see calendar for details and to download a flyer)


January and February - Montana (Helena MT Women's Chorus every Tuesday)

February 2 Montana Women's Chorus Gathering - Helena

March - West coast (from San Diego up through Oregon)

March 8 & 9 Wild Jammin' Women workshop/concerts San Diego, CA

March 22-25 WoMaMu at the Bishop's Ranch near Healdsburg, CA

March 26 or 28 Concert with Crystal Reeves Ashland, OR

March 29 Judy/Crystal Reeves Best Cellar Coffeehouse Corvallis, OR

March 30 & 31 Judy/Crystal Roseburg UU (concert and worship


April 4-6 Music EdVentures Conference Minnesota

April weekend - Colorado (tentative)

May - Montana


June 16 - June 23 - Summersing at Camp Mimanagish


Thanks to all of you for traveling with me through all these years on my journey as a singer-songwriter, teacher, workshop leader, recording artist, music minister, choral conductor, author, music arranger, and musical activist. It continues to be quite a ride - not much opportunity for boredom!

In August of 2011 while I was the music minister at Russell Lockwood Leadership School (Unitarian Universalist) I was inspired by Rev. Howell Lind to write a song called "Will You Join Me on This Journey." Many of you have sung it with me in concert or at camps. The arrangement keeps evolving and I'd like to share it with you in its current state. You can learn it by listening and singing along, although if you would like a written arrangement, I'll be happy to send you the transcription I have at this point. For now, the mp3 I made for the Montana Women's Chorus members the other day is available for free at my website store. (You might recognize the backup singers - Judy's Clones). There's a video of our chorus learning it on the Facebook Montana Women's Chorus page, too.

Here are the lyrics with my heartfelt thanks not only for supporting me in my ventures, but also for being true friends. It was quite overwhelming to hear from so many of you on my short journey with cancer. As Shirley Ann Moore wrote so well, "A lifetime is measured by your friends." I hope to see you somewhere out on the road in 2013!

Much love, Judy


INTRO //: Abarre / Ebarre / Dbarre / Abarre ://

Abarre C#m

1. Will you join me on this journey?

D E Abarre

It gives me strength to, to take your hand

Abarre C#m

The road is long, sometimes I'm weary

D E Abarre

Will you, will you take my hand?


CHORUS: We'll send love to the earth through the soles of our feet

E F#m

We'll send love to the souls of all the people we meet

D Abarre

On this journey, on this journey


We'll help justice a-roll on down to the sea

E F#m

Providing the wave so that all can be free

D Abarre

On this journey on this journey

2. Will you join me on this journey?

How I need to, I need to hear your voice

So many times I can't find the words

Will you sing to me with your lovely voice CHORUS

3. Will you join me on this journey?

It lightens my heart when I see you smile

Sometimes I, I am discouraged

Will you just look my way, look my way and smile CHORUS (INSTRUMENTAL)

4. Will you join me on this journey?

I want you there, there beside me

There are times when I will lose my way

But you, my friend, you will guide me CHORUS


Honey Pie Music PO Box 1616 Helena, MT 59624 www.judyfjell.com judyfjell@mac.com