Judy Fjell Newsletter <$today>
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Good morning, all, from Helena where the winter has been noticeably colder this year. My Honda Fit has been under snow in front of the house for most of December and January and is now hoping for emancipation in February.
And, as we know, the nation and world have been weathering storms as well. I wish I could say it is unbelievable, but it isn't. We are living with the results of climate chaos, rampant corporate capitalism, fundamentalism, and the accompanying personalities with their nihilistic disorders. For a while all I could say was "WTF!"
But lately I've been a bit more creative with my writing. I just posted a video of the song I wrote last week: "Are We Running Around Like Chickens?" It's a 3 part round. We tried it out at the Montana Women's Chorus Gather the Joy event last Saturday, February 4, and had a good several minutes of bonding through laughter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvIYNVgslzk 
Gather the Joy has been a positive addition to our yearly chorus calendar here in Montana. We learn new songs, share longtime repertoire, eat GOOD FOOD and enjoy each others' company in singing. It's scheduled the first Saturday in February - this was our 6th annual GTJ. Many thanks to Betsy Wise, Beth Youngblood, and the women who sing with the Montana Women's Chorus. It is so good to have ongoing connections with each other that are the springboard for friendships, community, and political activism.
Speaking of that, I'm listing a schedule of some of my upcoming events below. I try to keep everything posted on my website, but I have been behind on those tasks as I have been digesting what is happening in our nation, calling our senators, attending rallies, posting on Facebook . . . You know what I mean. My partner Katie directed Shaun Phoenix, Stormi Oshun and me on a Saturday in early January to create a beautiful batik banner of Synnøvei, our Scandinavian goddess who inspires women to bring freedom, justice and a love of the arts to the world. We marched with the 12 foot puppet and the banner at the March on Montana. And our 65 voice Montana Women's Chorus sang beautifully to the 16,000 people gathered that day. It was cold but we were there to make a statement!
In the meantime, I am also continuing work on the next incarnation of the Good Dog Ukulele Instruction. The progress of my students now with making and understanding music is so gratifying. They sing, they play ukulele-guitar-piano, they read music and tablature, they jam with each other as siblings and families, one of them (a 5 year old) even went down the street on his own initiative to play "Hot Cross Buns" for the neighbors! I am having such a good time and so are my students and families.

So here's what's coming up: (If you have trouble accessing any of these events, please call, text, or email me at judyfjell@mac.com. I am definitely behind on creating flyers and posting. It has been quite a job trying to keep up with my work calendar and website when I have been much busier putting up political posts on the internet, organizing the Montana Women's Chorus for our March on Montana and YWCA fundraiser, etc. I'm hoping to finish flyers and registration forms for WoMaMu and Summersing in the next couple of days)

March 30-April 1 - MUSIC EDVENTURES CONFERENCE Minneapolis www.musicedventures.org
April 7-10 - WOMEN MAKING MUSIC RETREAT www.womamu.org
April 12 or 13 - UKULELE WORKSHOP Corvallis District 509J
April 14 - Auction/Concert for Woodinville UU
April 16 - Speaking Volumes presentation with Katie Knight - Big Sky UU - Helena
April 23 - Earth Day service with Bozeman UU
April 28-30 - Musician-in-residence Montana UU Retreat at Rockhaven near Bozeman/Big Sky
May 14, 3 PM - Mother's Day - Montana Women's Chorus Concert (Fundraiser for Helena YWCA)
June 10-16 - Summersing Empowerment Camp (Music and Creative Arts for Women) - Camp Mimanagish www.judyfjell.com

ON the health front, my trigger thumb has been healing thanks to my work with an excellent occupational therapist here in Helena. Unfortunately, playing my wonderful KALA travel ukulele seems to aggravate the thumb more than the guitar so lately it's been flaring up again. (Stick with guitar, Judy, and let your students play the ukes). The good news about my vocal health is that my recent videoscope revealed NO nodes (The small node from last year is gone). So I just have to keep on preventing vocal damage from reflux and postnasal drip and giving my voice plenty of good exercise and ample rest.

Okay, that's all for now. Love to you all. The best way to keep up with me these days is probably Facebook. You can see me on my own news feed as well as pages: WoMaMu, Montana Women's Chorus, Fans and Friends of Judy Fjell, Summersing Camp. The best way to communicate with me is via texting or calling (mobile is (406)930-1650, or email judyfjell@mac.com. Private messaging on Facebook is just not as reliable for me, I still prefer email. Thanks!

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Judy

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