My New Year's resolutions:
1. Take a piano lesson from Enrique Graf.
2. Go on tour with local rock stars Jump and Charleston Symphony Orchestra violinist Brent Price.
3. Beat Kathleen Wilson, CSO principal harpist and English Channel swimmer (and, yes, Charleston City Councilwoman) in a race from the Washout to the Folly Pier. I will accept any conditions except cold water, which clearly favors her.
4. Have a cup of coffee in Manhattan with soprano Renée Fleming. I will also accept tea. Or Bordeaux.
5. Stamp out the use of the word diva except when referring to real divas, like Renée Fleming.
6. Dangle a 300-year-old, half-million dollar violin over a high-rise balcony, a la Tom Wingo in The Prince of Tides.
7. Restore 46 core orchestra members to their full and upright salaries, secure rich corporate sponsorships, and build a new concert hall with neo-historicist flourishes that will delight the Committee to Save the City (assuming they still exist). Oh wait, sorry, that's the CSO's list.
8. Find a local musician who has seen the Seinfeld episodes featuring The Maestro, so they'll get my references. (I mean come on, he even drops "Lenny's" name, just like a certain other Bernstein-protégé conductor we know.)
9. Find a Gamecock football fan who can name the composer of the music for the "best entry in college football." (According to the Sporting News. Perhaps the entry just seems great in contrast to most of their exits?) The answer, by the way, is Richard Strauss, but I will also accept Johann Strauss. Hell, I'll even accept "Zarathustra."
10. Find someone who was unmoved by the CSO Gospel Choir's "Wade in the Water" show at Piccolo. Spirituals like "Peace be Still" and "Roll Jordan Roll" accompanied by slides of Katrina and the Middle Passage.
11. After writing three stories on it over two Festivals, finally get to see Don Giovanni at Spoleto. Wait, what do you mean they're not bringing it back?
12. Host a Charleston House Concert. Downsides: We've got 400 square feet of performance space and a guy across the street who drinks out of a paper bag. Upsides: we've got an eight-pack of dripless candles and a kickin' window unit. 15,000 BTUs baby.
13. Speaking of heat, I'd like to find a CSO musician under 30 who has ever spent a summer here.
14. At a Pops concert, perform one of the great works of John Williams in my inimitable tenor — words by Bill Murray:
Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! Gimme those Star Wars, don't let them end! Star Wars! If they should bar wars, please let these Star Wars stay-ay! And, hey! How about that nutty Star Wars bar? Can you forget all those creatures in there? And, hey! Darth Vader in that black and evil mask — did he scare you as much as he scared me-e-e-e?