Indiana Canticle

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Indiana Canticle is a set of autobiographical essays that resemble snapshots from my memory. Each chapter is an isolated event which allows the reader to glimpse my childhood life from 1944 to 1951, circumscribed, as it was, by music and books and the forested hills of Southern Indiana. More

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About Robin McNeil

About the Author

Robin McNeil

Robin McNeil began his study of piano at DePauw University at the age of four. He has a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois.

Mr. McNeil began his teaching career at the University of Illinois. He then went to the University of South Dakota where he was Chairman of the Piano Department and taught both graduate and undergraduate piano, piano literature, general music history, Medieval and Renaissance music literature, and a graduate course in bibliographic citation and the techniques of music research.

He has performed over three hundred concerts throughout the Midwest and east as soloist, soloist with several symphony orchestras, duo pianist, a partner in four-hand concerts, chamber groups, and was the pianist with the University of South Dakota Contemporary Chamber Players. Mr. McNeil has written many musicology book reviews for Choice magazine of the American Library Association and Publisher’s Weekly, in addition to writing over three hundred articles on music criticism and commentary for newspapers. Mr. McNeil maintains a blog site,, which is dedicated to music criticism and commentary. He is also a published poet, and the Denver composer, David Mullikin, has used his poems for art song texts.

Robin teaches regularly at the Academy for Lifelong Learning and has also taught at The St. John Vianney Theological Seminary where he taught Medieval Liturgical Music. In spite of his retirement, he has also presented guest lectures at the universities in the Denver area and the United States.

In the past, Mr. McNeil has been thoroughly involved in arts management as the Executive Director of the Fine Arts Center of Clinton (Illinois), State Treasurer of the Association of Illinois Arts Agencies, and member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Central Illinois Cultural Affairs Consortium. Mr. McNeil has been the Executive Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation.

Outside the sphere of music, Robin has raced Alfa Romeo and Ferrari automobiles, and he is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Mr. McNeil now lives with his wife in Littleton where he teaches privately and continues to do research on the French composer, Théodore Gouvy and the Medieval Mass. Mr. McNeil is President of the Piano Arts Association, and an Honorary Member of the Institut Théodore Gouvy of Hombourg-Haut, France, and a member of The American Liszt Society.


Review by: Coquette on Sep. 30, 2011 :
The essays of Indiana Canticle paint vivid word pictures of the author's childhood. My attention was captured in the very first paragraph by Mr. McNeil's lyrical depiction of almost-early-spring in the Indiana woods. His description of the family home, papered with cereal boxes and boasting a floor so slanted that toy cars rolled with scarcely a tap, is priceless.

Later in the book, after two years of lessons, young Robin performs his first solo piano recital (with an injury . . . but read for yourself!). The author recounts himself clumping across the stage in his heavy - and unaccustomed? -shoes, with the drama and good humor that characterize these autobiographical tales.

If you are fascinated, as I am, by the minutiae of daily life, you will be captivated by these charming vignettes.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
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