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Join me this summer as I travel the country to research the steam calliope tradition on America's inland rivers.
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Travels Across America: June 7-16, Part 2 of 3

Posted 06-26-2009 at 09:57 PM by Jon Tschiggfrie
When I last left you all, Dad and I were enjoying a bit of a detour in Point Pleasant at their river museum. In one of their display cases they have an assortment of steam whistles and engine oilers. One whistle in particular stuck out to me immediately, as the bell appeared to be made not of brass, but of rolled copper, a la Nichol calliope whistles. Could it be a long lost soprano note from an original calliope? I sent some snapshots to Dave, who confirmed my suspicions. The first picture below...
Posted in Music, Travel
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Travels Across America: June 7-16, Part 1 of 3

Posted 06-18-2009 at 11:00 PM by Jon Tschiggfrie
I’ve been at school for four years studying music education and voice. I’ve been in choirs since elementary school, and I’ve been involved with my parish’s music ministry since high school. It seems that everything has been preparing me for a job in some sort of vocal or education work, and I never had reason to doubt that I would start my music career teaching or singing. So imagine my surprise when, not three days ago, I discovered that my first paying gig as a musician would be as relief calliopist...
Posted in Travel, Music
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On the Road Again: Summer 2009

Posted 04-14-2009 at 12:06 AM by Jon Tschiggfrie
“I have learned that there lies dormant in the souls of all men a penchant for some particular musical instrument, and an unsuspected yearning to learn to play on it, that are bound to wake up and demand attention some day.” - Samuel Clemens

It’s been nearly eight months since I last posted to this blog, and in that time, I’ve come to the realization of what is now a painfully obvious truth: not only is calliope research turning into one of those lifelong projects for me, but also I...
Posted in Music, Travel
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It All Boils Down to This: Week of August 10-16 and Beyond

Posted 08-17-2008 at 11:53 PM by Jon Tschiggfrie
There is a very real sense of loss that tends to accompany the completion of a personal journey and the subsequent retrospection. Maybe the loss is better described as an inward perception of uselessness or stagnation, rather than regret or grief. But in many ways they feel the same. It is my solemn yet heartrending duty to announce that what you see before you is the last in this blog, “Notes” From the Road. As I will assume that you know, dear reader, I have been spending this summer “traveling...
Posted in Music, Travel
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Letting Off Some Steam: Weeks of July 20-August 9

Posted 08-11-2008 at 12:15 AM by Jon Tschiggfrie
When I tell people that I’m spending my summer studying steam calliopes, I more often than not am the recipient of a befuddled gaze followed by, “…Oh. What’s a calliope?” I then launch into my oft-rehearsed spiel on describing this glorified maze of plumbing, which earns a response of a semi-satisfied nod which says, “I still have no idea what you are talking about.” Excusing the nod’s clear prepositional transgression, I often refer to circus parades and steamboats, which commonly clears up the...
Posted in Music, Travel
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