The Rice Brothers, Johnny and Chris


 Johnny                                                Chris




We're guessing that you already know that we play cello and piano. <smile>

So our goal is to share some things about us which you might find interesting if you were in the process of becoming our friend, which we hope you are doing! We hope you'll tell us about yourself, too, perhaps by directing us to your blog, or by sending us an e-mail.  Or, if you like, visit this site's FORUM, and take a few moments to introduce yourself!

[We know that what we've written here is, well, a little bit long.  We suggest that you read a paragraph once every two or three times you visit the videoblog.  That way, you'll get through it in a few months.  We're sure the time will just fly by...  We'll try to get to know you a bit at a time, too! <smile>]
As of the date of our putting up this videoblog (Spring, '08), we're ages 22 (Johnny) and 19 (Chris).  Our emphasis has been classical music, but we are also quite devoted to such genres as Gospel music, jazz, ragtime, and Boogie Woogie, among others.  Our earliest musical mentors were Disneyland's two superb, long-time ragtime pianists, John Hodges and Rod Miller, who are still two of our dearest friends.  (Of course, some in classical music circles consider this early mentoring to be equivalent to our having been raised by wolves... <smile>)  On the classical side, we are students of the fabulous pianist and teacher, Robert Hamilton, and were for many years the students of the long-time President of the American Cello Congress, Taki Atsumi.

As to our education...  We're a Christian home schooling family, so the educational side of our life has been ... well, easy is actually the word which comes to mind (which seems like a very strange thing to say about something which has required a lot of work, but...).  Our family's first job was to discover "the law of our make" (as Mark Twain put it), to discover who each of us kids was created to be.  This meant looking to such things as what each of us is passionate about, finds profound joy in pursuing, and what our gifts are.  We were both really Blessed in this regard ... the answers to such questions are not always obvious, even when people are making a serious effort to discern them.  But with us, things were clear from the time we were very young.  Having settled that, it was pretty easy to make choices about, for example, what things we should study, and when we should study them.  We spent time in prayer, and only studied things we felt genuinely led to study.  The process has been sort of like having a Boss who has hired you to do a job you are perfectly suited for, and then lets you know what studies you should pursue to be as successful as possible in doing that job!  Sometimes this has meant working with professors at our local university (which we each started to do at quite a young age with our piano and cello teachers, for example); sometimes it has meant seeking out other people with expertise; and sometimes it has meant doing a lot of study on our own.  It's been pretty similar to what most adults seem to do with regard to their professions ... we just started into this part of the process really early.

In our experience, this approach to education has meant that everything we've studied has felt purposeful, and we haven't wasted any time studying things which are nothing to do with us. (So that we're not misunderstood about one very important point...  The fact that we were born to be involved with the beautiful music in people's lives does not mean that our education has ignored such domains as math or science or history or literature, or other important areas!  These "other" domains inform all of us, of course, no matter who we are in the process of becoming!  But, when we study such things, we are differently motivated, and our attention is often drawn to different aspects of a domain, than, for example, a person who was born to be a mathematician or a scientist!  This is all pretty straightforward stuff...  I mean, for a person who wasn't created to be, say, a musician, well, there's (usually) not a lot of point in putting in hours and hours every day in an attempt to learn Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata.  The Appassionata is a great thing to learn, no doubt about it, but every human should be studying things which are great for them to learn!  (For those who might like to pursue this subject, we suggest that you read a terrific article our Dad published about 15 years ago, when we were very little.  It's called "A HOME*schooling Inquiry: What is Your Child's PURPOSE?"  You can find it here.)

Between the two of us, during our "younger student" years, we managed to win just about all the major piano and string competitions held for youth in our home state, which is Arizona, U.S.A.  Chris was the youngest winner of our State's most prestigious all-instrument competition, held for the past 48 years by the Phoenix Symphony Guild; Chris was also the only individual ever, in the history of the Phoenix Symphony Guild's competition, to place both first and second overall (in the finals of the 2004 competition, the Grand Prize round) with two different instruments.  We've also managed to do well at international competitions, again with both instruments.  (Most recently, Chris was co-bronze medalist of the 2007 Bosendorfer/Schimmel International Piano Competition.)  Mostly, though, we're not much into competitions.  When we were quite young, a Mom of a musician-friend of ours commented that, "The problem is that kids spend too much time playing against each other, instead of with one another."  Generally speaking, we agree with her.  We'd much rather play music with our friends, which we do a lot, instead of competing against them.  We'll probably enter an international competition from time to time, into the future, though, since we've found that they are among the things which help to keep us focused and working very hard to play our repertoire as beautifully as possible.  We find competitions to be not only motivating, but fun, usually ... maybe partly because we don't get too concerned about outcomes, and because we enjoy meeting and listening to the other competitors.  We both have competitive sides to our personalities, but we don't get all uptight about the process.  We've never been pressured, competition-wise, by our teachers or parents, and we seldom generate pressure internally.  (If participating in competitions is about pressure, or makes a young musician unhappy or tense, or there's a preoccupation with "results," our view is that it's just not worth it, and should be avoided.)

When we say that we seldom generate pressure internally...  We know many, many musicians, young and old alike, who generate a lot of pressure, not only with regard to competitions, but also performances.  It's possible that, in part, we don't "do the pressure thing" because of the way we're constructed (back to Mark Twain's lovely phrase, "the law of our make" <smile>).  But there's also a thing we've learned about pressure.  We feel it's become one of the most basic things about us.  If you have an "issue" with pressure, as a musician, or in other areas of your life, perhaps this will be of interest to you...  About eight years ago, we went with our Dad to get flu shots.  For Chris, as a little boy, getting a shot was definitely a pressure-filled event.  He'd always insist upon going first, so that he wouldn't have to watch shots being given to others before he got his.  Well, on this particular day, as The Shot-Giver was doing that "squirt the shot to get air out of it" thing (which he was doing, unconsciously, right in front of Chris' nose, which wasn't helping with the nervousness thing...), Chris asked The Shot-Giver, "How's your life going?"  (This was fairly typical behavior on Chris' part ... he usually puts his attention on others, even when he's got a bit of stress going on in his own life.)  The Shot-Giver looked quite surprised, that this very little boy, who hadn't done much but sit and shake, up to that point, was asking him that question.  He set down the shot, and said to Chris, "Well, since you asked...  I just bought a keyboard!  I'm so excited about it ... I've wanted to play piano my whole life!  Now I just need to find a terrific teacher!"  Chris replied, "Why, I'd be happy to teach you!"  The Shot-Giver, said, "Oh, so you play?  How long have you played?"  Chris said, "A little over nine years."  (Chris began formal piano lessons three days after he turned two, and was, from the first moment, able to keep up with a class of mostly-seven-year-olds.)  The Shot-Giver, startled because Chris looked at most maybe eight years old, said, "How old are you?!"  Then they really started to talk.  One thing led to another, and the next thing we knew, we'd been invited to perform at The Shot-Giver's Church!

Well, we showed up on the appointed Sunday morning.  We'd never heard of a COGIC Church before.  It's the 5th largest denomination in the United States, but we hadn't heard the acronym "COGIC," which stands for "Church of God in Christ."  It's a predominantly African-American Church.  We hadn't been to an African-American Church before.  We'd attended quite a few churches, and had already played music at a number of others, but we'd never before encountered anything like what we experienced that day!  When we first got out of our car, quite a distance from the sanctuary, we could hear Black Gospel music ... it  was loud, even while we were still in the parking lot, quite far from the singers and musicians!  The experience we had at that Church that morning (and, uhm ... afternoon ... Black Churches tend toward services which are "a bit" longer than we'd been used to <smile>) was off-the-scale wonderful, from our points of view.  Every moment of that service was about Praise and Thankfulness, expressed openly and joyfully.  The word we'd heard most, in the churches we'd attended before, had never been "God," or "Jesus," but rather "Shhhh!" <smile>  It was amazing to us to hear someone call out, in an obviously heartfelt and fervent way, right in the middle of the service, "THANK YOU!"  I mean, we'd always been taught by our parents to be polite and say such things as "thank you" to people, like to our teachers at the end of music lessons.  And of course we'd also been taught to give thanks to God, for giving us life, and for all the blessings we've received (not the least of which have involved our music!).  But it had never really occurred to us to say thank you to God in the way people were doing at this Church!  We'd given thanks to God while at churches we'd attended, of course, but not in as fervent a way as we've always felt inside, not right out LOUD in the middle of a church service, even while the Pastor was preaching, for Heaven's sake! <smile>  And how utterly, completely startling ... when we started to play music for the congregation, classical music, which had always before, in our experience, been met with a try-not-even-to-cough silence (!), people would call things out ... right while we were playing ... the most memorable was when someone called out, "PLAY it, boy, let Him USE you!"  (If it isn't obvious to you, these were not things said in an "under the breath" fashion, quietly... <smile>)
It was the most comfortable and "at home" our family has ever felt at a Church, and it's been "our" Church ever since.  (Well, sort of ... the Church split in two, the way so many churches are wont to do, and our family migrated to the "new" Church, Divine Word Ministries.)  Our pastor, Michael Collier, and his wife Rhonda, are two of the people we admire most in the world.  Among other things, Michael, in addition to being an inspired preacher, is a wonderful pianist (almost shockingly so, given how ooold he is!), and Rhonda has one of the best, most moving voices we've ever heard.  (We'll be blogging about the Collier family ... they're amazing!)  [Uhm ... concerning our reference to how ooold Pastor Collier is ... we're just backing up our Dad here <grin> ... all the guys in the Church get referred to as Pastor, or Brother, or Elder, or Deacon ... but early-on, Michael gave Dad a "special designation," which is what he's ended up being called: "Geezer."  So Dad and Michael go back and forth about the subject of who's "older," age-wise or other-wise.  And since we know Michael will be reading this... <smile>]
But back to the subject of "living with pressure"...  That cry, "PLAY it, boy, let Him USE you!," quickly worked its way deeply into our hearts.  At the Church, we learned what "anointed" music is, music which lives as a function of God's Grace.  It's anointed music, of course, which is, for example, so healing.  It began to occur to us that if a person in our audience needed to hear someone make a mistake, and then recover from it ... well, how much more wonderful to play that role, to be the one who receives an anointing to make a mistake, recover, and then move on as beautifully as possible, instead of (merely) playing in, say, a note-perfect way.  Similarly, how much better, during a particular competition, to understand that someone may really need to win the competition (waaay more than we would need to do so), perhaps for reasons we'd have no way of knowing!  (Perhaps they need a bit of encouragement in their life, right that moment, and it might be wonderfully heartening, from their point of view, to beat us! <grin>)  Our job is to play with all our heart and soul and might, and it's GOD's job, not "ours," to have things turn out in the best possible way for all concerned, and to use our playing toward the most wonderful possible ends!  Once you know, deep inside you, that your efforts will be used in extraordinary ways, even beyond what you might imagine...  Well, that's a very good reason, isn't it, to select gorgeous repertoire (the repertoire you feel moved to play, because it resonates with everything in you!), to practice it hard, to take our lessons very seriously, to be as diligent as possible, so that we can eventually bring everything we possibly can to our playing!  It's phenomenally motivating to think that, from time to time, an anointing will be present, and that someone will be Blessed in some way by the music we play!
And then...  We get to perform!  W
e perform a lot.  We made a choice, early-on, to limit our geographic range to our immediate part of the country, the Southwestern United States.  We've performed at a wide range of venues from Los Angeles and Palm Springs to many locales here in Arizona.  We made this choice in order to keep our primary attention on our early development as musicians, which has meant being home a lot, spending as much time as possible with teachers, and practicing!  But now that we've gotten to a certain level of development, and our practice habits are very well established, we're thinking about taking people up on some of the outside-our-region invitations we've been getting.
We have been soloists with orchestras from time to time, which we've very much enjoyed.  Probably we'll continue to accept invitations to play with orchestras, once in a while, even though its not among our highest priorities, goal-wise.  Chris' first experience as a soloist was part of his grand prize when he won the Phoenix Symphony Guild's competition ... he played the first movement of Dvorak's wonderful Cello Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony.  We were next co-soloists, a little over a year ago, with the Mesa Symphony.  In the first half of the program, we played Mozart's fabulous Concerto for Two Pianos; in the second half, we performed Mozart's extraordinary Sinfonia Concertante (which was written for violin, viola and orchestra ... we re-wrote it for two cellos and orchestra ... hmph, what was Mozart thinking?! ... it's a much more gorgeous piece when two cellos are playing the solo parts <grin>).  One of the best things about performing with the Mesa Symphony (which recently changed its name and is now known as The Symphony of the Southwest) was that it meant working with our favorite conductor, the passionate and inspiring Cal Stewart Kellogg!  During the past year, Johnny was a soloist with the Scottsdale Symphony, playing Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, which is a stunning part of the cello's repertoire.  And, in May of this year ('08), Johnny will be playing Gershwin's spectacular, gorgeous Rhapsody in Blue with The Symphony of the Southwest.  Usually, when one of us is a soloist, and the other is not, the non-soloist "sits in" with the cello section of the orchestra.  This has been at the request of the conductors involved.  Although becoming a full-time member of an orchestra isn't among our goals, we really enjoy being part of a terrific orchestra from time to time.  We grew up playing in two superb regional youth orchestras here in Arizona, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and, later, the Phoenix Symphony Guild's Youth Orchestra.  We had great experiences with both, which we truly cherish!  (We very much encourage young musicians to play in youth orchestras, and we also strongly urge communities to support their youth orchestras, as well as their adult orchestras!)
From the time we were little, when our family would visit Disneyland, our Disneyland ragtime-piano-playing mentors, John and Rod, invited us to "show everybody what we were playing."  So we'd sit down at the little white upright piano at Coca Cola Corner (as it used to be called), and play music for whatever crowd happened to have gathered there.  People would be sitting at their umbrella-covered tables with their hot dogs and sodas, relaxing and talking with one another, and we'd get to be part of the entertainment for a while.  As you can imagine, this was fabulous fun when we were little kids ... I mean, there were people there from all over the world, and in no time, when we'd start to play, lots of people would hop up from their chairs and come gather around the piano to watch and listen.  (We got to know so many terrific people that way!)  The environment was totally "no pressure," and everyone did a lot to encourage us.  There were always "regulars" who were there, John and Rod's long-time fans. Rod was hired by Walt Disney himself (which was, of course, a looong time ago!), and both he and John performed at the park for decades before their recent retirements.  They're both absolutely incredible pianists (we plan to share some terrific video of their playing on the videoblog), so of course they had legions of fans and, whenever they played, new people would simply flock to the piano!  Because of the extent of the encouragement we received there, as well as the sheer inspiration, our parents took us there as often as they could.  As the years went on, and as we improved as pianists, John and Rod would invite us to play for longer and longer stretches at a time, culminating in one special evening when Rod said, "Okay, I'm going to dinner ... you guys entertain everyone while I'm gone!"  Usually, we'd play classical music there, but we'd of course play some ragtime, too.  It was there that we learned that, even if people say they prefer certain sorts of music, and claim that they usually don't like other types of music, just about everyone totally adores any music which is gorgeous, and which is played with passion and enthusiasm!  And we learned how wonderful it is to play music for people who are standing or sitting right around a piano!  What incredible fun, to be able to talk with people, and really spend time getting to know them, in between performance pieces!  Sooo many settings in which music is played are, by contrast, well ... sterile!  Too often, the musicians, and the music, are up on a stage, distant from "the folks."  (In a way, people might as well be watching on TV!)  Waaay more fun to have a three-year-old be able to walk right up next to the keyboard, get wide-eyed, and maybe reach over and play a note or two right in the middle of the piece! <grin>  And, whew ... in such a setting, where people's attention is romping all over the place, and where families are often practically exhausted by the time they sit down for a break, and a bite to eat ... well, ya better be "on top of your game," musically speaking, and playing with everything you've got, or people won't even notice you're there!  It became an incredibly fun challenge for us to play so well, and with such passion, that people's attention would just leap to the piano!  We feel that every young classical musician should be required, as part of their training, to play in a place like that.  It really does break a person of any tendency they might have to play in an "automatic pilot" mode, or in any other way which is dull or (merely) "technically excellent!"

It's important to us to share with you "where we're coming from" with regard to the types of places we most love to play music ... really anywhere people can "gather 'round" and be close enough to actually feel the music when it's being played, where people can not only participate directly with the music, but with one another, and with us, creating relationship and community in the process.  Hopefully, that's the direction music and musicians will increasingly take as we move into the future, moving into a more organic role in people's lives, with "live" music increasingly happening right in the middle of life!  We've become very determined to create settings like that all over the place, and to encourage other musicians in doing so, too!
Some time back, we were invited to "sit in" and play music with a fellow during one of his regularly-scheduled evening performances.  He was playing at a coffee shop here in Arizona.  It's a big building (it was originally a bank branch office), and seats a lot of people.  By about 9 p.m. on our first night there, quite a crowd gathered (isn't text-messaging wonderful?!), so we were asked if we'd be willing to hold some performance evenings of our own there.  We ended up playing there as often as six evenings a month for a year and one-half, and eventually had over 400 "regulars" who came to hear us play, many of whom brought family and friends on any given evening.  The place was open all night on the weekends, and when we were there on one of our regular Friday nights, we played from 8 p.m. to (usually) well past midnight.
The place became a remarkable community gathering place ... for entire families; for many who were dealing with such things as serious illness and loss of loved ones; for music students and teachers ... the experience was in the tradition of "gathering around the piano" to be inspired and moved by beautiful, excellently-played music, in an intimate and informal setting where conversation and the development of friendship was encouraged.  We'd get a very wide age range, from very young to quite elderly.  One thing which really amazed and delighted us: as word got around about how fun these evenings were, some of the Valley's best jazz musicians and singers, most of whom are about 40 years older than we are, as well as some very fine classical musicians, a total of over thirty musicians and singers in all, came in to "jam" with us.  One of our favorites, Buddy, is one of the world's leading jazz tuba players, whose music you'll eventually get to see and hear on this videoblog ... he's a fabulous musician ... and, what an amazing experience, to have a superb jazz tuba player who can improvise right into our playing of classical music, as well as play jazz with us!  Another is a fellow with a gorgeous voice ... with over a four-octave range ... who is also among the world's very best "slap bass" players.  You'll meet Igor here, too!  Or ... well, let us know if you'd like to attend such an evening, and we'll let you know what our current schedule is (we now hold such gatherings at a variety of places...), and meet them "in person!"  Of course, we realize that may be easier for some of y'all to do than for others, but our "Evenings" are well worth traveling to Phoenix for, if you don't live in the region!  Consider yourself invited! <smile> 
During these gatherings, we do everything we can to express our appreciation for our beloved mentors, John and Rod, by inviting youngsters who are studying music to "show us what you've been working on!"  So lots of youngsters, and a few older folks, too (!), have sat down at the piano and played.  We've had some awesome young singers come and join us, too ... we have fun being their accompanist, if they didn't think to bring one along with them. <smile>  (All the adults who are present understand that it's their job to encourage such kids!)  So many youngsters find the (very often dreadful, in our view) "recital" format to be an unpleasant place to showcase their developing skills.  But in an informal setting, where the emphasis is on "sharing your music with friends," well, there are a lot of kids who just thrive in such an environment, just as the two of us did when we were younger!  As we said, we now create these "gather around the piano" events in a variety of places ... private homes, church fellowship halls, schools, etc. ... our "Civilized Evenings," as we call them, invariably allow everyone present to harken back to "the olden days," when families and friends would gather around a piano for joyful evenings of fellowship.  We're very committed to creating spaces such as this ... we think of them as "hubs," which allow people to come together at a central location.  In the process, a new and wonderful relationship between music and community is created!
We are very committed to bringing the profound beauty, and the benefits, of classical music to the widest possible audience.  Lately, people have been introducing us as "Classical Music's Ambassadors to Youth," since they know we spend a lot of time with kids, and are very committed to that (!).  We intend to vastly expand the audience for classical music, so we spend a lot of time reaching out to children (e.g., by doing programs in the schools), but also to others who, in this day and age, have been almost untouched by classical music.  In this sense, we are interested in, and have put a strong career emphasis upon, the democratization of classical music.  This is one reason we've spent so much time, during recent years, learning about "modern technologies" ... we've worked on web sites; managed a series of video broadcasts of Chris' piano performances (which were transmitted from our living room to a theater-sized screen at the University of Utah), which accompanied a ballerina at four of her (live!) performances (a totally cool experience!); and we produced our first DVD, entitled "Classical Music and the Beautiful Music in *You*," which is designed to introduce children to classical music, but which has also been extremely popular with older audiences.  And now there is the amazing technology which allows videoblogging, a Forum, and polling capacity!  (We find these things so exciting, and we look forward to being partners with many of you in such pursuits!)
Recently, we've been in the process of a major recording project.  We've already recorded 24 (mostly major) pieces (piano, cello, and cello-piano), which we'll be placing onto the videoblog, as time goes on.  About a year ago, we met the most amazing person.  He was brought, by a mutual friend, to hear us play music, and ... well, he liked what he heard enough to ask if he could participate in a recording process with us.  He's guided us, on the "sound" side, ever since, starting by turning our living room into a sound studio.  Heh ... he's a fellow who is very passionate about classical music, and about doing a superb job of recording classical music ... and we don't think it even occurred to him that we might have other uses for the living room! <grin>  His name is Jim Vogler ... he's the fellow who, for ten years, recorded the Chicago Symphony, under Solti, all over the world (!).  He has also recorded individuals such as Horowitz and Brendel.  Our friendship with Jim, and the delightful collaboration which has ensued, has been a major blessing in our lives, starting with that first evening when he arrived at our home, handled "set up," and began recording our playing ... he arrived at 7 in the evening, and our session completed at a little after 5 in the morning ... it would no doubt have gone longer, but our neighborhood birds were starting to get a bit loud, intruding upon the recording process!  The first phase of the project lasted over seven months ... sooo many all-night sessions!  The results will be shared here, on this videoblog, and of course at YouTube, and also on a series of DVDs.
One very exciting idea which "crossed our screen," recently ... it was suggested that we should do a European tour, performing on cello and piano in a number of countries.  We don't know, yet, what will come of the idea, but it's of course something we'd love to do!  After all, that's where most of the music we play came from!  The idea was raised by a new friend of ours, the world's leading "studio" cellist, Ray Kelley.  Ray has been the principal cellist in over 600 major movies, and his CD discography, over 200 strong, includes collaboration with artists before the time of Frank Sinatra, with Frank Sinatra himself, and with just about every major artist since Frank Sinatra!  Ray owns a recording and distribution company in Germany, and has expressed a desire to have "his" audience meet the two of us.  (We'll be blogging about the way in which we met Ray, which was amazing ... it was one of those "how did that happen?!" situations <smile> ... we thought we were taking a detour, driving back to Phoenix from a trip we'd made to Los Angeles, and ended up playing for Ray and his wife, Cheryl, at their home in Palm Springs, California.  He even let us play his cello, one of the world's great instruments, which was made in 1694 (!) ... imagine that, a cello made when Bach was nine years old!  For any of y'all reading this who are cellists ... if Ray ever offers to let you play his cello, we really really really suggest that you take him up on it (!) ... what a wonderful instrument!  I mean ... our cellos are truly special ... but ... WOW!

Although we'd like to travel, from time to time, including to Europe and other special places, our main goals are local and regional.  We hope to play music for generations of people right here in our very own community, and in our region of the country, in much the same way that Albert Schwartz, our pediatrician, who we admire immensely, has taken care of generations of children.
In addition to playing music for people, we've also been in the process of founding a nonprofit corporation, Young Musicians in Service to America, which is devoted to the development of excellence and service in young musicians.  For example, it will be teaching youth how to go about performing in such settings as hospices, elder care centers, pediatric wards, and prisons, places where the beauty of classical music is simply needed, and can make a tremendous difference in the day-to-day lives of a great many people.  We've done a lot of playing music in settings such as those, and invariably find it deeply satisfying to do so ... and we believe that it's extremely important for young people to know that, aside from the ability to "entertain" people by playing music, there's a service side of the musical experience which is not only incredibly powerful, and profoundly valuable, but is a very good reason to keep improving your musical skills and play your instrument(s) for the entire course of a lifetime!
Oh.  Almost forgot.  We've got a few students, too ... cello and piano, of course, but also violin.  (Why, exactly, people keep sending us violin students is a bit of a mystery, but there you have it. <smile>)  As we said above, we love working with kids, and seem to have a bit of a knack for it, although our schedules don't give us much time to teach, so we've had to limit the number of students we work with.  (<sigh> Waaay too few hours in the day, have y'all noticed that?!)

You might also be interested in, and could ask us about, The RiceHouse Beautiful Music Group and The Rice Brothers Barnstorming Orchestra... <smile>
The other thing we'd like you to know about us ... aside from "everything to do with music," which is the main reason we've put up this videoblog ... is that we're utterly committed to family.  We hope that, one of these days, you'll get to meet our parents.  Their names are John and Jean, and they're both quite wonderful.  We do as much as we can together, as a family ... we're quite committed to that ... it's something we enjoy on such a deep level.  Our Mom once said to us, back when we were really little, that she feels that one of the most important things in life is to see how big you can get your idea of "family" to be.  It's in that spirit that we welcome you to our videoblog ... we hope that we'll become friends with you, and that over time, that friendship will grow into thinking of one another as family.
We very much look forward to meeting you.  We hope you enjoy the time you spend here, and that you find it valuable.
And we hope that all your days are deeply Blessed, and unfold in the same way that the world's most beautiful music does...
With love to all of you from both of us,
Johnny and Chris