"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagnination, and life to everything." ~ Plato

Monday, November 28, 2011

Inspirational Reminder...

"He loves us because we are a beautiful creation of His and we are beautiful because He loves us, and no one can take that away from us. People can gossip about us or steal from us. They can ignore us or be unkind to us but they can never, never take from us what really matters- the beauty and love that come from God. How freeing. How freeing. What matters most can never be taken or stolen."

From: http://soltsisters.blogspot.com/2011/11/do-i-love-you-because-youre-beautifulor.html


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well it's been a long...

month... or five - eh, more like 3, so it's not too bad... haha.  I'm sad to have to have given up on the 365 project, but as a student (at least through this year) it just hasn't been feasible... so much to do and not enough time to do it!  But I've (mostly) been having so much fun and making a point to take pictures, so it wasn't all worthless.  :)

Let's see, September... Steph and I are in South Hall this year, which is on-campus apartment style housing.  We've each got our own small room, a shared bathroom, a kitchenette, and a considerably spacious living/common room.  We're having a grand old time cooking for ourselves and hosting study parties for various classes. 

From when we got our "wands" for conducting!
Hosting family dinner!
This semester I am taking:
Geoscience 103 - Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and other Geologic Hazards
Conducting 2
Music History 2 - 18th/19th Century
Diction (learning how to pronounce languages correctly)
Analyzing Music

From my Geoscience Saturday field trip to Mt. Rainier... my first ever college field trip!
My performance based classes are:
Voice lessons... my junior recital with Stephanie is this April!!
Opera Workshop - performing scenes and the one-act opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini
Choir of the West   :)
Soprano section at COW retreat!  Yay choir!
I spent the first half of the semester as the Music Director for Night of Musical Theatre (NOMT), which is an annual student-produced project in the Theatre department that showcases an array of musical theatre songs.  It's hard to explain beyond that, but this year we (myself, director Jack Sorensen, and choreographer Jill Heinecke) put together a loose plot based around the idea of love/the way we connect memories of love with music; we called it "Elaborate Lives" and, if I do say so myself, it was beautiful.  :)  It was a crazy up-and-down process, full of learning for the three of us, as well as our amazing cast.  I was worried throughout about putting together and successfully leading the band for the show, but I chose the right people and the music was on FIRE every night!  Some of our favorite songs included "The Club" from In the Heights, "December 1963" from Jersey Boys, and "He Lives in You" (changed to "They Live in You" for show purposes) from The Lion King.  It was fun to rock out and I got a lot of practice conducting... :)

Stretches at NOMT auditions!  The one part I missed this year was not getting to dance...
I am also in HERmonic again!  I finally feel like I'm really a part of the group and I'm happy to say that our rehearsals are such a haven for me this year.  Especially when NOMT was getting frustrating.  The audition process was eye-opening and intense.  We had about 40 or more auditionees and only 4 spots we were looking to fill.  It was a long day, but we did it!  The new ladies are all super talented and bring great individual dynamics to the group and the group as a whole is really fulfilling our "sassy, brassy, and classy" motto!  Musically, we have made leaps and bounds in just these first couple of months and our new outfits are sparkly and freaking awesome!!  We are bringing the a'capella lady-power to PLU this year like never before!

Singing "And So it Goes" at our first non-PLU concert of the year - yeah sequins!  That's right!
Even though opera is technically a class, it has taken a lot of extra-curricular work and, of course, our performances have been in the evenings.  We had opening night this Thursday (November 10th) and it is a FANTASTIC show!!  The first half is called "Grand Moments in Opera" and features six well-known operatic (and one "musical theatre") scenes from shows including Falstaff (which is the one I'm in), Nabucco (chorus of the Hebrew Slaves), Lakme (The Flower Duet, which Steph is in and it is beautiful!), and Sweeny Todd (which is actually a weird sort of musical theatre-opera hybrid...).  The second half of the night is a performance of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.  Several of the roles are double cast, creating a fairly different show for each of the four nights.  The plot of the opera is based on a briefly mentioned character in Dante's Inferno, a man (Gianni Schicchi) who takes advantage of a greedy family, rewriting their deceased relative's will to benefit them and ultimately himself.  I am singing the role of Lauretta, Schicchi's daughter, who sings the aria O mio babbino caro.  I have had soooooo much fun with this show - the casts for both the scenes and opera are made up of incredibly talented people and it has been amazing to both share this experience with my good friends in the music department and make new ones because of it.  :)  We've just got two nights left!  Then I don't know what I am going to do with all of my free time... haha...

The Thursday/Saturday cast is sad about having to lose their hands if they get caught...

Friday/Sunday cast reacting to Buoso Donati's will...  *
I am able to somehow find free time though!!  And spending time with my amazing friends has been another highlight of the year.  Steph, Lauren, Kelvin, and I are fully embracing our "family" status (established on last year's Europe tour) and make it a point to do things together, like going to the Puyallup Fair.  Steph and I also like having people over for our weekly television show viewings, especially Castle and The Big Bang Theory (although I miss BBT every week because of HERmonic rehearsal.... oh well). 
Artsy Puyallup Fair ferris wheel shot...

Waiting in line for the ferris wheel!

Kelvin got a tatoo at the fair and it was a big deal.

Steph and our wonderful friend Katie in the midst of miniature ping pong.

They weren't great at it, but they were really good at laughing about it!

Just another family night... I may or may not have made the abstract sculptures featured on Kelvin's knees.
Junior year is proving to be a lot of work, especially in discovering the art of balance between classes/homework, practicing for classes, and scheduling/practicing for extra-curriculars.  This is the first time I haven't had/gotten a job on campus, but I have come to the realization that (at least for this semester) it is really a blessing in disguise.  I am only human, and there truly are only 24 hours in a day.  But somehow (between the support of my amazing friends and probably literally by the grace of God) I am not only surviving but, between test scores and  performance reviews, succeeding.  So far, this semester is showing me that I am on the right track - I'm glad I switched majors and I'm not looking back (oh snap, she can rhyme)!  Last night in particular, before going on in my final scene of Schicchi, I felt more strongly than ever that I want to make performing my career path, or as much a part of it as possible.  There is nothing more satisfying to me than helping create great music, whether in a choir, in front of a cast/band, or onstage singing my heart out.  :)  I'm so excited to see where these passions are going to take me!

"Babbo, pieta!" (Daddy, pleeeeeease?!) - end of the aria.  :)  *
  • My first paid gig at a church in Tacoma (filling in for a soprano in a choir...)  Whee!
  • First HERmonic/PLUtonic concert of the year for the PLU community
  • Annual PLU Christmas concerts - solo in a featured piece... :)
  • Singing in Vashon Opera's Hansel and Gretel in February
I have so much to look forward to and I'm happy being busy!  Hopefully I'll be able to get better at posting now that I have a bit more time on my hands... but we've heard that before now, haven't we?... haha.


* - taken by the wonderful Stephanie Bivins.  :)