Oh the things you can do..

Oh the things you can do..

So I was wondering what I should blog about today, and I realized I’ve never really talked about the fine arts organizations. You don’t necessarily have to be a member of the band, choirs or plays to get involved in the arts, which I think is really great. It’s just so easy to be a … Read more

So I was wondering what I should blog about today, and I realized I’ve never really talked about the fine arts organizations.

You don’t necessarily have to be a member of the band, choirs or plays to get involved in the arts, which I think is really great. It’s just so easy to be a leader and get involved everywhere on campus!

Here are the organizations available in the arts on campus:

  • kkyKappa Kappa Psi: The national band honorary fraternity. There are tons of chapters all over the country, and we’re lucky enough to have one on this campus. It’s specifically designed for leadership within the band. We (I say “we” because I’m in this one) host music events like band dances and fun evening stuff during band camp. We also do community service that has to do with music, like instrument petting zoos at Regina Coeli, a nearby school.
  • mpeMu Phi Epsilon: The music honorary fraternity. To get in this one, you have to be a music major or minor. This group is largely involved with making the Department of Music better. We (again, I’m in this one) put on concerts, perform with music alumni in the area and do little things like decorate the music building for holidays. We actually just wrote all the music faculty valentines!
  • ocmeaOCMEA: The Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association. This organization is specifically designed for music educators, but I know MANY people who have joined just because they love and support music education. They bring speakers to campus and also go to OMEA conference in the spring.
  • kpKappa Pi: Kappa Pi is the art fraternity. Anyone interested in art can take part. They do a lot of things on campus related to art and creativity and they’re a really fun bunch of people. I tried to be in this organization, but unfortunately I have class when they meet. Ah well, still something really fun to do, and I try to go to the events they put on.
  • Alpha Psi Omega/Theatre Club: Yes! We have a theatre club on campus, and it is really fun. Check out ourapo Facebook page! We do a lot of fun things like go see shows and host a cast party after shows. We have the theatre club, which is open to anyone interested in theatre. Then, as you participate in the plays (either on stage, back stage or off stage) you accumulate points. Once you’ve accumulated enough points you can officially join the Alpha Psi Omega theatre honorary.

So! Those are all the organizations in a nutshell. They’re really fun and do a lot of good for the campus. And you can be involved in as many of them as you like—as you can see, I’m in all but two of them.

See something missing? If you want a club, it’s really easy to do. Just find enough people who want the club to exist and sign up with the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership. I’ve seen a bowling club happen, a lacrosse club, a philosophy club…all you have to do is ask!

The reason I started talking about organizations is we’re having a music team for Relay for Life this year. (If you feel so inclined to donate, our team is called Kappa Kappa Psi.) If you can come to Mount Union’s Relay for Life (April 19-20 in The MAAC) watch out for the music team playing Aerosmith’s Dream On over and over. We’ll raise money by having people pay us to stop playing. Heehee:)

Five at Five

This weekend is going to be so awesome. This Sunday, the Concert Choir is performing at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron. Performing in churches is one thing. The size and shape of a church makes for a great environment to sing, and it sounds awesome. I’ve been in churches where you cut off the … Read more

This weekend is going to be so awesome.

This Sunday, the Concert Choir is performing at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron.

Performing in churches is one thing. The size and shape of a church makes for a great environment to sing, and it sounds awesome. I’ve been in churches where you cut off the song and the reverb lasts for up to four seconds. It’s rich, awesome and I love singing in churches.

And this Westminster Presbyterian Church is going to be one of the great churches to sing in.

We’re singing in this church as part of its concert series, called Five at Five. We’re the third of five groups performing at 5 p.m. for this church.

Okay, and here’s a tidbit of information. We’re doing this new song called Where Your Bare Foot Walks and I can’t wait. This is my favorite song and I’m THRILLED that the first time we perform it is going to be in such an awesome church. If you get to Akron this weekend for no other reason come for Where Your Bare Foot Walks.

This is our first time performing with this concert series, and I hope we get to sing at more things like this.

We’re seriously had so many awesome opportunities in the last two years. I can tell the choir program is growing and will continue to grow under Dr. Cook.

New plans for the fine arts building

New plans for the fine arts building

For a long time, the fine arts building on campus has been pushed to the back burner with updates and remodeling. I understand, if the funding and support from alumni isn’t there, it’s hard to do. But since last year there’s been talk in the halls about remodeling. Some of our music and theatre students … Read more

For a long time, the fine arts building on campus has been pushed to the back burner with updates and remodeling. I understand, if the funding and support from alumni isn’t there, it’s hard to do.

But since last year there’s been talk in the halls about remodeling. Some of our music and theatre students actually had a chance to meet with the architects helping with the design. And now, with almost all the money raised, the plans for the new theatre space are under way.

As of right now, the fall theatre program is going to be a little different. We have some choir and theatre collaborations to look forward to that will take the place of the fall shows.

Band camp and school next semester will also be a little interesting with construction going on.

But it’s happening. The time is near. And it’s going to be SO AWESOME!

I literally can’t help but bounce in my seat whenever I hear about it.

Here are some of the proposed changes right now:

  1. A new theatre. Very cool and up to date. I’m told it will be acoustically ready for orchestra, band, theatreand choir!
  2. New seating. I believe there’s even talk of a balcony!!
  3. A black box theatre rehearsal space. This will essentially be a bare room with different sized black boxes that will allow for some of the more minimalist and modern theatre education.
  4. A rehearsal place for choir. Right now, band and choir rehearse in the same room. No more! I hear the choir room will have a tiered floor so we can have chairs and rows instead of just working with risers.

The building will be completely different, and I’m only sad because I won’t be there for it because I’m graduating.

So. Exciting.

Here’s a look at the proposed theatre:

cope

Surfaces and Spaces

Surfaces and Spaces

If you haven’t been to Crandall Art Gallery lately, you should totally head over there. The current display is by artist Christopher Ryan, and it’s called Surfaces and Spaces. The pieces are from his Pavimenti and landscape series. This display will only last until March 6, so the time to see these incredible works is … Read more

If you haven’t been to Crandall Art Gallery lately, you should totally head over there.

The current display is by artist Christopher Ryan, and it’s called Surfaces and Spaces. The pieces are from his Pavimenti and landscape series.

This display will only last until March 6, so the time to see these incredible works is now!

I found this gallery display particularly interesting. Most of the pieces look like some sort of tile or marble floor that’s had something set or dropped on it.

Cupcakes

(Torcello Plates by Christopher Ryan. I especially love the cupcakes and colors in this one!)

 

All the floors in his paintings are based off of mosaic and inlaid stone floors found throughout Italy.

I like two things about it. First, there seems to be a definite difference between faded and bright colors. Second, there’s a contrast between the ancient floors and the modern things set on them.

There’s also a couple of works made with interesting materials. My personal favorite is one where the figures in the piece are made out of newspaper. Really eye-catching stuff!

newspaper(Golden Age, by Christopher Ryan. Those figures are made out of newspaper!)

All in all, this exhibit catches my eye whenever I walk by it, and I think it’s really cool. Crandall Art Gallery is yet another opportunity to see fine arts in action on Mount Union’s campus, and the gallery is free and open to the public!

yellowchairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Outdoor Cafe, Gubbio, by Christopher Ryan. This is the one that catches my eye every time I go through the gallery.)

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Eight-Hand Piano Concert

Ya know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here. I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing … Read more

pianoYa know what I appreciate about Mount Union? All the firsts I’ve had here.

I was in my first play here (in high school we only did musicals). I had my first experience with a Mac (we still don’t get along but our relationship is improving). I had my first (and second) opportunity to sing with a symphony orchestra.

And now, I’ve seen my first eight-hand piano concert.

It was this Wednesday, February 13 in Presser.

Two piano duos came together to make some really impressive music. Dr. Maira Liliestedt and Janelle Phinney, and Brent Schloneger and Raquel Teare really put on an incredible show.

They opened with a piano arrangement of the overture from Don Giovanni, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t keep my jaw off the floor for the rest of the show.

It was so COOL seeing them perform! There were two grand pianos next to each other, and two people at each one.

I’m still astonished at how fast their fingers can move. And how they all kept in time with each other, and all the talent on that stage!

Pianists never cease to amaze me. I love love loooooove piano.

I say it all the time in my blogs, but I’ll say it again. Most, if not all, of the concerts we put on are free to the public! It’s so easy to see tons of talent and lots of great music.

Here’s a great way to see all the events Mount Union has coming up. Just look for fine arts to see the information on upcoming concerts!

A liberal arts education

A liberal arts education

Recently, the Office of Marketing has been doing this Twitter stunt that I think is pretty cool. Students get to tweet why they love Mount Union with #IheartMount in the message. I definitely love Mount Union, and it was pretty refreshing to see a lot of people’s different reasons for loving it too. I took … Read more

Recently, the Office of Marketing has been doing this Twitter stunt that I think is pretty cool. Students get to tweet why they love Mount Union with #IheartMount in the message.

I definitely love Mount Union, and it was pretty refreshing to see a lot of people’s different reasons for loving it too.

twitter

I took a little bit of thought with mine—mostly because there are a LOT of things I like about Mount. But here’s what I came up with:

“#IheartMount cuz I’ve been able to get involved in a lot of different things, and it feels like people here are genuinely invested in my success.”

First, let’s be clear about one thing. I’m not a fan of using “cuz” if I can help it, but with 140 characters…I digress.

But seriously though. I say it time and time again: I have done EVERYTHING I could have possible wanted to do: theatre, choir, band, art, journalism, photography, design and the list goes on and on!

Now, I’ve been involved in choir ever since it was made available to me in middle school. It’s meant a lot to my development as a musician and a person, and it was one of the things I was looking for in a college. I didn’t want to be in a choral program dedicated only to musicians.

And boy did I hit jackpot with Mount Union. The concert choir has 26 different majors represented. That’s phenomenal! The band hosts way more than music majors, and the theatre auditions are not limited to theatre majors.

Student Senate isn’t limited to political science majors, the Calliope (literary journal) isn’t only for English majors, and you don’t have to major in a science to be involved in science clubs—I’ve gone to every Physics Game Night.

And that’s incredible. THAT is a liberal arts education. Mount Union is more than focusing on your major and professionalism—it’s literally working to strengthen you as a person: your humanity, your heart, your drive. Mount Union is more than carrying a brick of a textbook from room to room and only building the mind.

That’s what I like about Mount Union. That’s why I came here. So I could learn, but also grow.

Bobby baby

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby. The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds) The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s … Read more

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby.

The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds)

The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s friends. They are always calling him and wanting to hang out, asking for favors, etc. To illustrate this, there are a lot of times when people are singing over one another, and sometimes people are literally jumping into the song.

It’s AWESOME.

The song is this entire cacophony of sound as the different characters chime in with “Bobbys,” “Bobby Darlings” and invitations to dinners, shows, whatever.

Another thing that’s prominent is a minor third (if you sing the first two notes of the national anthem, you have a minor third, for example).

Cool fact, the minor third is called the “Mother Interval.” For whatever reason, in every culture without fail, the minor third is the first interval an infant hears. Think of how your mom says your name when she’s trying to get your attention—it’s a minor third.

“Bobby” is sung over and over on this interval, and it represents the way Bobby’s friends “mom” him. Sondheim, the composer of Company, is a genius.

The cast of the musical includes 6 men and 8 women, all of whom are extremely talented musicians and actors. This show is seriously gonna be so good.

We’re actually going to do all the notes and all the harmonies. Some of the Broadway cast recordings available have a slightly watered down version of the song.

The song we worked on last night is just one of the many amazing songs in Company. This musical is going to test everyone’s musical ability, and it will be such an intense production.

April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m., and April 7 at 2 p.m. in Rodman Playhouse.

Steel drums!

Steel drums!

At this very moment, I’m typing my blog to the rhythm of a set of steel drums. They are just the neatest instruments. They look like oil barrels or metal trash cans with the tops dented in, and they make the most delightful metallic percussion sound. The drums were graciously lent to us by the … Read more

At this very moment, I’m typing my blog to the rhythm of a set of steel drums.

They are just the neatest instruments. They look like oil barrels or metal trash cans with the tops dented in, and they make the most delightful metallic percussion sound.

The drums were graciously lent to us by the Canton Symphony Orchestra. We were told that they were going to lend them to someone else, but heard Mount Union was interested and said, “Here you go!”

I think it’s a great opportunity for the percussion students to learn a new and interesting kind of instrument, especially because steel drums aren’t easy to come by.

The steel drums are being used with the jazz band, and their sound combined with trumpets is really cool. The jazz band concert is going to be really awesome this semester!

The jazz band concert is April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Campus Grounds. This will definitely be a concert you don’t want to miss!

Okay. That, up there, was going to be my blog. Then I decided a few minutes ago, “I think I’ll go take pictures of the steel drums!”

(USUALLY, if a rehearsal hall is open while an ensemble is working, you can pause in the door and listen without bothering anyone. Taking pictures though, no. I just did because…well because I was discreet!)

So I was listening and taking pictures surreptitiously, and I just wanted to reiterate how awesome the steel drums sound. They’re not only working with brass, but a jazz flute and a few other percussion instruments.

Awesome sound, I’m excited, and you should be too.

April 24. Be there.

Andrew

Andrew Whitman, playing steel drums

Group1

(L to R) Brian Archer, Sean Eppler, Jeff Neitzke, Tim Bagnola, Sara Hall

Group2

(L to R) Lizi Glanemann, Jake Husted , Kevin Princic, Heather Rice, Demi Lohr, Thomas Gaskins

It’s up.

It’s up.

After a week of stressing out, warming up and winding down, the cast list for Company has finally been posted. Monday and Tuesday of this week were auditions. Everyone had to prepare 32 bars of music and a one minute monologue. Wednesday the callbacks list was posted, and Thursday was callbacks. And today, oh beautiful … Read more

After a week of stressing out, warming up and winding down, the cast list for Company has finally been posted.

Cast List

Monday and Tuesday of this week were auditions. Everyone had to prepare 32 bars of music and a one minute monologue.

Wednesday the callbacks list was posted, and Thursday was callbacks.

And today, oh beautiful waited-for day, the cast list was posted.

Trying out for a show is a pretty thrilling experience, and I wonder if it looks silly to the outsider.

We were all definitely frantically finding 32 bars of music that adequately showed off our voices, and a monologue that showed we can act. Some people were even frantically memorizing their monologues an hour before auditions!

Then, there’s this shuffle of excitement to see the callback list. I always have this image in my head of the scene from Patch Adams where all the med students cram around the posted paper to see their grade.

For callbacks, auditioners are given a specific song to sing, depending on what part they’re being considered for. So everyone with a callback essentially has 30 hours or so to learn a Sondheim song. No easy feat, but it was pretty fun.

Then, it’s just a matter of waiting. Waiting, innocently walking past the board every half hour or so to see if the list is up. Or if you’re like me, you’re sitting in a class you can’t skip waiting for a text message.

When you receive two little words, you know your fate is officially sealed:

“It’s up.”

So the cast has officially been announced for the spring musical, and we’re about to embark on a semester-long journey of singing, acting and having an awesome time.

Come see the show! April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m., and a 2:30 matinee on April 7.

I’m a part of that

It’s never fun being sick. I’m one of those lucky people who is experiencing a cold and sore throat right now. And generally, that really sucks. EXCEPT when it comes to choir. You’re probably like, “What?” But let me explain. When you’re sick, you can’t sing with the choir. It’s not good for your voice, … Read more

It’s never fun being sick. I’m one of those lucky people who is experiencing a cold and sore throat right now.

And generally, that really sucks.

EXCEPT when it comes to choir.

You’re probably like, “What?”

But let me explain. When you’re sick, you can’t sing with the choir. It’s not good for your voice, and there’s the chance you’ll make other choir members sick.

So, you get to sit out when you’re sick. And listen to the choir thing.

It’s really a nice gift on the days you’re sick.

For once, you get to experience what the audience experiences. And let me tell you: It’s pretty awesome.

We’re learning some new songs this semester, and even in their learning stages, I can tell these songs are going to be beautiful.

I sat out Thursday from choir, and sometime between all the awesome music I got to thinking, “I’m a part of that sound.” I am a part of that fantastic group of music-making people.

No matter what I do after college, I know I was part of one of the best groups Mount Union has to offer. That’s pretty cool, and that’ll make anyone with a sore throat feel better.