Relay for Life is music themed!

Relay for Life is music themed!

This year’s going to be really cool. They always come up with such fun themes. This year it’s Relay for Life: Battle of the Ban(d) Cancer. So it’s like, we’re banning cancer! I’m super excited it’s music themed too. We have a team from the Department of Music, and our theme is “Please Don’t Stop … Read more

This year’s going to be really cool. They always come up with such fun themes. This year it’s Relay for Life: Battle of the Ban(d) Cancer. So it’s like, we’re banning cancer!

I’m super excited it’s music themed too. We have a team from the Department of Music, and our theme is “Please Don’t Stop the Music.” Basically, people can pay us to go follow someone around and play an annoying song at them, and they have to pay us to stop playing.

I, for one, am learning “It’s a Small World After All.” Ya know, that really annoying and repetitive song from the Disney ride? Hee hee !

I think that’ll get some pretty interesting reviews.

I’m just excited for the night in general though too. Each hour is going to be a different theme of music, so that’ll be pretty cool. For example, there’s going to be 50’s at 7 p.m., and a rave at 4 a.m. There’s also going to be 80s, 90s, 2K, country, pop, R&B, line dancing—pretty much any musical genre you could ever come up with.

Did you hear that? A RAVE of techno music is going to be happening this weekend at Mount Union. I know I’m going to be there. How about you?

As the WRMU program director, I’m kind of heading up DJ-ing for the event. That’s 18 hours of music, and I am READY!

We stay up all night because “cancer doesn’t sleep.” Our goal is 18 straight hours of fundraising.

I can’t wait to have a ton of fun with my friends and raise some money to help fight cancer!

It’s this Friday (April 19) at 6 p.m. until Saturday April 20 at noon. It’ll be in the Peterson Field House in the MAAC. If you want to participate or donate, go here!

Hope to see you there!

relay

 

You never know…

You never know…

Class of 2013 – Traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to work with the West Indies Christian Mission Row 1: Alison Hendrickson, Julie Jakmides, Jenny Gamertsfelder, Sarah Wroblewski, Jon Borrego. Row 2: Steve Kramer, Amy Ricciardi, Emily Christmas, Kelsey Tomlinson, Naoko Oyabu-Mathis, Zak Suhar. Row 3: Kody Severino, Megan Merlene, Kelly Slutz, Kathy Girton (host), … Read more

DRtrip

Class of 2013 – Traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to work with the West Indies Christian Mission

Row 1: Alison Hendrickson, Julie Jakmides, Jenny Gamertsfelder, Sarah Wroblewski, Jon Borrego.
Row 2: Steve Kramer, Amy Ricciardi, Emily Christmas, Kelsey Tomlinson, Naoko Oyabu-Mathis, Zak Suhar.
Row 3: Kody Severino, Megan Merlene, Kelly Slutz, Kathy Girton (host), Elana Anderson (cook), Mike Patterson, Jonathan Espacio (guide).

Over spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic on a service trip. It was part of the social responsibility and personal well-being course offered at Mount Union, and it was quite an awesome experience.

It was an AMAZING experience. I learned so much about another culture, the other people on the trip and myself. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow and do service at Mount Union, but this one was definitely one of the best.

We did a lot of work while over there. We mixed cement the old-fashioned way, we painted at least six rooms and we helped feed more than 200 people in a dump village. In a dump village, people actually live in little communities next to the local landfill, and that’s where they get their meals.

I also learned a lot about the people on the trip with me. Every night we would share our life stories, and I grew to realize that with any given person, I have a lot more in common with them than not. I look at life and people a little differently now because of that.

BUT! You’re probably wondering what this has to do with music and the arts, since I typically blog about the arts. Well, I’ll tell you.

Before we headed to the Dominican Republic, our host Kathy Girton asked what we were interested in and good at. She wanted to know what we could do with any kids we worked with, and how to make the free day enjoyable. So naturally, I said singing and music.

Well! On day one, we were headed to work with a bunch of kids. And we worked with a ton of kids; that was probably a majority of the trip. We played with bubbles, jump ropes or just gave them piggyback rides. It was awesome.

But I digress. On day one, Kathy hands me this book of Spanish songs. And I’m like: Uh oh. I don’t know any of these songs, if I mess up all the kids will know…

So I look through the pages. Then I realize, I CAN read this music! We’ve been learning solfeg in choir for the last three years! Solfeg is a method of assigning notes a syllable, like do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti. Because the intervals between the syllables never change, I can assign syllables to notes in music and sight-read it.

And that’s exactly what I did. Within minutes I had a song or two completely down, and I was so excited.

First, because it was really empowering. I could have been totally lost, but I wasn’t.

Second, because it was so great to use my music knowledge! People say, “Why do I have to take this class, I’ll never use it.” Well, you never truly know where you’re gonna use the knowledge you acquire in a class. And this Dominican Republic moment proves it!

For pictures of our trip, check out this video!

Music for the show

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here. We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job. Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear … Read more

Let’s talk about the pit band for a minute here.

We’ve been working on Company for weeks now, with the vocal music director Ian LeRoy. He’s a junior music performance major, and he’s been doing an excellent job.

Come see the show, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing you’re going to hear is an a capella bit that leads to a cluster chord–basically, a lot of notes at the same time. It’ll make you shiver it’s so good.

So acting, check. Vocals, check. What we needed was the band.

And they are sounding pretty incredible. With everything from two pianists, a ‘cello, trumpets, and more, we are gonna have such an amazing sound for this performance.

I think the only relatively difficult thing thus far has been nailing down the times. But now we’re golden.

Here’s some things to listen for, voally and instrumentally:

1. The opening of the show. It’s just jaw-dropping.

2. The girlfriends’ trio. Their voices are gorgeous and complement each other very well.

3. The sax in the opening of The Ladies Who Lunch scene. Junior Ian Bell :)

4. Anything the husbands sing together.

5. The end of Someone is Waiting and Sorry Grateful. Senior Kenny Leep and junior Jesse Phillips are going to make every girl in the room fall in love with them.

6. Another Hundred People by freshman Erin Bell

(PS, have I mentioned that all the other girls in the show besides me are freshmen? Such a talented freshman class, holy wow!)

Just wanted to give you a couple things to look forward to :) Come see the show!

The show is April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday April 7 at 2 p.m. at Rodman Playhouse

International Hour: Ghana

International Hour: Ghana

The Association of International Students (AIS) has a radio program called International Hour. The show airs on Mount Union’s very own WRMU 91.1FM every Thursday night at 9 p.m. On the previous segment of the AIS International Hour, I visited the West African nation of Ghana. For a very long time, Mount Union lacked representatives … Read more


The Association of International Students (AIS) has a radio program called International Hour. The show airs on Mount Union’s very own WRMU 91.1FM every Thursday night at 9 p.m.

On the previous segment of the AIS International Hour, I visited the West African nation of Ghana. For a very long time, Mount Union lacked representatives from the African continent. We never really had students from Africa come to Mount Union (transfer or exchange). This year, we have students representing Ethiopia, Senegal (later moved to France) and, of course, Ghana.

International Hour: Ghana was a first. I have repeated a few countries before; covering different aspects of the country each time the country had a repeat feature on the show. International Hour: Ghana came after I featured Ethiopia the week prior. I am getting side-tracked.

International Hour: Ghana was an interesting show to prepare for. It made me realize that the English language is more commonly used for Ghanaian songs compared to their local languages and dialects. Why? Because English is their official language (former British colony) and it was easier to market with English.

Here are some of the facts about Ghana:

Capital City: Accra

Population: approximately 25 milion

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Oregon

Official language: English (due to British colonization)

Neighbors: Ivory Coast (west), Burkina Faso (north, and Togo (east). Gulf of Guinea in the south.

My guest for the show was Edward, or commonly known as Eddie among the international students. He is a new transfer student from Ghana. He lived in the capital city, Accra. Eddie is currently a freshman and will be at Mount for the whole nine yards (or whole four years).

Eddie said that one of the hardest things for him to get used to when he first came to America was the weather. The climate in Ghana is only classified into two seasons; dry and wet. Not getting snow in Ghana, Eddie had a hard time getting used to the bitter cold and the endless snow that we had earlier in the year.

His favorite thing about America is the friendliness of the people. Though I had pointed out that it could just be a “mid-west thing,” Eddie stated that even in New York, where he had his connecting flight, people were generally friendlier.

The term “Ghanaian” can be a very general term used to describe the people of Ghana. There are various ethnic groups in Ghana; Akan, Ewe and Guan to name a few. The people of Ghana differs from region to region. They speak different languages passed down from their ancestors as well as different dialects within those languages. Ghana, in this aspect, is very diverse.

English is the uniting language of the nation as it is the official language of Ghana. Children are taught in schools while most classes (except foreign languages) are conducted in English. Students in Ghana can also learn French. Eddie told me during the show that French was an option offered by the Ghanaian government because their neighboring countries all speak French.

The mainstream media in Ghana is basically influenced by American media. Besides having their local artistes, American pop music has a huge presence in modern day Ghana. The same goes for movies and television. Most of the movies shown in Ghana are made in Hollywood. Most of the TV shows are, obviously, American TV shows. It seems to be a pattern in many countries. The taking over of the mainstream media by the American media in many countries is a very common phenomenon.

Here is a song by Ghanaian hip-hop artiste, Fuse ODG, from the show: watch?v=6LCoksSQMzs

Ghana Flag

Be sure to tune in to the International Hour every Thursday night at 9 on WRMU 91.1FM!

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:)

International Hour on WRMU

International Hour on WRMU

Traveling has always been one of my passions. I love visiting new places and learning new things, culture, language and FOOD. Studying here in Ohio is essentially an entirely new experience for me. Well, not as new as it was two years ago, but you get the point. Being atMount Union gave me opportunities that … Read more

International Hour Traveling has always been one of my passions. I love visiting new places and learning new things, culture, language and FOOD.

Studying here in Ohio is essentially an entirely new experience for me. Well, not as new as it was two years ago, but you get the point.

Being atMount Union gave me opportunities that I could never imagine having if I had went to a larger school. Since my transfer from my little island state of Penang in Malaysia, I had been able to have first hand experience with creating ad campaigns, operating film studio equipment, being a president for an association representing my peers from around the world and now, I even have my own radio show.

It’s called “International Hour.” Essentially what goes down in my show is each week, I focus on one country; highlighting certain aspects of its culture, like language, beliefs, music and the occasional stereotypes. Songs from the country of the week will be played throughout the hour-long radio program. The songs are selected by guests from the particular country, who join me in the WRMU studio to share their experience in the United States as well as the differences between the culture of their native country and the US.

So far, I have covered countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Ethiopia, Northern Ireland, Germany, Georgia, France and Spain to name a few.

The things I’ve learned from doing this show are endless. Each week, I learn a little more about a different part of the world. Each week, I discover new songs and styles of music.

I will be recapping each country featured on the show starting this week.

The International Hour is a radio program by the Association of International Students. The show is on Mount Union’s very own WRMU 91.1, every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST.

So, what country will be featured next?

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

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.

International Hour on WRMU

WRMU is the only jazz station that I have ever listened to. I have always been a mainstream chart music kind of person. I realized that WRMU has garnered many listeners from the Alliance area and that these listeners are real smooth jazz fans. What WRMU also provides is a platform for media students to … Read more

WRMU is the only jazz station that I have ever listened to. I have always been a mainstream chart music kind of person. I realized that WRMU has garnered many listeners from the Alliance area and that these listeners are real smooth jazz fans. What WRMU also provides is a platform for media students to explore the world of radio. WRMU has many student DJs. Some of them do it because it is part of their audio class requirement while others do it because they are passionate about it.

I was given a huge opportunity to host my own show after completing my basic level audio class last year. As a member of the Association of International Students (AIS), I was asked to host the AIS International Hour due to my radio experience. I took the offer and now, a year later, I am still at it. As president of AIS, the radio show meant so much more to me because it is a chance for me to share Mount Union’s diversity and let our listeners know of our international student body.

Each week, the AIS International Hour includes some of the following:

  • Focus on one particular country and share facts about that country.
  • Play music from the country of the week … because it is a radio show after all!
  • Feature a guest from that particular country to share an insider’s perspective.
  • Dish out fun facts about the country.

and towards the end of the program,

  • Confirm or dismiss stereotypes placed upon that selected country.

The show is a good chance for listeners to learn more about a different country every week and also to discover new music from that country.  So far, the International Hour has featured Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Germany and Spain.

The AIS International Hour is on WRMU 91.1 FM every Thursday at 9 p.m.