Mahler

I’m just going to take a quick minute and tell you all about the upcoming Mahler performance. Last semester, the Mount Union Concert Choir got a chance to sing with the Canton Symphony Orchestra. We sang Haydn’s theresienmesse with the symphony during its February performance. It was awesome!! Six awesome movements, beautiful music … and … Read more

I’m just going to take a quick minute and tell you all about the upcoming Mahler performance.

Last semester, the Mount Union Concert Choir got a chance to sing with the Canton Symphony Orchestra. We sang Haydn’s theresienmesse with the symphony during its February performance. It was awesome!! Six awesome movements, beautiful music … and that was my first year ever on the first soprano part. Talk about improving my range!

We did a fantastic job and we got a lot of praise for how prepared we were. Not to mention, it was an incredible experience. Not many people can say they’ve sung with a symphony orchestra. And, Canton’s ranks third in Ohio.

Along those same lines, not many people can say they’ve sung with a symphony orchestra TWICE.

After last year’s performance, the Mount Union Concert Choir was invited back to sing with Canton Symphony Orchestra. Coming up on November 4, we’re going to be performing Mahler’s second symphony.

This is an amazing piece of work. Mahler, when he wrote this, was thinking a lot about life and death, and those themes are beautifully constructed into the music we’re singing. It’s such powerful music, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

It’s not too late to come see it if you have nothing to do at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 4. Ticket information can be found online at http://cantonsymphony.tix.com/ScheduleSubscriptions.asp?OrganizationNumber=1627.

The progress this choir has made in the last two years and the opportunities we’ve had have truly made the last couple of years at Mount Union pretty exceptional.

Red

Red

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Although I am sad that fall break has come to an end, I am so excited for the drive back to Mount Union! As I’m sure many of you know, Taylor Swift’s new album “Red” was released Tuesday. My sister and I made a trip to Target in order to get the deluxe version of “Red,” which includes six additional songs. I immediately tore open the wrapper so we could listen to the CD on our way home, but the 15-minute drive just didn’t cut it. I can’t wait to get on the road and make the trip back to school so I have a full 50 minutes to jam out to Tay’s new hits.

One of the greatest things about Mount, for me, is the location. I love the 50-minute drive. While making a “pros and cons” list when determining which college to attend, many will put “location” under Mount’s cons. At first glance, Alliance, Ohio is definitely not the most appealing city. However, it has its perks! I love that Mount is far enough from home so that I have my independence, yet it is close enough so that I can make a trip home whenever I am feeling a bit homesick, need a pick-me-up from my family or don’t want to miss out on a birthday or get-together. Tomorrow morning’s drive will be perfect for an iced latte, gorgeous fall scenery and listening to “Red” on the highest volume possible.

Taylor Swift is such a great role model for college women. Her songs are relatable and inspirational. She’s 22 years old and going through many of the same things that we are all going through. I know what you’re thinking… her life is nothing like yours. She sings her heart out on stage at sold-out concerts while you sing into a hairbrush when getting ready for class. You live in Ohio while she travels around the world, sipping lattes in Paris and eating sushi in Japan. She has dated the boys that you have posters of on your dorm room walls… such as Taylor Lautner (guilty), Joe Jonas and Jake Gyllenhaal. However, Taylor goes through ups and downs, love and heartbreaks, happiness and disappointments; just like we do.

Promise to give “Red” a chance before shooting it down. Taylor Swift truly has the most sincere heart and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful role model to look up to and be inspired by daily.

P.S. I am apologizing in advance since I will most likely be “that annoying girl” blaring T.Swift’s new songs while dancing in the apartment, running in the MAAC and jamming out in the car next to you.

Soundtrack of My Life

Soundtrack of My Life

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Any and every human pretty much loves music. Everyone has at least one genre they listen to non-stop and others they can’t stand. Ever since I got a 4GB iPod, I have downloaded as much music as I could, legally. I collected numerous CDs from my brother’s collection and my parents. I had everything from the Beatles to Beethoven to My Chemical Romance to The Killers. After awhile, my iPod was too full and I had to limit my music down to 1,000 songs out of 2,000. This wasn’t okay. I simply needed more space.

After I collected all the music I could from my family, I started borrowing CDs that I liked from my friends. This added around another 500 songs. After I listened to a song or artist so much that I became sick of them, that is when I decided I needed more music than I what I already had. I finally got the idea from a friend to go to the library and rent their CDs. Every time I would go to the library, I would grab what I could fit into two hands, which was around 17-18 CDs. This consisted of artists that I’ve never heard of but had an interesting cover or it was bands I’ve heard of but didn’t have their music.

I would go to the library several times for months until I got everything I pretty much wanted. I never used to buy music until I got a job and I would buy a CD here or there online, but for Christmas or my birthday, I would always ask for iTunes gift cards. Gift cards provided me with enough money to buy even more that I couldn’t normally access.

I am still not currently satisfied with my music collection, although it is a good amount of music, about 50 GB worth of music. I got an iPod Classic, which holds about 150 GB, so I still have plenty of space until I fill it up. I’ve widened my music variety from metal to world to alternative to mainstream pop. The majority of my music though is alternative and I listen to almost everything I own. There are some artists I forget I even own and I need to delete, but nearly all of it I listen to.

I’m pretty sure if I lost my iPod or somehow broke it, I might just cry. Although I still have all my access to all of my music on my laptop, it’s the convenience of it that makes it so magical. I’m still looking for more music so let me know when you discover more music. Chances are I will like nearly anything you let me listen to.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas, that’s the holiday coming up this week, right? I mean, I’ve only been hearing Christmas music since November 1, so it must be pretty soon, right? Or is there another holiday coming up… ummm… I think I remember turkey being involved and maybe some pumpkin pie. I don’t remember what it’s called though because it’s being so overshadowed! Panksgiving? Sanksgiving? Ganksgiving? … uhhhh Hanksgiving? … Thanksgiving? That’s it!! But really, what’s with forgetting completely about this holiday and jumping straight to Christmas?

I remember when I was little, decorating for Christmas didn’t come until December 1. As the years progressed, my family moved it to the day after Thanksgiving because we could ensure everyone would be home then, and that’s still where we’re at I think. I’ve seen Christmas decorations going up for the past couple weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! And Christmas music, man, that has been on as long as I can remember. Now, I’m not trying to be hypocritical because I am currently listening to my holiday station on Pandora, BUT I just started listening to it this week. I think we’re all forgetting to appreciate Thanksgiving because Christmas is overshadowing it. We do need to remember this important holiday!

I’m not completely against Christmas music starting early, though. As I said before, I’m listening to it and it’s putting me in such a cheery mood! On top of that, I think Christmas music puts people in the mood to Christmas shop early, which eliminates scrambling on Christmas Eve to remember everyone’s presents (like I always do!). I haven’t always been able to see the good in early playing of Christmas music, though. I was a complete disbeliever of it happening in November until I was forced to see the upside of it last year when my grandmother passed away in early November. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. She would sing along to the tunes without a care in the world (like what she sounded like to everyone around her!). My mom (like myself) thought Christmas music the first week of November was just preposterous, but my grandma convinced her to play it and just for that day, my Grandma had her own Christmas. It meant the world to me when my mom told me she got to live in her favorite season again, even if it was for just a few days.

Not trying to be a downer! But I wanted to investigate the pros along with the cons of Christmas music extremely early. In case you all aren’t already in the mood, here is a little Bieber for your fever.

The Bane of My Existence

The Bane of My Existence

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As I sit here “multi-tasking,” thinking that I’m taking in real information from my study materials while keeping my eyes on NCIS and slowly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I realized I really need a reality check. I guess thus far the reality check isn’t working because logically I realize writing this is just my latest procrastination tactic. However, a little more productive than Facebook or TV, eh?! Anyway, the reality check… I really need to study up on my study skills. I’m standing at the bottom of a very tall mountain of a week: three exams, one quiz and one paper due. For some strange reason, the panic has not set in that the first of these exams happens in just over 12 hours.

So… for all of you out there who also have a bit of difficulty getting started on that paper or starting the long road to preparing for an exam, I’ve decided to compile a few study tips. Now, I’m doing this for myself too, so bear with me if they aren’t the greatest.

1. Turn the TV off. I know, the Law and Order marathon that’s on right now is killer, but chances are you’ll waste at least 25 minutes of every hour staring at the TV. No, turning the volume all the way down does not work… I’ve already tried it!

2. Don’t have music on too loud either. Personally I enjoy classical piano music when I’m studying… that way there’s no lyrics that will distract me.

3. If you don’t need the internet, turn your wifi off/unplug your ethernet cord. Facebook is a daunting thing to avoid.

4. If you do need the internet, try this to “keep you out” of Facebook, Twitter, any website that will distract you: http://keepmeout.com/en/. All you need to do is put in the website you’d like to be kept out of, make a bookmark for the page, and it keeps you out of the website for a designated period of time.

5. Take breaks. Going straight for six hours will make your brain turn to mush. Try smaller chunks with short breaks between each, maybe an hour of studying with 15 to 20 minute breaks between. Take a walk, make some food, watch a funny YouTube video (here’s your time to Facebook creep as well!).

6. Try studying with one or two other people. Maybe you missed some of the notes… chances are someone else will have caught it. Not to mention, actually saying things out loud sometimes engrains them in memory a bit better than just reading them over and over again.

7. Finally, and arguably most important, is that you GET SLEEP! It’s recommended that you get at least six hours the night before an exam. If you study all night and only get an hour of sleep, your brain doesn’t have time to process it. (It’s true… my cognitive psych professor told me!)

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

Lose The Stress, Find Your Escape

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This photograph was taken in Hawaii.

Stress is something that hits every student. Knowing how to deal with it or just how to avoid it all together is a big thing. Finding something that gets your mind off of your school work and grades is important when trying to live a balanced life. Nobody likes to just live in stress, so knowing that you are able to turn to something to turn off that stress is important. Find something you enjoy doing.

I turn to wrestling because it’s a great way to exert all of my physical energy and all of my emotions that might have been running through me throughout the day. It’s just seven minutes my opponent and I trying to figure out who truly is smarter, stronger and faster.

When I started writing poetry my junior year of high school, I didn’t think I was good. I still don’t think I am good at it but that’s not the point. Writing down a poem about how I may have felt that day was something I had never done before. It was a way for me to literally see what was going through my mind. It’s as if I collected all the junk from throughout the day and sneezed it on a piece of paper. I finally saw what was going on. Everyone feels better after they sneeze, and I felt better after writing a poem.

Sometimes talking to friends or listening to music just wasn’t enough for me. If what you might turn to usually isn’t there, try to have alternatives. For some people, simply screaming at the top of their lungs makes them feel better. Breaking things is always fun too, just make sure it’s not something you might have to pay back. Sleeping and dreaming is another great way to get away from reality, but that never lasts long enough.

Hopefully you have found something that helps you relieve stress. If you are stressed out about it, just talk about it with someone. Chances are he or she is freaking out about something and needs to let it all out too. Even if it is a five-minute conversation, at least you got it out.

Music

Music

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As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, I am a music major. I love music and it is my life. The one thing that many people don’t know about music majors is our schedules. A music major has classes all day and they aren’t just classes that start at noon.  Actually, most classes have started before or by 10 in the morning. Another part to our schedule is recitals. We are required to attend and participate in a certain number of recitals every semester or our grades for lessons will go down. Being a freshman, I just completed my first recital performance and let me just say I was very nervous, but I played my bassoon piece well.

Even though our days start pretty early, that doesn’t mean we don’t go to bed early. In fact, many of the classes we take require practicing parts. Basic Musicianship is a class taken all through freshman and sophomore year and it requires a lot of practice. The class helps music students learn what they will need to be teaching or using in music.

If anyone ever has the chance, come over to Cope and hear some wonderful music. There are always recitals going on and there are many amazing musicians in this building!

I am Cresslyn DiRosa

I am Cresslyn DiRosa

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My name is Cresslyn DiRosa, and yes my name is made up. It is based off a story book my mom had read as a child, and in it there was a character whose name was Cress. So, my mom added her middle name to it.

I am in love with music. It is my life and one of the biggest reasons I get up in the morning. This is my freshman spring semester and going for a degree in music education. My primary instrument is the bassoon. Now I know you’re asking yourself “What is a bassoon?” Well, I have answered your question with a picture of a bassoon.

Being at Mount Union has brought me great friends and great experiences, as I have lived my entire life in Chardon, Ohio. I was not the most popular subject since I loved music and not sports (like the rest of the city). At Mount Union, I have seen people who are like me and love the same things I do, and seeing this has let me expand my personality and become who I want to be. Now, Mount Union has become like my home and I feel very comfortable. I hope that it is the same for other students and incoming students see the same home that I do.