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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fond Farewell

As Thursday arrived this morning, and as I lay in my bed thinking about what I need to do today, it dawned on me: classes are over for the semester.  What a huge relief I felt.  Granted, I still have finals coming up.  I have to take a listening and multiple choice exam for Music History, I have a Theory final, a Dictation final, and then I have to give a conducting final.  All in all, I think it should be very doable.  Then I'm free for a weekend.

As I look back at this semester, its been quite a journey.  One in which I have grown a lot as a person, as a conductor, as a musician, as a friend, etc.  I look back with such gratitude at the experiences I've had.

I began taking voice from Mindy and have seen some huge improvements in my voice.  When I sang for Dr. Staheli and Sister Hall, they were both shocked at the improvements I've made over such a short amount of time.  Mindy told me later that Dr. Staheli pulled her aside in the hallway after, and said that his jaw was on the floor that I could improve so much so quickly.  Sister Hall has been so pleased that she is sending people to Mindy for lessons now because of my results.  It made me feel by the end of the year that I deserved to be in Concert Choir.  It makes me wonder if I might have a chance at Singers next year if I keep really looking.

This semester I also reprised my role as conductor of my easter fireside.  This year I was joined by the ridiculously talented Mariah Wilson.  She was a wonderful co-conductor.  This year was by far the best year I've had in the choir.  We were joined by Christie Sowby (previously Burgon) on piano, Michelle Broadbent and Mindy Ammons as vocal soloists, Rachel NeSmith on cello, and Rachel Ostler on violin.  We were also joined by the fabulous Rosalind Hall as our narrator.  She was amazing.  We had some old favorites, some new originals, some new arrangements, and some new music all together.  It was really just a fun musical event for me.  I grew a lot as a musician and as a conductor.  I absolutely love everyone that participated, and hope that they'll wanna do it again next year, haha.  I was also incredibly touched at seeing a lot of my family come.  My Aunt Rene and Uncle Rick came from NorCal through some incredible snow storms, awful weather, long stops etc just to see the concert (and their daughter of course...haha).  My parents also came through bad weather and long hours.  Michelle also made her way out through "hell" conditions.  It was really touching to me that they would all come just for me.  Wow.  I'm so glad they did though, cause it was an amazing experience.

I've also just become closer to a lot of people.  I've allowed myself to be vulnerable and open with people.  I've allowed myself to be honest not only to other people (this can both be positive and negative...hahahaha) but to myself.  That in and of itself has been an interesting development for me.  I mean, I've always been knows to be an honest person with my opinions.  I always give them freely and unabashedly.  But, I'm learning to be more open and honest with/about myself.  Its an adventure...hahaha.  In so doing, I think I've developed some pretty solid relationships and that's a huge thing for me :)

I have also taken a step into teaching.  I teach Music 135 for BYU.  That is, I teach basic conducting skills.  I absolutely love my little class.  My 15 kids if you will.  They have grown and improved immeasurably.  It makes me such a proud papa...haha.  In teaching my kids, I have also grown as a conductor.  I've gotten back to some of the basics and back to good technique.  Its really been a learning experience as I examine my own conducting strengths and weaknesses.  What a joy.  What a joy.

All and all, as I look back at the past 4 months I'm pleased.  Pleased with me, pleased with my growth, and pleased with my ~ness.  And as I prepare for the spring/summer semesters I bid winter a fond farewell.  Now, I just have to prepare for the stress/excitement that is summer...but Such is Life.


  1. I need to come down for a visit - particularly one where I get to see you and talk to you for reals! The Easter concert really was excellent, dear. The choir was put together really well, the soloists and strings were amazing, and the narration was SO MUCH BETTER than any other time. Wonderful.

  2. Would you ever want to become a professor, and teach for a living?

    Great that you're improving in voice so fast! I should call this Mindy...