This past couple weeks has been full of this question…”what’s next?” Either someone will be asking me that, or I will be asking someone else that same question. For me…I am continuing on to Grad School at UPenn in Philadelphia. I am already feeling Buffalo withdrawl and I haven’t even left yet!
Tonight I went to an end of the year voice studio party at one of my professors’ house. It’s something she has done every year that I have been a student at UB. It’s a great way to reflect on the semester and to just be able to talk to faculty and fellow students with out the pressure of classwork, deadlines, exams, or juries. I even found myself asking my professors what they had for upcoming plans. My professor who hosted the studio party has a busy summer teaching at different vocal workshops all over the world! Although we all seem to be heading in different directions, we were already making plans about how to stay in touch and even when we should get together again! I’ve realized what incredible people I have had the opportunity to work with here at UB, and I’m once again amazed!
I can’t believe graduation is almost here. I’m just about finished with everything…just one final on monday and I’ll be done!! This week has been super busy with special end of the year events and special senior events as well! Tuesday afternoon we had a STARS Banquet with the Admissions office which we do every year but was very special this year since it’s the last one for me. On Tuesday night I went to College Night at the Buffalo Bisons (the baseball team) game and it was a lot of fun. There were soooooo many people there, half of whom I seemed to know, so it was a great way to celebrate the end of the semester. Last night we had the Theater Department Senior Dinner at an Italian Restaurant called Falettas. It was great to get together with all the seniors and the faculty, but also very bitter sweet. Every time seniors get together it seems to be an even bigger reminder that we are all headed in very different directions. Lucikly we have a million ways to stay in touch with each other! I have a few more events coming up such as picnics, receptions, and concerts, but I think May 9th (graduation) is going to come way too quickly!!
So the day of my senior recital is almost here, and I can’t believe it! I’ve sat through countless senior recitals for fellow students over the past years and every time it seemed like this mythical thing that I would have to do eventually, but just not yet. Well…the day has arrived. I’m getting really excited because I’ve spent theoretically the past 4 years working towards this, and more directly the entire past semester working on repertoire. It’s finally a chance to share what I’ve been working on with family, friends, and professors. So what am I supposed to do the night before, and the day of? My professor suggested having a pretty normal day on saturday (at least until my family arrives); relax, hydrate, review my music mentally, take a break from thinking about the recital and cheer on the Sabres in the afternoon, and then just enjoy the excitement that comes before a performace. Several of my friends are in the Theater Department’s production of “Our Town” this weekend, so I decided to go see that tonight in order to have a relaxing and inspiring night. It was a lot of fun to see two of my roomates in a show together, and even one professor with a cameo! I need to get a good night of sleep now though! I’ll keep you all posted on how the recital goes!!
Walking around campus today it was hard to go ten feet with out seeing someone wearing a Sabres Jersey or T-shirt. The Sabres have their first playoff game tonight against the Boston Bruins!! It has been 3 years since the Sabres have made it to the playoffs and within those 3 years I have become an avid hockey watcher, and can’t wait to cheer on the Sabres!! One thing I absolutely love about Buffalo is the amount of pride in their sports teams and overall joy in supporting them…no matter what.
This season has been so much fun to watch, and I actually was able to go to 7 games this season. My parents gave me tickets to 6 games for my birthday and then I won tickets to a game back in January!! Unfortunately playoffs are starting right as the busiest part of the semester has come along. I really wanted to go downtown tonight to watch the game in the plaza outside HSBC Arena (they broadcast the came on jumbo screens and it’s free…not to mention it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside right now!). As much as I want to go, I think my homework, studying, and pile of laundry are going to win. I’ll just have to make sure I get downtown for one of the games next week! My roomate and I are still going to cheer our team on tonight though. We plan to order a pizza and take a break to watch the game at 7. Let’s go Buffalo!!
Tonight I went to see my professors perform in a faculty recital for the Music Department. This concert featured Alexander Hurd (Baritone), Tony Arnold (Soprano), and Alison D’Amato on piano. The concert was a performance of a Song Cycle by Marcel Tyberg, an Austrian composer who was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in 1944. JoAnn Falletta, from the Buffalo Philharmonic, gave some introductory remarks to the audience about the history of the pieces. She also discussed some of the world premier performances of Tyberg’s work that she has been involved with through support provided by the Marcel Tyberg Musical Legacy Fund of the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
My Senior Recital is coming up this Saturday (I’m sure everyone is getting sick of hearing about it) and this concert helped me get inspired and excited for it! It was very nice to take a break from my practice room and watch my teachers perform. Sometimes it is a great refresher to watch a professional, and just to visually see (and hear) what they might be trying to get me to do in my individual lessons. One of the trickiest things about music is that there is no “right answer.” There is always an element of interpretation, so I feel that I can really benefit from going to concerts, just like a math major might benefit from doing practice problems or proofs. Now that I’m all re-energized and inspired, I should probably take some time to relax before my busy day tomorrow full of classes, work, and a dress rehearsal!
It has come to the point in the semester when there are two weeks of classes left and it seems like thing should be winding down, but every class I’m in has seemed to go full speed ahead this past week! I have final papers for almost every class due at different points over the next two weeks, as well as final projects, exams, and labs! I also have my senior recital coming up next Saturday. It is very exciting because it is the culmination of 4 years of music study and a chance to share what I’ve been learning with friends and family. This past week I had my pre-recital jury which is what actually needs to be passed in order to graduate from the music program at UB. I had to have my recital repertoire prepared and present it for a panel of faculty. Luckily it went pretty well, so now I can just focus on getting ready for my recital and actually enjoy it!! I’m still in shock that this semester has flown by so quickly, but at the same time I have so many fun events to comeing up over the next couple of weeks that it is absolutely thrilling!
A great deal of my classwork this week dealt with films. My Italian professor is constantly seeking new articles, books, and films to suggest to her students and I am taking two classes with her this semester which allows for double that! We watched a very interesting film this week about the politics during fascist Italy. The use of films in Italian class is great because you actually get the chance to visualize different locations in Italy and even be exposed to different dialects. In other classes film is used for similar purposes. In my music history class today, my professor showed us a dvd which illustrated the reconstruction of a royal English barge which was then used for a performance of Handel’s “Water Music.” From time to time, my voice teacher will suggest films for me to watch. I recently watched the dvd of “Traviata” which my professor loaned me. Film is another medium for teachers to use to help give students another prospective about a topic and I am always excited to broaden my film knowledge!
Last night I returned from work to an apartment full of friends, delicious aromas, and food…lot’s of food! My roomates decided to host a Passover seder. It was a nice surprise to come home to. I knew they had been cooking all day on Sunday but wasn’t sure where the actual seder would take place. Although we don’t have off from classes, it was nice to have an impromptu holiday even if it was only for the evening. I also haven’t really attended many seders so it was great to be able to talk to my friends about that and hear about their traditions. I feel very lucky to have a very diverse group of friends and I really appreciate that we are all comfortable sharing our own beliefs, traditions, and even sharing holidays in order to learn and appreciate each other! To anyone who celebrates it, Happy Passover!
Although I didn’t do anything super exciting today, I had a perfectly average and normal day. As I was walking across campus I was thinking about all the students and parents at Spring Open House who asked me “what is it like at UB?” I love to talk about all the arts and cultural events I go to, what an amazing team the Sabres are, how much I love the surrounding area…but I realized I hardly ever talk about my day to day habits, for example where I get the mail, when I do my laundry, or things like that. So I figured I’d share my “play by play” for today.
Sunday night: Every night before going to bed I check my ‘agenda’ so I can reassure myself that everything for the next day is done, and to look ahead at what I’ll have going on the next day. I set two alarms…I’m a heavy sleeper and have a habit of turning off the first alarm before I’m actually awake.
Monday: Head out to class, and depending on the weather give myself a few extra minutes in case I want to take the indoor route through the academic spine (all of the academic buildings are connected indoors!) My first class is math and it’s an hour and 20 minute class…just long enough that I enjoy the hour break I have to grab lunch back at my apartment and switch textbooks in my backpack before heading to my Music History class. After music history I have “practice time” scheduled in which I usually spend in my practice room, but also have scheduled in just in case I need the extra time to get work or any errands done before heading to work for the evening. After work, I head back to my apartment to make a late dinner and finish up some homework for the next day. Luckily I didn’t have too much work due for the next day so by 10:30 I had time to relax and catch up with my roomates!