Organize Your Life With a Notebook!
Are you a busy person? Are you feeling a little lost trying to keep track of all of your assignments? Would you rather plan things out week-by-week instead of day-by-day? Maybe you should try using a notebook!
Listen, life gets really busy sometimes. As a Music Education major, I completely understand - I’m in over two music RSOs, the Marching Illini, and I’ve had to overload on credit hours for 2 of the past 4 semesters! How have I kept track of everything? Well, my sophomore year I got a handy little notebook and I’ve been perfecting the art of planning out my week in it for a full year now. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how I plan out my week:
Last Chamber Singers Rehearsal
My time in the University of Illinois’ Chamber Singers has been truly amazing. Dr. Andrew Megill is a world-class choral conductor and our university is incredibly lucky to have him. My relationship with Dr. Megill began in the summer of 2016, when I participated in the Illinois Summer Youth Music program.
Limitations, Strengths, and Hope
Being a first-year graduate student is no easy task in a “normal” academic year, but being a new Choral Music DMA student has even more limitations. Andy Bruhn, composer, educator, and graduate assistant for UI Chamber Singers has expressed his reactions to beginning his degree in this fashion:
A Contemporary Opera Triumph
On the day that I left the University, I was able to watch an extraordinary Lyric Theatre production at the Tryon Festival Theatre! This is the first indoor concert I have seen. It was meant to be performed in the amphitheater outside Krannert, but rain caused it to move indoors. I loved being back in Tryon and seeing a show. The production was The Last American Hammer, a contemporary opera first produced in 2018 and written by composer Peter Hilliard and librettist Matt Boresi. Matt Boresi is based in Evanston, IL, and it was great seeing work by a fellow Illinois resident.
As a college student, mental health is crucial to ensuring that you succeed in your studies and making the most out of your college experience. I think that as a performance major there is even more at stake when there is always a constant reliance on emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
Auditioning for Yale Opera
My graduate school audition season has been winding down (though I still have one last audition, for Curtis Institute, which I will certainly detail in a blog post!) and my last audition in February was for the Yale School of Music opera program. This has been one of my top programs since the beginning of my application process. Only about sixteen singers are in the program at any given time, and it is tuition-free. I attended a virtual information session with current Yale Opera students the week of the audition, and I was very impressed by their answers to prospective students’ questions, their drive to make music safely during COVID, and their overall friendliness.
Hey! I just wanted to give a brief anecdote and share a couple of reminders having to do with my recent experiences of practicing mentally, without my instrument, and coping with recital preparation stress through mindful awareness.
At the end of my last rehearsal on Friday, I noticed an ache in my elbow, where the forearm meets the joint, specifically when I moved my pinky finger. I knew I had been playing with some tension, as I was nervous about giving my recital in a few weeks, and I was playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto, which is filled with sixths, octaves, and tenths, so a little ache in my hand wasn’t surprising. The pinky is most likely a player’s weakest finger, and I was giving it a hard workout with this repertoire. So, I did some cool-down stretches and didn’t play for the rest of the day.
Hi! I’m Brigid, and I’m currently majoring in Music Technology with minors in Theatre and Communication here at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Between these three areas of study, a job, and internships/RSOs, my days are definitely interesting. Today I’m going to take you through a typical Thursday in my life as a junior taking 17 credit hours.
My day begins at 5 A.M.
An In-Person Opera!
I have written in previous blog posts about one of my main projects this semester: an in-person presentation of Samuel Barber’s often-neglected opera, Vanessa, with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra. This past week brought the culmination of this tremendously fulfilling project. The event was quite momentous, as it was our school’s first in-person performance featuring vocals to have a limited live audience since the pandemic.
The Illinois String Academy (ISA) provides a musically enriching experience for young students that is coordinated by the School of Music. I saw the opportunity to be a cello intern for ISA and applied immediately knowing that this would give me a chance to keep practicing the cello. We had our first curriculum meeting and it never really occurred to me how I might be the only intern who doesn’t study their instrument here at the university, until that morning. It was a bit intimidating to know that, but I told myself that this internship was granted to me after the directors and coordinators looked over my resume and qualifications; that I shouldn’t stress about it.