Jan 31, 2007

So these are my schemes/ And these are my plans

Well, as promised, here I am, all ready to write about the new semester. Things were officially under way on Monday, January 29, the first day of classes. I actually had class on Monday, and let me tell you, it was quite the change after having over a month off.

Anyway, down to business. This is what my semester looks like....so far.

*Seminar in 20th Century Analysis: Meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:15-1:30. It's supposed to be a graduate course, but half of the class is undergraduates, who apparently are fulfilling some requirement to take advanced coursework. Most of them are vocalists, and so far, most of them don't really know what they're doing. That's the point of the course, I suppose. Anyway, because 20th century music is so very different from the music composed before that time, it became necessary to develop new analytical techniques....which weren't explained in any detail at all in my undergraduate courses, so the material is all new to me. So far it's very interesting and mathematical and....new. Over the course of the semester we'll be learning analytical techniques, analyzing pieces, and also writing papers- due every two weeks, with a larger paper at the end of the semester.

*Baroque chamber ensemble: Meets Tuesday afternoons at 1:30. My friend Antonio, who plays bassoon, is a big fan of early music. Since he also plays recorder, and since he also just happens to be friends with a violinist (me) and a trumpet player, he decided to get a bunch of students together to perform Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2, which is for violin, recorder/flute, and trumpet. So far everyone (and most of all Antonio) is very excited to be working on this project.

*lessons: Wednesday mornings, with M.K. My first lesson was actually last week. Right now I'm preparing the Mozart concerto for a competition on Friday. After that, I'm pretty sure we'll be moving on to other repertoire, which at this point includes the Franck sonata, Wieniawski dm concerto, and some Bach, probably the bm partita.

*BC orchestra: Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4. There have been some....personnel issues in my section. My standpartner moved back to L.A. and the guy who sat behind me may or may not be in the group this semester; meanwhile, we gained two new violinists who will hopefully work out. It should be an interesting semester. For the first concert, which will feature the winner of the concerto competition on Friday, we're doing the Poulenc Sinfonietta. Later in the semester, we'll be doing Vaughn-Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, a world premiere of an opera, and a concert featuring new music written by BC composers in residence with the orchestra.

*Contempo: Meets Monday nights. While I didn't enroll for credit, I did offer to play in the group this semester, since I am rather interested in contemporary music. So, after much discussion about certain details of the group, I finally (officially) re-committed myself yesterday. The professor isn't quite sure what exactly we'll be performing, but Moravec's Tempest Fantasy is a strong possibility. There's also a composer/accordion player in Contempo, who the professor is encouraging to either transcribe or compose things for the group.

*Janacek piano concerto: Has yet to meet. I was approached by a pianist in the department before break about playing for this. It's a concerto (I think) but instead of being played by a full orchestra, the accompaniment is a chamber ensemble, with a string quartet and some woodwinds. We'll see how that goes.

Welll.... I think that's about everything. As you can see, I'm considerably busier than last semester, but I'm very excited about everything to which I've committed to for the next few months.

So these are my schemes/ And these are my plans: lyrics from "Break It Down," by Tears for Fears

Jan 23, 2007

Law & Order

Greetings, everyone! It certainly has been another long while--or so it seems--since I last updated. And to be honest, this post won't be very long at all. So if you're just dying to know what all is going on in my life, stay tuned for an update sometime next week regarding my new semester and other related things.

Meanwhile, for all of you who are secretly curious to know more about my school, or who want to see more, or who simply like Law & Order: an episode was filmed on the campus of Brooklyn College, and will be airing at 10/9 central on Friday, February 2 on NBC.

Jan 12, 2007

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Or more appropriately, I left on a jet plane. I flew back to NYC on Monday, and am now recovering, in the comfort of my apartment, from an astonishingly busy 2-1/2 week visit to Des Moines. All in all, it was a good visit, filled with lots of presents, laughter, and great food (such as the 20 different kinds of desserts at one family gathering....).

Now that I'm back in New York, I have made a couple of very pleasant discoveries. For one thing, there appear to be no more mice in my apartment. Finally. It's always stressful going into my kitchen, since I'm always on guard in case there are mice or droppings. But so far since I've been back, and while I've been away, I am very happy to report that there is no evidence of mice. Yet.

The second thing is that I have finally been able to check my grades. None of them are what I expected they would be. Which is probably a good thing: A+ in orchestra, A+ in Style Criticism (which, if I may remind you, was almost entirely my final exam), A+ in Contempo, and A in my lessons.