One of my Netflix movies just came in from Salem, OR.

Today (and previous days also):

  1. Watched too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy (thank you Hilary). I'll say right now that the show is not my favorite, but it is very entertaining. Perhaps I will revisit ER...although I will say this: ER started out as a hospital show and became a soap opera, GA isn't pretending to be anything else...dramalicious. PS> I'm done with the first season.
  2. Korean food is amazing. Thank you Amy!
  3. I have several movies from netflix right now, but I'm not watching them because I'm afraid I won't be able to concentrate for more than 42 minutes. (for those who want to know they are The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and The Witches of Eastwick....fabulous, I know)...
  4. I watched AFI's 100 Years 100 Cheers...and PS> it was bogus. Supposedly it was a list of the most inspiring movies ever made...although several of the ones near the top were extremely depressing. I'm surprised Dancer in the Dark didn't make the list.
  5. I'm now on MySpace...so you should add me as a friend. Currently I only have one friend, and it's Nathaniel...and he doesn't even like me...so add me, please?


Tomorrow's Schedule

9:00-11:00...practice Popper #8 + Orchestra Music 11:00-11:50...Grad History Review 12:00-1:00...Aural Skills Exam 1:00-2:00...Lesson w/ Fischer 2:10-4:40...Orchestra w/ Larry 4:41...done



The seating assingments were finally emailed!! Unfortunately I'm sitting in the back for the first concert...I hope its not a trend for the rest of the year...guess I won't know until the next concert though, since they only tell you the seating concert by concert. Anyways...it should be fun...I've never played Shostakovich 15 before (or even heard it!). And I'm curious to hear how the Rice Orchestra sounds (since its supposed to be soooo amazing).



Check out this site (pandora.com)...type in your favorite song and it will tell you all the qualities you like about it and create a radio station full of songs with similar qualities. Its amazing! For Instance when I typed in Everytime We Touch by Cascada, it suggested Ready for Love (also by Cascada), Hung Up by Madonna, Blue Water by Black Rock and several other dance songs...check it out!


You're not that great Mr. Sister.

Maybe one of the best segments ever aired on television?


As you can see in the chart below, Shakira is making her move to become the most listened to song on my itunes. She has secured the number two spot...but P!nk is still holding strong with a whopping 148 plays. That song has kind of left the current listening list, so I'm sure Shakira will hold the top spot in no time. What do you think of my listening choices?

Audition Complete

So I survived my first Rice Orchestra Audition. Things went ok and I think that Mr. Fischer's tips really helped solve a bunch of things. I feel like I played Mendelssohn 4 about as well as I could have and it was the only they asked for again (Mr. Fischer was like, "maybe you can give that one another try)...oh well. Hopefully I made a good enough impression...Larry seemed very nice and said some nice things...who knows if thats just being nice to the new people though...I guess we'll know the seating for the first concert by Wednesday (since thats when rehearsals start) but for the rest of the year I have no idea if they post it all at once or just concert by concert. Its over!


  1. Queer as Folk (the entire series)...really managed to bring it all together in the end (in kind a mythical way?). The show was a bit goofy and over the top from time to time...but isn't that why we love it?
  2. Desperate Housewives (Season 2)...the two part final episode is really a knock-out. There were definitely some low points in the second season (and by low we mean torture to watch) but the show really came around in the end (nothing compared to Season 1=amazing) but season will be avidly watched.
  3. Learning excerpts for tomorrow's audition=so scared.


They're playing our song.


Audition Tomorrow

I'm getting a little bit worried about my audition tomorrow. Yesterday's lesson with Mr. Fischer was really good...he really helped a lot with letting go of tension. I even went to Target and bought a notebook to write everything down so I wouldn't forget it! I was having tons of trouble with the Ligeti, and he just told me to look up and out, and I suddenly was completely loose and basically nailed it...crazy! I've been practicing everything with my eyes closed, which seems to help for some reason, and I have my stand high (up above my head) so I won't look down when I'm playing. But anyways...wish me luck for tomorrow and send good thoughts my way at 1:50...especially if I have to play Mendelssohn 4...ack!!!!


Hilary and I just took our first trip (of many I'm sure) to Lot 8...the boutique/salon of Project Runway winner Chloe Dao! I knew she had her own store, but what I didn't know was that its in Rice Village. They have a TV that is constantly showing Project Runway. Unfortunately she doesn't make mens clothes...although she does have some (and they are pretty cute)...but they don't bear a Lot 8 tag on the inside...oh well! Now I can say that Chloe Dao asked me if I needed any help finding anything...of course in typical fashion Hilary and I were like, "ah...um...well..." I think next time I will work up the courage to ask her to take a photo! And maybe buy a Lot 8 T-shirt (that Chloe would be more than happy to autograph!)...Who knew there was so much in Houston?


Day Over.

I officially made it through the day!! Teacher the three hour clinic wasn't as hard as I thought it would be...the thing that made it really difficult is that some of the students knew the music really well and some of them didn't know the music at all, so I was kind of stuck in between. I guess I kind of ended up having the students who had already worked on the stuff kind of demonstrate to the others...so I guess it all worked out in the end. Rest of the day went just fine...I didn't realize that orchestration class is taught by Pierre Jalbert! I talked to him for a second after class and said hi from Ricardo...should be a fun class. Posters are finally up in my room...it actually looks like somebody lives here now. For the next few days my principal area of concern will be the Ligeti Sonata and the Rice Orchestra Excerpts. I really want to play well on Sunday, and I think I can...so wish me luck!

Long Day!

Wish me luck in this first really long day of the year: Orchestration Class, practice time, lunch, Theory Class (Early Modern Masters aka. Afternoon of a Faun!), drive to far out Houston to give a clinic that I'm a little bit nervous about, sprint back for the chamber music meeting, sit around and be done for the day! Hope it all goes well!

He Left Because of You.



Good News:

  1. I am finally registered!!! I went to health services this morning and officially found out that I don't have tuberculosis, so my account was cleared to register...and I got into all of the classes I wanted to!
  2. I got a recital time. Clear your datebooks on March 18th at 3:00pm and come on down to Houston to hear me play! I have no idea what I will be playing, since I haven't even had a lesson yet...but they get the recital scheduling out of the way early down in the south...
  3. Angela is finally off of Project Runway...I watched with Hilary and Gwen (me and Hilary were on the edge of our seats when it was down to her and Kayne) I hope that the final three are Michael, Kayne, and Ulli...but I guess we'll see what happens...I wouldn't be surprised if Laura makes it in (probably in Kayne's place...he's been close to getting cut off a few times now).
  4. I actually played the cello a lot today...had a nice reading session with my "New Group." I think it will be pretty good (and fun) but it seems like such a huge step back from CCE (but how couldn't it be...we were best friends and spent almost all of our time together for three years...and a good portion of it was rehearsal time). For those of you who don't know, its a string trio and we unofficially decided to do the Beethoven serenade (which is super cute and hilarious). I voted that we skip the first two Beethoven trios since CCE played them so many times in gigs...its sacred ground...lol. I'm also making a push to work on the Schoenberg Trio...we'll see. Anyways...after that I managed to learn all of those excerpts I have to teach tomorrow, and I practiced Ligeti and the Rice excerpts. Ligeti doesn't sound so hot right now...there is still time though.
  5. I'm listening to Hips Don't Lie.


I like playing with this new screenshot widget too much.


Everything Ends.

There was a lot of build up for the final episode of Six Feet Under...many saying it was the best (or one of the bets) endings to a TV show ever. The last season departed a bit from the general feel of he show (the first three seasons being really well constructed drama...the fourth being a little bit out of control...the fifth being a little heavy on the depressing side)...but in the end it was able to come full circle. There is hard to find anything wrong with the way things end...the car driving into the distance cut in with everybody's lives slowly flickering away. It brings closer in a way that is funny, and sad, and sweet, and moving all at the same time. So watch the show (in order) and get ready to savor its final moments...its worth it.




Dead People and School

I just finished watching three episodes of Six Feet Under: The Final Season. OMG...this show is so depressing...its amazing, but I think I may kill myself by the end of the last episode. They weren't kidding when they put the tagline "Everything Must End." I was practically crying after the 3 hours. As you can see below I figured out how to take a screen shot (using a handy dandy dashboard widget!)...and yes, I can do it now without getting the mouse or the DVD player in the pic. You can see another at the top of this entry...I will also take a page out of Nathaniel's book and try posting random shots that I love...feel free to comment! Tomorrow is the first day of classes. I am not registered for any. I will go to health services at 8am to turn in my form and get a TB test. I hope there are no problems with this. I will then wait for the required time (2 days I think?) and then register for classes. In the meantime I will attend the classes I will (hopefully) eventually be totally registered for. I think I am going to forget about Electronic Music...I don't need the credit (and I'm getting a pretty full schedule) and it will probably be full anyway (since there are only 12 spots total). And maybe they'll offer it again while I'm here? Hope so. Maybe I'll go to the first class just in case...



Ok, so today didn't go as well as I'd hoped it would. I did some more moving in with my parents and uncle, then drove said uncle to the airport. However, when I drove to Rice to get an id and get a locker and drop off my health form, I discovered that it was Saturday and all of the offices needed to complete these tasks were closed. Therefore I walked across the entire campus in the pouring rain to drop off my health form (since the guy at the info desk told me they were open) and didn't even get to turn it in. This put a hamper on my plan to go to the gym, since I couldn't get in without an id. Then, when I went to the computer lab to print out the excerpts I need to learn for the clinic I need to teach, I found out that there wasn't a printer. So that ended that. And now I can't register since they don't have my health form (although this isn't too much of a problem...I guess the first week is kind of a free for all, and I will be able to register on Monday)...so instead I wrote down all of the classes I need to take and figured out my entire schedule, I just didn't sign up for the classes yet. I will go to all of these classes on Monday and make sure the teachers know I will be taking them. OMG. And now I'm really really tired for some reason. And people are hanging out, but I don't have the energy to even go over there. Maybe tomorrow? I need to learn etudes.
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The Plan:

  1. Parents come over (9am) to help me finish moving in.
  2. I drive Uncle Pete to the airport (11am) and my parents leave for Louisiana.
  3. I go stop at Rice to get an ID, a locker, and to drop off my health form.
  4. I go back to my apartment for lunch and to pick up my cello. I fill out a few forms that I need to (and get my mailbox key).
  5. Stop at a post office to mail forms that were just filled out.
  6. I go back to Rice to practice.
  7. I take a practicing break to go to the gym.
  8. I go back to Rice to practice more.
  9. I come back to my apartment and have dinner, then try to register for classes.
  10. Finally done with the day.
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New Music.

Lets discuss some recent music obsessions: 1. SexyBack (Justin Timberlake): I'll admit I dismissed it instantly on the first listening...but then they started playing it every other song on the radio and I started singing along with it. And then the obsession began. I preprogrammed all the stations and flipped between them to get the most listens while in the car (before they released it on iTunes). And now I have it on my iPod and it is currently being repeated over and over again while I write this entry. 2. Yeah! (Usher): Heard it at the TMC dances and eventually found it on iTunes=love. 3. Gold Digger (Kanye West): Another TMC dance discovery...everytime I hear it its hard to sit still. Older Favs include: London Bridge (Fergie), Hey Ya! and The Way You Move (Outkast) and as always Hips Don't Lie (Shakira)...I just can't get over this song!


So those of you who haven't been paying attention: I officially got a teaching job here in Houston. The amazing Stephanie Hunt gave my number to the guy in charge at Taylor High School, and after a few rounds of phone tag I'm teaching private lessons as well as giving some clinics. I was a little scared about the clinics at first, but then I found out it was basically just helping the students with preparing for all-state auditions. Which was fine. But then I looked at the list of excerpts...and now I'm a bit worried. I've never played Bartok Concert for Orchestra before, and its really hard, and I need to be able to teach some of the most difficult parts to a bunch of high schoolers...for THREE HOURS. I better get my lesson plan together. OMG. I also need to teach several other excerpts and two etudes. And get all of my excerpts learned really well, as well as bringing back Ligeti for the Rice Audition next week. In other words...I need to practice a ton.
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In Houston

I am finally in Houston. For some reason there are no interstates that go directly from Texarkana (in Arkansas) to Houston, so we had to take this semi-highway that wasn't restricted access...translation: every once in a while we had to stop at a stoplight, and believe it or not, that really adds a ton of time to the trip. We took a tiny detour to Nacoghdoches, which is the oldest town in Texas. It was kind of cute, and you could see how it used to be a little old western town (with wood sidewalks and everything!). Of course today its al modernized with brick streets and cement sidewalks, but you can still see the awnings and balconies of the old west town. Cute! This morning is orientation at the Shepherd School...I skipped the university orientation (and so did the rest of the Eastman peeps...who I happened to run in to in Rice Village last night!) but today is the important one. Then later its time for finishing unpacking and picking up a few items that I need (shower curtain...oops). More later.
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Lets just say that casting Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd in the movie musical of the same name is a mistake...doesn't Tim Burton know any other actors?


Right now I am sitting in beautiful Forest City, Arkansas. Lets just say that it in fact is not very beautiful. It seems very undifferent from many run down cities such as those found in upstate New York (but everyone here has a Southern accent). My mom and uncle ordered tea, and forgot that it would be very sweet, but they drank it anyway. In case you didn't know...driving from the very Northern part of Illinois to the very Southern part of Illinois takes a very very long time. We basically spent the entire day in the state of Illinois. And there is nothing to see at all. At least when you drive from Chicago to Rochester you get to see Toledo in the distance, and its always a little bit exciting to drive through downtown Cleveland, and there are even some nice views of the lake from time to time. But driving south through Illinois=NOTHING. There wasn't even any livestock to see. Maybe things will get a bit more exciting when we get into Western Arkansas and Texas. At least I hope so.


Coming and Going.

Tomorrow I am leaving for Houston. I have been scrambling for a few days to get everything ready, and right now I still need to get some things done. It will be nice to finally be in one location for more than two months. However, once I get there, I need to start practicing roughly 82 hours a day: I need to relearn Ligeti as well as several excertps for the Rice entrance audition, and then some etudes and other excerpts that I need to teach at a clinic (I know, right?). Should be fun times. The drive will take two days; at least I have Sexy Back to keep me company (this is starting to become a complete obsession...omg). Time for last minute packing and sleeping...we pull out at 5am. Ugh.


Film Music.

Tonight is film night at Tanglewood. That means that John Williams will be back (remember when I met him?) and will be conducting tons of his music James Earl Jones will be there (doing something or other) and rumor has it that Steven Spielberg himself will make an appearance. OMG. The plan? Sit on the lawn (even though it will be freezing cold...at least I can use my warm and soft Tanglewood hooded sweatshirt that I bought at the gift shop sale two days ago). It will be the concert of the summer...wish you could be there!


I am still here.

For some reason I find it very difficult to blog while I am not permanently rooted in a place (or just temporally visiting). I am faced with this awkward stretch of two months, where nothing here is really mine; there is nowhere I can really go to be by myself. For those of you who don't know, I am in my final days of my first summer at Tanglewood: our final concert is the night of the 14th. I'm sure I will miss the new people I've met here, but it will be hardest of all to say goodbye to Heather; right now she is the one remaining tie to Eastman that I have left, and after we say goodbye in a few days, it will really all be over...I don't think it has really hit me yet. At least we get to spend some time with each other after TMC is over...the plan: leave early on the 15th (must leave Miss Hall's by 10am anyway) and make it to Rochester in the early afternoon. I need to get to the library...probably Dim-Sum for dinner, maybe a stroll down Park Ave? We are staying with Arthur, which should be a joy. Leave early on the 16th from Rochester and make our way to Chicago (11 hour drive). We will probably listen to the TMCO's recording of Elektra about 4 or 5 times, and most definitely Hips Don't Lie, since neither me or Heather have been able to get over it. After that, we say goodbye, I get poked and prodded by doctors for a few days (so I can register for classes once I get to Rice) and I go to the gym EVERY night (to get rid of all of the dorm-food fat...yuck). And I try to see a few friends. Then, its time to face the music and finally move to Houston...I'll be driving down with my parents and Uncle...it takes two days to get there, and it's all places I've never been to, so that should be exciting. Expect more blogging to occur starting in a few days (or maybe even now)...especially once my netflix is rejuvenated, and I have more constant access to the internet. If you need something to do now, listen to Lutoslawski's Preludes and Fugue for 13 Solo Strings. Its really fun, and I'm still not sure how that last movement really qualifies as a fugue (when there are 6 people playing the theme in whatever tempo they feel like). And now, its time for laundry.


Concert Tonight

Dvorak: Carnival Overture (fast, loud and obnoxious) Faure: Pelease et Melisande (pretty, but kind of boring) Babbit: From the Psalter (I'm not playing in it, but its pretty difficult listening) Sibelius: Luonnotar with Dawn Upshaw (really good piece and she's amazing) Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe (not as good as the Phil performance) 8:30pm Ozawa Hall (The Tanglewood Grounds)


Today I:

  1. Played for Yo-Yo Ma (not solo...just continuo for somebody playing a Boccherini Sonata...but still, it was for the Yo-Yo Ma class and I shook his hand and he said my name...so there).
  2. Rehearsed Daphnis and Chloe with the TMC Orchestra. It seemed a bit slow, and the rehearsal was a bit brutal; but I shouldn't talk because I know how our first rehearsal went at Eastman (and we know how that concert turned out).
  3. Bought a bottle of Dr. Frank's Semi-Dry Reisling since I was thinking about Eastman and friends a lot. Then watched a pretty boring concert of some of the Mozart Violin Concertos....the rest will be played tomorrow night. (I don't think I'm gonna go). I'm so over this Mozart Celebration thing...
  4. Was pictured and sort of mentioned in the New York Times review of the Contemporary Music Festival....well...my arm was in the picture (and some of my cello) and a piece that I played was referred to as having a "gentle and lasting impression,"...but whatever, its the New York Times right?!?!!? Those of you who have one, look for the article about the Festival of Contemporary Music and Tanglewood...I haven't see the picture, but I guess my arm and part of my cello are in it, and the piano trio by Ron Ford (Brandelli) was performed by none other than yours truly. Ok, who am I kidding?
  5. Rehearsed Preludes and Fugues by Lutoslawski and was very happy that I have a piece to perform with a cello part you can actually hear!!! Yes!


Blood on the Floor

Tonight you should mostcertainly attend the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra's performance of Blood on the Floor by Mark Anthony Turnage (who will be at the concert and has been working with us for the past few days). Its a jazz/classical piece focusing on the composer's brother's drug addiction. Its lots of fun...featuring several jazz soloists as well as soloists from the orchestra (and they all sound amazing!) And all of the strings are amplified, and its pretty loud. So be there, 8:30pm Ozawa Hall (its the last concert in the festival of contemporary music).


John Williams

Here is the previously mentioned picture of myself and John Williams: Heather and I had everything planned out; I brought my camera onstage with me (he was the conductor for the final piece on the prgoram) and afterwards we were going to sprint off the stage and ask him to take a picture before he disappeared into his dressing room. However, he ran faster than we did, and even though I literally ran off the stage, he was long gone by the time I got there. So in typical David and Heather fashion, we resigned ourselves to not getting the picture taken (even though we had been talking about it for at least a week). Luckily for us, there were some more determined picture enthusiasts that staked out a place in front of his dressing room, and convinced us to join them. So in the end, we were invited into his dressing room, we made some awkward conversation (what do you say to the person who wrote the music for Star Wars?!?!?)...I think I said something idiotic like, "I'm a huge fan." but it may or may not have come out in a complete sentence. Whatever. He was very nice, even if he did think I was a violinist. I corrected him, and he made some excuse about there being so many people on stage, which was true. But we did what we set out to do...and I have the picture to prove it!



My computer came today and its amazing. More later.


Things that have happened recently:

  1. Lots of rehearsals Tuesday morning playing pop music (that I think is fun to play...others do not).
  2. Meeting my parents and uncle at the main gate and proceeding to walk back and forth across the grounds SEVERAL times.
  3. Meeting my other uncle and grandmother at the main gate and walking nowhere.
  4. Seeing some of The Soldier's Tale with Carter, Babbitt and Harbison narrating=hilarious.
  5. Dinner in Lenox with the Family.
  6. Performing said pop music in the shed with John Williams conducting.
  7. Waiting outside of said John William's dressing room to take a picture with him.
  8. Having said picture taken (will be posted soon!!).
  9. Driving to Connecticut after the concert=very dark and tired.
  10. Sleeping in a bed and breakfast in Lebanon (conn!)
  11. Ash scattering in Conn.
  12. Driving back to Tanglewood and arriving just before 2pm for a coaching.
  13. Discovering the composer of the piece was at said coaching (Ron Ford).
  14. Sprinting back to Miss Hall's for a NAP.
  15. Back to Tanlgewood for Turnage rehearsal and realizing that Turnage himself was in the audience.
  16. Posting a list in my blog.



First come and see The Soldier's Tale performed by Tanglewood Fellows with Milton Babbit, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison narrating! Then come and see the TMCO perform Berntein's Suite from on the Waterfront and the 1812 Overture (performed side by side with the Boston Symphony Orchestra) conducted by John Williams!!! So much fun!


Breaking News

For some reason Heather and I didn't realize that when we perform the 1812 Overture with the BSO for Tanglewood on Parade in a few days, the conductor will be none other than THE John Williams!!!! AHHHH!!! We discovered this today and we were flipping out all day. He even sat in on the Turnage rehearsal this morning (and I kept looking over at him...think he noticed?). OMG, so exciting!!


Yesterday I received the latest addition to my Apple family (which was quite small before, being only my 30gig iPod). They weren't kidding when they said that the Nano would ship within 24 hours (even though it was custom engraved with my name on the back). Within a few hours of placing the order online, the black nano was already on its way to Miss Hall's School from China! It is very cute, but unfortunately, I have no way to use it at all since my computer is dead, and the new one won't be arriving for quite some time. So now I'll have to be content to simply look at it, and maybe mess around with it a little bit (even though there is no music on it at all) Maybe they should preload the iPods with one album...wouldn't it be fun to buy the iPod and get some random album with it? I think it would. In other news, Pirates of the Caribbean II is a really bad movie. Its too long (way too slow at the beginning) and just doesn't work very well at all. But I'm a little biased because I'm in the small group of people that just plain didn't like the first one. It just didn't work for me (not even Johnny Depp). In other words, I'm stuck in the series for the next sequel, and I'm sure it will be torture to see, so I'm kind of mad at them. Does that make any sense at all?


A List:

  1. I haven't had much to blog about lately and it makes my blog kind of lame.
  2. I went to the beach this morning and it was really nice and sunny, but then the sun went away. I think its because I put on sunscreen before getting to the beach.
  3. Yesterday began rehearsal for Blood on the Floor by Turnage and its so much better than playing in 'regular' orchestra.
  4. I can't even think of enough things to fill this list.


Elektra and Macbook.

Two nights ago was the performance of Elektra. It was really fun and went very well (seeing as everybody was struggling to play their parts!). The beginning and end of the piece are spectacularly exciting, but I got a little lost in the middle. I guess its hard to concentrate for almost two hours without any breaks at all (I think 8 bars was the longest rest in the piece). The singers sounded amazing, most notably Felicity Palmer (as Elektra's mother) was completely ridiculous. Christine Brewer (as Elektra's sister) wasn't sounding so bad either. I wish we could have done it more than once (later this summer the triple bill of contemporary operas will be performed twice) but I guess its hard to secure all of the big name singers for more than one performance! It was really nice to be able to do something different in orchestra...the rest of the summer will be more of the same (cute overtures and big symphonies). I'm jealous of experiences that others are having and agree with the what they have to say! In other news, currently being shipped to me is a brand new white MacBook!!! I want it to be here now, but it won't ship for 5-7 days :( I can't wait to be a member of the Mac world. I also got a free iPod (right now college students get a free Nano when you buy a mac, so I'm gonna have two iPods now!) Yay!


Required Viewing.

Lets just say that Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada is truly amazing. I saw the movie the other night, and while certain viewing companions found the film to be "nothing more than entertainment" and even "a bit stupid" I found myself only wanting more. Of course, the obvious draw is Meryl's spot on uber-Bitch. Anne Hathaway (who won me over with her closing phone conversation at the end of Brokeback Mountain...more on this at The Film Experience) also does wonderful work trying to equal what Meryl is doing onscreen. I don't care what they say...it was a great movie. And Meryl deserves awards for it...and the clothes were fun. See it because you want to and you should.



Is it weird that I want to see John Tucker Must Die?


Today when I was checking my email, my computer died. It started making really strange and bizarre noises and froze. Upon restarting, it informed me that no operating system was found, and proceeded to do nothing. I don't think that this is a good sign. At all. So now I am going to start researching new computer possibilities...Apple anyone?



This is my life right now: ...and remember its in a quick two... ...and this is one page out of 50 something... ...thank you Strauss...


Heather and I have started a sunglasses graveyard. Near the beginning of Tanglewood I stepped on my sunglasses, which I liked a lot, and broke them. They went on top of my dresser. A few days later, Heather's fell apart, and they too were added to the graveyard on top of my dresser. We took a trip to target and bought new sunglasses (mine were the same kind as before, exactly the same kind). A few days ago I lost my second pair. So naturally, I took a trip out to Target and bought the same pair for a third time. Now it turns out that my second pair was discovered, so I now own two pairs of the same sunglasses. Which probably is not a bad thing since I have such bad luck with sunglasses.


Saw two BSO concerts in the past two days (with another this afternoon!) I haven't been very excited about playing in orchestra lately, but these two concerts were very good! Friday night was the opening concert of the season...they played the full orchestra version of the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony (which makes a lot more sense in the actual chamber orchestra version) and Beethoven 9 (which people tell me was very controversial programming since Beethoven 9 is typically the final concert of the season). Whatever, I though it was a great concert, and they sounded good. Last night, Heather and I got all excited recalling the infamous French Concert at Eastman when the BSO played Afternoon of a Faun, which was also very good (except one random wind passage that was out of tune). The flute player was amazing. Today, Joshua Bell (who was partying at Miss Hall's the other night at a singer's birthday party) will play Sibelius concerto. Whatever. This morning I will perform the Shostakovich Octet in Ozawa hall...10am...be there bitches!



Lets just say that Elektra rehearsal yesterday was a bit embarrassing. I'm sitting in the very back and can hardly see anything. James Levine's beat, while very clear, is very tiny...and the tiny beat does not transfer to the back of the orchestra...especially when you have to keep your eyes on the music for every single second since the part is so difficult. Note to string players: if you ever have to play Elektra, make sure you have some fingerings in your part...that way when you get to the first rehearsal you might be able to fake some sections. Translation: this piece is hard as shit. I think somewhere in the final waltz scene the back three stands of cellos were completely lost, beyond recovery...and the tiny beat wasn't telling us anything...one girl even started crying. It was that bad. So just remember, while you were all sitting around having burgers and hot dogs and going to the parade for the 4th of July, the TMC orchestra had to sit in Ozawa Hall and get the shit beaten out of us by James Levine...ALL DAY. But seriously...I did get to go to the TMC cookout and a small group of us brought my new massive beach towel out on the lawn behind Ozawa and watched the very nice fireworks show at the Stockbridge Bowl. So there were some elements of July 4th that still happened!! And now we have Elektra rehearsal again. So I should go and cry practice. *The title of this entry refers to the phrase that Levine uses to begin the rehearsal. He sits down, raises his hands, gives us all a stern look and says...


Patriotic Celebration

Today I will be celebrating the 4th by going to hours upon hours of rehearsal for Elektra. Thats right, even though we had a concert last night (which they threw a party after) we have two rehearsals today (on the 4th) for possibly the hardest thing I have ever seen. Shit.


Shameless Concert Plug

Tonight the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra presents its first concert in Ozawa Hall. Come and see: Mozart Symphony No. 35: It sounds a bit heavy, but you all now the classic last movement from playing it in excerpt class over and over again. Strauss Death and Transfiguration: One of my personal favorite Strauss pieces, I sit next to the one and only Martha Babcock. So maybe by tonight I will be able to play my part. Shostakovich Symphony No. 10: Its loud a bit cheesy, but Bernard Haitink is conducting, so it should be fun. 8:30pm in Ozawa Hall, on the Tanglewood grounds. See me play musical chairs and sit in the brass section (while trying to manage earplugs and playing at the same time). A good time should be had by all.



In response to Kimberly's comment on the entry below: yes, I did know that Meryl Streep was at Tanglewood with Garrison Keilor last night...and yes I did go into the grounds and saw about one minute of the show (fellows are not really allowed to sneak into the big events like that)...but no, I did not see Meryl on stage. I do realize that a true devotee would chop off an arm to see her from a distance...but yesterday I was content to have just been literally feet away from La Streep. So yeah...


BSO Cellist

Today I had the pleasure of sitting next to the one and only Martha Babcock in orchestra. For some of the pieces on the orchestra concerts, BSO members play with us, and yours truly is sharing a stand with hers truly. It was a little embarrassing for me, since I can't really play my part and have bad fingerings and in general don't sound very good (at least on the Strauss...which is the only thing she's playing on the concert). I thought it was interesting to have her there...she didn't say much to the section, but she did provide a certain energy that was lacking before (or maybe everyone just wanted to impress her?) I will have the pleasure of sharing a stand with her for one more rehearsal and the concert, which will be nice. For the Shostakovich I get booted out of my seat by a different BSO player and I will sit in the last stand by myself. It will be sad, and I might cry.


Create Like Crazy!!

According to statcounter, somebody found my blog by searching for letter shaped sponge. Thats all.

Tiny Car.

My mom just wrote an entry about this...but I would just like to take a minute to say that I am completly in love with Smart Cars. When we were in Europe (on the cruise...) there were tons of these things everywhere. Of course, they are far to small to drive in the States. If you ever got into an accident, you would be crushed into nothing (or at least a very compact version of yourself). But they are really cute. I would most like to live in a city where cars are not needed (I guess that makes my choices: NYC) but if I needed to own a car, I would like to own one of these. The two person version...I drive, the cello sits in the passenger seat. Everything would work out perfectly. Apparently someone is planning on releasing the smart car in this country...I will be at the front of the line to buy one. And check above for some pictures from Dubrovnik (the complete set is over at facebook...but you can see the better pictures on flickr).


My profile has been viewed 1019 times since opening a blogger account. This makes me feel special and validated. Especially since there isn't anything special to read in there. So thanks, and keep reading.



Yesterday we had a complete day of TMCO Rehearsals. The Shostakovich came together pretty well with Bernard Haitink...a bit sloppy, but it was ok. The Strauss Death and Transfiguration was a total mess. People don't really know their parts (probably because we spent a week practicing our Shostakovich Quartets) and things just aren't happening. At the sectional we were forced to read the piece at warp speed...even when it was slowed down at the rehearsal yesterday things were crap. Hmmm....if we can barely function in this tiny little tone poem, how are we going to get through all of Elektra?!?!!? I went to the yoga center yesterday to use the fitness room...very tiny, and nobody really uses it. It was just me and one other guy. I ran on the elliptical for 20 mins and that was all I could do...better start getting back into it! According to their scale I have gained 10 pounds since I lost the weight from the cruise. I find that hard to believe in life after love but, maybe its right? Today it is raining a ton. Which I kind of like. The only problem is that my umbrella is in the car, so I can't use it to get to the car. Which gives me an excuse to wear this little target jacket that can protect me from the rain. Yay. I have begun to play phone tag with the mysterious Lauren R...she will be up in the Berkshires for Bang on a Can at MassMoca, which I really want to go and see! If only the program was free, I would be there in a second (if I got in!). But I guess this summer I will have to be happy with just seeing their concerts. And anyway...I get to play some crazy shit here at Tanglewood...I should see if the Turnage parts are ready yet. And now I have to join Shakira Heather Braun in the car to go to rehearsal.


Summer Listening List

  1. Hips Don't Lie
  2. Pump It
  3. Everytime We Touch

It is guaranteed that everytime we touch get in the car I get this feeling these three songs will be played. Thank you Shakira Heather Braun.


Moving On.

The Tyringham Quartet completed our first and only performance yesterday around 3:00pm. Things went pretty well...I wish I could have played a bit better in the Shostakovich. I missed some things that I really hadn't missed before, but other parts did go well, so overall, I should be pleased (note the prominent use of the word should...indicating that I am most likely not pleased...but honestly, am I ever?) So now things take a big shift from how they were going...I must bid farewell to my lovelies of the Tyringham Quartet and begin to think about orchestra, which starts tomorrow with a lovely string sectional. After four years at Eastman I have come to dread the string sectional...as all of you Eastmanites know how those dreadful sectionals in OSL 101 go...one thing I WON'T be missing about Eastman. The first orchestra concert consists of Mozart Symphony No. 35 (which has become close to my heart as an excerpt that I used to be good at...but lately have failed at...perhaps it will return to me someday?)...Strauss Death and Transfiguration, which I have always wanted to play and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10...which should be delightful. Bernard Haitink will be conducting us. Also in the works are rehearsals for the Shostakovich Octet. I thought it would be hard to work with four completely new people (especially after coming off of three years with the lovely Cape Cod "Its one brain over here" Experiment)...but it is indeed very difficult to work with SEVEN (count em) new people. All should be well in the end I think. I have used to word lovely quite a few times in this entry. One question: I suddenly have an urge after going to an excerpt class to take the BSO audition (not a real one, its just for TMC fellows to play a concert with the BSO over the summer). Perhaps I will practice hard for the next two days and make a fool of myself at the audition...what do you think? If I did that, then I could also take the New World sub list audition a few days later! I think I might just go for it. I leave you with this picture of the Tyringham String Quartet...its short life will be remembered for at least a week. (you can view more pictures here if you have a facebook account...which you should...loser...)


More from Tanglewood.

Just got back from a good yoga class. I was much better at it than I expected myself to be, seeing as I haven't really done it in four years. One thing that was really bugging me was the fact that the instructor didn't always show you the pose...he would simply describe how to get into it, or sometimes just say its name and you were supposed to know what to do. Not all of us are on the same yoga wavelength. I had to quietly spy my way around the room several times to see what others were doing and kind of adjust mine accordingly. Overall I think I did rather well! I don't see the 7:00am meditations really working out for me...and today the grand master yoga guy said, "I know that the 7am meditations won't work for all of you." Therefore, I don't really see myself going to them much at all. Starting next week, going to yoga classes will be much easier (since we won't have string quartet from sun-up to sun-down). Ack! Speaking of String Quartet...the concert takes place this Saturday in Ozawa Hall on the Tanglewood Grounds. There are three concerts, 10am, 1pm, and 4pm...everyone plays Mozart and Shostakovich. My group (the Tyringham Quartet) will be performing last on the 1pm concert...so if you are in the area, you must surely stop by and see us. I guess we played the Mozart loud enough to warrant it ending a recital. Tomorrow is the dress in Ozawa Hall...everyone says that it is a really bizarre hall and that you can't hear anyone at all since the stage goes back 40 feet behind you, and the ceiling is also very high. Should be interesting to pull off performing for the first time with a new group of people I don't really know a concert of difficult music in a setting where we won't be able to hear each other! At least the Mozart is loud.

Speed Blogging

More rehearsals.


First performance over.

The Tyringham Quartet survived our first performance (well, it was just a masterclass). Things could have gone a lot worse, but they could have gone a lot better. I was actually kind of nervous, but it all worked out in the end. It looks like we are going to perform all of the music we have learned (meaning the entire Shostakovich plus the Mozart)...which means I need to start practicing my ass off. And we need to rehearse a lot more. And the concert is on Saturday. So yeah. Should be fun. And I just talked to someone here who I thought I recognized. It turns out we were at Point Counterpoint at the same time and lived in the same cabin...crazy!!

Remembering CCE.

Last night was the first of 2 three and a half hour masterclasses to take place during the string quartet seminar. Last night's could have been subtitled: "A CCE Celebration." The reason for this is that several CCE classics were performed. First, the memorable Shostakovich String Quartet No. 5...alas, Heather and I were not sitting next to each other, so we could not make faces at one another. Oh well. Probably more important was the performance of one quartet that shall remain nameless but should be recognized easily by its immortal lyrics: Would you like a pistachio? Or perhaps a pecan? Or would you like... A Quartet by Bartok? Miss CCE lots...where are you guys?


She might be Japanese now.

Welcome back Ms. Kimberly Fitch (aka Fimmy) I will call later tonight I believe. Is this completely inappropriate for a blog entry?

Not Tired Anymore.

Its time for another day of String Quartet Seminar at the Tanglewood Music Center. This means there will be hours of rehearsal starting in a mere 10 minutes. Following that there will be hours of coaching. And then after that there will be hours of masterclasses. And then it all repeats again the day after. Its a good thing I like doing it and I have a good group! In other news: I took a nap at 7:30 last night...and woke up at midnight. I then went to sleep for good and woke up this morning at 8:15 (after turning off my 6:40am alarm and skipping meditation). I didn't realize I was that tired...but maybe now I will be finally caught up on sleep? Time to go and play high notes.



My group just rehearsed from 9:30-12:15 with no breaks. And know we have coachings from 3:-5:45. In other news: I stepped on my sunglasses.



Check the facebook profile for photos from Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Taormina (Sicily).

String Quartet Seminar.

Tanglewood has officially begun. During the first week I will only be concerned with the String Quartet Seminar: most of the string players are assigned a quartet and you learn two pieces. This year everyone learns a Mozart and a Shostakovich...I have Shosti 14, which was dedicated to the cellist of the Beethoven Quartet (translation: lots of cello stuff). We had our first coaching today with Joel Krosnick (who we will have all week) and it was really great! He just recorded the Shostakovich Quartets with the Juilliard Quartet so he had so much information just ready to go. I am very interested to here their recording now, since he talked to so much about what kinds of moods and characters he was thinking about when playing it...so interesting!! I had never known anything about him before, except that lots of people want to study with him...and now I know why! If only I hadn't been rejected from Juilliard (although I wouldn't have studied with him if I had been accepted...oh well!). The schedule for this week plays like a typical CCE one: rehearsal from 10-12...then lunch...free period after lunch (my group rehearsed rather than taking a break) then back to back coachings from 3:00-5:45. I have realized that I really do enjoy being super busy. During the yoga retreat we had to write done 10 things we love about being a musician and 10 things we hate about being a musician...I put extremely busy schedule under the things I love...is that strange? My group is pretty fun...one current Rice violinist, one recently graduated Rice violinist, and a violist from Yale (who I met at New York String Seminar two years ago!). The Shostakovich is going surprisingly well...the Mozart Adagio and Fugue is much much trickier and will require more careful rehearsal. But things are going well so far!! Yay!



I'm now at Miss Hall's School...aka where we live at Tanglewood. Meeting occurs in 8 minutes. Rehearsal begins tomorrow.


Things are very calm.

Heather and I have officially arrived in the Tanglewood area. We are a day early to the festival (most arrive tomorrow) because we are taking part in a special yoga/music study thing. We had to fill out tons of forms and questions and for the rest of the 9 weeks we take yoga and meditation classes and get free lunch and fun spa days at the Kripalu Center (minutes away from the Tanglewood grounds). Things were a little too touchy-feely (feel your emotions type stuff) for me today, but I think in general things will be good. We are staying at the yoga center tonight and its a very quiet and reflective place. Heather and I needed to escape to 'historic Lenox' for a quick ice cream. Is it a bad sign that the meditation tonight was making me really hyper and on edge? I could hardly stand it. Maybe I should work on that. Tomorrow we participate in more yoga fun and get transferred to Miss Hall's School, where we live for the rest of the summer. TMC starts the next day in all its glory. More to come later!


List of the Day

  1. Current Location: Room 209...Eastman Student Living Center, Rochester, New York...courtesy of Sara B.
  2. Hours spent en route to above mentioned location: 12.
  3. Hours spent in a traffic delay in above mentioned route: approx 1.
  4. Vehicles involved in above mentioned accident: a bus and a truck carrying livestock.
  5. Number of times Unfaithful was heard on iPod/radio: at least 5.
  6. Number of times Shakira was heard on iPod/radio: not enough.


Leaving once again.

This week at home has been rather uneventful. Mostly consisting of errands (with a brief break for a wedding). Tomorrow Heather and I leave for Tanglewood, land of lots of music. BT3 embarks sometime close to 7am and will bring us to Rochester tomorrow night, where the lovely Sara has agreed to put us up in an undisclosed location (aka the dorm!!). Dim-Sum should be consumed and crazy Rochester times will be had. Hopefully in the next few days my schedule will become ironed out and more consistent, therefore making it more possible to blog. I feel lately as if I have not been a part of the blogosphere...both writing, and reading other blogs. I'm so far behind on reading others that I might as well not try and catch up. But hang in there faithful OhMyTrill readers, a more normal blogging pace should return in the next few days as I get settled in Lenox or Pittsfield or whatever. Tomorrows listening list includes:
  1. Strauss: Elektra
  2. Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 14
  3. Hindemith: Matias de Mahler (or something like that)
  4. Shakira
  5. All of the old favorites (The Producers, Nutcracker, Wagner?, Cher)


Back and not blogging

I've been back for a few days now and haven't been able to blog. The internet here is horrendous and hardly ever available (we have one line and my dad is on it all day). Whenever I get a chance to blog, there seems to be some issue with wither blogger, or the badness of this internet connection. But anyway...jetlag is starting to wear off. I woke up kind of early this morning, but its getting better. I was pretty out of it for a few days. I finished watching season 4 of Six Feet Under last night: such an amazing show. Seasons 3 and 4 are nowhere near as strong as seasons 1 and 2 (which are spectacular). The writing kind of gets lost and we aren't really sure where things are going (and they don't really go anywhere). Not to mention some very "much talked about" episodes, such as when David gets hijacked by a hitchhiker and gets tortured really intensely for an entire episode (which was over an hour). Crazy. They threw in a shocker in the end, which I didn't see coming. I hear season 5 is amazing and the last episode is one of the best ever to end a show. I wonder if I can watch the entire thing before I leave for Tanglewood? Embarrassing: I kind of like Rihanna...scary I know. Lots o people is coming in for a certain event happening tomorrow!! Should be exciting!

Trip: Final (Monaco)

**Let's just say when you have shitty internet, its much harder to blog. Here is an entry I wrote a few days ago**
Right now, as I am typing this entry, I have a beautiful view of the country of Monaco: more specifically the Grand Casino. The ship pulls right into the city here...if I jumped into the water from my room it would literally take me 3 minutes to swim to shore and about another 5 to walk to the Casino! Today me and my parents explored the city...it rained in the morning so we went to the old section of the town and took a tour of the Prince's Palace. Its a very nice place complete with lots of art (that isn't very good) and very fancy furniture (that isn't really used). Nonetheless, I wouldn't say no to living there. Monaca is the same type of tiny little Euro-town (with mini-streets many of which are pedestrian only) but it has been much more built up like an American city. There are tall, modern buildings all up along the hills here, and it looks really cool! They are starting to get set up for the Gran Prix, an auto race that takes place in the streets of the City (the entire country is the city, and only the area directly around the Casino is called Monte Carlo). There are bleachers everywhere! The sun came out in the afternoon so we went up to the Casino, which is beautiful. This really is a city of the rich and famous: designers stores on every corner (and in between every corner!). Everyone looks fabulous all the time. They worship Grace Kelly like a god!! Huge yachts are constantly pulling in and out of the harbor. We went into the casino, put you need to buy chips to get into the actual betting area, and you need a passport with you to buy chips, so we just saw the lobby. Tomorrow we fly back to Chicago via Nice and Paris. It should be long and uncomfortable. But much fun awaits me at home, so I am looking forward to it! I will enjoy my final evening aboard the Crystal Symphony, and will hopefully reboard in the future with CCE!


Trip: Day 11 (at sea)

Let's just say I had too many Limoncello Martinis at the captain's farewell cocktail party (they were free...so I just kept getting more...) Hmmm...today was uneventful. I saw a cooking demonstration by world famous chef Sam Choy: he made shrimp cakes with creamed orzo sauce. They were served the other day at the dinner he threw, and they were very good. The rest of the day consisted of sitting around and doing nothing. The deadline for postcards has passed...if you gave me your address I did send you one, don't worry. Some of you with foreign addresses: I hope I wrote them down correctly!! Tomorrow we will be in Monte Carlo. Right now I have a headache.


Trip: Day 10 (Florence)

First off: I love Florence. Second off: the Uffizi Gallery is a madhouse. I must have had very large expectations, but the place was just crazy. They literally heard you from room to room since there are so many people there; and they limit the number of people inside: you have to make a reservation, so technically there shouldn't be too many people in at the same time. The worst was waiting to see The Birth of Venus...the room right before is very very small, and people were hoarding up at the gate until the woman finally opened it and a huge flood of people ran in to see the painting. OMG. Disaster. The whole experience was not fun. The art in the gallery is infamous, but it was a kind of torture inside. The true joy of the Florence visit came from seeing the Duomo. I remember being very excited about the huge dome on the cathedral in art history and seeing it in person was amazing. I had no idea that it was so huge. We didn't have a chance to go inside and/or climb to the top of the dome; if I ever come back that will be first on the list...although the doors on the baptistry are not original (a copy after the original was damaged in a flood) it was still very interesting to see. The Duomo is an amazing building: built in the same huge intimidating style as the Vatican. For sure one of my favorite stops on the trip. For the first time we took a complete guided tour of Florence...stopping at the above mentioned sites as well as a few others around the town. I felt kind of lame...we really could have done it ourselves, probably much more effectively. The guide that we picked up on the street yesterday knew loads more than the one that was hired by the cruise ship. Whatever...I loved the city anyway. Shopping and eating was also performed after the trip to the Uffizi. Tonight a concert was given by a pianist that is a grad of Eastman! I talked to her afterwards and she gave me some advice on getting a cruise job. Persistence is key! I just need to do a tiny bit more investigative work and an application will be written and sent. This could actually happen! The pianist was good, but her program left something to be desired...she obviously aimed her music at the older crowd (notice a trend in entertainment on this cruise?) and featured lots of boring dead composers. Figures. Tomorrow is the deadline for postcards, so if you didn't send me your mail address you won't be getting one. We will be at see tomorrow, so a few last minute submissions could be entertained. Don't hesitate! One day after tomorrow we will dock in Monte Carlo as the final stop. I would like to go into the Grand Casino, just to see it; you know?


Trip: Day 9 (Rome)

Today was the impossible: see Rome in one day. I guess if you are going to see anything at all in Rome, the #1 would be the Sistine Chapel (as well as the Vatican Museum, and just the Vatican overall). So when we got off the bus this morning, we proceeded directly to the Vatican to get in line. And when we got there, the line was at least two hours (or more) long. It was ridiculous. I think something like 30,000 people see the Sistine Chapel EVERY DAY. And most of them were in line. So we are looming around, looking at the line and this woman comes up to us and is like, "I have a tour guide near the front of the line, you can pay 37 euros to wait in line with her and get a great tour." So we did it. We skipped more than half the line (which subtracted AT LEAST one hour off the wait, probably more...we couldn't even see where the end of the line was). She bought our tickets for us=we didn't need to wait in ticket lines...We had to wait about an hour total, but after that we got a guided tour of the major sites in the Vatican Museum...and omg... ITS AMAZING. You must go here if you ever go to Rome. Every room you walk into is chock full of tons and tons and tons of art EVERYWHERE. Apparently, the Vatican Museum is the largest museum in the world in terms of amount of stuff..and I believe it. Our guide covered the most major items (the School of Athens, some major sculptures, the Sistine Chapel...duh) but we breezed through soooo many rooms with hardly even a glance...and we hardly saw any of the rooms. This place is INSANE. And of course its all worth it to see the Sistine Chapel if nothing else. While studying the panels a piece of paper may be more effective (since the art is so high up) its amazing to walk in the chapel and just be completely washed over with amazingness. There is just so much life everywhere you look in the chapel. We got to look for ten minutes, and that was hardly enough to see it. As we walked out I kept looking around the corner, trying to get my last looks in. Who knows if I will ever be able to see it again. I am so happy that I was able to see it at least once. {sigh} After the Chapel and Museum we wandered over to the Basilica where one of the most famous/important pieces of art is: The Pieta. It is very far back and covered in glass (since a crazy tourist ran up to it with a hammer a while back and chopped off the virgin Mary's nose which has since been replaced). The sheer size of the Basilica is amazing. I never thought I would see a church that large. They were really trying to intimidate with size. On the way out in the public square they had all the chairs set up for the Pope's regular public appearance. It was strange to see a place that I seen so many times on TV! Its MUCH bigger in person (duh) and just as intimidating as the rest of the Vatican. Ridiculous. The rest of the Rome trip was Rome on speed. We tried to catch some major sights on the way back to the bus: The Pantheon (which was closed) and the Spanish Steps. It was raining very heavily and we were soaked and some people were getting mad etc...but I am happy to have glimpsed these sites at the very least. I got to climb the Spanish Steps (no pictures were taken because of the heavy rain)... I think that Rome is my favorite stop of the trip so far...Definitely the most artistically important. however tomorrow will challenge it. We dock in Livorno and will be taking a bus to Florence where we have reservations at the Uffizi Gallery. In art history the Uffizi was the default answer for works that we weren't sure which museum they were from...so basically, they have everything. OMG...I'm sooo excited. PS> Thank you to Lucy Durkin for getting me really excited about seeing all this art. If it weren't for her class, I probably wouldn't have cared much. To everyone who reads this blog: give me your address for postcards...I don't care if I hardly know you; I have a ton of them. Just email me your address and get a postcard from Europe! I hope everyone is having a fabulous time at home!! Miss you all!


Trip: Day 7/8 (places in Italy)

Sorry about the lack of update yesterday...the internet was down and I didn't feel like sitting around! To answer some questions: I tried to take one picture of the volcano, but it was very dark, and it was not a huge eruption, so it kind of just looks like a red spot...not very exciting. And yes, the freaky hanging thing was a cable car, but for some reason I have always called it a funicular. Is that weird? And I didn't know that Brad was telling people about my blog! Omg. I have spent the last two days in Sorrento, Italy...it is a very beautiful location near the Amalfai Coast (the city is very near to Naples). While the town itself is not a huge attraction (although it is very cute) there are tons of things to do that are not too far away. Yesterday we traveled to the historic city of Pompeii, covered by ash and lava in its prime. It was very fun to see it (I think I used to be really interested in it when I was younger). The casts of people (covering their faces etc) were kind of disturbing. Definitely worth more than a one day stop...we walked around for hours and saw most of the major sites, but there was still at least half of the village of Pompeii to see, not to mention Herculaneum and the Village of Mystery. Crazy! My dad and I ventured back into Sorrento last night to catch a little bit of Italian night life. It was cute. Today we traveled to the Isle of Capri: home of lots of beautiful things. I guess it is kind of a hide out for big celebrity types, but we didn't see any. It was really over crowded and annoying and we didn't have much time there (we got a late start and you have to take two different boats to get there). We skipped the famous Blue Grotto (some sort of cave you sail into via a tiny hole and get surrounded by a blue like created by light reflecting through the water) but we did make it to one of the most famous perfume stores in the world (the name escapes me). Apparently they make custom perfumes for all of the biggest stars etc...We made one very major purchase: a sort of egg with music written on it. My mom pointed them out in a shop window, so we went in to investigate...and low and behold, the piece was the Prelude to the Second Suite (aka The Old Standard)...as you know this piece holds a special place in my heart (and in my audition rep) so the asking price of 205 euros was ignored and the piece was purchased. I guess the artist is an Italian pianist and you can only find her work in this one store in Capri and another in a tiny town somewhere else in Italy. Cool! Again, I am wearing a tux for formal night. The theme of tonight's dinner was French: not my favorite, but good as always. The show featured movie musicals tonight; alas, it was aimed at the older crowd of the ship, so I recognized only about half of the songs. Oh well. Tomorrow we will attempt the monumental task of seeing Rome in one day. It is a holiday, so things may be a bit closed and strange. My mom insists that the Vatican will be open (since it is a different country and wouldn't observe Italian holidays). We will proceed directly to the Sistine Chapel, my one request for Rome! Omg!


Things that have happened while on this Cruise:

  1. For breakfast, maple syrup is distributed in small jars that are sealed. I usually put one of these jars on my tray. Once seated at a table (a waiter usually takes the tray out of my hands and carries it to a table for me) a waiter comes over and opens the syrup and places it back on the table (they tray is usually removed by this point).
  2. My room is made at least two times per day...in the morning after everybody leaves for the day (fresh towels etc...) and before bed while everyone is at dinner (the top blanket thing disappears and the pillows are all layed out perfectly...with a pillow menu where you can select which pillows suit your needs best.)
  3. I saw an erupting volcano a few minutes ago. The ship pulled right up next to Stromboli (not the fast food place in Rochester) and the passengers gaped in amazement as several shots of lava erupted from the top!

Today in news:

  1. Saw an ancient Greek Theatre.
  2. Took a freaky hanging thing down the side of a mountain.
  3. Ate a very nice lunch on a veranda overlooking the beautiful coast of Sicily.
  4. Saw the town of Taormina.
  5. Was tired all day.
  6. Rolled my eyes at the fact that the theme tonight was 50's and the old people loved it.


Trip: Day Five (at sea...)

  1. Couldn't wake up.
  2. Had a breakfast that was way too fancy in the dining room (we usually go up on the deck for the buffet.)
  3. Took a nap (by accident, but kind of on purpose) at the very top and rear of the boat. It is my secret place that nobody knows about: you can watch the ripples in the water behind the boat and sit peacefully in the sun (and run into the spa if you need a bottle of water!)
  4. Went to the gym and walked around with my dad on the promenade deck (3.7 laps=1 mile).
  5. Mediterranean buffet for lunch.
  6. Wine tasting: old school Europe vs. New School California...I like Cali better.
  7. Semi-formal dinner hosted by celebrity chef Sam Choy. I only had one of his dishes (shrimp cake with mushroom risotto). My main entree was short ribs...they were good, but my dads are better. Just ask Heather.
  8. Gay boys took the stage again tonight. The theme was "symphony of nations" and they changed costumes about 4 times per song. They are good performers, but the shows are LAME. Old people love them. They took their shirts off a few times.
  9. The day we go to Rome is a holiday and everything is closed. The ship is offering a private tour of the Vatican that will cost over $1200, which my parents will not pay for...poo...
  10. It sounds like CCE could be hired kind of easily for a cruise. Are we interested? Would still have to send a tape and everything. OOC.
  11. Tomorrow is Sicily.


Trip: Day 4...Dubrovnik

  1. My parents and I explored the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia by climbing to the top of the wall and walking around the entire city (which isn't that big). Many stairs were involved (up and down and up and down) and many spectacular views were to be had.
  2. I wrote and sent multiple postcards. Look in the mail; they will most likely arrive long after my trip is over! More will be sent! Let me know if you want one!
  3. I went swimming in a salt water pool onboard the ship today. It was nice since it was warm out, but it was strange since it was salt water in a pool.
  4. Harpist Shirley Dominguez gave another show tonight, this time featuring many Latin favorites and a medley from Phantom of the Opera and the infamous I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.
  5. On top of the wall in Dubrovnik I heard such favorites as Madonna's Sorry, Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone, and the Black Eyed Peas' Pump It. I never though I would hear those songs blasted from a little stereo on top of a wall built hundreds of years ago in Croatia.


Trip: Day Three (At Sea)

I just got back from tonight's show: Cole! (aka gay boys and hags onstage). I guess it was better than it should have been, but it was, along with all the shows here, a bit lame. They have the staff tripling up on all this stuff; one of the dancers in the show is also our lifeboat captain and I have seen him dressed in a tux working the crowds over at the various venues on ship. Today was very relaxing, we didn't see any land as we are off the coast of Italy 40 miles. Tomorrow we will visit Dbrovnik, Croatia. I have received mail addresses from many...postcards will begin to be mailed, don't hesitate to send your address!! Right now I am wearing a tux. Tonight was a formal night...tuxes were not required, but basically every guy was wearing them. My mom was talking overtime, so I kicked her under the table, but she didn't notice. Oh well. I wish I could be posting pictures, but alas, I cannot. You will have to wait until I return. While I am having fun here, I only wish I could be here with all of you. It would be so much more fun. I keep thinking about how all of you would react to everything thats going on, and it makes me happy! Missing all of you!


Trip: Day Two (Venice)

The Piazza San Marco is filled with tons of freakish pigeons. These birds will not hesitate to fly very fast very close to your head or even land directly on an outstretched arm or an unsuspecting head. This mad me very uncomfortable...but luckily I wasn't a victim. Venice Day 2 was even more exciting than the first. Stops included the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (which features works such as Brancusi's Bird In Space). Tons of good modern art was to be found: all housed in an amazing house overlooking the grand canal. A walking tour commenced; my parents and I had what is supposedly the best gelato in Venice, saw the Rialto Bridge, and took a boat/bus down the grand canal. Venice is truly one of a kind and I hope I will be able to return someday! Tonight's entertainment is of note: a harpist!! She played a very small harp standing up and had very long fingernails with which she was able to play a tremolo with only one finger on one string!! I talked to her afterwards...she had never heard of Eastman and has never taken a lesson in classical harp. She seemed very talented and played mostly pop tunes and Latin flavor songs. Pictures were taken and will be displayed. Tomorrow will be spent lounging around the boat (at the pool...wine tasting...formal dinner w/ tux!!) Wish you were here!!! PS> Send me your addresses so I can send you postcards!!

Trip: Day One (Venice)

Today was very long. We flew from Chicago to Amsterdam to Venice, then proceeded walk around Venice for a few hours. My dad figured that we have been up for about 43 hours straight (since there has been VERY minimal sleeping...the plane was VERY cramped). Venice is very fun. I'm very excited to be in Europe for the first time. Tomorrow will be another day in Venice; today was basically just a quick walk around to get the feel (see the Plaza San Marco etc...) The ship is also amazing...the dining room is amazing: its like eating in a restaurant where you order everything, and then you don't have to pay! The staff is amazingly friendly (they are already memorizing our names!) Thank you to everyone who called and/or facebooked me to give warm birthday wishes! My parents forgot until I mentioned that you guys had called me, and then they were like, "Happy Birthday!"...so yeah...I'm tired now, and the internet is going to expire soon. So yeah. More tomorrow!



Today I saw my very first episode of American Idol. If I were to vote, I would go for Katherine McPhee...I'll admit that Taylor may be more charasmatic and talented...but lets be honest here: he seems really strange to me. Seriously, theres too many weird things going on over there; the clothing choice, the strange "dance moves," the white hair? He knows how to work an audience and everyone who was at the show seemed much more excited to see him than Katherine. Neither of them really got me excited, but I'm going for Katherine, so there. Here first and 3rd song were not terribly strong...Over The Rainbow was fun. Taylor's first song was great...the rest were boring...and he's weird. Win=Katherine. Wednesday is my birthday, so support my consumption habits and buy me things. {/end shameless self plug} I leave for Italy tomorrow...my mom is going crazy...I miss my friends (who called me several times today!)...I'm not quite done packing...and stuff and thing.



Yesterday was hard. And driving away from Rochester this morning was hard. I slept most of the day, and that helped. Somewhere past Buffalo Mary and Daniel zoomed past us and Mary gave me a call...I estimate they got to Chicago about 4 hours faster than we did. I'm sure we all have a strange void right now, but its hardest when I think about those who I won't be seeing anytime in the near future. I'm back now and I'm glad I have a zillion things to do tonight and tomorrow; otherwise I would only be thinking about the things and people I am missing. Ok...enough emotional graduation stuff...time to get back to blogging...the real way. I will not be bringing my computer to Italy, so updating may not be what I had hoped. Pictures won't be posted until I return, which is really sad. Ack!

End Scene.

I've spent all day trying to say goodbye to all of my friends here at Eastman. As most of you know, I'm not one to say very much, but I want you all to know that I really love you and I will really miss you. Guess its kind of basic, but its true. To those of you I will be seeing over the summer: thank god we still have some time together. To those of you I won't: {tears}



Less than 13 hours before I leave Rochester and all of my friends behind. It feels really strange.


Last Concert

CCE: The Final Concert 3:30pm Kilbourn Hall Schumann: Piano Quintet also, Matroyshka String Quartet & Destino Winds the end.


For Some Reason Its In Spanish

This may be my favorite clip from any active visual medium (TV and Film). For some reason the only clip on YouTube is in Spanish...so during all of the lines with subtitles, imagine that the characters are speaking English that is spoken backwards but playing in reverse, thus making it sound "normal" but not normal at all...whatever...Twin Peaks 4Eva!


Update and Future.

As I said in the entry directly below this I am at the very very end of my undergraduate schooling. I'm completely done with all my work...and nearly done with all of my performances (3:30pm Kilbourn Hall on Saturday=CCE+M4+Destino). I am however not done with all of my friends. There are a bunch of events planned this week in order to get us to see each other as much as possible. We learned how to make drinks...then we drank them the next night. Tonight we saw a very dirty hypnotist make people feel themselves on stage...not exactly sure how I feel about that. We still have a beach picnic and a bunch of receptions and a concert and the graduation itself...but I'm sure it will all fly by in a blink. I will miss everybody so much! I can't even imagine... As far as this blog...entries will be light for the next few days (if at all). As Nathaniel said in the comments below there is nothing more important than blogging, so I will try as I hard as I might to keep you informed! Starting May 24th (my birthday...ahem) this blog will become a cruise journal (a glorious trip from Venice to Monte Carlo) and shortly after that on June 15th this blog will become Tanglewood journal where you will get to read about the craziness of billions of orchestra and chamber music performances!! Have I mentioned my love for My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas? Obsessed. And I'm official at Rice...I sent in all of my forms!


Reasons I haven't blogged:

  1. Its the end of my undergraduate career and there are more important things to do. I'll be back soon.



+ 3:00pm Kilbourn Hall Haydn: Op. 74 No. 2 (CCE) Ravel: String Quartet (Ying) Mendelssohn: Octet Mvt. 1(CCE+Ying)



In a sudden turn of events I decided to attend RICE UNIVERSITY for my masters. After carefully considering every tiny little detail for the two days I had to decide, I called Rice today to tell them I would be coming to school next year. They gave me more money...and more than anything it will be change from what I've been doing for the past four years. I will miss playing in Musica Nova and being able to work with Brad Lubman {sigh}...that was the main thing holding me back, but aside from that, there wasn't much left for me at Eastman. Right now I am pretty confident in my decision, so I hope it works out!!! Wow...I really didn't think I would end up in Houston!!


Happy and Confused

Happy: I am officially done with all of my degree requirements. No more papers or tests or anything else. I am now completely done with all the work of my undergraduate career!! There are a few concerts left, but those are mostly for enjoying the company of my amazing friends. Confused:This morning I got an official offer from Rice and the money they offered is a lot higher than the scholarship that Eastman offered (as expected). I need to do some serious thinking about where I will be going since I have to decide by Friday at 5:00pm. This morning after hearing the offer I was pretty set on Eastman, but now I am leaning towards Rice. I want to hear what you think. Really, I do. Tell me everything you think...maybe you thought of something I didn't (actually, I'm almost sure you did).



After 5:00pm tomorrow I will be completely done with my degree requirements. Before then I need to learn all there is to know about the history of Black Music in this country as well as write a paper about movies that I don't like (aka...Westerns). Right now I am trying to learn all of the listening examples for the test tomorrow at 12...but they all seem to be jazzy ragtime piano things. Hmmm...


Angels Done.

CCE's performance went smoothly enough: there were no major disasters, but I can't say that it was the most amazing performance ever. That may or may not have something to do with the fact that we did most of the work today. That made for kind of a long day...but it is always a joy to perform anything with CCE: no matter how under or over-rehearsed it may be. We have two more recitals before the end of the year: this Sunday we perform Haydn Op. 72 No. 2 as well as the first movement of the Mendelssohn Octet with our favorite teachers The Ying Quartet...the following weekend we play the Schumann Quintet on the Best of the Class of 2006 Chamber Concert. Its a lot of work to put all of this on, but its worth it...at least we can say we spent our final weeks having fun!! My Lovers: