Saturday, October 11, 2003

Gordon, Wheaton...

Another post this evening... thoughts from today.

As you may have noticed, I fiddled around with my blog template today. I was rather pleased with myself for figuring out enough of the html code to change fonts where I wanted to. I also added some more links. Hehe, now you can link to all the schools I've gone to in the past three years and more specifically, all the departments I've been part of! Later I might make some more changes... try different colors, or a different layout for my links and archives. I'm also thinking about adding a tagboard.

Tonight was the homecoming choir concert here at Gordon. I went, and am glad I did.

Things I didn't like:
1) Bad idea to not have standard choir dresses for everyone. Basically, letting soprano-diva-types select their own wardrobes can often prove to be a bad idea. Many people were not dressed tastefully. And it just didn't look as classy as Wheaton's choirs do.
2) It also wasn't classy for people to have music stands pulled up in front of them. I've never seen a choir do that before. What about those nice, sophisticated black folders most choirs use? Yeah, come on, people - they can't be that expensive.
3) I got a little bored with all the secular music during the first half of the program. Some was nice, but some was kind of lame or avant-garde, like the Whitman settings they sang. Blah.
4) The occasional intonation problems... or, the frequent intonation problems.

Things I liked:
1) Just being surrounded by all that choral music, filling the chapel.
2) If Music Be the Food of Love by Dickau
3) Der Geist Hilft unserer Schwachheit by Bach
4) Praise His Holy Name by Keith Hampton. They ended with this piece, and I liked it. It was one of those terrific gospel-esque spiritual pieces... And the accompanist was absolutely fantastic! He wasn't even using music for some of the pieces.

After the choir concert, I came back to my room to watch and listen to the Wheaton Symphony Orchestra concert online. Tonight was their fall concert, and all the main concerts are broadcast live over the internet. Unfortunately, I missed the first two pieces of the evening because the firewall here wouldn't let me access realplayer video/audio. However, after searching hacker webpages for information on defeating the evil firewall *evil grin and cackle*, I was victorious in getting around that minor difficulty! I got it to work just in time to hear the first notes of Mozart's Symphony No. 35, "Haffner." Then, after intermission, the Symphony Winds did a piece called Celebration, and then the full Symphony Orchestra returned to close with Elgar's Enigma Variations. The entire program sounded so good. I miss everyone. I admit it, I cried. Rather a lot. I feel okay about it, because I haven't been self-pitying at all, and I've hardly cried at all since coming here... but look, transferring isn't easy, okay? Watching the video, I saw all these wonderful people that I knew... Ruth, Cheryl, Laine, Christine, Ethan, Alisa, Graeme, Kelly, Pam, Lydia, Hannah... awww! I miss Wheaton so much tonight. Friends, music, Debbie, the dear and wonderful familiarity of the conserv, the way orchestra was like a big family, the way we played all music there for the glory of God.

I know I made a good decision in coming here to study with Mr. B., and I know that it takes time to make friendships (and I know that it took time at Wheaton, too), but I'll never forget my year at Wheaton. I think most of all I'll always remember playing Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony and Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture with Mr. Floriano conducting. Especially the Russian Easter Overture. The way Kelly and I cried because of the beauty and the glory of the Risen Lord, and the way Graeme made the 2nd trombone solo so heartwrenchingly beautiful. And just the excitement of that whole concert and the weeks of rehearsals preceding it. Awww, Wheaton!

I wonder if you can ever really fully know all the things to love and appreciate about a place until you have to leave it?

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