Thursday, October 22, 2009

PSU Homecoming 2009

My first PSU football experience included decent weather and a win. My second and last PSU football experience for the season was during the Homecoming weekend. The weather wasn't exactly cooperating that weekend. We had our first snowfall. One of the pictures included with this post is the view across the street from my apartment window. There's nothing like waking up to 3+ inches of snow in mid-October in Central Pennsylvania, eh?

John, a friend of mine, crashed on my futon for the weekend. (He was officially my first overnight guest who was NOT related to me!) There was a nice group present from the PSU Alumni Association, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter throughout the weekend. We began our weekend adventure with the Homecoming parade, then attended the alumni reception at Hintz Alumni Center (where I promptly sat in with the band on vocals as soon as I walked through the door!), and then enjoyed all that the weekend had to offer - visits to a variety of establishments, the football game, good food, and great company.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Voice Masterclass - October 14, 2009

One of my personal goals for this calendar year was to become a better singer, and continue to study voice during the remainder of my graduate work. I've been quite fortunate in this area. In the past spring semester, I studied with Professor Richard Kennedy. This semester, I've been placed with Amelia Rollings, a graduate student in the voice department. A graduate student studying with another graduate student isn't unusual, but it doesn't happen often.

I'm learning many different things this semester with my new teacher, Amelia Rollings. The first thing that I'm learning is how to REALLY belt in a healthy way. One of the other interesting things that I'm learning is that classical singing style is not disconnected from belting style. I'm also learning how to execute both styles equally well. Amelia's teaching style is grounded in some pretty current research and I'm looking forward to bringing as much of this back home as is possible.

As part of the requirements for voice lessons this semester, I had to participate in a voice masterclass. The selection that I performed for the masterclass is "I Am What I Am" from the musical, "La Cage Aux Folles" or "The Birdcage". The graduate student-teachers were quite helpful to all the students that evening, and it was fun to listen to all of the different music that everyone's been working on since the start of the semester. The clip is here for you to view - - not the best quality, but what can ya do when servers have limits, right? Anyhow...

I'm looking forward to the rest of the semester and all that I will learn from my upcoming lessons with Amelia. I hope that you enjoy the video and if you're in the area on the evening of December 2nd, that's when we're having our studio recital!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fun in Grad School...yes it does happen

How do we have fun in grad school? Well, between the classes, research projects, article writing, voice lessons (for me), meetings and graduate colloquium, we do find some time for fun. A few things that we've managed to do this semester include: PSU football game watching parties, karaoke night, Graduate Student Association dinner, cooking dinner for each other, conducting informal polls/research, seeing concerts...and there is much more to come because there is plenty of time left in the semester!

I've made some new friends this semester as well. Natalie is a new master of music education student. Sue is a civil engineering graduate student and one of Natalie's roommates. Stephanie is another one of Natalie's roommates. Teri is a new doctoral student, and Chuck is also a new master's student.

Jess and I are continuing to hang out, walk a mile or so together daily, and work on an article for publication with Tzu-Yi. We all try to get together when we can. It's tough scheduling though! Everyone's busy taking classes, teaching classes, and doing some sort of homework or research.

As the semester progresses, I'm sure that I'll post more of our adventures and fun times. Stay tuned!!!

Heidi's 1st Penn State Football Experience

The fall semester is flying by. The school work is going well and each day is an adventure. I have part-time work in a flower shop in downtown State College; it gives me a spending money and keeps me from sleeping until noon on a daily basis...I know most high school students would LOVE to be able to do that. Anyhow...

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, I attended my first Penn State football game. Paul and his brother, Chris, drove in from Pittsburgh late the night before. The game was against Eastern Illinois, so a win was greatly anticipated. The weather was chilly and gray at first, but became pretty sunny by the end of the fourth quarter.

Stopping at the Joe Pa statue was something I'd never done. I'd driven past it many times when going to and from campus, so we actually made it a point to stop and make the most of the photo opportunity.

The game was great. The win that we anticipated came true. I loved the Blue Band's half-time performance. It made me realize that I'm not exactly a BAD drill writer, just not a corps style drill writer!

After the game, Chris bought a new hat and sweatshirt, and we honored his request to go to the Meyer Dairy Store/Restaurant for ice cream. I enjoyed the overall experience. It was a good day.