Thursday, November 14, 2013

weekend review - OBU all hail thy name

Duke went to Stillwater this past weekend to stay with his Mimi and Pappaw while Colt and I participated in some OBU Homecoming activities on Saturday.

We spent the morning with some of our favorite people.

Afterwards, we met up with my sister, my dad, and my brother (all OBU grads as well) and ate lunch at Benedict Street.  I just can't describe what Benedict Street is to a pregnant lady.  It was magical.  Not many things agree with my stomach these days so this was an absolute miracle and I soaked every bit of it in.

I ordered Tori's Chicken (and they even had it featured on the menu!) with their yummy salad and their perfect, creamy ranch.  Of course, I topped it off with a cappuccino chocolate chip cookie.

It was our 5 year reunion and although we were there for that, I was mostly there for the 50th anniversary of University Chorale.  Many alumni were coming back for this event and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to sing with friends and family in a once-in-a-lifetime scenario.

There was a little slideshow running throughout the banquet before the concert.  I know it's so old lady to take pictures of pictures, but I had to!

(Chorale anniversary slideshow:  my conductor, Dr. DeSeguirant)

(University Chorale my junior year, I think.  I'm the one sitting in the chair, 2nd in from the left.  Because I know you really care.)

(I got to see one of my fellow alto buddies from Chorale.)

We did a few pieces that were new to me along with a few that were deep down in my heart ("My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord," "Swingin' With the Saints," "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," and "A Gaelic Blessing").  I just barely had to peek at the music for those.

{Side Note:  I miss my choir days so much.  Some days I dream about organizing and setting up an auditioned community choir in the OKC area for young people (18-40).  Not that you're old if you're over 40, but I think this particular age group may be missing out when it comes to choral music.  (And if this already exists, please feel free to fill me in!)  I think it would be extremely successful for those of us who love being a part of a choir, but have no way of making it happen.}

It was a bit surreal standing up there on Saturday night.  (I know, I know - more pictures of pictures.)

As I looked to my right and left, I saw my sister, my brother, and my dad - the people I've been singing with the longest.  (Of course, mom was in the audience.)  I learned how to hold a mic with these people.  My mom taught me the importance of singing so that people could actually understand what you were singing about.  I learned about the idea of blending and choosing to listen to others singing around me.  My first years of singing alone and with others (how about that MENC reference?) were with my family.

I also saw a choir director that was one of my cooperating teachers during my high school student teaching.  He totally took me under his wing and made me feel like I could do it.  Turns out, he and his brother ended up taking the teaching positions at Yukon High School that my mom and I left back in 2011.  I was relieved to know that the program would be under incredible leadership. 

Not too far from him, in the soprano section, was another teacher and friend to whom I owe a lot of thanks.  In 2008, I interviewed for many, many teaching positions.  I couldn't be more pleased with the decision that I made to teach with this woman at an elementary school in Edmond.  I was a traveling teacher, but spent most of my time at this particular school.  I asked a million questions, got countless ideas, observed her amazing lesson plans, and pretty much adopted everything she did.  It was such a successful first year of teaching and I know it was due in large part to her.

A couple rows down from that teacher was a former student I had at Yukon.  This is a student who was phenomenal from day one.  She was part of the glue in the soprano section and I remember being so excited knowing she was going to continue her education at OBU.  It was a full circle kind of feeling getting to sing with her.

As I looked out into the audience, I saw some of my professors.

Dr. Vernon - I still can't believe I only had him for one course during my entire time at OBU.  I learned so much from him in 20th century music history.  I remember feeling very relaxed when asking questions and when feeling totally confused about things like serialism.  He developed an atmosphere that was comfortable for learning.

Dr. Bell - I've talked about her before.  We had a lovely time catching up with each other.  She changed the way I play the piano.  I approach piano literature differently after studying under her.  Anything worthwhile I ever say during my lessons I teach now is definitely because of her instruction.

There were other professors that weren't there, but that couldn't help but run through my head.

Dr. Todd - I looked forward to her music history classes.   I mean, not only was she hilarious, but she was crazy smart.  I don't really understand how her brain fits all of those things in it, but I guess somebody's gotta know everything there is to know about every composer that ever breathed.

Dr. Eshelman - I loved her excitement for teaching and I remember almost crying in my first class of Intro. to Music Ed.  Her passion was contagious and she was a joy to learn from.

Dr. DeSeguirant - I hardly have words to describe my experience under him as a choral director.  The way he taught, directed, explained, felt - he passed all of it on to all of us who were there.  I picked up on things at each rehearsal and thought, I need to teach like that.  I need to conduct like that.  I need to connect with my students like that.  My 3 years in University Chorale are some of the best memories I will carry from my college experience.  (I talk about one of my favorite memories here.)

Colt was such a trooper that evening - listening to over 2 hours of choirs and soloists.  I loved knowing he was there.  (Especially since I kind of felt like I might pass out on the top row of the risers with the hot lights blaring in my face and my nausea always reminding me that I am with child.)

(Taking a break from standing on the risers in rehearsal.) 

Thank you, OBU professors, for making OBU a place for us graduates to want to come back and visit.  It's a privilege to have studied under all of you and I look forward to many more reunion celebrations in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had such a great time! I love that you and your family got to sing together - what a special experience! Also, I wish you would wear choir dresses more often :)


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