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4.28.2011

Avatar

We all know the movie Avatar, right? You know....the blue people?
Like, this movie?



Anyway, it's a suuuuper awesome-ly good movie, and because I'm a band geek and know this, it's got a really great soundtrack. Imagine my delight then when I'm told we're playing selections from it for our upcoming concert.
I was pretty much like: EEEEEP!!!! WE'RE PLAYING SONGS FROM AVATAR!!!!!!
And I was able to listen to the arrangement the same guy arranged a Lion King medley that we played earlier in the year and he's really good, and this arrangement was no different. So here are the YouTube videos for the soundtrack and just imagine our band playing them. It is. SO. TOTALLY. EPIC.







Enjoy! :)

4.26.2011

The Eiffel At Night

Of course, probably the most though of icon of Paris, is of course the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel in French). I had the chance to see it at both nighttime around eleven o'clock and also in the early morning. It was impressive during the day and absolutely stunning at night, so I wanted to show you these that I took.







4.25.2011

Breathing Again

I love schedule, I find comfort in routine, regular life suits me well. 
It was so good to be back to that today. 
Sunny, warm days in Paris filled with pastry and walking and gardens and churches and architecture and sandwiches and vacation were simply amazing.
(by the way here are a couple pics)



But today even being so ordinary was just comforting and nice.
Waking to the sound of my alarm at 5:30....well no, that's not true. I was awake at three still suffering from jetlag, but I actually got out of bed at 5:30.
Heading off to school at seven, listening to the radio in the car and laughing at the morning show, grabbing a coffee in the cafeteria and chilling with some band friends before first block, spending first period study hall reading les mis, suffering through another annoying English class, having a rather relaxing French class, lunch with friends, and ending the school day with a good geometry class. After school, heading home on the bus and then down to the middle school to drop some stuff, thankful that my mom drove me as it was cold and raining, home again to ready myself for tomorrow and practice trumpet and write this post.
Gotta love vacation, but, gosh....the regular routine and normalness of day was totally awesome...

4.24.2011

A Return

Hello all, and a blessed Easter to all of you! As you can see, I have returned from the great beyond. France was so awesome! It was a really excellent trip and the number of good pictures (the ones that I did not delete) total about 600. Love having that many, not so nice when I'm trying to edit them. It is a slooowww process, let me tell you. So, I just wanted to let you know of my return, and I shall post some more tomorrow hopefully :)

Happy Easter!

4.14.2011

Finishing the Alphabet

I knew I would come to this problem when I started the A-Z challenge.....that I would be leaving for France.....and not posting on blogger, which is why I am finishing the alphabet today.


N is for nature and nebula and neutron,


O is for ostrich and olive and ozone,


P is for Paris and people and plight,


Q is for quarter and quail and queasy,


R is for running and racecar and rain,


S is for Sally and smile and snake,


T is for trumpet and tiger and tea,


U is for umbrella and ukelele and uvula,


V is for vase and valor and vivid,


W is for wind and winter and willow,


X is for X-ray and xylophone and xenon,

Y is for yak and you and Yemen,


And Z is for zither and zebra and zen.

That was fun, I'm off to Paris tonight, see you when I get back and be ready for LOTS of pics :)

4.13.2011

L & M are for Little Mistakes



L & M are for Little Mistakes

Little mistakes, mishaps, things not going quite the way you thought they would, these can make a big difference. It's funny how so much of my band geeky-ness seems to be based on a couple little mistakes. Believe it or not, I had always wanted to play flute, and planned to do so almost right up until we chose our instruments in fifth grade. Near the last minute I first thought "Wow. French horn is awesome." and I now kinda wanted to play horn instead of flute. I became extremely indecisive. It was just because of this hesitation, this indecisiveness that brought me to being a cornet player. Pretty much my dad was like 'Why don't you play my old cornet to start off with. If you hate it, you can always switch.'
So I became a cornet player. And I was hooked.
All because of one little mistake in the way I thought things were going to turn out....and boom. I'm on my current path.
Learning trombone was a mistake too. I never meant to learn....I just picked up my brother's one day, played a couple of notes, and decided it would be fun to learn.
Jazz band was a mistake too. Sixth grade, I really didn't know what a jazz band was or did in the school. I really didn't care about it. I had not yet taken the plunge into the complete music crazy world I am in now. I only got into the jazz band because I was walking out of band one day and my band director stopped me. Our conversation went a little something like this:
"You'll be at jazz tomorrow morning?"
"Um.......I don't know? **stutter stutter stutter**
"7:10, here, tomorrow morning. You will be here."
At this point I was still very much intimidated by her....so I was there at 7:10 the next morning. And once again, the mistake, the chance that I had ended up there was a very good one. I had my first chance at playing lead trumpet, and my year in that training jazz band on cornet led me in the next two years playing second and lead trumpet in the performance band and having multiple solos. 
Marching band? Also a mistake. At the end of seventh grade I put my name on a list that basically said 'I'm interested in the marching band can I have more information?'
I got no more info.
Until I got a call in the middle of August. There was a guy on the end of the phone and this is what he said "Hi, I'm Matt and I'm your section leader for marching band and I'll see you for uniform fitting and our first practice next Monday."
So I ended up in marching band.
It just goes to show, little mistakes can lead to great things.

4.11.2011

K is for Ka-boom!


K is for Ka-boom!

I woke up this morning to a great ka-boom. Correction. I woke up this morning to a bright flash of light which was then followed by a great ka-boom. In other words, our first thunderstorm of the year struck this morning. 
I really, really enjoy thunderstorms. For the most part. I did not like that this one prevented me from taking a shower this morning, for an example. I liked every other part about it though, and I enjoyed the one that rolled in during second block today. 
The day has most certainly been thunderstorm filled! We wanted our english teacher to turn off the lights in our classroom so it would be super cool and the lightning would be really bright and it would almost seem like the power was out. He said no, which made me sad. 
Both storms were pretty good though, but not great. They were certainly better than some with several lighting strikes and thunderclaps and heavy rain, but they weren't as intense as I like them.
See, I like them really intense.....without producing tornadoes. *shudders* Tornadoes are scary. I had a close encounter with one last year at band camp and eep! It was very very frightening!
Anyway, that's my annual post on how much I loooove my storms :)

AND it looks like there's another one rolling in around ten PM this evening.....YES! 

4.10.2011

J is for Just Four More


J is for Just Four More

Just four more...what? This may be the question you are asking. The answer is days. 
Four more days until...?

Until a breath of freedom,
Until April break,
Until FRANCE.

Oh my goodness, you have no idea how excited I am. Remember the post with the picture of my countdown board? And how there were only like three black X's on it? Yeah, well, only four days are blank now...which means we're getting very close!

We're starting to pack, my parents have printed off the trip checklist, things are beginning to be checked off said checklist, laundry is being done....soon we'll be on a bus to Boston and a couple hours later... a plane headed to Paris!

It's going to be a great break getting away from home, far far away, to just relax and have fun. The only problem will be if I'm assigned homework...luckily I have a first period study hall the day I get back so that shouldn't be a problem :)

Ahh, just so happy that we're finally going.

....I can smell the baguettes now!

4.09.2011

I is for I'm Indecisive


I is for I'm Indecisive

In other words, I can't decide what to post about. So, I will just have to combine a bunch of things into this one post.

For one, today the weather decided that it was finally going to be nice and warm and spring-like. This made Sally very happy. Now some clouds have moved in and it's dropped a couple degrees but it's still a very nice spring day around 57 degrees outside. 
Warm weather means driving around with the windows down and finally getting to wear nice spring outfits without freezing my entire body and becoming a Sally-icicle.


Yeah the photo is bad because I used my computer's webcam but you can get the gist of it.

Shorts: Gap / Tank Top: Gap / Cami: Aeropostale / Sweater-thingy: Old Navy / Necklace: Bass

This day just screamed an outfit like this.

And the second part of this post is quite exciting!
As you know, I'm a musician, (duh) and one of the things I like to do is arrange and compose music. A little while back I talked about my arranging of the Les Misérables favorite, Bring Him Home. And I am pleased to announce that I have finished my arrangement! This piece is arranged in four parts for two high voices, a middle voice and a lower voice and can be reformatted and transposed within these four parts to fit any instrument. It's a very versatile piece of music. I have composed it with parts for two trumpets, a flute and a trombone, but with the four parts I have now I think I'm going to add full concert band instrumentation with the four parts that I have.  I'm going to play you the song now but please keep in mind that this is a horrible recording and it doesn't observe fermatas and dynamics and such or tempo...or style....
It also refuses to jump to the coda and stuff so there will be breaks as I stop and restart it in the correct place. Enjoy!


video

4.08.2011

H is for Happiness


H is for Happiness.

What is happiness? Well the dictionary defines in thusly:

hap·pi·ness

[hap-ee-nis]

–noun
1.
the quality or state of being happy.
2.
good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

That may be true, but I think it's a lame definition. The definition for happy is also lame. What is wrong with the dictionary? Their definitions for such happy words are....lame and boring. 
So, because this bothers me, I'm going to write my own. HA! So there dictionary. Your definition is about to get owned.

HAPPINESS IS....

A good book on a rainy day, curled up by the fireplace with a cup of hot tea,
A day on the beach with the wind and salt in your hair as your drink in the sunshine and the freedom of summer,
Working really hard on very complex pieces of music, and then performing them well too,
It's conquering the glades and double black diamonds on your favorite ski mountain,
Apple pie and corn on the cob (Though not together),
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate in any form,
Getting a good grade on a really hard test, and then seeing your name in the paper for honor roll,
Marching across lush green grass in a gold medal band,
 Friends who run up and hug you in the middle of the school hallway every time they see you,
Arranging music for various events and people,
Summer camp....all different kinds of it,
Watching a hilarious show like Wipeout with your family and falling over laughing hysterically,
Your high school friends attempting to sing karaoke,
That amazing feeling you can get when you feel as if you're never going to stop smiling.

That, my friends, THAT, is happiness.

4.07.2011

G is for Gig


G is for Gig

Well....concert would be a more accurate term for what I'm going to talk about but that starts with a C and I needed a word that started with G and this was the best I came up with. Yeah it's slang, yeah it's not grammatically correct, but it just so happens to be the best word for the topic of this post. Hmph.
What in the world is a gig? You may ask this question. Dictionary.com seems to have several different meanings for the word 'gig', and the definition I wanted was.....at the bottom. Welcome to my life...
Anyway,
gig4
noun, verb, gigged, gig·ging. Slang .
–noun
1.
a single professional engagement, usually of short duration, as of jazz or rock musicians.
2.
any job, especially one of short or uncertain duration: a teaching gig out west somewhere.
–verb (used without object)
3.
to work as a musician, especially in a single engagement: He gigged with some of the biggest names in the business


Today, as you may have guessed, we had a little concert, or, as we may as well call it, a gig. It was a judged affair and went very very well. In our clinic/critique afterwards the judge basically just told us we were awesome, he didn't have anything to work on with us. That was pretty cool, I guess they really thought we were good. We'll just have to see what our final score came out to be.
Our pieces were called Deer Path Dances, Country Wildflowers and Sky Dance. Sky Dance was by far my favorite. It was really high and big and bold and fast and plain AWESOME. Totally cool.
Now just time to prepare for our Pops Concert at the end of May. I know we're playing a medley of Elton John stuff, a piece called Music for a Darkened Theater which is like a medley of songs from action/thriller/horror movies, and a third tune that may or may not be a concert band arrangement of Owl City's Fireflies! I know my band director bought the chart and the score earlier this year and he was thinking of doing it for this upcoming concert and I'm really hoping that he will. I would so love to play that song in band...

4.06.2011

E & F are for Epically Fun



No, no, I didn't forget to post yesterday, I simply just simply didn't have the time! My day was totally jam packed, so I have combined days E & F together in this one post.

E & F are for Epically Fun

Yesterday was a great day, much improved over the dreadfulness of Monday. The school day itself could be described as so-so, pretty average, it was after school that was awesome.
April is nation jazz appreciation month, and to celebrate this, our music boosters organize a jazz band event called Jazzapalooza for all seven middle and high school jazz bands in our city.
Pretty much what happens at Jazzapalooza is the middle schoolers get to work with clinicians for the afternoon, everyone gets yummy pizza for dinner, and it ends with a great concert in the evening. Now, high schoolers don't do the clinics, but there were certainly plenty of us around and I was actually asked by my old band director if I would work with the trumpet sections in her two bands. I had a lot of fun doing that and after I was done....the trumpets sounded great! It was awesome. There was a really fun improv clinic too, which I got to participate in. Improv is really fun because basically you just have a couple of chords that you play, you've got a handful of notes to choose from, and you just go for it and jam. Totally epic and awesome. After a couple breaks and our three clinics it was pizza time. All the rest of the high schoolers were arriving and we had a great time. All my band friends were telling my brother how he REALLY needed to be in the marching band next year. We'll see if he decides to do that or not.
We mostly just chilled for a while afterwards. Did some jamming in the band locker room, tuned the middle school bands and just hung out before the concert. The concert.....was awesome. I got to sit in and double the lead trumpet part with my old two middle school jazz bands which was great and my high school jazz band did really well too. I did have one mini heart attack moment though....I got up on stage and realized that I only had half the pages to my second song. Yeah....Sally freak-out-on-stage moment right there. Luckily, it turned out that I had the piece memorized without knowing it so playing it without music was a breeze.
It truly was, an epically fun day :)

4.04.2011

D is for Dreadful


D is for Dreadful

I do not like days like today.
Raining.
Gray.
Blahhhhhhhhh.

Having three tests didn't help AT ALL.

I need some tea.
I need a bubble bath.
I need to sleep.
I need to not think about how badly my math test went.
I need hot food.
I need a good book.
I need to play trumpet...



4.03.2011

C is for Celebration

I am enjoying this whole A-Z blogging thing. It's a lot of fun!


C is for celebration.

And speaking of celebrations, Olivia over at Horsefeathers in celebrating over five hundreds followers with an excellent giveaway and blog party. Part of this celebration is to have everyone answer a few questions. Here are my answers:

Favorite season, and why?
I love fall. There are so many reasons why I love fall, so many i dedicated a whole post to one hundred of them! Read it HERE.

How would you describe your personal style?
Like fashion? Well, I'm a flip-flops and converse kind of girl when it comes to shoes. I live in various pairs of jeans picked up from Goodwill, and my tops tend to be cute but not flashy. Goodwill is the amazing store for me. I also seem to have a lot of black, not because I'm goth, but for performance wear norm. I have very little nice stuff that ISN'T black, or that isn't a white top. Hmm....
Jewelry is worn everyday and always consists of one purple pancreatic cancer awareness bracelet, a silver treble clef necklace (or two), and silver treble clef earrings.

What's one weird thing you can do? (The stranger the better!)
Well, this is kinda weird. I like to read lying on my couch, and often I'm listening to a CD or the radio while I do so. When I do this, I hold my book with my hands obviously, but involuntarily my feet conduct to the music. It's weird.

Rain or shine?
Usually I like the sun but I do love the occasional rainy day :)

Confession time... what's a flaw of yours?
Ugh. Auditions. No matter how well I've prepared, I'm usually a complete wreak. I'm usually a lot better at auditions when the audition music is something that I chose, rather than an assigned piece however.

Favorite music?
Sally, the music geek, loves just music in general.

You've just won an unlimited lifetime supply of... what?
Oh! Instrument repairs and tune-ups! Those can be so $$$$. Or biofreeze. That would be lovely as well.

If you were an animal, what would you be?
Either some sort of fish or a tiger. I lean towards tiger though.

If you knew you were going to die in a year, what would you do with your time?
Hmm. That's a good one. Spend a lot of time with my friends and family and play trumpet until the very end.

You're now a gazillionaire... where do you go to spend your money?
Lots of pretty high end instruments and such....and all their accessories. I'm such a BAND GEEK.

Classical music: love it or hate it?
Being the music geek I am, it would be hypocritical to hate such a big and important genre of music. Is it my favorite? Not to listen to necessarily, but I do play a lot of classical pieces. I consider classical trumpet playing a real challenge and art when done well.

Phobias?
Bears. *shivers* TERRIFIED of bears. Other fears?
Splinters
The little green light on the smoke detector
Auditions
Falling

....my band director.

Hop on a plane and go live somewhere for a year... where is it, and why?
Oh the list goes on and on........I'd like to start with Paris.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
Hi! I'm Sally! *shakes hand* How are you? What's your name? I'm Sally. I'm a trumpet player! Do you play an instrument? Etc, etc.

Would you/do you perform on stage?
Do I perform? What a silly question....

OF COURSE I DO! I'M A MUSICIAN FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!


4.02.2011

B is for Basketball


B is for Basketball.

Basketball. Hmm, where to begin? First I should start off with the fact that I am probably one of the worst basketball players EVER. I miss layups, I'm way too short, when foul shooting I can't make the ball reach the basket, and I lose every game of knockout, HORSE, and PIG. The only thing I'm good at is dribbling and I guess I'm OK at passing too. These factors account for the fact that I do NOT play basketball except when forced to in gym class.

I do, however, enjoy watching basketball.
I don't mind going to see high school games, or my brother's games. They're usually fast-paced and a lot of fun. From watching so many games I know the rules pretty well, and I find the games exciting. Much more fun watching live than one television though.

Now why basketball for the subject today? Because of the Final Four in March Madness of course! I don't follow the whole tournament seriously, but my dad and brother make brackets every year and the person who got the most of their bracket right gets an ice cream paid for by the loser. They both failed miserably this year, but I think my dad has won...
Anyway, but in college basketball, we happen to support UConn, who will be playing their Final Four game tonight.
Go Huskies!

4.01.2011

A is for April

I'm doing the A-Z blogging challenge! Should be fun, here's my first post!



A is for April.

A is for April fools, which of course is today....didn't have any really good tricks like last year, but I did manage to get my brother by putting salt on his toothbrush. Bwahahaha. 

A is for April snowstorms, which equal APRIL SNOWDAYS. Day off I'm happy about, snow not so much
I'm happy about the day off though because...

A is for Another three days to study for end of quarter tests.
Even though this is nice, it reminds me that

A is for "April showers bring May flowers, but April snowstorms just bring extra school days."
Hmph.

A...is for April.