gold medals, halloween, hiatus

very very quick post.

first of all, WE GOT A GOLD MEDAL AT MBDA MARCHING BAND FINALS. it was a totally epic show, and i'm loving walking around school with my three gold medals today. i love being in the marching band...and the jingly clanking sound that they make is very happy and bright. go gold!

today is halloween, and we just made SLIME in chemistry class. it was awesome. i <3 slime.
tonight i'm going as katniss everdeen from the hunger games and i'm going trick or treating with anna, lucy, and mackenzie :)
bwahaha. who says we high schoolers aren't allowed to trick or treat?

also, tomorrow is the first day of NaNoWriMo!!!! because this month will be completely devoted to my noveling pursuits, i will only be posting weekly updates on this blog. so, every tuesday, look for a novel update....and maybe even an excerpt! click on the button on the sidebar to view my page to see how i'm doing and become my writing buddy if you're writing this month too.



Love Me Some Beethoven

I love my Owl City, my Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Train, PINK, and everything else.

But my heart lies with the masters:


and the other masters of the classical music. 

Call me a geek.......but honestly, this is where it's at. These people were master composers, it's a shame so many people don't appreciate their music now, because it is amazing.
You ask someone "What's your favorite Beethoven symphony?" they will probably respond with either:
(a. The fifth because it's the most famous (especially the beginning)
(b. The ninth because it has the theme that EVERYBODY knows Beethoven for. You know....Ode To Joy? That theme.

Personally, my favorite is the fourth, but I adore the seventh almost as much.

The point of this post? Go out of your comfort zone and listen to some classical music. Just listen and let the music flow. Just try something new.

My suggestions?


(a very short selection from this symphony can be found HERE)


(First movement HERE, Third movement HERE)


(Full length recording HERE)


(Short recording HERE)

There are so many amazing classical pieces, these happen to be four of my all-time favorites.
Check them out and tell me what you think!


Going for the Gold

One more week.
Ten or more hours of ensemble practice.
Countless hours of the music and drill running through my brain.

Welcome to finals week.

When once again, I become caught up in an even more constant stream of marching band, to fix every single little detail so that it is completely flawless.

Sometimes, our band is so caught up in being perfect, it scares me just a bit. Winning is so ingrained into our thought process that any other outcome is just not there. We know what we need to do in this next week, and we're on the right track now, after scoring very very well at last night's show.

The standard that we must meet.

Probably the most important thing to our band director, the thing that we must uphold at all costs.

The only thinkable outcome, the one we must achieve to fully have had a successful season.

 I welcome myself now, into a very crazy week as we go for the gold.


A Flurry Of Auditions

Well! Auditions for this year's festivals are over for me (no more Hornpipe and Sweet Georgia Brown - thank goodness because I'm sick of them both), and the results are in!


Tuesday was my audition for district honors concert band. I've been in honors band for the past four years (that's every year since sixth grade...) and I always have a lot of fun and get a good chair. I thought my audition for this went so so much better than last year's so I was feeling good about it. And out of the thirty-five people in the district who auditioned on trumpet.....I was fourth best! Fourth chair = first part which is better than I was hoping for. I figured I would be playing second trumpet given the competition and because I knew I could have played the piece better, so I'm really happy about my placement!


Last Friday (As I told you in a post) I auditioned for jazz all-state. The competition for this is HUGE as trumpet is a very very popular instrument, and besides, it's within the whole state, not just the district. As a sophomore, I know I'm a very good player, but because they only take eleven trumpets I knew my odds were not necessarily in my favor. However, I had been working on this piece since March, went into the audition feeling prepared, and ended up having a very very solid audition. Yay me. Anyway, I felt that even if I didn't get in, I really did do my best, and I would be OK with that. 
While waiting for results, I did a little research on what the composition of the three jazz all-state bands are. There's a combo which is basically a lot of improv, a regular jazz band, and an honors jazz band. The best improvisier and soloist goes to the combo, and the other top ten trumpets go into the other two bands - the first five to honors and the second to regular. I figured that if I made it, I would be in regular jazz band but.......
Which means I'm in the honors jazz band, and also just about the fifth best high school jazz trumpet player in the state.

I am so happy.



So....I like to talk. I enjoy it very much.
My friends say I'm a really good listener, and I guess I can listen fine, but I really like to talk.
Which is why I was not very happy at all when I woke up this morning and couldn't utter a sound.
My voice has been scratchy and cracky for a couple of days and it was evidentially leading up to this. Sigh.
I guess being sick for a few days plus epic raucous singing on the bus back home from auditions on Friday can do this to you...

Anyway, it was really weird not being able to talk....
It made things a little difficult talking to my teachers and explaining why I was absent last Thursday and Friday, and when I had to be fitted for formal wear for wind ensemble, well, that was an adventure. The parents kept telling me not to whisper, that I should be proud about being a size two, not be ashamed. I wanted to tell them that, no, being a size two is quite fine by me and I was whispering because I couldn't talk, but of course I couldn't because they couldn't hear me. :P

When I got home though, I had a bunch of work to do so not talking wasn't a problem.
I first started by choosing my music. I was in the mood for some Haydn today so I put on a CD with his Horn Concerto no. 1 in D major (LOVE), Harpsicord Concerto in D major, Double Concerto in F major for Violin and Piano, and Trumpet Concerto in E flat major. They were very nice pieces to listen to while working, and after listening to that I ended up putting on some Mozart. Classical musical geek, that's me.

One thing I had to do to study for my APUSH test tomorrow was to make about a million flashcards....they took me forever.

I also had to finish this satire poster in which I satirize Americans eating habits....that was fun. And my poster turned out great too!

Oh, I really hope my voice is back tomorrow, it's been a stressful day without it.....


Off To All-State

Hey everyone! I'm typing this while sitting on a bus to Augusta with ten other band geeks for jazz all-state auditions. I'm really excited, I've been preparing for this audition since March and I just want to go in, have fun with the audition and hopefully get in. 

For the audition we have to play two major scales, a chromatic scale from low F sharp to high C, sightreading, and then the tune Sweet Georgia Brown, the etude to the same chord changes, and improv, so it's a pretty intense audition. This is the etude:

It's really fun actually. Very swing, very playable. It almost just plays itself which is pretty cool. Anyway I'm excited - Wish me luck! :)

PS- Jenny says "hi blog!"

*UPDATE* I'm on the way back from my audition - and it went really really well. I'm a very happy girl right now. Can't wait for results on Monday :)


PSAT, Fiddler, Florida

Today has been an exciting sort of day.

I started it off with the PSAT. I wasn't nervous going into the test, and I didn't need to be because honestly, it was pretty easy.... I felt really really good about the reading and writing parts especially and the math was easier than anticipated. YAY.

The really exciting thing that happened today was that they posted what the musical is going to be for this year along with the cast list. Last year was Les Mis which was simply incredible and this year it's time for....



I'm really excited. Fiddler is a great musical and I really like it so this should be a lot of fun. Bring on the pit rehearsals!

Another really cool thing that's been happening that I don't think I've told you yet is that I'm going to Florida over February vacation - with the band! We get to do some performances and workshops at Disney, and spend time at all the theme parks there, plus spend a day at Universal at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. SO EXCITED. It's going to be an amazing trip, and I've been feverishly fundraising for it. I made my first payment today, so it's now official. Florida, here I come!

Only bad thing today is that I've felt awful and sick. Of course this has to come up when I have tests tomorrow auditions for All-State and districts on Friday and Tuesday respectively and a show on Saturday. This better clear up, NOW.


What Exactly Are We Celebrating?

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!

"Indians!  Indians!"  Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But "India" the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he'd been told.

He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American?  No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

Oh Columbus day. Please. We should not be celebrating this guy.
First of all, he didn't "find" America. American Indians had been here already for ages, and besides, Lief Erikson and the Vikings can claim right to being the first Europeans in the New World.
Also, Columbus was a downright meanie. The Arakawa native people were nice to the Europeans, and what did Columbus do? He killed them, raped them, forced them to lead his crew to find gold, and packed them up onto his ships to be sold into slavey back in Spain. And that's the nice way to put the truth. In short, Christopher Columbus began the widespread utter destruction of the Indies. Just the guy we want as the finder of or land right?
Sure, he gets us a day off of school, and it's an excuse for sales, but really?

This guy?

Not so much.


Peppermint Pleasure

Ahh....the perfect thing to have after a long Friday at school, before a three and a half hour marching band practice in the cold.

Peppermint tea.

= love.


How I Became A Convict

OK, so, this is where my dirty little secret comes out.

Shhh....are you ready? OK, here it goes....

i'm a convict.

 i have committed an illegal crime against the United States of America.

In chemistry class.

Now, you probably are all like "WHAT?!" right now and wondering what awful thing I did in chemistry. Trust me, it wasn't that bad. 

Here's the thing. I have defaced federal currency, which apparently is a crime. There goes my perfect record....
Anyway, the whole thing is sort of funny because it's all part of a lab we did this week in honors chem. It all started when our teacher rocked our worlds by telling us that by 1982, copper had gotten so expensive that they couldn't afford to make pennies out of it anymore. So they started making zinc pennies and just coat the outside with a thin sheet of copper. Crazy, right? I mean, WHO KNEW?
So we did a lab to figure out how true that was, and in the process ended up defacing several pennies.

FIRST- we sawed four chinks into the sides of the penny.

THEN- we dropped the pennies into hydrochloric acid

And lo and behold, this morning when we entered class, all that was left was a copper shell. The zinc was dissolved by the acid leaving just a very very paper thin sheet of metal with zinc dust still clinging to the inside. It was radical.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I became a convict.

*takes bow*


The Epitome of Monday

I hate Mondays. I hate them.

Last Friday was a good day, all dressed up and ready for our marching band competition on Saturday. It was fairly warmish too, so I was able to dress in a more summery-fall fashion, with nice sandals and a floaty blue skirt. 
Then Saturday came, and with it, the rain. It didn't stop us from practicing the rain for two and a half hours before moving to the gym for the last bit. (We would have done the whole practice outside, but the show was going to be indoors because of the rain so we had to prep for that.)
The show itself was really fun for an indoor show! We stood in this one GIANT horn arc around the edges of the gym and had the colorguard stand in the middle which actually had a really cool effect. Now, we are the biggest band in the division, with 86 band members and 52 of them in hornline. (Remember, this is Maine....) And if that many people can make a huge wall of sound out on a field, just imagine for a moment the amount of sound we produce inside of a gym. Yeah....that's a lot of sound. We literally made people jump when we played our first note. It was awesome. And when it came time for awards, we found out that we had gotten 4 stars (FOUR STAHHHHS!) in all captions, which was a really really good score for this point in the season. We have three more shows to get up to all five stars so we are looking really good. Go marching band! And the celebratory late-night Friendly's run was good as always.
Yesterday was church and Olivia's birthday party which was very fun. We went to see the movie Dream House, which is sad and creepy but a really good movie. Dinner, presents, and cake followed and were very good too.
So it was an excellent weekend.  
And then came today.

Today just started out badly. With cold and tiredness. School was not much better. I was given about a million projects and a ton of homework and the school was literally freezing cold. I was shivering all day long and had goosebumps all over. 
Now onto a doctor's appointment and that evil homework.

I hate these Mondays. Grr.