Friday, March 21, 2014

Not my will but Yours.

This week has been the worst week of the semester for me thus far. I can't even tell you the emotional strain of what has been going on this past week.

First off we get back from spring break with of course 20 million things to do…a 7 page paper, meetings, dress rehearsals, voice lessons, a presentation, auditions.

This semester our School of Music here at my university is undergoing a lot of changes. In the process, my mentor and friend Dr. Songer who was the conductor of my all women's choir Ladies of Lee's contract was not renewed for next year. It came out of the blue for all of us and although I have no doubt she will do amazing things no matter where she is, (she actually just got a job in Iowa so she is in Deon's state at least,) the fact that she was our ONLY female conductor, and the person I looked up to the most and was planning on studying conducting with till I graduated is absolutely heartbreaking. Her last Ladies concert was this week and watching all the girls try to hold back their tears the whole concert and then all of us crying afterwards….people keep saying it's bittersweet, but all I feel is the bitter.

The reasons behind all this are complicated and really not my business to be sharing, so I won't. But to say that we have all been okay with it is a lie. I am extremely upset, and I disagree strongly with some decisions being made. This has resulted in some other changes that have happened in the SOM and yet another professor who does a lot in the school of music is planning on leaving after this semester. It was also extremely unexpected and has left a lot of us floundering, not to mention most of the faculty.

On top of the night that a lot of that came out in the open, I had a voicemail from my mother stating that my Grandma fell and cracked her head open. The way the voicemail started, for about two minutes I honestly thought that she had died and was in absolute hysterics. Thankfully, she is at home now, but they did discover a tumor in her head. They do not know what kind it is yet and she will have to have some tests done, but we already almost lost her last year and this was all really scary. I am so thankful that I had Deon in that moment, because I completely broke down.

There was also some other things involving some hopes that I had for some leadership positions in some stuff I am involved in that I really thought were going to work out, but I ended up being the only person who didn't get an officer position, the reasons behind it were very complicated and not because they didn't think I could do any of the jobs, but I hate the reasons behind it because honestly, they are stupid and petty. And it hurt me to know that there were people who I thought had my back, or who at the very least were willing to give me a chance, didn't at all. I feel like I have been constantly overlooked when it comes to positions of leadership and it broke my heart, that after three years of being here, I still have nothing to show for it and that no one trusts me enough to be a leader.

I'm just really struggling with heartbreak, emotional drainage, and bitterness right now. I really don't know who I can trust save for maybe three people in my life here at Lee. I miss my family, and I am very worried about my Grandma. Please, if you read this keep her in prayer.

And keep me in prayer too. Pray that I take this stuff to the Lord. I know He knows exactly why things didn't work out the way I had hoped. He knows why all these changes are taking place…pray for me to rest in that.

In all of this I can say I am extremely grateful to have Deon by my side. He always supports me, and he has been incredible this week. He always knows how to cheer me up, he always defends me, and when I was a sobbing wreck, he took me aside and just held me. I am blessed to have someone who is always by my side. He has been wonderful at showing Christ's love to me this week.

Not my will, but Yours be done Lord.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The tale of ACDA, the Econolodge Hotel from Hell, and other Adventures.

Aka Spring Break 2014.

So I got to leave for spring break earlier than everyone else, because a group of us went to the American Director's Choral Association Conference in Jacksonville Florida! ACDA has several divisions and this was the southern one. It basically was a three day conference full of lectures on choral music, music education, singing, show choir, and in between all that were performances by fabulous choirs of different ages and conductors. I loved it! I cannot wait till conducting is my living completely. I learned so much in the lectures. My favorite conductor was Simon Halsey who conducted Balthshazzar's Feast on the final evening concert of the conference. I attended his lecture and found out that although he went to a school in England where he was raised to be in choir, he never had a speck of conducting training, but fell into it naturally and now he's one of the best conductors around. He was incredible. I left feeling inspired. One of my professional goals is to have my choir be asked to perform at an ACDA conference.

While the conference was fabulous, we did have some mishaps on the way…like staying in a really REALLY ghetto, gross, Econolodge, that I was convinced we were going to get murdered in, our stuff stolen, or leave with bedbugs.

Before a show choir concert. 

Our ACDA Lee Student Chapter. I look super awkward. 

My pictures don't do it justice. Seriously. Our shower was a bomb shelter. 

The room doesn't look too bad, but it smelled of smoke, my bedspread had some weird stains, and the carpet…well. 

Us outside of the conference center. 

Simon Halsey conducting Balthshazzar's Feast. 

One of the few nights my hair sort of behaved. Floridian humidity drove it wild!

Rachel and I. 

After three days of that, Nick, Deon and I cheerfully bid our friends goodbye, and drove another four hours to Boca Raton Florida to visit Deon's old roommate and good friend Tyler. Sadly, I forgot to get a pic with him, but we got ourselves a very cheap and NICE hotel and spent two days living it up on the beach. It was heaven.

The Beach we spent most of our time at. 

I've been getting to do a lot of reading! 

On the pier. 

Nice huh? 


On our last day, we drove three hours to the St. Petersburg for our last beach day on the Gulf this time! This was the day I got pretty sunburned but I know a nice tan will be coming out of it. I have a few more days of break left and then it's hell week, but I'm so thankful I got to enjoy some great choral music and warm weather with my favorite people!

Also some Deon gems from our trip: 

"You know that song with Eminmememe?" *Enimem* 

"Let's go in this Surf Shop and buy some Douche tanks and take some douche pics and make everyone hate us." 
We did it. See picture above. 

"Oh God, I look like a Mexican." *after tanning*
Me: Stares in disgust while I freckle even MORE. 

*In the rain walking from the concert hall to the conference* "I want to walk ALONG THE RIVER IN THE RAIN BECAUSE IT MAKES ME HAPPY." 

*Watching some pale boys play volleyball on the beach* "Oh my God, I just had an idea that could make millions. That kid is so pale it looked like he was sparkling in the sun for a sec like Edward Cullen. I could make sparkling body gel spray or something that makes them glitter in the sun like a vampire…all those teenage girls would buy it cuz they so thirsty." 
Hmmm he may be on to something...

Hope all my fellow college kids enjoyed your break!