Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Other Half, ...2/3... well 9/10ths of My life.

Most of you know, because of my belly-aching, that I am desperately trying to finish my 394 years of college. Hopefully that will be happening this March... if the Lord decides to cut me a break. Much of what I am doing now is writing a big fat Orchestra piece that will be played in the spring by the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Orchestra. That may not mean anything to many of you but it is the equivalent of having the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform your music. Or if you have written a rock song it is the equivalent of having Nirvana Jam out on it. They are a phenomenal group of players. The whole Shepherd School is just teaming with the next generation of Major Philharmonic players. As far as Performance and Symphony Orchestras go, there are only about 4 other Colleges in the States that Can Hang with the Shepherd Chamber Orchestra. So, that being said, I have been blessed to be a part of this School for the past 3 years. I have also been blessed to NOT have to pay for it and to actually GET PAID to go there as long as I teach some theory. What the heck Baylor????

The fact that I am teaching theory and ear training still baffles me a bit. In undergrad I was the WORST theory student a teacher could be cursed with. I constantly questioned my professor(s) about the necessity of theory and accused them of sucking all the Joy out of various works that we were to analyze. I made peace with one professor one semester when he allowed me to turn in an "emotional" analysis along with the mathematical analysis of the music. So, by being arrogant and bull-headed I doubled my load of work for that class. I skated out of my music theory classes with mostly C's and a few mercy B's. Not in my wildest fantasies would I have ever imagined that I would be teaching music at on of the best music schools in the U.S. Not EVER. But here I am, doing it and I have to tell you that I have LOOOVED it. Every blessed moment. These students are great and their attitude and work ethic is WAAAAAY beyond mine. They set a great example for me and I am honored to be teaching them.


Douglas_Coombs said...

"there are only about 4 other Colleges in the States that Can Hang with the Shepherd Chamber Orchestra."

Just out of curiosity, what schools would those be?

Seth Ward said...

Ooooooo, Now, that sounds kinda like a set-up to me... Orchestras can get like ball teams.

Well, as far as orchestras go... I would say...

1. Julliard
2. I.U.
3. St. Olaf (I hear)
4. Eastman

Some Say U of M has one of the best but I was up there to hear them one semester and I thought they were good but a little bored because they were good.

I think much of it has to do with Rice's Conductor. He is pretty incredible.

euphrony said...

9/10ths. Definately 9/10ths. From my experience with trying to finish off my thesis, 9/10ths plus a little. One of the happy times I can remember is finishing the thesis, taking it in to the thesis clerk for review, and not having her send it back because of a too-small font, a margin the was off by 0.1 millimeters, or other small excuse.

Q: Will the final performance be open to the public?

Lindsey said...

As a Indiana University School of Music Alumni, with two degree, I can say the orchestras are definitely some of the best I have every listened to or performed with, so far in my career. I am glad to see you included them in your list. I would have put them first, though. :) I'm sure Alex and I would argue if Juilliard should be first, but since he went to IU also, I guess it is kind of a tie. I am so pleased you love teaching. Having an enthusiastic teacher who wants to be there is so important to students.

Seth Ward said...

Euphrony, I totally remember what a pain that was. Good Lord. On top of everything I had just started dating Amber which made all of that editing that much more tedious. Hard to concentrate on margins when your in love. (awwwwe)

Lindsey! We can't wait to see you guys when we get up to the big Apple this week. Hope I can meet your hubby. Will Alex be there this weekend?

Lindsey said...

Y'all are going to be here this weekend! I am so excited. Do y'all already have a place to stay? If not, you are welcome to stay with us. If so, no big deal, but we have to try and have dinner together one night, at least. Alex will be here this weekend. He gets back from a gig on Friday. Woohoo, Amber and Seth in the Big Apple!