"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." ~Plato

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Try to Remember the Kind of September...

when life was simple, without much homework...

Jeeze.  Sophomore year - everything picks up in the first week!  This past week was the first full one of the year and man was it took forever to end!  But here we are on Saturday night, and everything is okay.

I guess an alternate title for the post would be "Keep Calm and Carry On".  I had my OH MY GOSH AM I DOING THE RIGHT MAJOR crisis this past weekend.  At least, it started - we'll see if it comes back up again over the course of the semester/year... *sigh*  Lots of tears and worry, but also lots of hugs and supportive words from friends and my parents.  Thanks to everybody who listened and gave me advice; it's nice to know that people care.  The plan for now is to stay in my Music Ed. class for the semester.  I had been thinking for most of this week that I'll probably switch to Vocal Performance at the end of the semester, but I'm not sure again.  I've just got to talk to teachers, my peers, and give myself time to experience and give my heart time to decide.  That's my problem, really - I'm not sure what's on my heart in terms of what I want in my future.  I want bits of it all, but what is the best path for me to take to get there?? 

But everything is okay for now.  I'm feeling peaceful again.  I'm still busy though, of course.  Between my classes and work, I hardly have time to practice piano, voice, and choir music!  I'm still working on a solid schedule for my music practicing, but it'll happen.  For now, I've had to sneak them in whenever I can.  Everything is going well though.  I'm excited for our plans for voice this year - lots of music to find.  Advanced Keyboarding is going to be great and really practical.  My instructor, Amy Grinsteiner, is pretty awesome.  :)  And, last but not least, I made it into Choir of the West this year!  It is considered PLU's premiere choir, based on the intense musicality of the members.  And, let me tell you, it is intense!  In the past four days of rehersal this week we have learned the majority of 5 songs (maybe one or two more?).  In just our first week of class!  I'm sooo thrilled to be a part of it!  And the cherry on top is that I get to go on the international tour to Germany and France at the end of May/beginning of June in 2011!  WOOO EUROPE!!!  hahaha.

In other news, I'm loving my other classes.  Especially English 232 - Women's Literature.  We're studying graphic novels and our first one was Wonder Woman: Rise of the Olympian.  It was crazy!  A lot of heavy themes, especially revolving around genocide.  Not what you'd expect in a comic book whose main audience is teenage boys...  I'm hoping that this class will also cover my 4 hours of literature requirement for my writing minor.  It would make things so much easier!

Oh!  An exciting thing about this weekend!  I auditioned for PLU's Night of Musical Theatre last night and tonight.  The singing auditions yesterday went peachy keen, but the dance auditions tonight went really great for me as well!  I even got asked to stay to learn the "advanced" lyrical audition dance.  I never would have expected that in a million years... really.  But it wasn't that hard.  I consider my dance skills about the same as my piano skills - I can, but not often and not that well... but apparently I'm at least okay.  I think I need to start having a little more confidence in myself about those things.  :)  But it's been a while since I've danced and I'm already feeling the soreness.  If I can get out of bed without falling over tomorrow, it will be a bit of a miracle.  haha. 

That's all I can think of for now!  Maybe there will be another blog before the end of this month!  hah.  If not, talk to you in October!  :)

Peace, love, & harmony,
<3 Erin

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summertime and the Livin' is...

no longer busy!  :) 

It has been one crazy summer vacation.  Soooo much to do!  And all of that finally culminated in my voice recital this past Friday evening.  Waking up on Saturday was a bit surreal - it's all done!  Just five more days of work and I'm home free.  Well, I have 4 days to get all of my school supplies together and I move in on Wednesday September 1st.  But it's still a liberating feeling.

Don't get me wrong though!  I have most definitely enjoyed everything I have done this summer.  Like I said before, Girl Scout Camp was fun and fulfilling.  I'm looking forward to next year!  My Psychology class was super interesting and pretty darn easy.  I ended the quarter with a 99%... but I think some of that had to do with how much I enjoyed reading the textbook.  :)

Opera Week deserves its own paragraph!  It was such a blast.  Everyone was super talented, but we also all improved.  Most of the workshop focused on the acting side of performance, as opposed to the technicalities of vocal production - a welcome change from what might have been expected!  It was exciting, as a lot of the people there are PLU students and/or will be in the opera Semele that PLU is putting on in J-Term.  Talk about some early cast bonding!  haha.  It was also great to find a friend in Dr. Brown.  He worked with Yoshi and I on our scene and it was so much fun to put together.  I had just never really gotten the chance to know him beyond seeing him at singing functions last year.  I also had a great time really getting to know my friend Mary, who drove us to PLU and back everyday (and to Seattle on that Thursday to see Tristan und Isolde).  We both studied voice with Kerstin O'Shields for 6 years and ended up at PLU together, but we never really were more than aquaintence-friends.  Well that changed pretty quickly.  Somewhat sadly, she's headed to Central this year instead, but we're determined to keep in touch.  It's also because of her excellent taste in music that I need to add Regina Spektor, Paramore, and Florence & The Machine to my iTunes.  :)

The success of the Opera Workshop helped open my eyes even more to the singing world.  But I've kind of decided that this year will be my time of exploration and my chance to really decipher whether or not Music Ed is the right road for me.  I'm looking forward to my Music Ed classes, and seeing what it's all about.  I'm also really excited for the opera and experiencing more of that type of performing.  I have faound that I really love singing classical.  Contemporary and musical theatre is fun, but it feels so much better singing classical and, in some ways, easier to connect with emotionally.  So, my current status regarding my future: we shall see.  :)  (But isn't that everyone's really?)

My last and final major project this summer was my voice recital.  It went over quite successfully, in my opinion!  :)  I sang a total of 14 songs - 8 classical and 6 contemporary/musical theatre.  2 of the classical pieces were duets.  The entirety is posted on my brand-spanking-new Youtube channel!  www.youtube.com/user/ErinMWhite  I hope everyone enjoys the videos and I look forward to sharing more in the future.

So, now onto 5 more days of KCDA (there has been a 10 day countdown... heh), 4 days of "rest" and "relaxation" amid inventory assessment, shopping, and packing for school, and back to PLU I go for sophomore year!  I can't wait!  Especially because I am rooming with the fabulous Stephanie Bivins!  :D  I'm sure there are plenty of crazy videos, pictures, and stories of our adventures in the year ahead!  Woot woot!  haha.

<3 Erin

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hello, July!

Where did June go?  Anyone see it?  I pretty much didn't.  Time has gone crazy fast.  It seems like it was just January and now it's summer already?!  Well, "summer" anyway - as most Washingtonians would put it.  I'm looking forward to the 80 degree weather we are supposedly getting this week.  Can't get our hopes up too high, though.  hah.
June was fairly uneventful - hence the non-blogging about it.  I started my 40/week job (and am so thankful for it) on the 11th.  I spent a week at Girl Scout Camp, from June 19th - 26th.  That was crazy, but also fun and fulfilling.  And then it was back to work this past week.  Whoop-de-doo.  I did get to hang out with my good friend Haley this past Friday and this was a 3-day holiday weekend - thank the Lord!  Our 4th of July was uneventful, as always.  Just the four of us at home.  I spent most of my evening working on Psychology reading/homework.  We went out into our court at about 10pm to watch the crazy-illegal fireworks that our crazy (but not illegal) neighbors set off every year.  The kids at the end of the street were setting off nice, non-illegal ones - they were cute.  :) 
The rest of my month will be working during the week and hopefully seeing people on the weekends.  This coming weekend, my aunt and uncle, and maybe my cousin, are coming up to visit for a night from California.  The grown-ups are going to play golf.  I'm hoping my cousin comes so we can go do something.  If not, Emily and I can just get out of the house anyway.  Maybe I'll drag her thrift-shopping.  The next weekend my roommate for next year, Stephanie, is coming up with her parents.  At least, that is supposedly the plan.  I'm not sure about how that weekend is going to go.  Then it's the SJTB Girl's Retreat on the 23rd - 24th.  Oh yeah, and my birthday is somewhere in there too.  haha.  I was hoping to do something for it, but it's not looking very likely, unless I do it the following weekend.  And August is its own craziness.  Welcome to my life!  haha.
In other news, I'm excited for my voice lessons to be starting up again tomorrow.  I really need it.  I'm a little worried that I haven't done much vocal upkeep since school ended, but it will be fine, I'm sure.  I'm desperately trying/hoping to work out a voice recital towards the middle or end of August...  I would really like that (as would many others, I hope.  haha)!  Between recital planning and prepping for the August Opera Workshop at PLU, I am being fully immersed in the singing world.  I'm super thankful that I got that subscription to Classical Singer magazine.  It makes me feel completely geeky - but I love it SO much!!  I've also subscribed to a bunch of by/for singers blogs.  They are fun and informative. 
The only issue I'm having with all of this is that I'm kind of starting to doubt my choice of Major for school...  I was probably 95% confident in wanting to teach when I declared in May, but looking at all of this vocal stuff some more, I am getting pushed back into the Land of Uncertainty.  It's crazy frusturating, being so unsure.  And I don't know what to do about the timing.  I suppose if I decide I want to switch, it wouldn't be too hard to fit in a Gen Ed class in place of the Music Ed class I have in the fall.  I kind of want to wait until I do the workshop, as that will be my first experience with performing opera.  But then what if it's too late to get out of the Mus Ed/into something else by mid-August?!  Argh.  I'm praying for guidance - for who to talk to and what to do.  *sigh*

Thanks for reading all of this rambling (if you did).  :) 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


After spending approximately 3 hours a night doing school dinner dishes for at least 2 days a week, doing home dishes (rinsing, putting in dishwasher, putting away clean dishes) takes about 30 seconds.  I will never gripe again.
Added benefit: If a family member does something gross with their food, you can tell them to clean their dishes/put them in the dishwasher and they will do it - especially if they are your little sister.  :)


P.S. I am glad to be home.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some End of the Year Craziness

So, I've stopped working on homework (alternating Anthropology studying and final theory composition... composing...) this evening - er, early morning.  I can no longer concentrate, but I don't want to walk back across campus in the midnight dark by myself, so I will wait for Rachel and Rachel, who I am studying with. 

I feel as though that intro was not very coherent.  Props if you followed it.  :)

It's the end of the year!  Or almost.  My first year of college has FLOWN by.  Seriously.  Like a jet plane.  A really really really fast jet plane.  Zoom.  (Yes, I think you get it.  haha)

I mean, it has definitely been a long time since things first began in September, but I've never experienced time speeding up quite like it did this school year.  Is this growing up?  I'm not sure how much I like that...  Don't get me wrong, I like the benefits of being an adult (or young adult, as older adults would say), but this whole time warp wasn't something I knew about.  Was that in the contract, life?!  (FYI at 12:30 in the morning, I say things I think are funny that nobody else does... they usually sound better in my head.)

I'm excited for school to be done this year.  I loved it, but I am itching to stop being scholarly for a while.  Probably after about two weeks of summer vacation, I will go crazy and pick up 5 million books from the library to occupy my time, but for now, I want to stop thinking and sleep, or zone out in front of a television.  That's not to say I don't have plenty to do this summer.  I am working at KCDA again... for those who don't know, that is "King County Directors' Association", a school supplies distributor (aka middle-man).  It's a warehouse job.  I'm not anticipating it being fun, but I'm hoping it won't be absolutely miserable.  It wasn't too bad last summer and I'll have friends there, so it should at least be okay.  And it pays well.  $$$ is what counts!
I am also volunteering for Camp Madrona Girl Scout Camp again this summer!  It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to don my camp name and do it all again!  That week is also the week that my online Psyc 100 class that I am taking through Green River Community College begins.  I need that credit to transfer to PLU as a Psyc 101 credit to fulfill a pre-requisite for the school of education (that, my friends, is a mouthful to explain to people).  I am also participating in PLU's Summer Opera Workshop during the second week of August!  It goes from 8 to 5 Monday to Friday and Saturday is the dress rehersal and performance at 3pm.  I'm really excited to work with some awesome coaches and hone my skillage.  hahaha.

Speaking of opera!  Well, first of all, today has just been a really excellent day.  :)  Mostly just small reasons, but those are sometimes the best.  But the biggest news I got today was that I made it into PLU's next opera, Semele by Handel, and I got a supporting role!!!  I was fairly confident about just getting into the chorus, but I wasn't expecting anything big!  I am playing Iris, the attendent to the Goddess Juno, who is the wife of the God Jupiter, who is having an affair with the mortal (and title character) Semele.  Talk about a soap opera, right?!  (haha... I just realized opera... soap opera.... yeah.  Like I said, things I find funny that you won't.)  Apparently for first years (girls especially) this is kind of a big deal.  It really has boosted my confidence not only for my jury, aka my singing final, which is this upcoming Tuesday, but kind of about my voice in general and where I stand here.  It's so hard to tell here ... there are sooooooo many amazing singers!  It's going to be a fantastic cast though.  I can't wait!

Ummmm, what else before I head off?  Oh, my schedule for next year.  I will be in the next set of music classes - Ear Training III, Theory II, Advanced Keyboarding, voice lessons, and Foundations of Music Education - and then a PE raquetball class and a Women's Literature class.  I am geeking out about the lit class, as the teacher sent out the booklist a week ago for us to start preparing this summer.  I think it's about 13 or 14 books... crazy!  But exciting!  And this class is ultra-exciting because it fulfills a part of my (undelcared still) writing minor!  I can't wait!

Alrighty, time to go!  The Rachels are ready.  :)
Goodnight and love,

<3 Erin

Monday, April 19, 2010

39 Days

It looks like this is going to be a once-a-month kind of blog... but that's better than never, right?  :)
In my last post I discussed my classes and Leavenworth.  hmmm, it has been a while.  haha.

Well, my classes are still going well - all As still so far.  My second Biology exam was last Friday and my second Anthropology midterm is this Thursday.  I studied/am studying hard for both, so we'll see what happens!  I didn't feel as confident about this Bio test... but it wasn't bad at all.  I'm hoping that our review session tomorrow in Anthro will boost my confidence for this next test.  I'm working my way through the study guide but I don't feel sure about much of anything.  I'm confident that it will all be fine, though.

And, well, Leavenworth.  It was a good experience, and I love the town, but over the weekend there I decided that it wasn't what I wanted to do with my first summer after college.  I got a callback for the Sound of Music (the nuns' quartet), but I called the audition coordinator and - although I didn't say it outright in my message - intentionally gave the impression that I would not be participating this year.  It was, as I said, a good experience though, auditioning somewhere where no one knows who I am.  It was also helpful in my decision about my major - which is a great segue into my big news for this past month!  haha.

I declared my major!!  I am a Music Education major with a concentration in secondary (middle/high school) choral!  I am so excited.  Having that decision made makes me feel grounded somehow, like the next few years are solidified, at least partially.  I am strongly considering a minor in English with a Writing emphasis.  I think I could do it, as there is a broad spectrum of classes I could take/fit into my schedule.  I am still thinking about pursuing a Masters in Vocal Performance somewhere, and I will do as much extra-curricular performance study here at PLU that I can - voice, rectials, theatre, whatever.  I'm not worried about choosing just one or the other because I can do both.  Just not in the same 4 years.  :P But I know that I don't want to strictly pursue performance (ie opera, musical theatre.... or stage life in general) - there's more in my heart than that.  I love to sing and perform, to inspire people, and - admittedly - to impress people, but there's more to life than just receiving praise for something.  I want to give them more than just a moment of music to remember... I want them to understand, appreciate, and be able to express themselves through music.  I want people to not be afraid of singing... to stop thinking they can't.  I'm not going to stop performing (that is, after all, when musicians express themselves) - I'm going to master my craft, master teaching my craft, to give it others.  And I can't wait to be able to do that.  :)

Let's see, what else, what else?  Oh!  Spring break!  haha.  How could I possibly forget about my fabulous trip to sunny Italy?!  Oh wait - that was a daydream.  :P  Naw, my spring break was lovely just being at home.  It's funny because my mom seems to think that I'm bored when I am home.  But I can just appreciate being home, where there's no pressure to study, I have my own bed, I can sleep for as long as I please (within reason), etc. etc.  Basically, I can relax.  And that is ALWAYS an excellent way to spend my time.  I will be heading home next weekend (the 30th - the 2nd) for Camp Madrona training (YAY!), back to Tacoma for our choir concert, then back home for Saturday night and Sunday because by grandmother will be visiting!  It's only been... oh, about 9 months or so since I've seen any of my California relatives.  Needless to say, I'm excited.  :)

I'm also very much looking forward to summertime!!!  Don't get me wrong - I have LOVED every moment of my first year in college and am going to cherish these next 5ish weeks.  But I am so ready to see all of my friends, to help at Camp Madrona again, to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin (who are coming up from Cali for a week in July), to turn 19, to have a car (!!!!), for - hopefully - the opera workshop week here at PLU, for - maybe - doing an/the ICON show, for - hopefully - putting on my own recital.... so many things!  I will be working at KCDA again, which I'm not completely looking forward to, but at least it's a good-paying job and I will have some friends there so, for now, I won't complain.  haha.

I think that's pretty much everything.  I'm registering for Fall classes on Wednesday, so there might be an update about that... keyword might (in case you didn't catch that... :P)

Okay, goodnight!

P.S.  Current obsession "The Light in the Piazza".  It's a Broadway show - and is absolutely beautiful.  Look it up on youtube!! :)

P.P.S.  Here are some Leavenworth photos!!

The amazing mountains!

"Gingerbread" houses!

Bollywood filmers!

Christmas pigs!

I love it so much!! <3

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life Update Before Midnight

A most excellent title, no?  My intention is to have this post be both quick and informational... we'll see which one wins.  Maybe it will be a tie!  Such is my goal.

So, my life.  Life is good.  *insert cool outdoorsy picture of guy and dog here* 

But really, everything is going quite well.  I had anticipated taking 17 credits being a little more challenging than this, but I'm not going to complain about free time!  I'm taking the standard music classes (Theory 1, Ear Training 2, Keyboarding, Choir, Voice) along with Biology 111 - "Biology in the Modern World" - and Anthropology 103 - "Introduction to Archaeology and World Prehistory".  Both are fairly simple.  I have had enough free time to READ FOR PLEASURE!!  Say what?!  That doesn't happen in college!  If you're reading books that aren't for classes, you will DIE of procrastination.  But I'm not procrastinating!  It is a very strange but wonderful phenomenon.  :)  Oh... and I will have a PE class in the second half of this semsester.  It will be 8am Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  I feel that the time alone will make it fairly difficult.  hah.

Although I say now that both of my non-music classes are simple... my first Bio exam is tomorrow and my Anthro midterm is Tuesday.  I'm not too worried about the Biology (hence, I am taking time to do this instead of anxiously review my notes for the third time...) but I'm not completely sure about how the Anthro midterm will go.  I mean, I'm pretty positive I'll be fine, but I know I need time to study this weekend which I will not have because:


I leave PLU with my dad tomorrow at 3, we stop by my house for about 15 minutes, and then it's off to Leavenworth!  ("Off to Leavenworth" sounds a lot like "Off to Neverland!"  *cue exciting flying music*  Or better yet - here: I specifically reference ~ 0:40 :) )  Except we are driving for 3.5ish  hours... not flying to the second star to the right.  Oh well.  haha.

I do my singing audition at 9pm tomorrow, and then dance auditions for The Sound of Music are at 8:15am on Saturday, and How to Succeed dancing is at 11:00 ish.  Callbacks are Sunday and hopefully I'll be there for them!  Basically, the results of this weekend will play a large role in me figuring out if I will be living in Leavenworth this summer or not.  So, it's a BIG WEEKEND.  :D  I'm not nervous yet, just excited and kind of anxious to get going.  I'm probably most concerned about the dancing, because I haven't done so in a while and don't have a very clear idea of how difficult it will be... oh well.  I trust in my Kate Mosbarger training!  :)  Yes yes yes.  I will of course update after this weekend and let everyone* know what I think and the results (when I get them). 

*Everyone being the very small number of people who read this.  :) 

So, we have reached the end.  And I think it was most definitely a tie.  YAY! 
I will leave you with pictures of some important ways I have spent my time at college in the past few days:


I don't know what they are so anxious about... perhaps we will find out in the next installment! (Yes, a next installment!)

Haha.  Okay, good night everyone*!