Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've written a letter of protest about the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber production going on at my school. I'm going to be collecting signatures over the next few days, and I plan to submit it sometime next week.

I hope I'm not kicked out of school :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Andrew Lloyd Webber

I like musicals. The highlights of my trips to New York City have been the shows I saw on broadway. However, not all musicals are created equal- which brings me to my current issue.

My university is producing a huge musical revue this semester: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber is probably most well-known as the creator of Phantom of the Opera, although he's also written other commercially successful shows such as Evita, Cats, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

There's no denying that Webber's been very successful in his career. I'm not the biggest fan of his musicals (neither the music nor the stories are well-written in my opinion), but they've been very successful. Evidently the man for whom the fine arts college at my university is named has a personal connection to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and had the brilliant idea to sponsor this production.

This production has replaced the usual annual large-scale work that the choirs do. We have gone from Mozart's Requiem to Mendelssohn's Elijah to Orff's Carmina Burana... to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Most students in a music school attend that school with the expectation of studying classical music. Voice students are required to be in a choir a specific number of times in their career at the university, and as such they have no choice but to participate in the production.

Rehearsals for this production have lasted up to 5 hours at a time, and the choirs were informed of these rehearsals only three or four days in advance. The production doesn't open for another week, and I see the students involved in this production around me becoming increasingly stressed and frazzled as they try to balance this production on top of the schoolwork, practice schedules, and jobs they already have. Students have complained that they feel exploited, and overworked.

The tickets cost $25 apiece. The singers don't get comp tickets, the get comp dress rehearsal passes. This production clearly exists only to earn money for the university.

Although I'm not involved in this production, I will be beyond happy to see it finished with.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Open Letter

You're a pretentious asshole, and I don't think you know it. You expect everyone to accommodate your every whim, but we get sick and tired of it. You're good at what you do, but you decieve yourself with this latest pursuit. It's a mockery. Further, you need to learn to take criticism without getting huffy and seeing it as a personal attack. My request was not unreasonable, and it was in response to unprofessional behavior. Although I may have addressed you somewhat combatively, your response was condescending and rude. I'm not going to associate myself with your endeavors any longer if you're going to continue to behave this way. There's a reason you find people migrating away from projects you're at the head of, and that reason is your behavior, which can be described with a variety of words, including "self-aggrandizing," "controlling," and "delusional."

Please grow up.

Observations from the past week.

  • It's okay if people are mad at you.
  • Being busy is great. But so is not doing anything productive at all, and simply enjoying yourself. Make sure you get healthy amounts of both.
  • If the weather is conducive to driving with the windows down, then fucking do it.
  • 'Bad' words are allowed sometimes.
  • Your parents love you, and they'll always listen when you need to vent.
  • Parents still don't get you sometimes. This and the previous statement are very closely intertwined sometimes.
  • Sometimes, it's good to take a step back and look at the progress you've made over a long period of time.
  • Sometimes your friends won't get along. Most of the time, it's not your problem.
  • Being a couple of minutes late every now and then won't kill you.
  • Don't make a habit of it. Sometimes punctuality is REALLY important. Better to err on the side of caution if you're not sure.
  • It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to let some goals go in favor of other goals.
  • Making mistakes is okay.

Monday, March 28, 2011


There's a set of pieces I'm learning right now called the Danzas Argentinas, by Alberto Ginastera. They're absolutely thrilling. I've got the first and second piece learned, but the last one is a beast. It's got three glissandi in it, one toward the beginning, and two at the very end, one up and one down. Well, I was practicing the piece, and in doing so, I accidentally scraped the skin off of my middle finger during the glissando. I didn't notice until the next time I tried to do so.

One of my piano teachers once said that you haven't truly played a concert unless you've bled a little bit and lost weight in the process. I have now officially bled on the keys of a piano. I feel like a true artist? Maybe? I don't know. It's not terribly pleasant. I don't put much stock in this saying.

I need to figure out a better way to do glissandi, for sure.

I applied for a job at T.E.A. Cafe. I hope they get back to me fairly soon.

I present my platform for FEO tomorrow. I hope it goes well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fire! Fire! Fire!

I wasn't feeling very good this morning, so I decided to take a nap on the couch outside of the office in Catlett. While sitting there, I heard this loud, piercing sound ring through the building... for a split second I thought I was hallucinating, but it turns out it was just the fire alarm.

A motor somewhere in the building started smoking, and the smoke got sucked into the ventilation system, to be ejected into the library. The smoke alarms went off and everyone got out of class for like an hour. Everything's fine, though.

It got me thinking, though... if the music building burned, what would happen? It's a brick building, so it probably wouldn't take too much structural damage, but there's a lot of valuable stuff in Catlett- All the resources in the Fine Arts Library could be gone, we could lose the two organs, a ton of pianos, and a bunch of other instruments. I wonder what the contingency plan is for the school burning.


Something I've been thinking a lot about lately- why are politicians and politics so geared towards public opinion? I know that the whole concept of democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people... but why are we so focused on that? I don't think the people really know what we're doing half the time. I mean, think about when a complex system or mechanism isn't working right- whether that's your leg, your computer, or your marriage- more often than not, people go to an expert to fix the problem or to get the knowledge to do it themselves.

Why don't we treat international diplomacy, the economy, or public policy the same? As soon as a political issue comes up, everybody becomes an expert and thinks that they simply cannot be wrong because their opinion is what's right. I respect the fact that everyone has a right to their opinion, but that doesn't make them an expert on the issue. I love my roommate very dearly, but every time the economy comes on the news, he starts bitching about how "Obama is handling everything all wrong, and that the best way to stimulate the economy is..." (and that's the point at which I stop paying attention. Something about jobs.)

He absolutely has the right to his opinion. But he's a sophomore in college. I'm not saying he's dumb, or has no idea what he's talking about... but he's a sophomore in college. He's certainly not an economic expert.

I wish people would be more willing to admit that they don't necessarily know everything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Best TV Couple Ever

I'm a big fan of the TV show Glee. When I first saw the previews for the pilot, I got really excited that there was going to be a TV show about a show choir, because I was so involved in chorus in my high school.

I was going to post this right after the episode in question, but I decided to wait a little bit to diminish the chance of spoiling it for people who might not have seen it when it aired.

I am not terribly politically active, so I don't talk about gay discrimination very often. I'm aware it exists, and I'm aware it's a problem. I simply feel that the best way for me personally to combat it is to be the best person I can be, and answer whatever questions people may have about what it's like to be gay. I figure that a lot of the opposition that people have against the so-called "homosexual lifestyle" stems from a lack of knowledge. The fact that I'm sexually and romantically attracted to other men doesn't really make me very different from my peers, and I figure that I can demonstrate that better than I can explain it to people- so I try to go about my life normally and not spend too much time as an activist.

That said, it does get lonely every so often. I see my friends go through boyfriends and girlfriends, and I see them enjoy their relationships without thought. I see them walk through a heteronormative world without a thought, and sometimes I envy them. I am very comfortable with my sexuality, and I wouldn't change it even if I had the opportunity, but every now and then it becomes obvious that they don't have to think about some of the things that I do- whether or not PDA will offend someone (and I'm not talking about making out in public, I'm talking about simply holding hands), whether or not they can invite people to their wedding without causing a fight... there are others, but those are two pretty big ones.

One of the things that had kind of bothered me before was the fact that there were so few gay characters on TV. There was Will & Grace, but that show's not on the air anymore. There are Mitch and Cam on Modern Family and although I love them, they aren't exactly characters I can immediately relate to- they've already started a family. There might be others, but I don't watch that much TV, so if there are I had never been exposed to them.

I felt so immensely validated when Kurt came out on Glee. Watching him go through his challenges was a great experience, because having such a prominent character on such a popular show sort of said that gay is a normal thing to be- which is a fairly new sentiment in the public arena.

When Blaine and Kurt kissed in the most recent episode, it was kind of a culmination of all those feelings.
For these reasons, I proclaim Blaine and Kurt to be the Best TV Couple Ever.