Friday, July 10, 2009

Memories from the Union University Music Department

A Facebook status today caused me to recall some great memories from college. Here are some favorites.

There was the time that the entire music faculty was meeting in that classroom adjacent to the hallway we all bummed around in (Brownie points for the number...or the tonic, LOL!). Sam Mizell, oblivious to this fact, stood up and walked over to the barely cracked door. "Watch this," he said. He then lifted one leg in slow motion and executed a move he could have only gotten from watching too many Bruce Lee movies, complete with a loud cry of "Hi-YAH!" His leg forcefully kicked the door open, to the surprise of a room full of people who held his GPA in their hands. CLASSIC.


Voice boards were basically final exams for a voice student. Each student would pick a song from their repitore and perform it in front of the music faculty. Then the came the dreaded part - the teachers picked the second song. One semester there was this Berlioz song called "Villanelle." Three verses in French, all different. The tempo was allegretto, in cut time, with only a two-measure intro. I just knew they were going to pick that one. Dr. Roby, with his coffee-steam fogged glasses looked at me and smiled as it rolled off of Dr. Penny's lips.

I nodded to show that I understood the pain I was about to endure. Christa Friel, my ever vigilant accompanist, took that nod to mean "GO, WOMAN!" I had exactly two seconds to start singing. I started with the second verse. Then I sang the third verse. Then....I totally and completely made up a verse.

No one ever said anything about it. I either pulled it off, or they were gracious. I passed. The End.


During an afternoon (4:10!) recital, I sang a piece that had a huge pause between part A and part B. Dr. Roby told me to use facial expressions to indicate that the song was not finished. As I was wrapping up the first verse I spotted Chris Wann. He was sitting right under a spotlight and had turned his hat around backwards; leaning forward, he had his hands held out in front of him, ready to clap as obnoxiously as possible as soon as the final note faded. I have no idea how I managed to keep a straight face as his lone clapping filled the silent room.


Some fast funnies to end with...

Brad Bruhn and I got paired up for a class piano duet. During the performance, I finished the piece and Brad kept playing for a good two minutes.

Ben Clark got all the Proclamation guys in trouble for loudly whispering, "MARIA!" in the wrong place during West Side Story rehearsals.

Dr. Hartley accidentally had the Ninety-Nine Nuns in the Minnesota Monastery.

Anyone have others to share?


Jeff said...

And to think of this whole world at Union that I knew nothing of! I'm sure every department has its own stories to share, but most of ours in the communication department involve duct tape, snow globes and ninja masks. (I have no idea what that means.)

emily said...

Ha ha! I remember the nuns and the fake verse from Children's Choir at Unity ... that was a l o n g time ago!