Bittersweet Year End

by Emily Wendorff on June 4, 2014

Since my last post, I have continued to keep myself busy.  I performed in the Lawrence University Symphonic Band concert, the Lawrence University Jazz Band concert, and also performed in the jazz voice studio recital.  All of those events were very fun to play in, and I was glad to be performing the material that I did, however, they were also bittersweet.

I have enjoyed playing in the ensembles that I played in this year as well as taking the lessons that I did.  Both last year and this year, I learned a lot, as expected, in the conservatory.  I expanded my repertoire these past couple of years as well and became familiar with a lot of great music.  In trumpet and voice lessons, I also had a lot of breakthroughs.

Two weeks ago, I had my last Jazz Band concert of the year.  It was a great concert and I was happy to have been in Jazz Band this year and the last, but sad because it was my last concert in a big band for a while.  Next year, my schedule will not allow for me to be in a big band, which is alright, but it’s sad for me to not be able to see many of the people in the band in that same setting again, at least for a while.  Fortunately, I will be able to continue taking jazz voice lessons next year, though.

My voice recital took place a week or so ago, and it went incredibly.  There are four people in the studio that I am in to learn jazz vocal technique.  We are taught by Janet Planet, and I learned so much from her this last year after starting lessons in the fall.  Three of us sang in the recital, and there was a wide variety of music, from a piece written by one of the students in the recital, to vocalese pieces by artists like Jon Hendricks.  I sang three pieces that I had been working on for a while, and it felt amazing to finally sing them in front of an audience.  I love performing, and I felt great after seeing so many supporting friends and peers as well as Appleton natives in the audience.  This performance wasn’t as bittersweet as the others, and may be almost the opposite.  It felt like the start of my future in vocal jazz performance, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it went.  Seeing my peers shine on stage like they did was one of the best parts of it as well.  I am looking forward to learning even more from my professor in the fall, as well as getting more of a chance to perform with the great musicians in the studio!

Finally, my last recent performance was the last Symphonic Band concert of the year.  Again, it was sad to perform in the last concert ever with the same group of people, but it went the best of any concert this year.   It was great to see how far the group has come.  One of the pieces that we performed was composed by a former director of bands and trumpet professor at  Lawrence: Bob Levy.  Before starting this concert cycle, I had heard a lot about professor Levy, but it was such a good experience being under the direction of him and experiencing a different teaching style than my current professors.  The performance, however, did make me excited to learn more in band next year.

This year has been a great year of performances and learning.  I met new people in my ensembles, and got to know people that I already knew even better.  Although it is sad to see people go at the end of this year, it is also exciting to know that I will be learning even more next year and meeting more great people as well.  I look forward to all the music to come in the next school year as well as to experiencing even more music as this school year ends.

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