What type of clinician would you like SNATS to provide in Spring 2018?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gahhhh...opera schedule change AGAIN!

Folks, more things have changed today, necessitating ANOTHER change to today's rehearsal. We'll have dance rehearsal for everyone 3:30-5:30, and duets starting at 5:30. Check the schedule. SO SORRY for the changes...been a tough week for many of us.

Opera schedule change

Folks, the memorial service/funeral that takes Zeta out of town today has altered the schedule (it's not at 12 as he'd thought; it's at 2). I've made changes for everyone's benefit. Check the schedule: this is an opportunity for you to fix anything that is insecure. BONUS: Les plans to be here!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Alexander Technique: Intention

To sum up Professor Brody's speech about intention at the end of his master class:

1. I know what I want...
2. ...and I really want it.
3. I understand what I can do NOW... (I may not be able to do it all YET...)
4. ...and I'm willing to organize my thinking and my actions to get it.

How we choose to use ourselves determines our quality of life, short and long-term. This can mean how we sit, what we eat or drink (and when), how we breathe to sing or play, how we choose to reach for something, how we get in and out of a chair...the list goes on and on.

Live with this and see what happens! Remember that we all slide backward from time to time: it's part of being human. The key is to get back on course when we do.

SNATS meeting today!

We'll meet today after choir to discuss fundraisers and finish watching THE AUDITION. Be there!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Alexander Technique Events at UAB

We are fortunate to have James Brody, certified Alexander Teacher (and my personal AT guru) join us for three days of Alexander Technique events. We begin with a Convocation on Wednesday 9/19 from 12:20-1:10 in Hulsey Recital Hall. This presentation will introduce you to the Technique, and give you a better understanding of how your body can work for you or against you in your music-making (and in your life). On Thursday 9/20 from 3:30-6:30 in Hulsey 308, Jim will lead the opera workshop class and any other interested participants in how to rehearse more effectively. This workshop/master class promises to be both fun and informative. We conclude the week with a master class featuring UAB vocal students on Friday 9/21 from 12:20-1:10 in Hulsey Recital Hall. All events are free and open to the public. Jointly sponsored by SNATS at UAB (through USGA) and Jemison Funds.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Required Convocation this week

Jim Brody's convocation on the Alexander Technique is required for all voice students of mine! Be there even if you're not registered for PA...I will take attendance, and you'll love it! Jim is fabulous.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Opera rehearsal change for tomorrow

Folks, please note the change for the 5:30 hour tomorrow: anyone who has dialogue, p;lease come for that hour. Thanks!

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE AUDITION viewing continues today

We'll continue watching THE AUDITION today at 4:30 in the conference room. Feel free to bring your dinner!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Is college worth it?

Food for thought from Bruce Benson, President of CU-Boulder:

As students stream back to our campuses for fall semester, they do so accompanied by a question that is increasing in volume across the country: Is a college education still worth it?

Those questioning the value of college point out the increasing costs, the student debt loads, whether skills are marketable and preparation is practical. Many advocate an increasing focus on trade schools or community colleges, or no college at all.

The questions are fair, but to me the answer is clear. A college education by any measure is perhaps the best investment a person will make for reasons both tangible and intangible.

Increasing costs lead many to look at paying for college much the same way as they view buying a car. There's a high sticker price that is usually discounted, but it still requires years of payment. Meanwhile, the car steadily depreciates. I would suggest a better analogy is a mortgage. People invest in a house that provides them a comfortable place to live over their lives while also serving as a substantial investment, one that appreciates over the long haul. A college education is the same. It is certainly a cost, but more so, it is an investment that pays dividends during a lifetime, even considering debt.

The average debt load upon graduation at CU-Boulder is $23,125 and UCCS is $22,703, below the national average of $25,250 and the Colorado average of $23,622. CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus combine student debt averages, which at $26,170 is slightly higher due to higher tuition of students studying for careers in medicine. Default rates across CU are 3.4 percent, well below the Colorado average of 11.5 percent and the national average of 8.8 percent.

Consider the workforce graduates are entering. Critics argue that recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed in great numbers. While true, nearly everyone is affected by the recession, college graduates included. Yet even those who recently earned degrees have fared better during the recession (and certainly did before) than those without a degree.

A recent study by Georgetown University (The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm) shows that a large majority of jobs lost during the recession were those held by workers with a high school diploma or less. While unemployment for all four-year college graduates is 4.5 percent, it is 6.8 percent for recent graduates (those 21-25 years old). At the same time, unemployment for recent high school graduates is nearly 24 percent. Regarding underemployment, the study shows one in seven college graduates was underemployed in May 2012. Nearly half of high school graduates were. Nearly four of every five jobs lost during the recession were held by those with a high school diploma or less.

Various statistics, including those from the U.S. Census Bureau, have shown throughout the years that four-year college graduates earn more than a million dollars more over their lifetimes than those with a high school diploma or less. Critics would say those earnings are skewed by certain high-earning fields such as engineering or business. While we certainly need to ensure our graduates are prepared for productive careers, you cannot underestimate the value of critical thinking, a broad outlook and communication skills in any endeavor. Universities provide those.

Additionally, statistics don't convey the intangibles of a college education. College graduates have more opportunities during their lifetimes, engage in civic and community life at greater rates, and are generally healthier.
While society certainly needs tradespeople, our country's recovery from the recession and future prosperity will rely on the highly skilled workforce prepared at places such as CU.

For more than a century, higher education has been the engine that has fueled American prosperity. It remains critical to the economy, health and culture of our state and nation. So for those joining us as freshmen this fall, or those graduating and entering the workforce later this year, a college education will prove to be a worthy investment.

Monday, September 3, 2012

WIDOW schedule changes

Folks, I just got an email from our choreographer, Julia, that required me to make last minute changes to the schedule. Please check tomorrow and Friday's schedule CAREFULLY, as I had to switch things around according to her availability! Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

WIDOW calendar

The production calendar for the week has been posted below, with more to follow soon. To find when you're needed, scroll all the way down to the Google calendar, select each opera rehearsal day, and read carefully to see when you're called. Check page numbers in your score to be sure. I've noted where folks who have classes cannot be there: if I've missed you, please email me.

You'll notice we're working fairly quickly. It's my hope to give everyone a day off fairly soon, but you have to EARN it by being prepared for rehearsal. Spend a little time speaking rhythmically through your part, listening to the show, and plunking your notes before coming in. 

For dance rehearsals, please wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes, but not something with rubber soles if at all possible. Be ready for some FUN and a little but of sweat!

One last friendly reminder: if you are confused about whether or not you're needed, talk to me. Do not talk to your friends. If you are at all uncertain, come to rehearsal anyway! It's easier to let you go if you're not needed than to try to track you down.

Have a great holiday weekend, and remember I love y'all madly.

Final performance class

We will all meet together in HRH today. If Mr. Byrd or Dr. Mosteller is playing for you in lieu of Dr. Steele, be sure they have your music!...