The semester is definitely getting busier. I’ve had to learn six instruments in about two months, and am currently working on repertoire for my senior recital. My workshop recital is next Wednesday, and I am performing Reflective Mood by Sammy Nestico on the euphonium. In voice lessons I’m currently working on 5 songs, in about as many languages. French has proven to be the most difficult. Keene just hosted the Cantate! choral festival, and I played in one song with the brass ensemble and sang a few with Chamber Singers. Everything went well, and I think the high schools that came seemed to have a good time. Next week Chamber Singers is singing at a nursing home. Soon we’ll be touring around Vermont/New Hampshire.

The students I tutor are all taking their first aural skills midterm, so that last 2 weeks have been filled with study/prep/review sessions. I think all of them are going to do well, it’s just a really nerve-racking test when taking it for the first time. The professor changed up his curriculum, but I think its for the better. More students require tutoring, but it’s not a bad thing at all. I feel like there are more first year students that are going to stick with the program. Aural skills is always a roadblock for a lot of people, and in many cases they end up dropping the program entirely because of it. I stress the importance of having these skills as a musician, and once students stop thinking about the class as test after test and focus on the skills they’re learning, it becomes more enjoyable and even easier to progress in.

In CFON news, we learned my newest arrangement, “Believer”, by Imagine Dragons, in only a few rehearsal. We’re singing that as well as a few old songs at an acapella contest in Boston at Faneuil Hall. We don’t go to win, but it’s always a lot of fun. Some groups from the Sing-Off always show up, so there’s really no chance for us, but it’s great to hear the other groups and get ideas for future arrangements.

Pumpkinfest is here. Today there is one at the Cheshire fairgrounds, and next week Keene will finally host it again after a few years off due to “riots”. Hopefully there isn’t anything of that sort this year. Stay safe, owls.

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