Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finals Week at UAA: A Happy Surprise

I started giving finals at the University of Alaska Anchorage last Thursday, and conclude today.  As part of their final, students in both my classes, Fundamentals of Music (MUS 112), and Music Theory IV, are expected write, produce and perform a simple composition.  Over 20 students created, rehearsed and performed art that didn't exist weeks, or even days ago.

Seeing this set of projects through as instructor is one of the favorite parts about my job.  At least half of the kids worry a lot about their pieces, especially when they are just beginning them.  Not every good theory student makes for a good composer.  I love looking at their pieces as they progress, sometimes offering advice or just a sympathetic ear when the student composer is stuck or frustrated.

I especially enjoy watching some of them fall in love with their new creation, especially if it involves collaboration with other students in the performing ensemble.

This is the only performance from Tuesday that has showed up on Youtube so far.  Jillian Pollock isn't from Anchorage, or from the city.  She wrote a song expressing some of her thoughts on the city, "Town."

Joining her are six other students from the Theory IV class:  Jesse Hackworth, violin; Kat Moore, cello; Jonathan Heynen, guitar, Roxanne Sidebottom, accordian; Hallie Brown, piano; Jenna Chronister, voice; and non-classmate, Alex Pierce, on mouth percussion.

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