Jazz, Academic Conference, and Orchestra

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying the more spring – like weather we have had in Worcester! It has been a busy couple of weeks, but luckily we had a small break beginning on Holy Thursday through Easter Monday (one of the many benefits of going to a Catholic school!) The week prior to Easter I performed with the Jazz Ensemble, and the week following was Academic Conference featuring the Holy Cross Orchestra!

Our jazz concert this year was one of my favorites (and apparently an audience favorite as well). We performed a variety of interesting repertoire, including “First Love Song” which I was most nervous for (it featured a minute-long piano cadenza right in the middle!). Luckily, “First Love Song” and the rest of the performance went well and everyone seemed to enjoy it as a last send-off before Easter break.

Students in the orchestra came back a bit early from Easter break for our dress rehearsal on Easter Monday evening, but it was helpful preparation for a difficult program! In addition to Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, we played a student composition by Matthew Pinder ’20 called “In a Timeless World.” I had never played a composition with the composer himself, so it was a neat experience to be able to ask him questions (and sometimes criticize his composing) during rehearsal.

We performed as part of Holy Cross’ annual Academic Conference, a day when classes are cancelled  and students who have been working on semester- or year-long projects present throughout the day. Our performance was part of several others, including WRATH, a play based on The Iliad by Liam Prendergast ’19, dance performances, and several academic presentations. The conference (and our performance) was overall a success!

Now it’s back to finishing up classes and trying to make it to exams. Check back in soon to hear about Spring Weekend and exams!

Music and the Jesuits, Prepping for Orientation, and Battle of the Bands!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the spring weather (on most days)! Spring is certainly in full swing here at Holy Cross — all the snow has melted, students are considering which classes to take next semester, and most are hard at work in libraries (sometimes outside!) in this last big stretch of the semester before Easter break. Luckily, we have had a few fun events to help balance out the last big push in the semester, including Music and the Jesuits and Battle of the Bands!

Two weekends ago, members of the Holy Cross and broader Worcester communities gathered in St. Joseph’s Memorial Chapel to hear a variety of musical works somehow related to the Society of Jesus. The event was primarily overseen by Prof. Daniel DiCenso ’98 and his “Music and the Jesuits” seminar, who delivered spoken lessons to give context and meaning to each musical work. Nearly every ensemble on campus  were part of the show as part of our ongoing celebration of the College’s 175th anniversary. It was a wonderful event that did justice to the incredible legacy of the Jesuits in both music and education as a whole — great job everyone!

My friends and I enjoying the nice weather at Battle of the Bands (Photo: Emma Grugan)

Just yesterday, in a different but equally enjoyable musical event, eight Holy Cross student bands took part in our annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB). In addition to bragging rights, the winning band gets to open for the big Spring Concert (this year featuring Jay Sean and Loud Luxury) on the last weekend of classes. After a beautiful afternoon of great music, dancing, and free pizza on Kimball Quad, SCONE was named winner of Battle of the Bands for a second year in a row! We are all excited to see them in two weeks for Spring Concert!

SCONE celebrating their Battle of the Bands win

I am also excited to announce that this past week I was selected as a Fall Gateways Transfer Orientation Leader for the fall of 2019. I am very excited to continue working with the amazing Gateways team later this year and for the opportunity to work with new transfer students!

In the meantime, I will be spending most of my time in the library and in Brooks Concert Hall rehearsing for both the jazz ensemble concert on April 16 and the orchestra concert on April 24. Check back in soon to hear about both of these musical events and more!