Friday, July 20, 2007


(Appalachian Outreach and Walton Percussion)

Our missions trip in TN was focused around a home belonging to Anna, a 76-year-old single grandmother. Our team of 36 spent four days sanding, painting, planting, mulching, and repairing. My dad rebuilt both of her tolilets as well as replace an entire wall's worth of siding. My friend Leslie and I cleaned out her pantry, rat crap and all. It was nasty...I'm cringing now. I was also in charge of The Mulch Team on the fourth day. We worked through the pouring rain: it rained ALL THE TIME. She's lucky she was so old and cute.

Well, the last day was beautiful. Picture perfect. There was no shortage of cows; we almost witnessed a bullfight. For the first time, I saw a calf drink milk from his mother. It's surprisingly intense.

I had a great time serving and meeting new people that week. I will never forget it. I want to thank you all so very much for your "welcome homes", but alas, it is time to leave you once again.

This year, as some of you may have read in an earlier post, I was moved from drumline to the "pit" or "front ensemble." I was pretty down about it, but I've gotten used to it, and it's a really fun thing to be a part of. My love for marching band will peek through (stare you down, even) at different places in this blog, I'm sure of it. This year, our marching show (what you see at a high school football game's halftime) is titled "Closer to the Edge." It's based on three separate songs by Yes, a progressive rock band from the 1960s through 80s.

Because of my eight year background in piano, my directors placed me on The Synthesizer for our show's opener (the first of three movements). I had pictured something different when I heard "synthesizer"....

Instead, it's an electronic keyboard with many many many sound effects. The techno beats I kick practice off with are now referred to as "funky jams."

The Synthesizer is known this year for its funky jams and solos, one of which is featured here:

*This is a 20 minute video - a great one if you have the time. For quick reference, however, 5:22 thru 5:03 (minutes left) is the sweet spot.*

The solo is a daunting one and not yet played up to par. It's a bit simpler than the one you saw, but really, not by much. It's crazyyy.

This past week was called Pre-Camp, or 8-4 Week. We practiced from 8AM to 4PM Monday thru Friday, learning music and preparing for Band Camp. I leave tomorrow morning for a week in LaGrange, GA. The days will be hot, repetitive, and practice-stuffed: 10 hours each day.

I honestly cannot wait.

Monday, July 16, 2007

But First

Before I describe the best and worst of this year's youth group missions trip, I felt I should keep up with various bloggers' recent video posts. Be warned: neither are comedic. Both, however, are creative and thought provoking. That's good too, I figure. The funny ones just didn't find me this week.

The first is a Coldplay cover performed by the group Young@Heart - a choir comprised of senior citizens from 71-93 years of age. I find it very powerful.

The second, well... artists' neverending mediums never cease to amaze me. Take a look:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I am home, but too exhausted to write a detailed post about last week's wonderful experience. In due time.

Have a wonderful evening, whether it be this one,

or this one.