Monday, December 23, 2013

My first semester at university

I realise I never finished my Soundtracker Project on here. I did listen to lots of recordings but never got round to writing about them. Oh well, I got over half way.

I thought I would update everyone on some of the the things I got involved in in my first semester. Now, overall I really enjoyed what is, believe it or not, one-sixth of my entire degree. For those who don't know, I'm studying BA Music with Musical Theatre at the University of Chichester :) The music department at the university is fantastic and although it is a big department considering the small size of the university, everyone seems to know everyone and you feel like a part of one big family if you just care to get a little involved in the activities of the department.

The compulsory part of the degree: 
  • Introduction to Musical Theatre: We learned some background of the main disciplines of musical theatre as well as learning to analyse and write about the different components of the genre.
  • Performance Development: Practical module with one group session (where certain people would be nominated to sing each week and everyone else would give feedback) and two half-an-hour individual singing lessons weekly. 
  • Musical Grammar: Music theory.
  • Introduction to the Music Industry: I chose to swap for this module because it sounded interesting and I am glad I did. We learned about the different job roles within the music industry. 

If one chose to only do the bare minimum, that would have been it. I, however, filled up my timetable with practical activities. Some of those:  
My new trombone and I.
  • Dance classes: Every weekday morning 8.30-10.00. Jazz, zumba, contemporary, ballet and tap.
  • Musical theatre ensemble: We rehearsed chorus numbers from musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein and performed them with selected soloists in a small end-of-semester concert.
  • First year choir: Smallish choir focusing on singing technique and sight-reading. We got to sing at Chichester Cathedral at one of their carol services with two other university choirs. 
  • Pops Orchestra: The biggest orchestra at the university as anyone can take part without auditioning. The music is straight-forward so even with my lacking violin skills, I managed to keep up. This semester we played music by ABBA. 
  • Training brass band: Aimed at instrumentalists who haven't played a brass instrument before but are keen to learn. For a few years now I have wanted to try out the trombone and this has been my opportunity.

There are also societies you can join which are student-lead and the meetings usually take place in the evenings or during the weekends, outside of timetabled hours. I did attend the classes organised by the dance society occasionally but I got most involved in the activities of the musical theatre society. This semester gone, the first years performed in a freshers' showcase while the rest of the students were working on a full-length production of an original musical, Dennis!. I opted to play violin in the band for the showcase instead of singing as there was a massive shortage of violins. Next semester, all society members will come together to work on Seussical the Musical which will be performed at the university in April. I am very excited to be assistant-directing the show and hopefully I will also get the opportunity to be in the ensemble. 

Post image for #82 – Seussical the Musical – Mountain View