Saturday, 25 May 2013


Hey everyone!
So I am a total klutz. And a musical klutz at that. I managed to skin my knee, scrape my hand and sprain my ankle just by opening a door. Yep you read that right! I opened a door and missed the step. Then I set my pile of stuff down and my phone flew across that room. After that, I took a few busses and in each one, we got out the middle and the doors closed on my arms. Since then, I took my aunts dog for a walk and managed to trip in a pothole taking a layer of skin off the side of my foot and hurting my ankle even more. I am a certified klutz and I don't know what to do anymore!! Choir is fun as always and im sad because divisional choir is over for the year and the final school choirs concert is this week! and our musical has the performances next week. Everything is coming up so fast. and then theres exams... I have 9 or 10 exams all together this semester. 4 of them are music though so I guess it wont be too bad. I do have more than most people my age but that's just because I love my music so much!
Have a great week everyone,

Friday, 3 May 2013


So I've been thinking about a lot of different things and recently I was inspired to write a book. This book was inspired by an assignment in a class i've been taking, Peace & Conflict in the 20th Century. It's a great class and I have a lot of fun in it. So one of the assignments we got a while ago, the teacher found was kind of funny and I talked to a published author who said it was an interesting idea. People have been so encouraging lately that I decided to try it and this is what I wrote for the assignment that started it all:

Dear Boss,
I have, as you know, been situated on planet earth for some time now. Six months. I have been learning alot about these earthlings or humans as they call themselves. Man is a very interesting creature. They value themselves over all others but they seem to work for it, for the most part. It scared me at first, how powerful they are even though they share this planet with many others. They have this delightful source of entertainment called movies. They are a series of pictures rapidly set in motion! we may have advanced technology but it is nothing like this! They do not just use their technology for entertainment though. Quite often they do not seek utopia like us, they seek only the victory of dominating each other. It pains me to see the amounts of destruction these creatures willingly cause to their own planet. They do know what they’re doing though and they make an effort to fix it. But for all their efforts they do not seem to realize that if they just stop fighting with each other and start treating each creature fairly, they could overcome these issues quite easily. They have these things called War that seem to occur quite often, and according to the internet (another great invention) from what I can tell it seems to be a way of celebrating that almost never ends but creates many casualties. Many humans realize how horrible this is but think that more wars are the solution! Of course they also have other means of celebrating as well. They have many holidays with exquisite names such as: hallows eve or Christmas. They seem to enjoy these holidays very much and spend much time with family, friends and people they love all the while not always appreciating everything they should. This wonderful family has been letting me follow them around and it’s quite informative and entertaining. They have a mother and a father and a two small children. The children are David and Coral, ages 14 & 16. Coral and David go to this building 5 days out of every 7. This is called a school. They learn skills and for the first 18 years of your life, the education is free! Wouldn’t this be beneficial? You can learn whatever you want besides the basics too. Coral is learning French and music. did you know that On this planet most of their music is themed so that it’s about something in this world? I should bring some back for you so that you may learn from them. Some of the cultures they have here on planet earth are interesting too. They all have different beliefs and they believe that they are always right until someone proves otherwise. They are a very curious society. I think that in some ways we could stand to be more like them even if we don’t migrate here. They honor their dead by laying them in a ground with a beautiful ceremony called a funeral. It is very sad and people use this time to mourn their loss but also to celebrate the persons life. There is often singing or beautiful music and many many people come out to remember the life that was lost. They also do the complete opposite. It is called a wedding. I say it is the opposite because everyone is very happy and this celebration is used to join 2 people for the rest of their lives. there is cake and there seems to be quite a bit of white. It is a lot of fun, I went to a wedding when the kids’ aunt got married and I went to a funeral when Coral’s music friend’s father died of something called Cancer. On a happier note, we were discussing the world as a whole the other day, David and Coral and I. Did you know that on this planet I am considered to be 15 years old? anyways, we were discussing travel for quite some time. It turns out that one of the groups they make music with is planning a trip to some other city in this country. They apparently hold great honor in their people’s music and traditions. Oh, David just told me that they are going to a very large mall. (A mall is a very big place that in the case of the place they’re going (Edmonton) has stores, water parks, amusement parks and much more) I find that human society is quite enjoyable for these tiny friends of mine. Along with planning this large trip to Edmonton Coral and David are still very busy. They let me follow them around school sometimes! There was a week where I followed them around and it’s amazing how much time they spend together! they say they don’t get along very well and I’m starting to see why. War isn’t the only conflict in this world. These two siblings argue quite often and can never seem to agree except in music. When they finally do agree with each other it’s quite wonderful and everything around seems to relax and take a deep breath. By the way, Coral is in grade 9 and David is in grade 10. Today I followed Coral to her different classes. It was very informative and taught me a lot about the world. Her first class of the day (most days she tells me) is called Gym. today they ran and apparently this class teaches you the skills of being healthy and active. She says that tomorrow she’s starting health class. After that class she goes to geography. I think that this would be extremely helpful and if we come here it should be the first thing we enroll for. They teach you how to identify different places on the globe and what coordinates are and about the different environments of the planet. Third, she goes to french class (or band on every second day) and today she says they learned about grammar and verbs. This class teaches how to speak and write in french and it confused me until Coral explained that learning a different language allows you to communicate with more humans. After that we went to a choir room which was a bit intimidating at first but I think I’ll get used to it, going there almost every day. There, we ate lunch and talked with David and two of their friends, Sophie and Alix. They talked about many things but one I think you should know about is their Military. David explained this to me as he knows many representatives of the military (soldiers) and he is a cadet. He explained many things and I didn’t understand a lot of it but I will tell you what I did. Their military is very sophisticated and has many smaller divisions that each have individual tasks such as rescuing people or disarming bombs or helping people or flying places or fighting. Once they were finished talking I followed Coral to her next class which also took place during the much hour. Today it was jazz choir. They started with an interesting technique where they composed a song in a matter of minutes. It was quite interesting and seemed almost magical. After that they started singing their music and I learned some of the technicalities behind it. Did you know that there is math and science involved in just about everything? They explained it quite well to me and there are subdivisions within each part of the music and in those subdivisions, the sounds they make can vary greatly and they all sounded very different. They said that parts clashed and those parts hurt my ears. After that we all went to English and they were reading this curious thing out loud. It was called “Shakespeare” now David tells me that it is not called shakespeare but he wrote it. Either way it was confusing, almost like learning another language but Coral explained it to me and tells me that I will learn in time. After English class, Coral took me to peace and conflict where she taught me more about the earthlings and what they do by showing me some things they’ve done. Apparently there are people who do their best to make conflicts go away and there are people who create conflict. Either way, there is always conflict in the world. I won’t go into much detail of the rest of the things they do but David goes to Cadets and Coral is in a musical and they both have choir almost every day. On Wednesday of this week they have a concert that i’m told is a very big deal. It seems that almost anyone can gain an elected status of some kind. The childrens’ choirs are both going to this concert after being voted as two of the best choirs in the city. So they lead very busy lives plus socializing and on any given night they “text” quite often as well. They each text a large number of people and currently text most often about their trips. It seems that everything in this world has to be about something and that everything is instantaneous and if people  don’t get things right away they get annoyed. It is not good and it seems that these humans are ending lives before they even start. That is what I have learned in the past 6 months talking to Coral and David and going to school. Decide for yourself whether we should migrate here or not.

Yours truly,
Ceilidh. (With some notes from Coral and David)
David & Coral: Hello alien community. Human life is quite enjoyable and we understand that you’re planet ( a former Utopia) is now turning to a horrible Dystopia. We are very glad that Ceilidh has come to stay with us and can guarantee her a home for quite a while if you do come live here. Since you are seeking a better place to live we think that it would be beneficial for everyone if you were to come here. We know that may be hard for you to get used to being surrounded by species other than your own but you could teach us a lot and we could teach you.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Music in context

Only some of our mark in choir is based on singing. We have our 3rd written assignment for the year i think, not really sure so I'm going to work on that. We are currently working on 5 songs in choir and for each song there are 5 questions. 2 questions that apply directly to the song and 3 general questions for all of them.

The 3 general questions are: Name of composer/ arranger, Genre/ country of origin, Year or composition OR if it is an arrangement, year of original and year of arrangement. These 5 songs for the assignment are:
Sally Gardens, Tebje Palom, Seasons of love, Come Sweet Death & Amavolovolo.
The songs with questions are in order below.

Sally Gardens:
Traditional Irish folksong, arranged by Sean Carter
1. A member of our own choir, Sean, created the arrangement we are singing. Name 2 composers who have created arrangements of Sally Gardens, and tell me something noteworthy about their arrangement.
Tony Hogan arranged a version of Sally Gardens for guitar. In his version, there are a few spots where the melody part has a few added eight notes instead of just having the regular melody.
Peter Dyson also wrote an arrangement of Sally Gardens for a choir. In his version, the male parts start with the females singing mm and aah for a few mesures until the melody starts and then they have a slightly different part, leaving out a few words and changing rhythms. It is also different for this tune to begin with the mm and aah instead of just the traditional melody.

2. What are "Weirs"? What are "the Sally (Salley) Gardens"?
Weirs are basically dams built to stop or divert the flow of water.
Salley means a willow tree so the salley gardens are gardens of willow trees.

Tebje Pajom:
Tebje Pajom was written by Dmitri Bortnianski and is Russian church orthodox music.
1. Tell me 3 fun facts about Dmitri Bortnianski.
He was born on October 28 1751 and is well known for being one of the golden three in his era. He also composed 7 operas in his lifetime.
2. What does the text of this piece mean? A general translation is acceptable.
Tebje Pajom is about praying to god "we pray thee, bless you, thank you, god."

Seasons of Love:
1. Jonathan Larson based Rent on the plotline of a famous Opera. what was the name of the opera? Who composed it?
Rent was based on La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini.
2. Please provide a brief synopsis of the musical, Given what is happening in the musical, what is the mood and meaning of this song? Think, in particular, about the text.

Its about a group of friends living bohemian style in New York city. It deals with HIV/AIDS, drugs and love. I think the mood of the song is sad, powerful and quite hopeful. You shouldn't take life for granted, anything could happen. We assume our life will be without tragedy and grief so just live your life to the fullest and do as much as you can. Don't waste 525, 600 minutes!

come sweet death

Johann Sebastian Bach was the original composer and the style would be classical hymn.
2. In what genre/style would you classify Rhonda Sandberg's arrangement of this piece? Is this different from the original composition? Why?
I would classify this arrangement as a church hymn which isn't really different from the original. There aren't a lot of huge noticeable differences and that's why I would classify them both as hymns and also because it is clearly meant to sing in a church.

A traditional Zulu Dowry song arranged for a choir by Rudolf de Beer.
1. The word Amavolovolo is taken from what English word? How is this word related to the songs original meaning/ use?
The word amavolovolo is taken from the english word revolver. This relates to the songs original meaning because the original meaning of the song was: we won't go to KwaMashu, we're scared of the guns. This was because there was a war going on.
2. In what situations might people sing Amavolovolo now?
Amavolovolo could be sung in many situations now but is often sung at celebrations such as weddings.