... According to Berlin! Well, actually it's "Instrument of the Year 2014," but close enough. :) So how have I begun this wonderful year dedicated to violas? On vacation! James, Tula, and I went to Colorado for the holidays, where we stayed with family and enjoyed a lot of down time. I ate too much, slept a lot, and didn't practice as much as I wanted to. It's hard for me to make time to work when there are all kinds of cousins and other family to hang out with, not to mention amazing hikes to take! But we're back in Indiana now, and the semester is off to an interesting start. We had a massive snow storm on Sunday that dumped 10 inches of snow. I hurt my back shoveling (sheesh), though now it feels fine again. The first two days of classes at Ball State were cancelled due to snow and frigid temperatures (the high of -11 F on Monday and Tuesday was... very very cold) and yesterday started out with some news from a student that left me very sad.
On the upside, I have two new freshman this semester who transferred from other institutions, and the Ball State Viola Choir (BSUVC) is up and running! We had our inaugural rehearsal yesterday, to which Dr. Eleanor Trawick came. Eleanor is on the theory/composition faculty, and is also a violist. I commissioned her to compose an anthem for the BSUVC, and it is beyond wonderful. Reading through the lyrics she wrote (they are AMAZING) and the fantastic score left me completely giddy. I'm smiling like a banshee just thinking about it now! I'm really looking forward to sharing this gem with the BSU community. It's really fantastic. Not only do we have an anthem (!!!), but I'll be holding a logo contest soon, and then will be able to make some BSUVC paraphernalia. Fun fun fun! The best part is-- the SOUND! Now, it might sound cheesy, but I truly love the sound of the viola (small wonder I'm a violist, eh?), and multiple violas in harmony, unfettered by the sounds of other instruments, is a warm and really gorgeous sound. I'm so excited about cultivating and coaching this group of viola players.
So while the year is off to a start of wintry weather and mixed emotions, I am, nevertheless, excited about the possibilities this viola-centric year will bring.