So much has changed in the span of a few months. I can hardly keep up with every adventure I've been on. I have to admit, my blog took a backseat (of basically nonexistence) this semester. Sitting in my favorite coffee shop on yet another summer day, I am finally able to take a deep breath and reflect on everything this year has seen.
It was in this same chair at this same coffee shop where I decided to start a blog two years ago. The difference in the human I have become overwhelms me with gratitude for the experiences that bring me here again.
As most of you know, I had the amazing opportunity to spend most of my summer on the Admin team with the Crossmen Drum + Bugle Corps last summer. (Click here to read last summer's daily adventures) Even though the summer was one of the most challenging experiences of my life so far, I realized that I had a real heart and knack for the administrative side of performing organizations. It was an area that combined my love of the performing arts and all things logistics. I found a place that allowed me to work while simultaneously giving back to the communities that gave me so much.
Upon returning to Morehead State, I spent a semester studying and researching my options before deciding to slightly reroute my educational path. I switched from a Music Ed degree to a BA in Music with a Minor in Business. While I was instructing a few drum lines and leading percussion clinics in schools near Rowan County, I'd come to realize was that my heart for education wasn't to necessarily be an educator, but to be in a higher position facilitating and supporting educators in their respective organizations.
Around this same time, I was offered an administrative internship with Rhythm X, Inc. This indoor ensemble from Ohio had been a group I'd looked up to my entire drumming career and I could not have been more excited.
Not too long later, I was given the opportunity to march bass drum with a different indoor ensemble: Veritas. Veritas was a new World Class group out of Indianapolis, Indiana. While the trek to rehearsals was a little bit of a haul for my schedule, it was an amazing experience. The members and educators I was able to spend my weekends with completely changed my impression of what the marching arts experience could be. We were also the first group in World Class to ever field two bass drum lines instead of one, so that was pretty cool.
It's pretty unprecedented to work in one ensemble while marching in another, but the leadership of both organizations was super supportive. While my performing ensemble took priority, I was surprised at how much I was able to work with Rhythm X in my down-time.
Spring was a whirlwind of music + business classes, MSU rehearsals/concerts/clinics, indoor rehearsals, internship work, and 5am shifts at the Rec + Wellness Center.
Did I mention that I started to referee intramural sports for extra money? Oh yes. A dodgeball certification does exist and I did sit through that class amongst others.
In the midst of all of this, I was sorting through options for this summer. In a surprising turn of events, I was offered the opportunity to march Bass 3 for Jersey Surf Drum + Bugle Corps (out of New Jersey). I will be spending another summer traveling the country, but this time as a performer. Marching DCI has been a dream of mine since high school. Once again, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for such an opportunity. I buckled down and started fundraising as quickly as I could, which isn't the easiest after a busy season of already doing that for indoor.
That brings me to today, in 3 days, I head to New Jersey for a Memorial Day performance, and in two weeks, I fly out for the rest of my summer.
I want to take a second and be completely transparent. While I bullet-pointed the great moments of this year, each step came with its own sets of challenges. I probably didn't blog as much this year because for every acceptance call, there was a big paper due or a gas tank to fill or a marimba piece that somehow had to be learned at two in the morning. There were great days, but there were also hard nights.
I got through this absolutely ridiculous year because of some amazing people I met along the way. They taught me to be positive, not as a facade but as a mission. When it felt like there was no way I could possibly go on, I stepped back and tried to find gratitude in the big picture.
So many little things added up to big mountains this year, and I can't even begin to thank all of the people that made it possible. To my parents, who supported me through all of my crazy adventures, who I know will always be there for me, who I know I could not be more lucky to have; To the rest of my family who sent me love from afar, even when it seemed very, very far; To the educators who poured into my musicianship, leadership, and scholarship; To the friends who listened to my crazy ideas, challenged me as a person, and created the environment I was lucky to spend every day in; To my best friend who stayed through my good, bad, dramatic, curious, energetic, and probably overly passionate tangents; thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Lastly, I have a selfish promotion. I'm a few hundred dollars away from reaching my requirements to make my summer opportunity possible. If you have even $10 that you would like to donate to my cause, you can click here. Just make sure to put my name as your sponsored Member Name.
If you'd like information for Small Business or Corporate sponsorships, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, thank you, thank you.