Tips on preparing a score

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
The ConductorThis past school year, I took both Beginning and Advanced Conducting classes at The Master’s College.  While these classes were required for my major, I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy conducting.  After all, it’s much more fun to play an instrument than to stand up there waving your arms to keep the beat, right?  And who watches the conductor anyway?


I had no idea how wrong I was.  After the very first class period, I realized that conducting is so much more than being a metronome.  It’s about creating music, much like the way an artist creates a painting.  As the conductor, I can “play” all of the instruments in the orchestra, or all of the voices in the choir.  I am not limited to one instrument and I have the ability to fine tune every sound of every instrument.  Through these classes, I not only grew to appreciate my conductors more, but I also realized how much I loved conducting.


Shortly before beginning the Orchestral Conducting segment of my Advanced Conducting course, I met with my orchestra conductor at Grace Baptist, Lisa Hernacki. Every two weeks our orchestra prepares several songs for the Sunday Services in addition to our Christmas, Easter, and special concerts, and I wanted to understand how she could get to know all of the scores that well in such a short amount of time. Mrs. Hernacki’s advice was so helpful that I thought I would share her steps with any other interested musician.


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In addition to being a student, I also work for the Computer Services Department at The Master's College as a Special Projects Coordinator For the past several weeks, I have had the amazing opportunity to test and use a few different types of tablets through my work.  I have been primarily using the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 (blog post on this coming soon) , but for the last week, I have been able to use the Microsoft Surface Pro while a coworker was away.   I love the concept of using a tablet in college and in the last 4-5 weeks that I have been using tablets, it has revolutionized the way I have used my computer to take notes for classes or meetings, study, or research information.  I will be blogging about how I have used the tablets in my classes in future posts.  I thought I would share a few of my initial thoughts and impressions as both an employee and a college student on the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro:


Microsoft Surface ProThe Surface Pro is the perfect size to fit in a backpack, purse, or just grab and go.  It is somewhat heavy, but what the device loses in desired weight it makes up in power.  Having both a tablet for drawing and media consumption, and a full laptop is fantastic.  As a student, is helpful to be able to have my textbooks, computer, and notes on the tablet so that I have fewer things to carry/manage.

I appreciate the Surface's robust design.  While it is heavy, the firm casing protects the screen and electronics enough that I don't have to buy an Surface Pro Kickstandextra case to protect it - which saves weight and room in my backpack.  I love the built-in stand which is a part of my casing, and the only change I would like to see in this is the ability to adjust the angle of the stand for various purposes.

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Building up the toolbox: Pinterest

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
PinterestFor one of my assignments in the Event Planning class I took, I had to sign up and begin using Pinterest.  While I definitely use social media, I tend to be pretty slow to jump onto new tools as I know that these tools can be as much of a hindrance as they can be a help.  I had not heard of Pinterest before and was apprehensive of adding yet another tool to my toolbox.

Pinterest is a "virtual pinboard" that allows you to collect and store information visually.  The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" really applies here.  Pinterest allows you to digitally store links to articles and instructions pictorially and organize those pictures in digital pinboards for future reference.  It is much easier to find information when you can see a picture of it, rather than have to read a text description.

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Adventures in College: Event Planning

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
2012 Event Planning ClassThis past spring, I took a class in Event Planning which was a complete learning experience for me.  I took the class both because it fulfilled a GE requirement for me and because I thought that it would be a good skill for someone in ministry, or in life in general, to have.

On the first night, I realized that I had completely underestimated the class.  The professor, Sam Neylan, was not only going to teach us how to coordinate weddings and baby showers, but was also planning to teach us how to become more organized in our own lives, pay attention to detail, begin with the end in mind, become more professional in our writing and communication, be creative in everything we do, and coordinate events so that every moment is intentional.  

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The Making of a Masterpiece

Friday, December 28th, 2012
The Final ProductEvery year, we love to create clever themed Christmas cards to send to our friends and family.  Each year has been a bit of a challenge to create, but this year's card posed some unique problems.  Namely, the theme was of the four Mack girls posing in a gingerbread house in a winter wonderland.  The problem?  We now live in Santa Clarita where it doesn't snow...ever.

Behind the scenesSince giant gingerbread houses are in short supply at this time of year, we built our own out of wood and thick cardboard.  We designed special candies for the front of the house out of tissue paper and colored cling wrap and spray painted the house to look more authentic.  On a bright, windy day, the four of us carried the house into the backyard and posed in front of our palm tree (not very Christmassy, right?)

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2012 Christmas Card: Gingerbread House

Thursday, December 20th, 2012
2012 - Christmas Card.jpg

The Curious Savage

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Mrs. Savage and the other inmatesThis past semester, The Master's College Drama Department put on John Patrick's delightful play "The Curious Savage".  This witty play is the story of Ethel P. Savage - an old lady and recent widow whose husband left her 10 million dollars.  When she tries to spend the money on crazy and fun things to enjoy life and helping people, her three selfish step children have her committed to an insane asylum and try to find the money that she hid.

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