Posted by: Jessica Todd | March 2, 2010

Lucky me

These past few weeks for me have been absolutely insane. Unlike most of the other members in the Brazil Wind Ensemble, I’m nowhere near the Macomb campus. I am currently living in the suburbs student teaching in Aurora, IL. In addition to finishing up last minute preparations for the trip via email and the occasional trips to Macomb for rehearsals, I’ve had to prepare for concerts and field trips here in Aurora. I am really looking forward to leaving, but it is bittersweet because that means I must say goodbye to my students for my first 8 week placement.

This trip will be my first out of the country and even my first time on a plane. I have no concerns or fears (as of right now) of the unfamiliar mode of transportation. Right now my concern is how I am going to entertain myself for the  12 hour flight!

Our first Brazil WE rehearsal was held on Sunday. I had been looking forward to it all weekend. Upon leaving campus, I’ve realized how much I miss playing in Wind Ensemble. That weekend was the Showcase of Bands/Honor Band weekend and I watched 5 separate bands played. It was such a surreal experience watching the Wind Ensemble play on Friday. I kept thinking “Wow, was I actually in this group? This is my college ensemble?” Those concerts plus the successful rehearsal on Sunday made me realize how lucky I am to have such an opportunity. Not only to be able to go to Brazil, but to be a part of such a great musical environment. I really hope that those people who are at Western right now do not take this school for granted. Yes, we are in the middle of nowhere. But when I reflect on my musical experiences, the friends I’ve made, the great musicians I’ve seen people grow into, and the wonderful people who have helped me appreciate and love music, I feel truly blessed.

Sometimes we get bogged down in the drama of our everyday lives that we forget that it is not all about us. We are a part of something much bigger and it is opportunities like this that really help me to open my eyes and see that. We are so lucky to be able to travel and participate in and SHARE something we love.

As someone who is making her way out of college, I urge underclassmen and even seniors going to grad school to not forget their Western roots. This place has helped us in more ways than we might realize.

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