Schnuth Summer Luau 2008

Time to post something besides Twitter updates, cool as they might be.

In my own inimitable tradition, I planned a luau in honor of a.) the onset of the first day of summer and b.) our Hawaii vacation last month. Parties are a great excuse to get everyone together and drink and play video games, and I’ve hosted a couple successful ones since we’ve lived here. (Aaron hosted a few successful New Year’s Eve parties at his apartments before that, too, but that was quite some time ago.) Our circle of friends hasn’t been as socially close as we were, say, eight years ago, and a formal invitation to come over and see everyone all at once seems to have appeal.

Take Five

Even if you already know the tune, watch the video. It’s a quicker tempo than the standard recording that all of us jazz / band / jazz band geeks know and love, and the drum solo? To die for.

If you don’t know the tune, shame on you! Watch this video and get your jazz on. (Non-music people: it sounds all groovy partially because there’s five beats to the measure โ€” hence the title, “Take Five.”)

[thanks for the heads-up, Wil!]

New Year’s Eve, 1999

New Year’s Eve 1999: Four couples converged at Kris’s apartment for a Y2K celebration of food, drink, music, and Trivial Pursuit. It’s fun looking back on these home videos and seeing how we used to spend our New Year’s. This year, it sounds like it’ll be Fries and Connie spending a little time with Aaron and me at our house. Any of our other friends are certainly welcome, assuming you don’t have a concert to attend, or you don’t live way far away, or you don’t have cooler friends than us to hang out with…

</guilt trip>

An example of fortuitous timing: I hadn’t realized that night how low my camcorder battery was, and ended up just barely catching the midnight festivities. That was a lesson to me to always charge my camcorder battery AND bring the adapter with me whenever I used the camera.

Please forgive the crackly audio โ€” I could get it to export either with decent video and blown-out audio, or crappy video and decent audio, but not with both. Hopefully, I’ll get the hang of Premiere soon enough.

RCC Commercial, August 2001

I bought a new toy this weekend: a Mini DV camera. Why Mini DV instead of some other format? For the express purpose of getting the above video out to the masses.

This was filmed and edited by Yours Truly during late July and early August of 2001. This video was to be aired on the closed-circuit campus cable channel during and shortly after move-in weekend, for the purpose of educating the on-campus student body Residence Life Staff about the purpose of Residential Computing Connection (RCC).

When I was done editing and distributing the finished product, I did two things. First, I created an “outtake reel” of all the funnies that happened during filming. Second, I output the final commercial onto the end of the source tape, and snagged said Mini DV tape for my own. I’ve carried that tape around with me for the past six and a half years, waiting to get my hands on a Mini DV camera (or deck).

The first thing I did when I got my new camera home this weekend was hook it up to the HDTV and watch ye olde RCC commercial. I’d forgotten most of the details of the filming, and it was great to see some of my old RCC friends as I remember them. It was also heartwarming to see the late Tim King again, and hear his voice.

I was disappointed to find that I had not, as I had thought, output the outtake reel to tape. Apparently, I only had it on the server, which has (hopefully) long since been replaced and put to pasture. I guess it’s a good thing I still have the source material… ๐Ÿ˜‰

RCC folk, both old and new, are encouraged to comment here or on the Google Video page. I’d love to hear people’s reactions almost seven years later.

Spirit of Christmas Past (1992, to be exact)

A day or two after the Holiday Concert in 1992 (my Junior year of high school), I came into choir to find a VHS tape on my chair. Someone had given me a copy of the jazz band, concert choir, and wind ensemble performances from the concert โ€” all of which I had performed in, and in one of which I’d had a solo. It’s obviously a copy of Mrs. Albrecht’s tape โ€” she was the mom who was at every single performance with her giant late 80’s / early 90’s VHS camcorder. I’m sure someone else must have been taping, too, but they wouldn’t have focused in on the red-headed bass so often. ๐Ÿ™‚

This video brought back so many great memories of high school. I’d forgotten I had any, honestly; when I think of high school, I think of my being a misfit of sorts. Watching this reminded me of what a great time I had in choir and band, and the great relationships (if not quite friendships) I had with my classmates. Fun times were had, like taking Geometry with the choir president, who claimed he knew a hit man who would break our teacher’s leg if we could collect a certain amount of money from everyone in the class. But I digress.

As I reviewed this tape, I also remembered every note and almost every word of every song. As I watched Ms. Beall cue the choir’s first note, I found myself singing along, accents and all: “GLO – RY to God in the hi-igh-eeeestโ€”” She was a great director, especially considering that she had to accompany at the same time. (I’m sure she still is a great director, too, although these days she’s directing the junior high kiddies.)

The first thing I noticed while watching my solo (bookmarked in the above embedded video โ€” just hit Play to hear my, um, glorious voice) is that the camera really does add ten pounds. As does that damnable outfit โ€” mainly the cummerbund. When I was sixteen, I weighed about twenty pounds less than I do today, as I recall, although you’d never know it from this video.

The next thing I noticed was how nervous I was. It was funny: I hadn’t watched this video for years before digitizing it yesterday. Still, as I watched my younger self descend the risers and take her place in front of the microphone, my heart started to pound and my breath quickened with the memory of my nerves. It had definitely shown in my voice, too, as my normally smooth vibrato morphed into a nervous tremolo, and any semblance of breath support whooshed away with every quick catch-breath.

After not having seriously sung for so long, I’m taken aback by how mature I tried to sound at age sixteen. I’ve been known to sing to myself every now and then these days, and I don’t even have that dark and mature of a sound now (unless I’m being silly and singing all “looly-loo,” as Aaron puts it). To my ear, so many years later, it sounds a little forced. Overall, though, not bad for a high-schooler.

I won’t subject you to the jazz band or the wind ensemble. The memories are fun, but the music is painful. Especially the one *really* wrong note from the saxophones in the middle of Russian Christmas Music. The entire jazz band performance is pretty painful, too, come to think of it. (Remind me later to tell you about Ryan Galmarini, our drummer, aka Eternal Freshman. Priceless stuff. Jazz band rehearsals were awesome.)

I never found out exactly why I was given a copy of the performance, or by whom, or if anyone else was given a copy, too. I’m grateful either way, though, because this is the only visual record I have of myself performing with any of my high school ensembles.

Hope you enjoy. Happy Christmahanukwanzakah!

PS – For the music geeks in the crowd, here’s links to the specific songs in the concert:

“Be Not Afraid” โ€” Jacobson/Lojeski
  Bass feature: Bill Coersmeyer and Matthew Albrecht
  Women’s trio: Jenny Waddle, Diana Cook, Cheri Burdell, and Amy Gumm
“Pat A Pam” โ€” Simeone
  Flute soloist: Melody Marco
“Christmas Hymn” โ€” Baker/Jungst
  Echo chamber group:Jennifer Waddle, May Ying Thao, Cheri Burdell, Brian Murawski
  Conducted by Bill Coersmeyer
“I Wonder As I Wander” โ€” Niles
  Soloist: Diana Cook
“December Child” โ€” Moline/Hayward
  Soprano duet #1: Jennifer Reisner and Elise Bond
  Soprano duet #2: May Ying Thao and Amy Thao
“Twelve Days After Christmas” โ€” Silver

Merry Christmas 2001

As I was digging through old VHS tapes, I found a tape of this-n-that from my Media 100ยฎ workshops and video classes. I watched through it, just for shits and giggles… and then I found a video I’d forgotten I’d made.

Back in 2001, I was about to graduate college, living in an apartment on my own, and I was really broke. That Christmas was a creative one, mainly making gifts for my family and friends instead of buying them. And, for Amy, I made a video of our four-year Reign of Terror at BGSU. I didn’t have time to copy it for her; I barely managed to squeak enough lab time to create the video and drop it to tape in the first place. But, when she came to visit and exchange presents, I showed it to her.

Then, tonight, I found it again.

So, now that we have a capture card, I am encoding it and posting it here for your viewing pleasure. Amy, of course, will enjoy it the most… but I think most of you will certainly appreciate it.

small version (10.2MB) | large version (33.5MB)