The time has come (and passed)! As you read earlier, the GWU AcaFelons, Gardner-Webb’s only acapella group, auditioned for and made it into the International Championship for Collegiate a Capella (ICCA) southern region quarterfinals! We were selected, along with roughly 40-50 other groups from all across the south east, to compete in the quarter finals of the annual college a cappella competition! A few weeks ago, on February 8, the GWU AcaFelons loaded a van or two and travelled all the way to the University of Tennessee Knoxville to compete against 10 other groups. It was a blast!!! Groups were there from Vanderbilt, UT, Belmont, Central Florida, Maryland, and Salisbury. The AcaFelons performed “King of Wishful Thinking,” a “Lose Yourself” and “Alone” mashup, and another mashup of “Pumped up Kicks” and “Kids.” Only the top 2 groups moved on to the next round. We didn’t make it into the group, but we did win an award for best vocal percussion for the “Lose Yourself/Alone” mashup, and we had a great time! We never thought in a million years that we’d be competing at all, much less winning awards at our first competition ever! A Capella has been an awesome experience for me at GWU, and I’ve met a lot of cool friends through it and done a lot of cool shows like the ICCA quarterfinals! The group is open to any and all GWU students! Try out next fall when you come to GWU! You might be surprised!
The GWU Concert Choir is an audition group on GWU’s campus that I’ve been a part of since my first semester here in the Fall of 2012. The group meets four times a week and sing’s a variety of song styles, both sacred and secular. For me, the coolest part about being in Concert Choir has been the chance to meet people from Gardner-Webb with a lot of different backgrounds. The choir is comprised of students from all over the country, from all different years, and studying different things here at Gardner-Webb.
Each semester in choir, we have a retreat weekend that is hosted by a local area church. The main purpose of the retreat is to get our heads into some music and quickly learn, or at least familiarize ourselves with the new repertoire. That isn’t all we do though! The retreat is a great chance to get acquainted with new choir members, share meals together, play games, share testimonies and devotionals, and grow together as a group! This semester, the retreat was held at the end of January at a church in Boiling Springs. We gathered Friday evening for dinner, practiced music, played games, and had devotionals before leaving for the evening. The next morning we gathered again for breakfast, more music, more games, and more devotionals to close us out at noon. Choir retreat is a fun time to get to know people in a really good way! It’s one of my favorite GWU traditions each semester!
I’ve never been a big fan of the whole ideology of New Years. I’ve always thought it was foolish to make really big life decisions just because we are moving into a different year. I mean, is the last day in December really magically altered at midnight on January 1? New Years Resolutions are almost never kept and people waste a TON of money on gym memberships they use twice. However, 2014 really did bring a lot of changes for me! First of all, I AM NO LONGER A MUSIC MAJOR! Weird right? As you may or may not know, I started off at GWU as a music ed major, switched to a general music degree, and added a double major in discipleship studies in the Religious Studies department. Last semester, I was taking 19 hours, doing 2 different choirs, and fulfilling all of my obligations as a GWU Music major. This year, I’m answering the call to full time ministry and putting all of my eggs in one basket. I’m looking forward to focusing on ministry and bible study and worship music. This is my year to do the things that God has made me passionate about. I’m not giving up on music though! I’ve already earned a music minor and will still be a part of Concert Choir. This is the chance to do things my way! I’m so excited and blessed to be answering this calling of my life in 2014!
One thing that college students struggle with weekly is this: What do I do with my Friday night? It’s no joke that Boiling Springs is small and quiet. We love that about our little town. But sometimes, going to Cookout AGAIN, watching a movie in my dorm AGAIN, reading a book AGAIN, or driving to Charlotte just don’t seem like viable options. This was the predicament I found myself in last weekend when my friend Amanda’s sister came to visit us at GWU. We wanted to show her how FUN GWU is, but couldn’t find anything to do. So, we googled it, and guess what? We found the most awesome skating rink in town and it was only 15 minutes AWAY! Skate n Games is this little place in the middle of NOWHERE across HWY 74, and we had a BLAST! There was free pool, half off skates (cause we got there so late), neon lights, a disco ball, and a mechanical bull! This wacky town I call home surprises me everyday. The adventure was unexpected and crazy and last minute, but SO MEMORABLE! We will definitely be going back really soon! Never give up on having an adventure, even in a small town! You might surprise yourself!
The Christmas season has come and gone, but the memories will live on forever (cheesy line intentional). I’m joking about the sappiness of course, but the past month or so was a great time to relax and meditate on the reason we celebrate the holiday’s. Even though we were only at GWU for 12 days in December, they made sure to let us celebrate with one another before we left. Each year, GWU hosts an awesome Christmas dinner in the Tucker Student Center the week before exams. Complete with Christmas trees, lights, and a specially cooked meal, this is a great way to wind down and celebrate Jesus with our friends before we take exams and head home for the break!
One of the best parts about college is the fact that our Christmas break lasts twice as long as it did in high school! For 4 glorious weeks, there are no responsibilities, no papers, no tests, no meetings, no rehearsals, and no stress. I spent a week of my break in the mountains of Tuckaseegee with some of my best friends from back home! It was definitely the perfect way to start off my vacation! There was hiking, golfing, games, sleeping, coffee, movies, and just a lot of awesome winding down and catching up with some people that I missed dearly. I spent the rest of my break in Chapin, SC, just outside of Columbia, reading books, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, and exploring my home town. The weird thing about this lovely long break is that it gets old really fast. I was more than thrilled to be headed back to little ol’ Boiling Springs at the beginning of January.
One of my favorite traditions about Gardner-Webb is the annual Thanksgiving lunch that Gardner-Webb hosts on campus. The week before Thanksgiving, the caf serves lunch in a very special way for the students where table cloths are set out, pies are made, turkey is roasted, and lunch is served buffet style! This is just one of the countless moments at GWU that remind me why I love my Bulldog family! Gardner-Webb remembers to help us celebrate and be thankful with one another among the impending doom that is the approaching exam week and the busyness of our lives as college students. This year, I am thankful for my family, not the one I was born into, but the one I have found and been blessed to call mine while here at GWU! And of course, the pumpkin pie is legit too.
It’s that time of year again; time for another GWU Opera Theater Production! This semester, the GWU Opera Theater worked on a project that they called “Drama in Singing.” The GWU Music Department performs a full opera every year, but this go around they did things a bit different. For “Drama and Singing,” students had a unique opportunity to work on a handful of scenes from several different operas from several different periods of music. The cast of roughly 10 students were from all different majors and years and worked throughout this past fall on scenes about monsters, witches, love, drama, war generals, marriage, and PIRATES. It was a really fun show to get to watch! One of the scenes the group performed was from the opera “The Old Maid and the Thief,” which the GWU Opera Theater will be performing in full next spring. Opera was a brand new and exciting thing for me to try out my freshmen year of college, and I really enjoyed it last fall even though I didn’t get to take part in it this time around. You don’t have to be a music major to be in the opera, and you can get class credit for doing so. Try something new when you go college and be a part of GWU’s Opera Theater!
As you may know by now, I’m involved in Gardner-Webb’s only acapella group, the AcaFelons! This Friday, November 22 at 8 pm in Dover Theater, we are having our Fall 2013 concert!!! Featuring the vocal talents of all 20 AcaFelons as well as a few surprise guest groups, the show is totally free (accepting donations) and open to everyone! Come help us celebrate all of our hard work and enjoy a really fun show. Seriously, without trying to be biased, this really is the most fun concert of the semester here at GWU and we’re inviting you!!!!
Oh, and by the way…
WE MADE IT INTO THE ICCA’S!!! We’ll be competing next semester to represent the south in the ICCA’s for 2014! Wish us luck and see ya Friday
This blog is all about one thing: THE DORM ROOM!
Dorm life is definitely something that needs to be experienced and not just heard about. At GWU there are a variety of on campus housing options. There is the traditional dorm room with hall style baths (that’s where I live), there is suite style dorms with shared bathrooms between 2 rooms, there is apartment style living with four bedrooms with one person each, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, living room, and laundry room, and there is suite style buildings with 4 bedrooms, 2 people in each, 2 bathrooms, full living room, a kitchenette, and a shared laundry facility for each suite building. For all incoming freshmen I want to share with you one piece of advice: LIVE IN A DORM! Especially for me as an out of state student coming to a new place, dorm life really helped me to get acclimated to life as a college student really quickly. Particularly in the first weeks of moving in, meeting new people is as simple as keeping your door open while you are hanging out. Sharing a room is great too despite what you may have been told because you really get to know yourself and your habits and you make a fast friend (hopefully!). Plus, you won’t have to clean your bathroom. Hall baths aren’t even a big deal. I never have to fight for a shower and they are always clean. Guys on my hall like to sing LOUD when they are showing and it’s awesome. You’ll learn quickly in dorm life that the rooms are small (but not too small) so you have to make use of space WHEREVER YOU CAN! My hall that I live on is Honors housing for guys so we all get together to study, play video games, do bible studies, grab dinner, watch movies, and just do life together. I will definitely be staying a dorm all four years which is a foreign concept to most college students, but I value the community that dorm life offers. We can’t wait for you to experience this community with us!
This past week I had the privilege of attending two amazing young womens’ senior recitals. Chelsea Hathaway is a Music Ed major with a voice concentration, and she sings soprano. Beth Watkins is also a Music Ed major with a flute concentration. For most music majors, we receive the horrifying privilege of presenting a senior recital while we are here at Gardner-Webb. As only a sophomore, that time for me is still two years off, but attending Chelsea and Beth’s recital last week was a cool look into my future. Chelsea was my Peer Leader for University 101 my first semester here at Gardner-Webb. I still call her mom to this day and she really is one of the sweetest and kindest women I know. Beth is equally as kind and considerate and sweet. It was a privilege to get to watch how much they have grown as musicians as they presented their senior recital.
As a music major, I have to attend 12concerts a semester. If you take music survey, you’ll have to attend some concerts too as part of the course requirements. GWU Music puts out a TON of concerts each semester. There are a handful of recitals, distinguished artist concerts, choir concerts, orchestra concerts, symphonic band concerts, master classes, operas, musicals, departmental recitals that students perform at, and so many more! Even if you aren’t a music major or a music survey student, get out there and experience some culture found in good music and support your fellow GWU students in their musical achievements!