Looking Ahead in 2020
I can’t believe next spring will be my last semester at Vanderbilt!! Time has really flown by and it’s bittersweet that I have to say goodbye to Vanderbilt and Nashville in May. I’m trying to make most of my last semester, so here are several events in the spring that I am super excited for:
1. Eric Nam concert
One of my favorite solo artists, Eric Nam, is coming to Nashville and I’m so stoked to be able to see him live! Asian artists usually don’t come to the South very often and if they do, they usually just have concerts in Atlanta or Houston, so my friends and I had to get tickets. Nashville always has a plethora of concerts, but since I have always been so busy, I have only been to a handful (not counting Nashville Symphony concerts). I am trying to make the most out of my last semester, so although I’m still quite busy, I am actively making time to go out more. If you’re interested in his music, I highly recommend his most recent album “Before We Begin” and my own personal favorite song (a collab with Gallant & Tablo): “Cave Me In.”
This post would not be complete without mentioning the annual showcase of the Lunar New Year Festival. I wrote a post about all cultural showcases here (something that is pretty unique to Vanderbilt), but LNYF in particular, holds a special place in my heart as I have danced in LNYF since I was a freshman. I first danced in the traditional Korean fan dance, buchaechum and then watersleeves, a traditional Chinese dance during my sophomore and junior years. I will be dancing in LNYF for the last time (*sobs*) in K-Pop! This type of hip hop dance is something that I’m not used to, as I’ve grown up dancing ballet for most of my life, but I’m super excited to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. I will write a more comprehensive post about LNYF again as the time nears. You can watch last year’s showcase here.
3. Solo & Chamber Recitals
As a part of my music performance major, we are required to give an hour-long junior and senior solo recital (yes, it’s mainly just you performing!!). I have scheduled my senior recital in March and have been feverishly been practicing all the music I will be performing. This is probably the most stressful part of the semester besides finals, because there is so much preparation that goes into making a recital possible. First, we have to reserve a time and performance hall. Once that is approved, we have to schedule a “hearing” around 2-3 weeks before your recital, which is essentially you performing your entire recital program for a panel of three faculty members, one being your private teacher. You must pass this hearing because this ensures that you are ready for a recital performance. Not only it is stressful to perform all your music in front of your professors, scheduling a place and time for all three faculty members, yourself, and your pianist is an absolute nightmare. Next is the actual recital and usually by this time, I’m just a little nervous and not so stressed anymore. As you can see, a LOT of preparation, practice, and planning logistics goes into this, but I believe it’s totally worth it in the end!
Additionally, I am in an octet this next semester and we will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s entire String Octet in E-flat Major, one of the most celebrated chamber music pieces in classical music. The Octet consists of four violins, two violas, and two cellos (2 string quartets) and was written when the composer was only 16 as a gift for his violin teacher (unbelievable, right?). I have always wanted to play this piece, and I’m so excited to be finally playing it!
4. Cherry Blossom Festival
This is an annual event held in the downtown Nashville Public Square and is Tennessee’s premiere Japanese cultural festival with music/dance performances, cultural/martial arts demonstrations, art, anime merchandise booths, and food! I look forward to this every spring, because it’s a fun event to hang out with friends, try new foods, experience new things, and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
Last but not least, of course, I cannot forget Commencement…however, I am both excited for and dreading it. It’s this weird mix of feelings of wanting to graduate, but also not wanting to leave. I’ve made so many countless memories here, made lifelong friends, and also have learned so many things and so much about myself. I want to move on to the next chapter of my life, but I also thoroughly enjoyed all my time at Vanderbilt, even the most difficult and stressful parts. I guess you could say that I’m both excited for Commencement and what’s to come next, but I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself…one more semester to go!
Thanks for reading and as always, if you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com!