My friend Chris is a certifiable genius. He is a Music Composition major here at Ithaca College, though his work goes beyond just being a student.
As his website states, Chris began studying piano at the age of six, and began composing at the age of eight. Eight. At eight years old I was doing a lot of things, and most of them involved playing soccer, pretending to be a power ranger, and overall NOT COMPOSING MUSIC. Sometime between the age of eight and eighteen, Chris got accepted to the program here at IC, a competitive one to be sure.
From there Chris hit the ground running.
During his time at IC he has scored several films, written music for two plays, released six albums (available on iTunes), two of which have benefited the Bravest Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation. How is someone that accomplished?
His junior year in college he spent time in Vienna studying Composition at the university of Vienna. P.S. he's fluent in German. He will be returning to that school to receive his Master's in Music Composition.
This past friday, Chris held his senior recital in Ford Hall here in the Whalen School of Music at Ithaca College. It was one of the most movingly beautiful musical experiences I've been a part of. Chris was kind enough to allow me to be the speaker in a orchestra/poetry presentation called "Elegies and Laments", but beyond that, just hearing the depth of his talent, and emotional connection was amazing. He started with an electroacoustic piece made from the sounds of storms, followed by this spoken word piece. Chris and I then ran around to the audience to hear his masterpiece, The Iris. The Iris is this piece of music which is beautiful beyond compare. I sat there, with tears streaming down my cheeks, just blown away by this piece of music. A long-time member of the Ithaca music community behind me stated, "I've been here for a very, very long time, and that is the best damn piece of music I have ever heard coming out of this place." After the intermission, we were treated to an SATB a'cappella chorale using the words of poetry written by Chris' grandparents. Once again, as close to perfect as I've ever heard. The whole concert ended with a double quartet, fighting each other in their melodies, rhythms, and ideas to create a constantly panning experience where the quartet on the left vs the quartet on the right so that even your ears were getting different musical experiences. As the concert ended, the audience leapt to its feet, making Chris take far too many bows, and joined him for a reception afterwards. It was probably the best concert I've seen at IC.
I don't really have a point to this post except to spout his praises, but really, for those of you who don't know Chris, head over to his website and listen to some of his works. Head over to iTunes and buy one of his cds, they're amazing. Most of all, just support his work, because someday he's going to be changing the face of music as we know it.
For more information on Chris, head over to his website at www.chrislarosa.com
Hey everyone! We're into the second week of performances for the Theatre Arts Department's production of Working! We've been getting some really great responses to the show, including one man saying to myself and Katie Peters:
"I've been coming to these shows for 15 years, and if this wasn't the best one, it was damn near the top."
However the first two media reviews are out, so I thought I'd share them with you all! The first is in the student newspaper, The Ithacan written by Freshman Drama major Lisa Purrone:
Read the review here!
The second is from one of the local papers, The Ithaca Journal, written by correspondent Barbara Adams:
Read the review here!
Give them a read, and if you're in Ithaca, please come see the show! We have shows tonight (4/5), tomorrow (4/7) at 8pm, and two shows on saturday (4/8) at 2 and 8pm. Tickets can be reserved at the box office (207) 274-3224, or at www.ithacaevents.com.
Thanks to all those who have supported us and to the reviewers for such nice words!
The next chapter of my life is upon me and that is horrifying and amazingly exciting fact! Two days ago, I completed my first professional contract, for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, NY and sent it in. I am officially an employed actor for a month this summer! It doesn't seem like much, I know, but it's a huge step in my life. I will be a member of the ensemble and the quartet in My Fair Lady with MGR before figuring out what comes next. I'm still waiting on a few theaters I auditioned for in the last couple of months, but it is definitely official, we're not in Kansas anymore.
The weirdest fact of all this is that when the summer ends...that's it. I don't go back to school, I'm still living my life as I will. No longer do I live on a semester life schedule, no longer does september 1st mean back to school shopping and classes. It means that I will be wherever I end up, hopefully acting, working as hard as I can to make a living, and finally applying the lessons I've learned in the last 22 years of my life to the real world.
This is not a long blog post, I don't have much to say beyond that, but as I look forward to this next chapter, I'm excited by all those who stand beside me, for all those who give me support, and for all the challenges I will overcome in my path. Look out world, here I come!
But seriously, if you have a job needing filling...I would love to have it!
Photo by Danny Bristoll
(fac·to·tum | \ fak-ˈtō-təm) noun - a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.