Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, and honestly that word doesn't even do the craziness justice. I (and hopefully my studio mates, too) have had some of the most inspirational experiences of grad school, all within one semester--and a lot of them in just the past month.

Dr. Bish was here and performed a recital and gave a master class. What an experience to have her here, in this bubble I've created, with her teacher who is also my teacher, sharing her clarinet-unicorn knowledge with us. I'm going to see her again in a couple of weeks and I am thrilled.

3/4 of my most influential musical people. My heart could explode!
On a strictly personal level: two weeks ago I travelled to Little Rock, Arkansas to play with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It was my first professional orchestra gig and such a treat to play with Dr. Kelly Johnson, who also teaches at the University of Central Arkansas. She was kind enough to invite me to observe her studio and give a little master class during her studio class; it was an incredible and unforgettable experience. And Sibelius Symphony No. 2--go listen if you've never heard it. What a joy to perform it twice in a row.
Unfortunately I came down with a gnarly cold literally right after that day at UCA, but over a week later I'm feeling human again so it's fine. It was well worth it.

This past week, amidst recovering from this disgusting cold, my troll-y friends created this incredible day of new music where the famous composers themselves were here at ASU: William O. Smith (grandfather of extended techniques on clarinet) and Eric P. Mandat (who took Bill Smith's ideas and ran with them).

Pat, Jack, and Jeremy each played a solo recital of just Eric Mandat and Bill Smith's music, and then a trio recital that featured a bass clarinet quartet accompanying Mandat himself.

We spent Thursday through Saturday schmoozing and absorbing as much as we could from these incredible people and musicians. As exhausting as it was, I am so thankful and proud to be in an environment that encourages this kind of creativity. I love my friends, I love my teachers, I love my studio. The inspiration is palpable. We are indebted to them for creating this experience for us.

So yeah, it's been insane.

I'm really tired.

Dan's parents are in town, I'm going home in a little over a week for Rebecca's graduation (!!!), and school ends shortly after I leave. This year has been weird and crazy and stressful in a lot of ways, but man has it been amazing.

And a Cooper picture for good measure, how cute is he?...


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Feelings

I've noticed that every year since I moved to Arizona, I'm both the busiest and the most grateful in the Spring.

My schedule gets insane, our studio has recitals and guests like every other day, I usually have to prepare for my own recital or something, write papers, work, etc.

But I don't know, I look around at all the trees and cactuses blooming, the weather is perfect for these blissful three months, and I just can't help but feel so happy and thankful to be living here and going to school and work with so many amazing people, and living life with Dan.

I mean it can be so stressful and give me so much anxiety, but when I finally manage to take a step back I am so lucky, you know? I love what I do, even when I hate it, and I love the people in my life. And my puppy. I love my puppy.

Maybe I'm just in a good mood because Dan surprised me with breakfast yesterday morning, Dr. G surprised me with coffee, I got out of rehearsal hella early, the weather is amazing, and Dr. Bish was in town (!!!). Maybe it's because of all of those amazing things, and an amazing Monday. Or maybe I'm just really happy and I'm having a clear-minded week :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend

On day three of our trip, we drove up to Page, AZ to take a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon and then drove five minutes down the road to Horseshoe Bend. UNREAL!
It was a fantastic and extremely memorable trip--from the fact that my sister could be at my recital to seeing so many natural wonders, I'm so glad to have these memories. See the Grand Canyon portion here.

The day that we drove home was Dan's 25th birthday! Dan, my better half, if you're reading this, thank you for coming on this trip with us and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Life with you is the absolute best.

Thus ends the Spring Break blog posts. I swear I'm hoping to post more, but alas, life gets in the way. Thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Grand Canyon National Park

We took a trip to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend over spring break (post-recital! woo!) with Rebecca and Kyle. This was the first time I met Kyle! He's from Michigan so our visits to Florida have yet to overlap, but I'll see them both in April for Bec's graduation!
Dan met the three of us after one day so he could play a gig, so on day one I was playing third wheel. We stopped at the Desert Watchtower and then hiked part of the South Kaibab trail (to "Ooh Aah Point"!)
It's indescribable. 
On day two, I made everyone stop for a picture at the National Park sign and lo and behold, it's blurry. Surprise.
When the full gang was assembled, we did the Bright Angel Trail down to the Indian Garden. 4.5 miles down, 4.5 miles up. The first (and last) 1.5 miles were icy. We may have fallen a couple times, except Dan who is a mountain goat apparently.
I am not athletic. I may have said "I'm dying" and "I can't do it" a few or more times on the way back up. I was in SO MUCH PAIN, no joke my hips were hurting terribly (and still are, tbh). I made Dan hold my hand and practically drag me up the mountain for short periods of time. I'm proud of myself for getting back up to the top but good lord I don't ever want to do it again. My face in the below photos is me pretending to be okay.
This will genuinely be a trip to the Grand Canyon that I will never forget. Next up: Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend!


Hello, Internet, it's been a while. Surprise! I'm still using this blog. Shocking, I know. This academic year has been trying, to say the least, so photos and blog posts are on the back-back-back burner. But we went on a Spring Break trip and I'm happy to be able add it to my virtual scrapbook.

When Rebecca and Kyle came in for my recital, we spent the following Saturday at the Renaissance Fair! It was so much fun, and so hot already. Haha. Then we spent Monday-Thursday doing some national park stuff! I took a lot of photos so I'll be sharing a couple posts soon. Thanks for sticking with me here!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Everything is insane and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. My recital is this Thursday night. Rebecca is coming and then––vacation. Finally.

Relishing tiny moments of calm and sunlight. You can watch my recital HERE, if you'd like!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I may have gone full dog-mom.
But I got this new 35mm lens, so naturally I used my puppy as my first model.
Can you blame me?
We love him.
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