List of Lasts

Graduation countdown: 17 days

If it’s your last semester in high school or college, you may be bombarded with the quintessential, “50 Things You Should Do In Your Last Semester” lists (or something similar) that plague the internet. You may create your own bucket list and try to accomplish all the things on said list, either by yourself or with your friends…this can range from taking pictures with all your favorite teachers to participating in end-of-the-year traditions of the school.

Having been at the same institution of higher education for nine years (4.5 years for both undergrad and grad), I will admit that it will hurt a bit leaving a place that’s been relatively good to me all these years. (I say relatively because even higher education has its flaws. It’s not as perfect as the glossy brochures depict. Trust me, I know how marketing works.)

Yesterday started my “List of Lasts”. This will slowly grow over the next couple of weeks.

What happened? Well…

1. Final Symphonic Winds rehearsal…and playing on clutch-pedal timpani.


I’ve been a part of our symphonic wind ensemble (aka SWE–pronounced sweeeee) for as long as I can remember. There may have been two or three semesters in my 18-semester tenure here at Edinboro that I haven’t participated. In grad school, I focused on percussion, and moved to timpani full-time for the last three or four semesters. Out of all the instruments I’ve played in my lifetime, timps are my favorite. I affectionately call them my kids, and I’m in my own little cave. I can cut myself off from the ensemble with the barrier of drums in front and around me and focus on what I need to do.

Anyway, our local philharmonic had a concert last night, and they borrowed our main set of timpani (the type I typically play on), so our percussion professor brough these relics down from the practice rooms so I could play on them. This was…interesting. And rather challenging. Not only did you have to kick a lever to free the pedal to tune it, but there were no tuning markings anywhere. My relative pitch was put to the test with this one, but it wasn’t too bad overall.

This was my last rehearsal, and I was certainly relieved that it was over. Nothing more stressful than the day-before-the-concert runthrough.

Speaking of the philharmonic…

2. Last Erie Philharmonic concert.

Erie Phil

I enjoy the arts (as if you can’t tell), and going to the philharmonic concerts are no exception. I will be incredible happy to move to New England where it seems more arts-centered than a lot of areas. We’re fortunate to have our orchestra here in Erie. They perform for free at Edinboro, and it’s a great source of entertainment and education for the music students and community at large. The maestro, Daniel Meyer, often explains music history and instrumental know-how to the audience in between every song. Dr. Schouten, our high brass/French Horn professor, soloed during the concert, and Maestro Meyer interviewed her onstage after she was done to provide additional insight about the piece and her instrument. We pride ourselves on offering these educational tidbits to not only the seasoned verterans of orchestra concerts, but to the diverse demographic region of Erie county.

What’s on the agenda for today? My last Lacrosse anthem, and my last Symphonic Winds concert. Wooooooo.

Do you have an end-of-the semester list of lasts? For those graduating, is there anything you wish to accomplish before graduation?


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