My name is Paige Schneweis, and I am the Marketing Intern for West Music in Coralville, IA this semester. I’ve been here for about a month already, but I’m starting a new project: blogging. Before I tell you what my plan is, though, I’ll tell you a little about myself.
(Yep. That's me, ridin' a carousel.)
I’m currently in my third year at the University of Iowa, pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Music and a certificate in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship. As you try and figure out what a Communication Studies degree entails, let me just explain that you can do just about anything you want with it because it teaches skills that span across all career fields. This has been a bit overwhelming for me, to say the least, and I’ve just started to figure out the direction I might go. I’ve always loved music and have been consistently involved in music programs since fourth grade, and it didn’t dawn on me until a few months ago to consider pursuing a career in the music industry, even with the degree in Communication Studies. I was always interested in music education and music performance, but never considered them a reality. And then I discovered a part of the industry referred to as Music Business. How perfect! What better way to combine a practical degree with a passion that I already have? So here I am at West Music with an internship, in the hopes of figuring out if this is where I’m meant to be.
So my goal for this blog is to continue working on my written communication skills, as well as share my love for music and hopefully inspire readers to start playing and listening if they aren’t already.
The first thing I want to do is start off with telling you about a wonderful concert I attended over Valentine’s Day weekend. Both my boyfriend, Casey, and I are music nerds, so I took him to Chicago that Friday to see who else but the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Seeing the CSO has been on both of our bucket lists, so this opportunity was awesome (and by opportunity, I mean having a free weekend and student tickets are only $10.00!) So, we dressed up all nice, braved the streets of Chicago during rush hour in my little Hyundai Elantra, only drove three times around the block to park, ate dinner at Bennigans, and then settled into our seats in the beautiful Symphony Center. That weekend, the program consisted of Dvorák’s The Water Goblin, Op. 107, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30, and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39. Sir Mark Elder would be conducting and Garrick Ohlsson would be the brilliant guest pianist for Rach 3. Like fourteen year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert, Casey and I sat giddy in our seats, waiting for the downbeat.
I wasn't supposed to be taking pictures. Oh well...
Without giving you a play-by-play review of the concert, the musicians and the performance were great, to put it mildly. But, if I had to describe how I felt during the performance in one word, it would be awestruck. Of course, I’ve listened to recordings, but to see a live performance and to fully realize that those are astoundingly phenomenal musicians producing those beautiful, beautiful sounds was incredible. From the first note, I was mesmerized. In this day and age, where everyone is consuming mass amounts of electronically enhanced music, listening to something so pure was refreshing. I’m convinced that listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the closest things to perfect I will ever experience. Now, mind you, this reflection, per se, of the performance comes from the perspective of someone who has just heard the CSO live for the first time; that is, it was hard for me to be critical despite my musical background. This literally just occurred to me as I was reading a review of the concert that was not as full of praise as I had expected it to be. Nonetheless, for someone who is not paid to be a music critic, you could hardly consider it a disappointing performance. And I do want to say this: If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending a CSO performance, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not into the whole classical music thing, I can practically guarantee you won’t be disappointed. As all of the little banners along Michigan Avenue brag: “World’s best. Chicago’s own.”
Now, you might be reading this going, That’s nice. CSO, cool, blah, blah, blah. But…what does this mean for me? Well, here’s what it means:
You know that band, or that singer, or that orchestra that you’ve been wanting to go see perform live? Here’s my advice. Find tickets and go. You’ve been putting it off long enough. You can often find tickets for a lot cheaper than you would expect, and the internet is a splendid place to buy them. Either way, experiencing your favorite artist live, whether it’s in a crowded pub, from a mosh pit, or seated in a sophisticated concert hall, is special and well worth the money.
“Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.” – Berthold Auerbach
Whelp. There it is: my first post. Thank you for taking the time to read! Do you have any memorable concert experiences you’d like to share? What was the first concert you went to, or who would you like to see? Feel free to comment and share!