Friday, July 20, 2007

Governor's School Week: Part V of V

The feeling of hearing Scintillation performed in a reverberating chapel for the Closing Ceremonies instilled in me the hunger to compose (a hunger which soldiered on through years of composition lessons that had varying degrees of annoyance, until it finally consumed itself sometime during grad school). When I returned home, I immediately wrote Glossalalia March, and these two pieces became the bookends for my Fifth Year Recital at Virginia Tech in 2001. I followed this up with a new composition every month throughout high school, and ended up as a composition major in college.

So, despite the silly activities and embarassing curriculums, Governor's School as a whole was a positive experience for me, because it allowed me to explore aspects of music I hadn't considered before and interact with musicians that were far more ambitious and determined than I ever was. Had I not gone, I know for sure that I would have spent the summer month playing Doom 2 on the computer and biking around Old Town. I would have ended up going to college only for computer science. I never would have been able to write such pop hits as Bubba's Fried Chicken Stand or arrange One More Mozart Aria That Shac Is Currently Obsessed With But Will Forget In Two Weeks. From there, I would not have gone to grad school in Florida or gotten Booty, and eventually there would have been a typhoon in Japan.

Of all the artistically-inclined students I met at Governor's School, a few stand out in my steel trap of a memory:

  • John Berry, the eccentric violinist who would go on to become a composer at Virginia Tech, writing crazy music that Dr. Holliday loved (I once turned pages on his recital because no one else could keep up with the insanity). During Governor's School, he decided to start the "Marvin Curtis Fan Club" by taping pictures of the resident composer to everyone's door. I'm not sure what the impetus behind this was, but by the end of the week it had snowballed out of his control with buttons, signs, and fan club sign-up sheets all over the dorm. (He is not to be confused with the Dances with Wolves composer, John Barry, or the New York composer, Jim Barry).

  • The guy from Pennington Gap, which is as far west as you can go in Virginia and not be in Kentucky (if you picture a map of Virginia with Virginia Tech on it, Pennington Gap is about five thousand miles west of it). During our first dining hall conversation, the topic of forests came up, and he said, "Awthewsnehks?" in a caramel-thick accent, and it took everyone at the table about five repeats before we realized he was asking if there were snakes in the forest.

  • The girl named Maggie who was immediately dubbed by the entire male population as "The Girl With the Beautiful Eyes". As soon as you mentioned this title to any guy in the vicinity, they would immediately know who you were talking about and participate in a shared moment of appreciation for her shimmering hazel/green eyes. Two years later at Virginia Tech, I overheard a friend mention "The Girl With the Beautiful Eyes", and it turned out to be the same girl.

  • My roommate, Steve, with whom I had an ongoing paper airplane contest that lasted until our room was essentially carpeted in paper. He had to read Jane Eyre for school, and spent the whole month procrastinating. (By the end though, he'd gotten further into the book than I ever did).
  • At the beginning of the month, we all received a little book full of blank pages which we were supposed to use for taking notes in class. When my book was still blank three weeks later, I had the bright idea to have all of my Gov School posse sign their names and a brief message for posterity. Had I patented this brilliance (I called it the "yearbook"), I would be independently wealthy by now.


    I am a great guy with great skills, and I'm gonna do great.

    This note came from a cellist I had a mild crush on but was too shy to ever actually talk to. I wasn't even totally sure she knew who I was when I had her sign it.

    Here is a visual representation of the "dramatic half-whisper" necessary to pronounce the title of my piece.

    Marika was a theatre person in my LEGENDARY VISIONS (OF THE GODS) class. There's nothing special about this note, but it could be the coolest handwriting sample ever.

    It's interesting, the people you affect without even noticing. I probably talked to this girl four times all month long (she roomed with a girl from my high school) and never realized it was a big deal at all.

    Like all yearbooks, the entries can be divided into two categories: "I don't know you, but have a nice summer." and "Inside Commentary". My inside commentary was pretty evenly split between people liking my blue mask and jokes about stealing music from Aaron Copland.

    Humanities student, T.C. Wiliams '96 Senior Class President, future sportswriter in Elmira, NY, and elder brother of Chris Sharp.

    So Governor's School concluded on July 29, 1995, and after farewells with hugs and tears, we all returned home as changed people. Following a brief flurry of letters in the next two months (during the halcyon days of no mainstream e-mail) and promises to hold reunions and keep in touch, everyone from Governor's School vanished into oblivion, and I never thought of any of them again for the next twelve years. Now that I've gone through my little file folder of programs and trinkets, I wonder where they've all gotten to, but haven't really tracked anyone down, even with the magic of Facebook (the problem with Facebook is that, unlike 95% of the other people with accounts there, I, and almost everyone I went to Governor's School with, was born before 1980).

    I hope you enjoyed this week's feature!

    Happy Birthday Matt Jenkinson!

    Publishers fail to spot plagiarised Jane Austen
    New skintight spacesuit revealed
    Spiders are the harbingers of fire

    tagged as memories | permalink | 5 comments


    Previous Post: Governor's School Week: Part IV of V


    Next Post: Media Day

     

    You are currently viewing a single post from the annals of URI! Zone history. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2019 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

    Jump to Top
    Jump to the Front Page


    July 2007
    SMTWHFS
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031
    BIRTHDAYS
    BLOGLOG
    10/15
    09/10
    07/11
    03/15
    12/16

    OLD POSTS
    Old News Years J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    visitors since November 2003