Back at UTM

Yes, it really did take me this long to get my camera, etc. hooked back up.

So we made it back from choir tour and have just finished the first week of our spring semester. In case anyone was wondering, the classes I’m taking are: Advance Conducting, Orchestration and Arranging, Portuguese for Spanish speakers, University Singers, Lyric Opera Theatre, Teacher’s Ed 302, and New Pacers.

And now for the daily photos from this week!

Matt and me

Matt and me


The wonderful water bottle I bought myself for Christmas.

The wonderful Kor water bottle I bought myself for Christmas.


Shiney shoes

Shiney shoes



My Portuguese book.

My Portuguese book.





By the way, I finished reading The Hobbit and have started The Lord of the Rings.

By the way, I finished reading The Hobbit and have started The Lord of the Rings. Still illustrated by Alan Lee, as you can see.


This otherworldly object is my new hand-held vacuum, Dirtdevil's The Kone.

This otherworldly object is my new hand-held vacuum, Dirtdevil's The Kone. And yes, it's glowing.


Banana tree...why not?

Banana tree...why not?




East TN choir tour, days 1-3

We’ve just finished the third day of our fourth choir tour, and it has been quite an adventure so far. 

We had our first concert on the way to Gatlinburg on Sunday in Newport. It was the first time our choir has ever been televised! We got to the chalet around 9:00 after braving a good deal of fog the whole way up the mountain. Here is the daily photo from our trip that day:


Monday morning the Simmons cooked breakfast, and then we decided to take a trip the the Tanger outlet mall in Sevierville. We stayed there shopping most of the day and then headed back to the chalet in time to change into our concert clothes. Our performance was at First Methodist in Sevierville. The crowd was small, but the concert was good. As an added bonus, Blair and Tasha (a clarinet major who’s now in grad school) came. In fact, they even came back to Gatlinburg and spent the night with us. I don’t think the mountain has ever been as foggy as it was on our way up then; we couldn’t see more than five feet in front of the van! Since there was not much worth taking pictures of at Tanger outlet mall, I forgot to find anything until I was about to go to bed…


We were surprised when we woke up this morning and were no longer living in a cloud! Who knew you could see mountains out the window? Today was our free day, and several of us had decided to go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Pictures from our aquatic adventures can be seen on flickr! After we finished the aquarium we walked the strip for a while in the rain. Then we drove to Pidgeon Forge for a little more shopping and dinner at Calhoun’s. When we got back to the chalet we got in the hot tub…and didn’t come back out for quite some time.

Matt meets a sawfish


for choir tour. In case you’re out of the loop, our choir at UTM goes on tour once every year. (you can even listen to selections from them by clicking up there in the menu bar) This year we’re doing something a little different. Usually both our choirs go, but this time only our small ensemble, the New Pacers is touring. I think we’re all excited about the prospect of travelling with just 20 people that we actually like, rather than over 50 that we hardly know. Our travels this year take us to east Tennessee, where we will be calling the Trillium home for the week. We leave bright and early at 8:30 tomorrow…better get  finished packing!