Friday, July 21, 2006

Stamps-Baxter - Day 5

Friday is a mixed blessing. It's awesome because I can relax tonight. I'm sipping an espresso-saturated macchiato while finally catching up on my email. I've warned everyone that tomorrow I'm sleeping in til the double-digits, and locking up the bathroom for an hour of tub-soaking time. But Friday also means that school is half over and I still have so much to do.

This morning started with devotions with Connie Northam, and she spoke right to me. Last night, I sat in my room, and all my fears of moving to Nashville overwhelmed me. "I won't know anybody." "No one will know me!" "How do I do an altar call?" I called Gerald, and he told me I was letting my worries distract me from the things I love. Well, Connie gets up this morning, and the first thing she says is, "Today I want to talk about worrying". I was floored. She told great stories, and ended up on the Bible verses that tell us about the 'lilies of the field'. This verse always brings such comfort to me! I was like God was reaching down and touching me on the head, and just letting me know, "I'm still here!".

Today was my first day in my new theory class, and it was great. I really feel like I fit into this group. Actually, I'm really glad I'm writing this, because it's reminded me that I have homework this weekend. Homework! Okay, not so happy about that. But really happy about the class. I finally feel like I'm with other people who are speaking my language. Itself of 'reviewing' figured bass, we're actually learning it. Very happy with this move.

Another fantastic voice lesson today. We worked lots of exercises, and he brought me up to a high F! I won't stop til I make his ears bleed!

Stamps-Baxter takes place on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University, and today we were visited by its president. He talked a little about the school, but then he started to speak about the importance of writing, and then he started to talk about Blogs!!! I got so excited! He spoke about how fascinated he is by blogs, and then told us that he believes God has a blog. God started to write His thoughts, beginning with the 10 Commandments. But stone was not enough, so God continues to write a living blog, and it is us. In us, He writes His love, His songs, His will, and His message. Our job is to let other people read God's message in us. Isn't that awesome?

By the way, everyone here thinks I'm in my twenties. I am feeling soooo blessed, y'all!

This afternoon was another songwriting lesson with Daryl. I brought in my new first verse, and half a second verse. It's going well. I'm going to spend some serious time with it this weekend. I want to complete the lyric and start to shape a tune for it. Maybe some chords? We'll see. Depends on how much time my theory homework takes!

I finished up Nick Bruno's career workshop today. He had lots of great advice of recording, so that alone was worth the price of admission.

Tonight's concert was the faculty concert. A lot of the staff are away for the weekend, but they still did a great 'homecoming style' performance. Everyone was great, but for me, Teri Reid stole the show. Teri is the daughter of Miss Mary Tom Speer, and at school, she teaches theory to the young 'uns. (I'm still working on my Southern talk. Be patient with me!) She has a great soulful voice, with lots of power and plenty of blues influences. I'd heard her just sing a few bars last year, so it was great to hear some full songs tonight. And Ben and Miss Mary Tom stole the show with the Speer classic, "Didn't It Rain". Actually, Ben worked his butt off with the wordy patter verses, and Mary Tom stole the show with her one line, "Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day!". Ben can just nail those verses, but no one can compete with Mary Tom's moment!

One of the things I'm really appreciating this year is the smaller moments. Last year, I was just so overwhelmed with finding my way around and learning how things worked and trying to eat the food, that I sort of experienced the school in broad strokes. This year, I think I'm really getting to appreciate the details. Like getting ready for bed at night and hearing the trains in the distance. Like having lunch with Miss Mary Tom and hearing stories of the early years of the Speer family. Like sitting here while people sing four-part harmony acapella. Beautiful!

This place is so awesome. It is full of great music and great people. As the song says:

"I can hear the brush of angel's wings. I see glory on each face. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place."

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