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Goals & Dreams for 2011

In leu of New Year’s Resolutions, this year I have decided to set goals for the year. What do I want to accomplish by year’s end? Oh, so many things. Too many to even keep track of. But what realistic goals can I put forth so that on Dec. 31st, 2011, I can look back at this post with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment… “check! check! check!”… going down the list. Well, here they are.

1. LEARN TO PLAY THE MANDOLIN. It only occurred to me in the last couple of years that the instruments I play are not limited to the ones I was introduced to as a child. Many people pick up new instruments in their adulthood; I have no idea why I hadn’t thought that could be me! I have always wanted/needed to learn how to play the guitar, and have been craving a songwriting/accompaniment instrument that is more portable than the piano. Since I used to play the violin, I figured mandolin would be a great place to start. It is tuned in 5ths, just like the violin, so I am ahead of the game in some ways. Now I get to experiment with chords and build up those left-hand calluses! Exciting. Stay tuned for my first gig with original songs on the mandolin, or perhaps I’ll even record with it. The possibilities abound…both in what I do with the instruments I currently play, and in the number of instruments I can learn in my lifetime. I know that now.

2. PERSEPHONE: THE MUSICAL! In my last year at Berklee, I began work on a musical with a dear friend and talented composer/lyricist/producer. We both graduated from Berklee with a decent foundation, including much of the story, several songs, and a few scenes. After an amazing week together (along with 13 other incredible songwriters) at the 2010 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project in Evanston, IL, we decided that the project should be handed over to me since my collaborator’s passion was drawn elsewhere and I was clearly more interested in the story of Persephone. I am really excited about what I have so far, but I know that I need to prioritize this project in 2011 if I ever want to get it up and running. So, stay tuned! Perhaps a staged reading in 2012?

3. LEARN TO SPEAK NORWEGIAN. Okay, this one isn’t music-related. Or at least not directly. But, if I’m going to be married to a Norwegian, I need to speak the language. I’d love to be able to converse with my Norwegian family in THEIR language next time we visit.

4. GET IN THE STUDIO. It has been four years since I recorded my first full-length album. I have so many new songs that I want to get out there, it will be hard to chose just 10-15. But I will! And though I may not be able to afford to fully complete my second record, I can at least get started this year.

5. FEMALE A CAPPELLA. Yes, I am an a cappella geek. Proud of it too! One thing that lacks from this art form (recently made popular by such TV shows as Glee and The Sing-Off) is women. Sure they are there. But lots of them? And in the most popular/renowned groups? No sir. I know what female a cappella can sound like, how GREAT it can be, but I am in the minority. It is very important to me to spread the female aca word! Which is why this year, I am singing/directing arranging for two all-female a cappella groups with the goal of bringing them to the masses. Perhaps via The Sing-Off, or perhaps through live concerts in the area. Regardless, the time has come. In fact, it’s much overdue! If you sing are an aca female, hit me up. Solidarity, sisters!

And those are my five lofty goals for 2011. Ready… GO!!!

When people randomly break out into song in movies or television, we’re supposed to suspend disbelief — “what if life were actually a musical?” This clip, however, is totally reminiscent of several different moments in my ACTUAL life. weird.